Sunday, February 1, 2015

What's Happening

I don't know what to expect anymore. People don't at all seem to grasp how much our country institutionally oppresses communities of color and folks who are impoverished. We imprison 2.3 million citizens, most of whom are in jail for possession of drugs. There are millions more who are on probation who often lose their right to vote, access housing, and access employment. We have immense disparities  in our drug sentencing that are just disgusting.

People don't seem to get this. If you're a white frat boy at a college you might often do a ton of drugs (more so than what happens in most urban communities). Hey, you might even drink and drive. However, you don't live in a community that is monitored by a militarized police presences that is systemically incentivized to fuck you. You aren't of an ethnic / racial background where you can get pulled over and searched with no probably cause. You can smoke your pot, snort your blow, drink behind the wheel with an exponentially higher chance of experiencing little to know harassment from law enforcement.

So, when we have so many cases of people of color literally being killed by our law enforcement official (sometimes on video) with no repercussion, we need to remember that our war on drugs that motivates this behavior isn't actually about drugs or right and wrong. It's about the entrenched interests that have ingrained themselves in our legal system that hope to profit off of the oppression of others. It's about politicians being able to say that they are "tough on crime" being able to win votes. It's about the racist ideology that still permeates much of our citizenry and institutions. It's about our economic realities where we have chosen not to try to reintegrate people into our workforce, and instead would rather spend valuable resources on locking them out

We need people who aren't affected by this to wake up. We need folks to be outraged and know that this is about all of us. This is about your neighbors and your fellow citizens being persecuted. This is about allowing a slow-moving holocaust happening right next door and you saying nothing. This is about realizing everything we say we're proud of and accomplishing being tarnished by our moral indifference to the dark realities that we are operating in a racist and destructive system. 

This utterly shouldn't be the case. It doesn't have to be this way and we have to ensure this. 

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