Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Antonio Moore: The Black Male Incarceration Problem is Real and it’s Catastrophic

black man handcuffs (blacklivesmatter)

“We have more work to do when more young black men languish in prison than attend colleges and universities across America.” – President Barack Obama

*In a recent article the widely held belief surrounding the number of black men incarcerated outnumbering the number of black men enrolled in higher education was refuted. The piece is titled “The myth that there are more black men in prison than in college, debunked in one chart.” The author appears to believe through proving this assertion about prison and education ratios to be inaccurate either a point of great progress can be demonstrated, or an overstatement of calamity about the state of African American men can be corrected.

Yet the real issue is the number of people in prison should never be similar to the number educated. For most in our country this in fact holds true, but for black men the two numbers are in fact close and that is the inescapable problem. The supposed myth on its face may in fact be incorrect. There may be more black men in college than in prison, but the truth still stands that there are a socially catastrophic number of black men behind bars in the United States. Let me give a bit of context for this discussion. Referencing the same article above

“The Census estimates that approximately 18,508,926 people in the U.S. population are black males, of all ages…The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Prisoner Statistics Program reports that in that same year, 526,000 were in state or federal prisons, and, as of mid-year 2013, 219,660 were in local jails, making for a total of about 745,000 behind bars”

745k black men incarcerated in us

To give a lens for viewing this data India is a country of 1.2 Billion people, the country in total only has around 380,000 prisoners. In fact, there are more African American men incarcerated in the U.S. than the total prison populations in India, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Finland, Israel and England combined.

This article by Antonio Moore continues at Huffington Post Black Voices.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I have a personal stake in this situation, so this is something that I am aware of and conscious of, and no one is being truthful about this. African American males are being incarcerated as part of the mechanism for destroying the African American community. No one, it seems, understands that African Americans need their own community. Even as late as 2015, African Americans are considered to be inferior to whites and need a cultural makeover so as to imitate whites. African Americans are still being pressured and coerced into trying to assimilate into a hostile culture where whites consider themselves to be superior to blacks and that blacks are a burden to America. All of this constant talk of education and college are code for: blacks are inferior. No one wants to acknowledge the truth: Mainstream America must stop tearing African Americans down. I am African American and I can truthfully say that African Americans are creative and adaptable, so the constant pressure for blacks to anglicize themselves is not the answer.
    And, very important, it is time to remove the veil of mystique and glamour that has been placed around education to present it to poor people and people of color as the proverbial “carrot” to manipulate them into an agenda that does not benefit them.
    The solution to the black male incarceration problem and the black female incarceration problem, by the way, is to stop wrongfully incarcerating them. PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Part of your argument, stating that getting an education or going to college, is a code for alleged black inferiority does not make any sense. How can you fight a system if you cannot read, write, or analyze the position of the enemy? The lack of education is what is killing our young folks. I am not following the logic of the so-called ‘hip hop’ generation who feels that getting education is a trick or forced assimilation into the mainstream culture. If you knew yourself and your traditions, NOBODY can make you do something you don’t want to do. Getting an education is what gives one the weapons to fight back against oppression. If blacks knew and understood the policies that are taking place against African Americans, then we would not have this issue about the increase of black male incarceration. How is it that there is more black males going to jail now than back in the days of Jim Crow? Ask yourself that question….

      • Hi,
        I do not have a problem with education. I am saying that the constant pressure to force blacks into college is an attempt to disguise a negative agenda. And, that agenda is promoting the notion of white supremacy, black inferiority, as well as keeping a large percentage of black people shut out of American society. People should not have to go to college to live like human beings, other races, especially caucasians are allowed human dignity without going to college. Truth, be told, going to college and so called assimilation subject black people to more hostility, abuse and racism. They just give titles, statuses, and paychecks to educated blacks to get them on board with
        it. It is called “selling out”. Education as a means to learn, grow, and improve, to develop intelligence is good, but that is not what is happening today. The educational system was dismantled in the 1970’s, what is passing for education today is social programming. Why can’t so many students pass achievement tests? Why are other countries ahead of America(educationally) which touts itself as the highest and most powerful country in the world?
        With regards to education, the rhetoric and the facts do not match.
        Education, true education is learning. Learning promotes intelligence. I believe that intelligence is the answer, that means thinking and exercising the mind by paying attention and focusing and then acting on it. People have to learn to distinguish between learning and being programmed with information that someone else want’s to fill the mind with.

        Cheryl Theriot
        ‘Warrior for truth’

  2. Wrongful incarceration definitely needs to stop! However, knocking education is not the way to go. Having an education keeps the wolf away from the door, provides at least a decent standard of living, health and medical benefits, pensions, vacations and the ability to see the world if you want to. Education also gives you access to people who can help you. I taught high school for almost twenty years and in that time, met other teachers who introduced me to a surgeon who diagnosed me with breast cancer, another teacher who suggested I buy disability insurance which paid me $18000 when I became ill; a third teacher who persuaded me to join a Pre- paid Legal Plan which enabled me to secure a handsome settlement in court from a landlord . I grew up in the Bronx and never had a desire to travel to Europe until I went to college and met black folks who had been there. As a result , I traveled to France , Italy , Brazil and eventually became a Tourism teacher . Forty years after graduating college and thirty years after grad school my nearest and dearest friends are the ones I met as a result of getting an education .

  3. You can have an education police still disrespect blacks but education u will know what your options are police have harass me for no reason, follow me trying 2 intimidate me mind u I am in my sixty’s.

