Sunday, February 10, 2008

More blacks in KY prisons -- who knew?

"Honey, I thought Obama's candidacy ended racism?!?"

The C-J ran a piece of the racial disparities in Kentucky prisons. Look at the numbers in Jefferson County (Metro Louisville), where black folk make up 57% of the people sent to the state prisons but only only 20 percent of the counties population. Other counties like Kenton and Daviess have a much worse ratios.

"Marc Mauer, executive director of the Washington-based National Sentencing Project...said that while both whites and blacks use illegal substances, blacks are arrested and incarcerated more frequently, as law enforcement tends to focus more resources on the low-income, minority community."

The good news? Mauer said the Bluegrass is below the national average. Here blacks are only 5x times more likely to be incarcerated than whites. The national average is 5.6x -- hooray for .6%, keep hope alive!

The Bill Cosby/O'Reilly crowd will cite parenting, personal responsibility and ghetto values as the culprit. And undoubtedly that's at play. Not every imprisoned black person is Mumia.

I happen to agree with Michael Eric Dyson, however, who says though they're not all political prisoners their incarceration is certainly politicized. Especially in KY where felon's voting rights are constitutionally denied unless restoration is signed by the governor.

So much for rehabilitation.

Alas, progressives use a lot academic buzzwords like socioeconomic status, institutional racism and prison industrial complex. They just don't have the same rallying affects as Cosby's ignorant rants of black stereotypes.

Until then...listen to Lupe

No comments: