*Outspoken LA attorney Antonio Moore has seen the posters for the new Kevin Hart & Will Ferrell film “Get Hard” and in light of what’s happening to black males at the hands of the criminal justice system, he doesn’t like what he sees and he has a something to say about it.
Hollywood has chosen to make light of mass incarceration rather than confront it with serious content.
Most recently, we see an example of this in the upcoming film starring Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell entitled “Get Hard.”
The headlining image of the film shows Hart seemingly corn-rowing Ferrell’s hair, and just as odd is the statement that reads “An education in incarceration.”
Even further looking closely at the placement of Hart’s hands and the rings around his sweater, he discreetly appears to be in handcuffs. These are the messages that are often hidden in the media.
America has made a joke out of the plight of a generation. But why wouldn’t this happen, when incarceration has been largely isolated as a cost borne by young Blacks? So, while everyone laughs, a few pay the real cost for this dangerous satire.
This is the backdrop of the recent findings by the Department of Justice of racial discriminatory practices executed by the police in Ferguson, the creation of an alternate world of criminality occupied by Black America. A world where courts give you tickets, then move the courthouse, and arrest you for not showing up on your scheduled date. A world where prison rape is not just an issue to be made a joke, but also a sad reality. A world where life is governed by steel bars blocking the escape of all who are trapped, rather than being ruled by the openness required to foster dreams.
Growing up in South Central Los Angeles I saw the devastating impact of mass incarceration first hand. As Ronald Reagan took office in the early 1980’s, and private prisons took hold of our nation, prison quickly became a rite of passage for so many young black males. Black America grew largely numb to the reality that imprisonment should be an incident experienced by families in rare occasion, if ever. As a former prosecutor in the same city my visual on the issue expanded as I saw first hand the harsh reality of crime’s impact on family structure. Single mothers, parolees and probation officers, became as normal as Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday for too many in black America. Places like Ferguson popped up across the nation, areas where criminality filled the coffers of cities that operated as though black lives only mattered for their economic bottom line. Along with this new normalcy media content started to reflect mass incarceration’s devastating effects as a common way of life. It became a joking matter, rather than a serious civil rights issue. No matter how common, it remains dysfunctional. As I showed in my piece The Black Male Incarceration Problem Is Real and It’s Catastrophic” “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.” Together the aforementioned 9 countries represent more than 1.5 billion people, in comparison there are only around 18.5 million black males in the United States.
Black Male Incarceration Problem is Real and Catastrophic Huffington Post by Antonio Moore
Incarcerated Black America: Past, Present and Future – Where do we go from here? MSNBC TheGrio by Antonio Moore
Below, Antonio Moore speaks with Dr. Boyce Watkins on the issue:
Antonio Moore graduated from UCLA in 2002, and Loyola Law School in 2006. He is a former Los Angeles County Prosecutor. He is now a practicing Los Angeles based entertainment attorney with several celebrity clients. In recent years he worked as a producer on the documentary on the Iran Contra, Crack Cocaine Epidemic & Mass Incarceration “Crack in the System presented by Al Jazeera”.
Moore is also an active member of the Urban League Young Professionals. Contact: Facebook and Instagram.