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Some of you know that this is a pet project of mine, so you know I had to jump right into it. Smile

I really appreciated the concept of the cradle to prison super-highway (CPS), but there was one aspect of it that I wish had been addressed.

Black folks have to get out there and serve on juries. For time out of mind, Black folks were not allowed to sit on juries, and Black folks accused of crimes were tried by all white juries. Many steps by the Supreme Court in the last 100 years have sought to remedy this, but there are many ways to circumvent the Supreme Court's wishes.

One example is that convicted fellons are barred from sitting on juries. Now, who gets all the convictions? Also, most jury selections in the U.S. are begun by compiling voter registration lists. So, if your not registered, you won't even be considered for jury service. When they compile these lists, they mail out tests to confirm sutability for service. There is all manner of corruption that can happen in this, from targeting certain neighborhoods and not others, to simply sending the tests too late for them to be returned on time.

From the African Americans who have already been through the justice system with convictions, to those that are not registered to vote (or straight up disenfrachised) and not even given an invitation to serve, the end result is that when we arrive in court, we are being denied the right to a jury of our peers!

I don't know the answer to this problem, but I will say this... If you have an opportunity to serve on a jury, just do it! Don't duck and dodge, don't ask for exemption, don't give them a reason not to seat you. There is a very good chance that some Black man or woman needs you on that jury.

The other part of this chapter I would like to address is drug policy reform.

17

This is so messed up I scarcely know where to begin...

The example given in this chapter is in regards to the federal sentencing disparities between cocaine and crack.

"...conviction for the sale of 500 grams of [cocaine] carries a five-year mandatory sentence, selling only five grams of crack cocaine garners the same five-year sentence. The punishment for the two substances has a 100:1 ratio." - pg. 61

My impression is this...

Throughout the history of drug enforcement, it has been slanted heavily toward controlling certain groups of people. Marijuana was originally added to the federal controlled substances list in order to control Mexican immigrants. As the next chapter indicates (I'll get to that one next), the vast majority of drug users (including crack users) are White. Yet, Black people are far more likely to be stopped, searched, ect. The vast majority of Black folks in prison right now are there on drug offenses.

The idea of equalizing mandatory sentencing sounds like an important step. But, it doesn't really address the unequal enforcement of the law, which I believe is the real problem.

In my opinion, no one (white or black) should be doing prison time for drug offenses. The entire "War on Drugs" needs to be brought to a grinding halt. The billions of dollars we're putting into this war does nothing but fill up prisons. Controlled substance abuse has increased every single year since the controlled substance list was created in 1914.

We need to start seeing drug abuse as a health issue, and not a criminal one. Criminalizing unhealthy practices does not solve the problem. We also need to stop buying this nonsense that drug enforcement is actually helping our communities. It is not. I have yet to see any evidence to support that position.
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We also need to stop buying this nonsense that drug enforcement is actually helping our communities. It is not. I have yet to see any evidence to support that position.---Black Viking

I agree with this, in concept.

It is difficult to say arresting a person for the murder of another because it is 'drug related' is not helpful.

Drug enforcement is not the answer to the drug problem.

This discussion will go 'in and out' and 'up and down'. The bottom line is that the problem exisits because, because of the demand.

Make the demand legal, and the problem goes away.

Regulate the sale and manufacture of the targeted drugs, like all other drugs, and the importation will dry up.

The killing in the streets over market territory will go away.

The crime and violence associated with getting the money to buy the drugs will go away, because the price will have dropped through the floor.

The cost of the 'drug problem' will become the cost of rehab and treatment which is likely to be 1/100th of the current domestic cost; not couunting judicial and imprisonment.

And...not counting the cost of overseas enforcement.

The 'Covenant' doesn't even offer legalization as a reasonable option.


PEACE

Jim Chester
I was watching an show that has a couple that was dealing with domestic violence. The therapist was trying to get to the issue of why the husband "struggled" with the underlying anger.

He had been abused in his youth.

But like HB is trying to point out...there always seems to be a way (and acceptance) for women to express themselves. Women are the only ones that were abused – verbally and sexually- as a child. Had an adult that belittled them and made them feel worthless.

When a man has emotional issues then he's weak or his just being a typical man
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
Make the demand legal, and the problem goes away.

Regulate the sale and manufacture of the targeted drugs, like all other drugs, and the importation will dry up.

The killing in the streets over market territory will go away.

The crime and violence associated with getting the money to buy the drugs will go away, because the price will have dropped through the floor.

The cost of the 'drug problem' will become the cost of rehab and treatment which is likely to be 1/100th of the current domestic cost; not couunting judicial and imprisonment.

And...not counting the cost of overseas enforcement.

yeah I've believed this for many years. Ironically, it's the only thing that has not been tried. Every year the government does the same stupid things, and every year drug use, and the crimes related to drug use, increase.

quote:
The 'Covenant' doesn't even offer legalization as a reasonable option.

No, but it should have. Someone has to broach this idea somewhere.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I don't know the answer to this problem, but I will say this... If you have an opportunity to serve on a jury, just do it! Don't duck and dodge, don't ask for exemption, don't give them a reason not to seat you. There is a very good chance that some Black man or woman needs you on that jury.


