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an artistic collabo btwn street inc media and rodolfo ( young student at youthbuild CRCD)
this is what institutional oppression looks like.we need justice in the justice system!!
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A Look at the Racial Disparities Inherent in Our Nation’s Criminal-Justice System
This month the United States celebrates the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965 to commemorate our shared history of the civil rights movement and our nation’s continued progress towards racial equality. Yet decades later a broken criminal-justice system has proven that we still have a long way to go in achieving racial equality.
Today people of color continue to be disproportionately incarcerated, policed, and sentenced to death at significantly higher rates than their white counterparts. Further, racial disparities in the criminal-justice system threaten communities of color—disenfranchising thousands by limiting voting rights and denying equal access to employment, housing, public benefits, and education to millions more. In light of these disparities, it is imperative that criminal-justice reform evolves as the civil rights issue of the 21st century.
Below we outline the top 10 facts pertaining to the criminal-justice system’s impact on communities of color.
1. While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.
2. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have a disproportionate number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.
3. Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated. Black and Hispanic students represent more than 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement. Currently, African Americans make up two-fifths and Hispanics one-fifth of confined youth today.
4. According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates. The data showed that 96,000 students were arrested and 242,000 referred to law enforcement by schools during the 2009-10 school year. Of those students, black and Hispanic students made up more than 70 percent of arrested or referred students. Harsh school punishments, from suspensions to arrests, have led to high numbers of youth of color coming into contact with the juvenile-justice system and at an earlier age.
5. African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison. According to the Sentencing Project, even though African American juvenile youth are about 16 percent of the youth population, 37 percent of their cases are moved to criminal court and 58 percent of African American youth are sent to adult prisons.
6. As the number of women incarcerated has increased by 800 percent over the last three decades, women of color have been disproportionately represented. While the number of women incarcerated is relatively low, the racial and ethnic disparities are startling. African American women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated, while Hispanic women are 69 percent more likely than white women to be incarcerated.
7. The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses. According to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate of arrests. African Americans comprise 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. From 1980 to 2007 about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African American.
8. Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes. The Sentencing Project reports that African Americans are 21 percent more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than white defendants and are 20 percent more like to be sentenced to prison.
9. Voter laws that prohibit people with felony convictions to vote disproportionately impact men of color. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote based on a past felony conviction. Felony disenfranchisement is exaggerated by racial disparities in the criminal-justice system, ultimately denying 13 percent of African American men the right to vote. Felony-disenfranchisement policies have led to 11 states denying the right to vote to more than 10 percent of their African American population.
10. Studies have shown that people of color face disparities in wage trajectory following release from prison. Evidence shows that spending time in prison affects wage trajectories with a disproportionate impact on black men and women. The results show no evidence of racial divergence in wages prior to incarceration; however, following release from prison, wages grow at a 21 percent slower rate for black former inmates compared to white ex-convicts. A number of states have bans on people with certain convictions working in domestic health-service industries such as nursing, child care, and home health care—areas in which many poor women and women of color are disproportionately concentrated.
Theses racial disparities have deprived people of color of their most basic civil rights, making criminal-justice reform the civil rights issue of our time. Through mass imprisonment and the overrepresentation of individuals of color within the criminal justice and prison system, people of color have experienced an adverse impact on themselves and on their communities from barriers to reintegrating into society to engaging in the democratic process. Eliminating the racial disparities inherent to our nation’s criminal-justice policies and practices must be at the heart of a renewed, refocused, and reenergized movement for racial justice in America.
There have been a number of initiatives on the state and federal level to address the racial disparities in youth incarceration. Last summer Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the Schools Discipline Initiative to bring increased awareness of effective policies and practices to ultimately dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. States like California and Massachusetts are considering legislation to address the disproportionate suspensions among students of color. And in Clayton County, Georgia, collaborative local reforms have resulted in a 47 percent reduction in juvenile-court referrals and a 51 percent decrease in juvenile felony rates. These initiatives could serve as models of success for lessening the disparities in incarceration rates.
