Presentation on theme: "Racism and Resistance Public Interest Collective."— Presentation transcript:
Racism and Resistance Public Interest Collective
Wealth Gap Grows – White families have 20 times that of Black families median wealth npr
One Example of Institutional Racism Criminal “Justice” and Mass Incarceration
The Crime of Criminal “Justice”
USA Prisoners 2010 Black males were 7 times as likely to be imprisoned as white males 7% of all black males ages were in state or federal prison
Review the system : Use of Drugs Police Stops Arrest Bail Bond Representation Trial Sentencing Prison Parole Freedom
“blacks and whites engage in drug offenses- possession and sales- at roughly comparable rates” May 2008 Targetting Blacks: Drug Law Enforcement and Race in the US - HRW
From 2005 to 2008, 80% of NYPD Stop and Frisk actions were of Blacks and Latinos (who make up 53% of population). Once stopped 85% of Blacks and Latinos were frisked compared to 8% of whites.
“State-by-state data from 2006 show that blacks were arrested for drug offenses at rates in individual states that were 2 to 11.3 times greater than the rate for whites” March 2, 2009 Decades of Disparity HRW
Blacks are 33% more likely to be detained awaiting felony trials than whites facing felony trials in some parts of NY state. NYState division of criminal justice services, 1995 study in disparities in processing felony arrests.
Once arrested, 80% get
“All too often, defendants plead guilty, even if they are innocent, without really understanding their legal rights or what is occurring… The fundamental right to a lawyer that America assumes applies to everyone accused of criminal conduct effectively does not exist in practice for countless people across the United States.”
American Bar Association 2004 Gideon’s Broken Promise
Only 3-5% of criminal cases go to trial – rest are plea bargained.
“Who wouldn’t rather do three years for a crime they didn’t do than risk 25 years for a crime they didn’t do?”
Sentencing? Since 2005 (US v Booker) Black and Latino men receive federal sentences 10-23% longer than whites. Report - March 2010
African Americans comprise 13% of population and 14% of monthly drug users but 37% of persons arrested for drug offenses, and 56% of people in state prisons for drug offenses. May testimony before Congress of Marc Mauer The Sentencing Project
Consequences for Drug Felons No public housing OK to discriminate against in private housing OK to yank right to vote OK to discriminate in employment No food stamp assistance No jury service Prohibitions on associating with others
Criminal “Justice” and Mass Incarceration Racialized System of Social Control
1700s - Birth of Slavery Death of Slavery Birth of Jim Crow withdrawl of federal troops 1950s-60s - Death of Jim Crow 1980s - Birth of Mass Incarceration
Stigma of criminality functions in much the same way as Jim Crow: Legal boundaries between them and us; Social and economic boundaries between them and us; Cannot vote; Can legally discriminate in jobs and housing; Warehouse a disposable population;
Poor whites and people of other ethnicity are also subjected to this system of social control because if they are out of line they are treated just like poor blacks – the worst possible treatment
Criminal Justice System is Integral Part of the Domestic War on Marginalized
Criminal Justice System is Part of the White Supremacist Domestic War on Marginalized
Domestic War relies on Technology of Domination (Criminal Justice System) for Capture Immobilization Punishment Liquidation
Thus Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, US jails & prisons are all the same – domestic & international versions of domination
Don’t let anyone ever quash your dreams
No Fear of Radical Change
Recognize, This is as much about Liberating Ourselves as Liberating Others In fact We cannot Liberate Ourselves Without engaging in Liberation with Others
Anthony Mello: First, realize that you are surrounded by prison walls, that your mind has gone to sleep. It does not even occur to most people to see this, so they live and die as prison inmates. Most people end up being conformists; they adapt to prison life. A few become reformers; they fight for better living conditions in the prison, better lighting, better ventilation. Hardly anyone becomes a rebel, a revolutionary who breaks down the prison walls. You can only be a revolutionary when you see the prison walls in the first place.
A radical approach to injustice means to go to the root of the problem not trimming the leaves not pruning the branches but ripping up by the roots the injustice.
We need a radical redistribution of economic and political power…
Justice Says People Are More Important Than Property Rights
What to do? Free Your Mind Learn How Social Change Happens Work with Organizations Immerse Yourself in Human Rights Solidarity Love
First, Liberate Your Heart, Mind and Spirit
Refuse to put up with walls in our minds
Free Your Mind I could have freed more if they knew they were slaves
Free Your Mind Reject Law School BS Do not put up fences in your own mind Consider the 100 year rule
Adopt a 100 year perspective on law and justice
What will people think 100 years from now about our criminal justice system?
100 Year Rule: What was TOTALLY LEGAL but unjust 100 years ago?
Women won right to vote in 1920
1935 Right of Workers to Organize Protected by Wagner Act
Child labor was outlawed in 1938 with Fair Labor Standards Act
1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Segregation legal in US until 1960s
Voting Rights Act 1965
1965 Medicare and Medicaid
1970 Clean Air Act
1990 Americans with Disabilities Act
1994 Violence Against Women Act
Increasing Legal Recognition for Same Sex Couples
Then ask What will people in 2112 think of 2012?
Learn Social Change How does social change happen? No one frees anyone else Develop a working theory of social change Must be able to handle chaos and conflict
“Nothing short of a major social movement can dismantle this new caste system.”
Hope has two beautiful daughters: Courage and Anger. Augustine of Hippo
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.
Work with Organizations of People Impacted by Injustice
Support Prisoner Organizing and Resistance
Justice is a Team Sport
Join the Movement
Challenge War on Drugs
Resist in Place: Prosecutors, Defenders, Judges
Immerse Yourself in Human Rights
Human Rights More Important Than Constitutional or Civil Rights
Seek Out Hope Joy Love
Our Hearts Must Be Totally Open To Tragedy and Pain And Totally Open To Hope and Love
Wherever you find tragedy and injustice You will also find resistance and inspiration
Liberation is up to us.
Pakistani Lawyers Protesting for Freedom of Judiciary
Common Law staff Karen Gargamelli, Mike Wang, and Jay Kim.
Monika Kalra Varma RFK Center Human Rights
Denise Siwatula: Representing Rape Survivors in Eastern Congo