The Sentencing Project is reporting that the new report on Black youth homicides going up 43% is misleading. The report issued by James Alan Fox and Marc Swatt of Northeastern University which has generated a lot of media attention is allegedly causing knee jerk reactions comparable to those that gave us the disparaging sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine in relation to powder cocaine after the death of basketball star Lenny Bias in the 1980's.
The Sentencing project writes:
"The findings have variously generated calls for enhanced policing, prevention services, and other responses. But a closer examination of the data included in the report indicates that the reported “surge” in violence is very much overstated."
One needs to also point out that gang violence hype has led to local, state and federal legislative bodies targeting black youth under so-called anti-gang laws. Republicans and right wing pundits seem to always come up with excuses to target Black youth and fill our nations private prison plantations with fresh new slaves to make profits for corporate America and its stockholders, including Vice President Dick Cheney.
From the Sentencing Law and Policy Blog in 2005:
"We're talking about gangs that are across the country,'' said Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., the bill's author. ''If they were an army from a foreign country, they would be the sixth-largest army in the world.''
Forbes' bill, approved 279-144, would expand the range of gang crimes punishable by death, establish minimum mandatory sentences, authorize the prosecution of 16- and 17-year-old gang members in federal court as adults, and extend the statute of limitations for all violent crimes from five to 15 years....
Democrats said the bill puts too much emphasis on punishment and neglects prevention. While the bill authorizes $387.5 million over the next five years to fight street crimes, Democrats said the cost of accommodating new prison inmates alone would exceed $9 billion over the next decade. ''We must give our young people a path to success, not just a path to prison,'' said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas." READ MORE
That's right, 9 billion dollars to pump into America's booming slave trade which includes the federal and state governments in collusion with the private prison industry lobbyist who amount to the modern day equivalent of plantation owners. Business has been so profitable that the prision industry is traded on stock markets. So here we have another overstated and misleading report generating a buzz in the corporate media and right wing blogs that is nothing but propaganda to fool the public into supporting more oppressive and racist legislation.
The Sentencing Project writes:
"Taking a broader view of the data, we find that rates of homicide offending both by black males 14-17 and black males of all ages have declined substantially since the peak years of the early 1990s. Thus, for example, the 1993 rate of homicide offending of more than 200 per 100,000 for 14-17 year-old black males has declined by more than 50%, and is now under 100 per 100,000. While the black male rates are still considerably higher than those for white males, the scale of the decline is very significant over the past decade".
In the interest of full disclosure, I have been guilty for buying into the corporate media hype that the murder rates among black men was higher than it actually turns out to be. While I continue to speak out against violence of all types, especially Black on Black violence, I am somewhat embarrassed that I too fell for the mainstream media propaganda.
Read the Sentencing Projects Report
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