Sophia Kerby is the Special Assistant for Progress 2050 at American Progress.
The LA City Council voted 12-1 Wednesday to make a controversial Universal City Services Card available to the city’s over 400,000 undocumented immigrants, as well as to transgender individuals, foster youth, homeless and individuals without access to financial services, CBS reports.
Cardholders will have the option of using the card as a debit card, which will reduce their risk of theft by obliterating the need to carry large sums of cash. Councilman Richard Alarcon, who introduced the proposal, said there are currently tens of thousands of cash-only immigrants who are “literally walking ATMs for thugs,” ABC reports.
The debit service would also help put a stop to payday lenders, which gouge undocumented immigrants with exorbitant fees.
An interesting article that examines national demographic and political trends by focusing on California. Some highlights:
1. Making it easier for people to register to vote seems to shrink the Republican pool of voters:
…[T]his year the Democratic legislature and Governor Brown enacted online voter registration…1.4 million Californians, disproportionately young and Latino, registered to vote, more than half of them online. By the time registration was completed…the Republicans’ share of the state’s voters, which had been declining steadily for years, fell beneath 30 percent for the first time since the state started measuring.
2. People in power (who are mostly whites) rig things so they stay in power. Taking redistricting out of the hands of the legislature helps ensure that the conservative white vote isn’t being given disproportionate weight:
The new districts in which congressional representatives and legislators competed this week weren’t designed to ensure their survival. And with the Latino and Asian share of the electorate continuing to rise, they all but guaranteed that the Democrats would enlarge their delegations at Republicans’ expense.
3. Xenophobia/racism during the mid-1990s (e.g. Prop. 187) won the Republicans some elections, but it laid the building blocks for future defeat by not only causing Latin@s to abandon the GOP, but politically mobilizing them:
One week before the 1994 election, the spontaneous anti-187 demonstrations of Latino youngsters came together in a massive planned march in downtown Los Angeles, which a number of not-quite-so-young Latino labor leaders coordinated. Two of those leaders, Miguel Contreras, then the political director…of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor…and Eliseo Medina, then a local official of the Service Employees International Union…saw the potential to build an alliance between the newly Latino-ized Southern California labor movement and the politically aroused Latino immigrant community….By 1998, they had flipped the long-Republican congressional and legislative districts…into the Democratic column. The efforts of both the AFL-CIO and SEIU have continued…turning a once-purple state steadily bluer.
4. The steady movement of the Asian vote toward the Democratic Party suggests that the GOP’s failure to capture the Latin@ vote runs much deeper than their shitty stance on undocumented immigrants:
Obama won 73 percent of the Asian vote nationally…It…demonstrates that the Republicans’ problem runs deeper than mere opposition to immigration, since the number of undocumented Asian immigrants is small. It suggests that for Asians, no less than for Latinos and blacks, the Republicans are viewed as a white man’s party. It also suggests that Republican opposition to education spending, increasing Pell grants and the like, may not be the best way to win a growing voting bloc that places such a high premium on education.
I agree with this. I don’t think Latin@s are automatically going to flock to the GOP if the party suddenly reverses its stance on undocumented immigration. They can’t win back voters they so recently demonized and bullied. I also don’t think the conservative stance on welfare programs, taxes, and education are all that appealing to Latin@s or Asians. Being anti-government no matter what seems to be (mostly) a white thing.
BERKELEY, Calif. — Hardly a stranger to political movements, this is a city that has championed free speech, no nukes, the antiwar movement and now: no sitting on the sidewalk. During years of economic downturn, cities across the country have reported rising vagrancy and rushed to pass laws banning aggressive panhandling, giving food away in public parks and even smelling foul. This bastion of populist politics is no exception. The City Council and mayor have put a measure on the November ballot that would ban sitting and lying on commercial sidewalks from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., at the risk of a $75 citation. “These laws are an example of a startling national trend to criminalize homelessness,” said Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, an advocacy group. In a 2011 survey of 234 cities, the group found that 40 percent prohibited camping, 33 percent banned sitting and lying down in public places and 53 percent outlawed begging. Recent examples of laws intended to shoo off, keep out, or otherwise restrict the homeless are everywhere. In July, Newport Beach, Calif., a seaside city south of Los Angeles, instituted rules banning public library patrons who smell, park their shopping carts near entrances or sleep in the library. In April, Denver passed a law forbidding “urban camping.” In March, Philadelphia prohibited charities from distributing free food in public parks, a rule that was recently suspended after church groups sued the city. Other municipalities have removed park benches, closed public restrooms and banned sleeping in cars.
(Source: abbyjean, via )
LA Police Chief is taking steps to protect low-priority immigrants from deportations. The move comes just days after California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed California to significantly limit its involvement in the federal deportation program, Secure Communities.
(flickr: Antonio Villaraigosa)
The move by Beck represented a victory for immigrant rights activists just days after California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed bill that would have extended statewide an approach similar to what Beck is proposing.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Wednesday that the Occupy Los Angeles encampment outside City Hall “cannot continue indefinitely” and has asked city officials to draft restrictions limiting when people are allowed on city property.
In an interview Wednesday, the mayor said county health inspectors recently visited the encampment and expressed concerns over the cleanliness of the camp. In addition, the demonstration is hurting the city’s lawn and trees.
"The lawn is dead, our sprinklers aren’t working … our trees are without water," Villaraigosa said.
I knew about the disguised cell towers and underground homeless communities, but I was surprised to find out that LA is home to so many oil rigs:
…L.A. has been an oil town from the time black gold was discovered there in 1892 right up until today. As the city’s hippie clogged arteries began to expand out over the reserve, oil companies got creative. After refining a new urban design in the 1930s, the wells were all but soundproofed; an innovation that allowed oil companies to start playing “hide the pumping station.”
On street corners, on school grounds, tucked away behind shopping malls—hidden rigs are literally everywhere in Los Angeles. There’s an unmarked building on Pico Boulevard in West Hollywood which houses one of the biggest hidden oil operations in the city. From the site, 58 wells have been directionally drilled up into the Beverley Hills area.
What LA would look like if it had narrower streets
Before I saw these pictures, it never occurred to me that what makes LA look like LA are the broad streets…and not just the general spread-outness of the city.
Via this BuzzFeed post that wrongly assumes NYC is the only place where you can see examples of such cultural fusion (or unusual sights in general).
It’s pretty common to see Asian grocers in neighborhoods with high Hispanic/Latin populations. In Philly and LA, most Korean grocery stores have Hispanic/Latin employees. It is not unusual to see the Korean owners conversing with their employees in a mix of Korean, Spanish, and English, or to see a Hispanic-looking gentleman speaking near-fluent Korean.
Living in a melting pot is grand, ain’t it?
The seed for a noir mystery about the untimely demise of a movie mogul and the famous actor who is the only suspect.
We got to stroll around Fox Studios, where my brother works. We went on a weekend day when there aren’t any tours going on. It’s a surprisingly small lot:
A couple of the many Houses That Groening Built. Seriously, The Simpsons buildings are like, half the lot.
Even though Futurama has moved to Comedy Central, the show and David X. Cohen still have reserved spaces on the Fox lot:
"New York City"
The cute little bungalows where starlets under contract to Fox used to live (including many mistresses of studio executives).
While people might still be screwing in them, the buildings are just offices now.
Rupert Murdoch apparently has a thing about the ducks that nest near his office. The first sign reads “CAUTION: DUCK CROSSING”. The next one reads, “PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE DUCKS”.
So the official Fox policy regarding ducks is basically The Prime Directive.
For some reason, there is topiary everywhere. No matter how hard I pressed him, my brother couldn’t give me an adequate explanation as to why.
I smell a conspiracy.
Penguins, a deer, a cello.
What does it mean, Rupert? What are you trying to tell me?
Gratuitous picture of your foot in Frank Sinatra’s tiny footprint.
I wear a woman’s size 6.5, by the way.