  4. Education is definitely the answer. However, the problem is how the system is set up. Black people have been marginalized every since the emancipation. That BS about forty acres and a mule was propaganda, as in all of the systems BS. The ghetto is by design, and white America, not all of white America, but the racist ones, work hard at keeping the status quo. Namely the republican/T-baggers, “We want our country back,” BS. Since the Civil Rights Act, there has been some progress, and that was do to education, and there is certainly much more to be done.

    One of the things that black people have to stop doing is blaming themselves for their predicament, and place the blame exactly were it belongs, the white establishment. Again meaning the republicans, who not only hate black Americas but anyone who doesn’t look like them. This is why they hate the black man in the White House. It’s another swipe at inequality, and they are fighting it tooth and nail. The good thing with having a black president, all of their covers have been blown, and their racist, bigoted real intent have been exposed. Had we not gotten a black president, they would still be talking a lot of BS, and saying what they really meant behind closed doors, as in Mitt Romney’s 47%. So in some respects having a black president has helped move us forward. Unfortunately, he can only do so much, and I think he has done great with what he has to work with.

    I also believe that what’s happening is very good, the shit is being called out. And that is the only way to deal with it is to meet it head on, and beat them at their own game. All the laws that they use to incarcerate are and deprive us of our rights, yes rights, can be used against them as well. Education can do that. So we as black people have to go back and rescue/educate the one’s that have fallen through the creaks. A daunting task to say the lest but it can and must be done.

  5. This is just the latest chapter in a war that has been fought against blacks since emancipation. You had Jim Crow, segregation and now mass incarceration. The advantage of mass incarceration, is that unlike Jim Crow and segregation, it’s easier to defend. You can’t, for example, use the statistics to argue your case in court. The law only allows each case to be considered on its own merit.
    So the fact of the matter is that when it comes to this mass incarceration thing, you are pretty much screwed. Blacks don’t have the numbers to elect the officials needed to address these racial biases in the system. The only other alternative is to have an advocate at the governorship or presidential level to take executive actions.
    The opening statement of this article reminded us that all Obama is willing to do is talk, even though he has the executive power to force changes in the way blacks are profiled and ultimately prosecuted at the federal level. For now, we just have to watch our backs, and try to get as much education to reduce the chance of falling prey to the criminal injustice system.

    PS if Obama fought for racial justice the way he fought for Obama Care, it would be a different matter. But who we fooling? We know that man only cares about himself and his non black agendas.

    • Red, I was surprised at your comment about the president. On most things we seem to concur. However, your statement about the president I feel was unfair, and blatantly wrong! The man is the president of the United States, and what he does is for all of us, not just black people. Obama Care, weather you agree or not, has helped many people, including black people. The system is set up the way it is and no one president can make that kind of change. But all the things that he is doing helps blacks as well. One of the things I mentioned in my comment was we as black people have to stop disparaging ourselves, including the president, and place the blame on the right culprits, namely the white establishment/republican party, in this case. The fact that he is president has done wonders in bringing out these bigoted, racist republicans, who are bent on keeping the status quo. I was sure that you and I were on the same page, but apparently not, because I see the man doing a great job considering the obstruction/opposition from the rabid right. I really hate when black people can’t see the whole picture, and think that because we have a black president, all of the injustice, that has been amass over many a decade can be resolved with the election of the first black president. Well, I’ll say this, with black people like you, disparaging the president, we have a long way to go. It reminds me of how during slavery how the uncle toms would tell on a run away, “Massa, Joe is fix’n to run,” for some menial favor; watch propitiates that old adage of crabs in a barrel.

      • I ain’t said shit about Obama Care, other than using it as evidence of what Obama can accomplish when he puts his mind to it. As far as racial justice, he wouldn’t be reneging on his job as president of the United States. He would be doing his job to ensure that all Americans are treated equally.
        No, he can’t resolve all the injustice that has been amassed over many decades, but with those executive presidential powers, he could do a lot to ensure that at least the federal justice system treats blacks more fairly.

        But what has he done, but being an obstructionist to Eric Holder?
        Eric Holder would have this shit on lock by now if Obama would just stay the fuck out the way and let the man do his job. From the man took the job, Obama tried to muzzle him about calling out white people.

        Look at all the opportunities Holder had for bringing federal charges, but Obama won’t allow him.
        I mean, he didn’t want to bring charges for Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant or Mike Brown, But what about Eric Garner. What possible excuse could he have?

        Man, we had an opportunity for eight years of progress, but what has Obama done?

  6. I also want to mention the push that the hip hop culture has had in uniting black people with the world. I know lots of blacks feel it’s demeaning. I say to them just look around and see how the hip hop culture has influenced and how it’s been incorporated into our society, it has given us a universal language, used all over the world, and some of the words have been put into the dictionary. It has allowed shows like Empire to amass a huge following, breaking records with their viewership. I think it’s because of this new found universal language. Just think of all the excellent black movies and TV shows that have gone unnoticed because the white audience wasn’t able to really grasp the humor or understand black culture. And how we as black people, not to long ago, had to fit into a white cultural environment, if we wanted to be on TV and movies. Now take a look at commercials for example, the money and the heart beat of this country, and see blacks being themselves, nappy hair and all! LOL!!!!!

    • To start with each black female should be taught how to carefully choose a smart, responsible and well balance mate, each parent must make the necessary sacrifice to protect their offspring mentally, physically, emotionally and financially and with love wisely guide, teach, train and prepare their offspring’s for the competitive world they will have to operate in and if you don’t know don’t be shame to ask someone like you who have had success in raising successful black children.

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