To do what Brother Viking? To overlook an individual's crime because he or she is Black? I hope that you're not suggesting we excuse people's crimes on account of their race. As exhausting and emotionally-draining this experience is, I never dodge jury duty. I remember some years ago I served as a jurer for a armed robbery case. The person being charged was a twenty-something year old African-American man who was caught in the act of the robbery. Unfortunately during the arrest, the police officer found drugs on this young man in addition to the hand gun he used to commit the robbery. The van that he used to commit the robbery was also stolen. During jury selection, I watched him as he and his lawyer very carefully selected the jurers that he wanted to be part of the case. For whatever reason, I was one of the jurers that he selected. Perhaps by selecting a predominately Black jury this young man hoped that he would get away with the crime, but after a very brief deliberation, which consisted of examining all the evidence that was stacked up against him, we had no choice but to find him guilty. Therefore correcting the system of unequal justice is necessary, but I don't think giving Black people a free pass to commit crimes is the way to do it.
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I don't know the answer to this problem, but I will say this... If you have an opportunity to serve on a jury, just do it! Don't duck and dodge, don't ask for exemption, don't give them a reason not to seat you. There is a very good chance that some Black man or woman needs you on that jury.


To do what Brother Viking? To overlook an individual's crime because he or she is Black??? I hope that you're not suggesting we excuse people's crimes on account of their race.

Of course not Sister Rowe. Criminals do not deserve a free pass simply because they are Black. But, my feeling is that no Black man or woman should be tried by an all-white jury. Too many White people have a deeply ingrained belief that Black people are pre-disposed toward criminality. They maintain this belief, regardless of any evidence or sound reasoning to the contrary. In my view, our long standing and racially loaded history with the justice system makes it nearly impossible for an African American to receive a fair trial from an all-white jury.

That's why our people need us on those juries. They have a constituional right to be judged by a jury of their peers. For four hundred years we were denied that right. Today, it is possible for us to have it, so long as we understand the implications, and we don't give it away with the untrue assumption that it does not make a difference.

Thank you for serving on that jury Sister. That man had a right to be convicted on the evidence of his crime, rather than the evidence his race.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
Of course not Sister Rowe. Criminals do not deserve a free pass simply because they are Black. But, my feeling is that no Black man or woman should be tried by an all-white jury. Too many White people have a deeply ingrained belief that Black people are pre-disposed toward criminality. They maintain this belief, regardless of any evidence or sound reasoning to the contrary. In my view, our long standing and racially loaded history with the justice system makes it nearly impossible for an African American to receive a fair trial from an all-white jury.


Ok Big Grin, I just wanted to make sure I understood your point. Thanks!
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quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
We should challenge every candidate for public office on their position on legalization of drugs.

You know, that reminded me... you once noted that African Americans should register as Independants, regardless of how we intended to vote. I think your reasoning on that was to make both parties actually work for our vote, and not take it for granted.

In reference to your above statement, that might be the way to actually get that done. That might me the way to get drugs legalized, and get everyone doing time for it pardoned. If either political party saw it as a way to lock the African American vote, I see that as a way to get them moving in the right direction.

However, we would also have to be very... very... vocal about it.
However, we would also have to be very... very... vocal about it.---Black Viking

Sorry about being 'slow' in getting back to you. I noted your post the other day, and by the way, not many are commenting on the book.

As to your post:

Yes, being very vocal is the only way...so far.

If you yell and scream, people think you are some kind of 'nut'.

The reality is that the control of the power of our vote is a clear gateway to the solution of many, if not most, if not all, of repressions we are subjected to in our society.

You cannot change a societal system when the ability to exercise power within that system.

We have no contol over the ultimate tool of power in a political system...our vote.


Even worse we have stated that we are afraid to do what it takes to get it.

Even worse we have allowed those who we thought we sent to represent us to stand up in the U. S. Congress and tell the nation all of the above.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:

We have no contol over the ultimate tool of power in a political system...our vote.

Even worse we have stated that we are afraid to do what it takes to get it.

Even worse we have allowed those who we thought we sent to represent us to stand up in the U. S. Congress and tell the nation all of the above.

Am I going to have to download and read your book in order to know what you're talking about? Razz Big Grin
Am I going to have to download and read your book in order to know what you're talking about?---Black Viking

You know, I am so 'computer dumb' I'm not sure my Paypal is working correctly.

And...I don't really know how to make it available on-line.

Should decide you want the book, e-mail me and I will give a good package of all three.

Or...you can just ask.


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Okay... what are you talking about?
---Black Viking

You ask:

Am I going to have to download and read your book in order to know what you're talking about?---Black Viking

After talking about my 'on-line' ability, I added the alternative of being able to simply inquire.

I thought it would be implicit that I meant that I was willing to answer directly any question you might have.

Does that help?


PEACE

Jim Chester
I'm sorry Jim, I don't think I was clear. What I meant was this...

quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:

We have no contol over the ultimate tool of power in a political system...our vote.

Even worse we have stated that we are afraid to do what it takes to get it.

