05 01 2014
The NBA and Donald Sterling
Not a lot of commentary here, the actions of Commissioner Silver were exemplary and on the money; lifetime suspension, a maximum fine and forcing the slug to sell his team. Look who’s lining up, Oprah, Floyd Mayweather, Oscar de la Hoya, David Geffen, maybe P. Diddy! I can’t wait!
Let’s discuss the P…….
Prisons and the population….The Unites States leads the world in incarceration; a full 25% of all people in the world, the wide whole world, who are in prison, are imprisoned in the good ole USA! 2.3 million adults are in prison. As of 2002, there were 3,150 black people per 100,000 in the prison population, while there were 1,260 per 100,000 were Hispanic and about 500 per 100,000 for white men.
I’m not going to get heavily into discussing the disparity in conviction rates and the number of people of color who are on death row. The reasons are there for all to see; from a lack of education opportunity to horrible legal representation. And of course there are those who purposefully thought that they could “get away with it” or just had a bad intent.
The one of the most profitable industries, in the USA, is managing prisons!
But what is so horrific, most of all is the intention of states to murder people who have been convicted of murder. Notice, I said convicted, because, as we are aware, there have been many innocent people sent to prison or have faced the death penalty and have been later proved innocent.
The NAACP presents the following facts:
- From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people
- Today, the US is 5% of the World population and has 25% of world prisoners.
- Combining the number of people in prison and jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 1 in every 31 adults, or 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control
Racial Disparities in Incarceration
- African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population
- African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites
- Together, African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population
- According to Unlocking America, if African American and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates of whites, today’s prison and jail populations would decline by approximately 50%
- One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime
- 1 in 100 African American women are in prison
- Nationwide, African-Americans represent 26% of juvenile arrests, 44% of youth who are detained, 46% of the youth who are judicially waived to criminal court, and 58% of the youth admitted to state prisons (Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice).
Drug Sentencing Disparities
- About 14 million Whites and 2.6 million African Americans report using an illicit drug
- 5 times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites
- African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense.
- African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months). (Sentencing Project)
- Inner city crime prompted by social and economic isolation
- Crime/drug arrest rates: African Americans represent 12% of monthly drug users, but comprise 32% of persons arrested for drug possession
- “Get tough on crime” and “war on drugs” policies
- Mandatory minimum sentencing, especially disparities in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine possession
- In 2002, blacks constituted more than 80% of the people sentenced under the federal crack cocaine laws and served substantially more time in prison for drug offenses than did whites, despite that fact that more than 2/3 of crack cocaine users in the U.S. are white or Hispanic
- “Three Strikes”/habitual offender policies
- Zero Tolerance policies as a result of perceived problems of school violence; and the adverse affect on black children.
- 35% of black children grades 7-12 have been suspended or expelled at some point in their school careers compared to 20% of Hispanics and 15% of whites
Effects of Incarceration
- Jail reduces work time of young people over the next decade by 25-30 percent when compared with arrested youths who were not incarcerated
- Jails and prisons are recognized as settings where society’s infectious diseases are highly concentrated
- Prison has not been proven as a rehabilitation for behavior, as two-thirds of prisoners will reoffend
Exorbitant Cost of Incarceration: Is it Worth It?
- About $70 billion dollars are spent on corrections yearly
- Prisons and jails consume a growing portion of the nearly $200 billion we spend annually on public safety
The above should be sufficient enough to sit down with your children and young adults and tell them you love them and recite these facts and tell/ ask them to understand what it will do to their future. (Info courtesy of Wikipedia and the NAACP)
Stephen A Smith
Stephen A is a craftsman when it comes to discussing sports, everybody knows that. He is usually insightful, analytical, and a wizard when expressing his views. But the other day, he punked out. Yeah, he punted on the question of discarding the nickname of the Washington football team, saying in effect that Mr. Snyder purchased the team based on its “tradition”! Well, Stephen A, the team was named by an avowed racist, George Preston Marshall. In 1961, the Redskins drafted their first African-American player, RB Ernie Davis, the first Black Heisman Trophy winner. Davis was subsequently traded to the Cleveland Browns for future Hall of Famer, Bobby Mitchell. They were the last NFL team to have had an all-white roster due to owner George Marshall’s racist views. Pressure from the NFL and the government forced them to give in, and although Bobby Mitchell was only welcomed to the team begrudgingly he deliver a fine performance, racking up 1,384 yards and 11 TDs during the season.
On March 24, 1961, the Secretary of the Interior warned Marshall to hire black players or face federal retribution. For the first time in history, the federal government had attempted to desegregate a professional sports team. Finally, under threat of civil rights legal action by the Kennedy administration, which would have prevented a segregated team from playing at the new District of Columbia Stadium, as it was owned by the Department of the Interior and thus federal government property, (thus), the Redskins became the final pro football franchise to integrate, in1962, in their second season in the stadium. But, in mid-December, 1962, Marshall (who once was infamously described by (newspaper writer) Shirley Povich as the man who kept the Redskins team colors “burgundy, gold, and Caucasian”)!
Just like there were many white people in the north and the south, who believed that slavery was okay, or child labor was indispensable, or smoking was manly, and “traditionally” necessary to maintain; but in this day and age, year 2014, we have come to understand that some “traditions” are better left in the past. We are not asking for anyone to erase the records of the club. What we are saying is the name is a slur, pure and simple and just like you would not like it if the team was called the “blackskins” or the “whiteskins”, yellow or “mulatto” for that matter, when coupled with the history of racism. Snyder’s investment should not an issue, just as Mr. Sterling’s investment does not matter regarding his connection to the NBA. Stephen, just like we no longer tolerate being labeled a “n****r’, or Negro (even with the capital “n”),or “wet****, regarding our Mexican neighbors, we will not allow you or anyone else to refer to us as r*****ns” without calling you out on it; so you and your colleagues need to stop using the slur. Just like you took the time to look into the history of Donald Sterling, you need to properly research legacy of racism of the team, and the word and the stop using “ignorance” as an excuse not to join us in pushing for elimination of the word from our vernacular. Even in earnest discussion, it bothers me that you and your colleagues continue to refer to the team as you do. It’s denigrating and it needs to stop. Thank you.
Enough said, I’m out!!!