Even worse we have allowed those who we thought we sent to represent us to stand up in the U. S. Congress and tell the nation all of the above.

How do you think that we have no control over our vote?

PS. I would like to read your book, BTW. How can I get it?
I'm sorry Jim, I don't think I was clear. What I meant was this...


quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:

We have no contol over the ultimate tool of power in a political system...our vote.

Even worse we have stated that we are afraid to do what it takes to get it.

Even worse we have allowed those who we thought we sent to represent us to stand up in the U. S. Congress and tell the nation all of the above.

How do you think that we have no control over our vote?

PS. I would like to read your book, BTW. How can I get it?---Black Viking.

Let me address the last, first.

I have three books currently in print by IAANH Publishing Company, which is owned and operated by me.

The first is 'The African American Ethnicity',

The second is a Second Edition where I corrrected some the 'typo stuff' in the first plus a little extension here and there.

The third is a handbook on 'How to'. I felt I had not sufficiently addressed that issue for my children.

They are to 'old' to try to talk to now.

Check my website for address, etc, and mail a check for $35US. I will in turn ship (Continental US and Canada) all three.

As to the issues:

We have no contol over the ultimate tool of power in a political system...our vote.

Every State has been allowed to keep discretion over when and whether a non-European can vote by virtue of The Voting Rights Act of 1865, as amended 1982.

I have to eat. I'll be back.
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
I'm sorry Jim, I don't think I was clear. What I meant was this...


quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:

We have no contol over the ultimate tool of power in a political system...our vote.

Even worse we have stated that we are afraid to do what it takes to get it.

Even worse we have allowed those who we thought we sent to represent us to stand up in the U. S. Congress and tell the nation all of the above.

How do you think that we have no control over our vote?

PS. I would like to read your book, BTW. How can I get it?---Black Viking.

Let me address the last, first.

I have three books currently in print by IAANH Publishing Company, which is owned and operated by me.

The first is 'The African American Ethnicity',

The second is a Second Edition where I corrected some the 'typo stuff' in the first plus a little extension here and there.

The third is a handbook on 'How to'. I felt I had not sufficiently addressed that issue for my children.

They are to 'old' to try to talk to now.

Check my website for address, etc, and mail a check for $35US. I will in turn ship (Continental US and Canada) all three.

As to the issues:

We have no contol over the ultimate tool of power in a political system...our vote.

Every State has been allowed to keep discretion over when and whether a non-European can vote by virtue of The Voting Rights Act of 1865, as amended 1982.

I have to eat. I'll be back.


I'm back.

]As a result of Section 4(a) of that law, We do not, and cannot, have control of our own vote, neither individually nor a people.

The people who claim to be 'the leadership' for Americans of unknown African ancestry initiated a petition to continue the law as is...for us.

In that petition they articulate the reason being that to do otherwise, i.e. petition for equal treatment, would cause Congress to challenge the constitutionality of such a request.

This is a request for equal treatment, by the way.

The law already provides such protection for women, and 18-year-olds.

And both protections were put in place AFTER was written to protect us...on the basis of 'race and color'.

Then....

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr (D)IL submitted a resolution in the House of Representatives (HB 21) to essentially start all over.

The resolution asks for an amendment to the constitution to do what the 15th Amendment already does for us.

The difference????

He proposes the new amendment say 'everybody'.

I have called this monumental stupidity. Why""

The constitutional amendment process is designed to be the hardest change to make to the American Government.

The standing example is the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), for women. After years of effort, the amendment failed to obtain the necessary ratification of three (3) States.

Rather than stand in Congress and demand equal protection under the existing law, the choice of our 'leadership' (You know they talked it over before Jackson 'put it on the floor') they chose to put the most difficult process in the system 'out there' as their effort 'do right for us'.

That is utter bull...!!!!!


PEACE

Jim Chester
Correcting the System of Unequal Justice requires unrelenting action against the people in authority to properly enforce the laws that are already there. Our problem is that they are used against us in very harmful ways.

Recently in Columbus, Ohio, on the same page in the Columbus Dispatch were two articles:
A 24 year-old Black man plea-bargained a sentence of 134 years for a string of burglaries, while a white man gets 14 years for murder.

This is a blatant example of unequal justice. Black politicians and community leaders protested, but the reply was, "Since Hairston pled guilty to all charges, he gave up his right to appeal his sentence. So he is stuck with the 134-year sentence."

Black lawyers and politicians (who are mostly lawyers) and judges need to do everything possible to avoid allowing young Black men and women from walking into these traps.

There are many other examples, but the loud protests of angry citizens across the country resulted in the shut-down of the "Boot Camps" in Florida. Every voice counts.
Black lawyers and politicians (who are mostly lawyers) and judges need to do everything possible to avoid allowing young Black men and women from walking into these traps.---Thuso

Clearly, you are right.

These traps have been used against us from the beginning, the ignorance of our existence.

A lot of our adamant stands are grounded in ignorance.

Across the board, many of the binding circumstances in which we find ourselves were destinations we were allowed to fall, or were guided, into.

That was once true for binding circumstance of the Voting Rights Act.

That stopped being true at least 20 years ago.


PEACE

Jim Chester

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