Tag: racial wealth disparity


blowback in our innercities

October 9th, 2012 — 9:55am

(read the book free online - read the Reddit AMA)

 From Anaheim to the Windy City, America’s urban centers are steadily and relentlessly beginning to rotate into the gyre of violence and retribution that all too often serves to foment revolution and unrest. And with poverty levels surging to the highest levels since the ’60s, the era of America’s last widespread innercity riots, avoiding more violent demonstrations and protests seems increasingly unlikely.

Over the weekend in Anaheim, California an officer involved shooting devolved into an intensely troubling scene which saw police officers firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds into an already dispersed crowd of civilians and a police dog attacking a mother and child. And then over the next few hours the situation devolved into further chaos:

Throughout the night, police in multiple marked and unmarked squad cars attempted to control an unruly crowd gathered near the shooting scene. Some cordoned off the intersection at East La Palma Avenue and Anna Drive with the same yellow crime-scene tape used by police where the shooting happened.

Some moved a Dumpster into the intersection and set its trash on fire on at least three separate occasions only to be met with multiple officers who kept responding to move it out of the way of traffic.

About 9:30 p.m., an Anaheim helicopter hovered above the crowd while police on the ground brandished batons and other weapons at the crowd, attempting to keep order.

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Comment » | Chicago, current affairs, domestic terror, drug violence, islamist, legalize marijuana, militant islam, Muslim, organized crime, racial inequality, racial tension, racism, reform, revolution, terrorism, war on drugs

when Justice lies

June 27th, 2012 — 6:18pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

When you are sworn into Federal Court, you are exhorted to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Each of these phrases carries a slightly different angle against any possible lie – not only are you swearing to speak no lies, but also to not hold any part of the truth back, and to not mix in lies among the truth you do tell.

And so by its own standards, the US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics has been openly and unabashedly lying about the racial divisions that remain within the American penal system for at least the past seven years.  It’s a lie so patently absurd that if our current President was incarcerated, the Department of Justice would pretend he wasn’t there, and whitewash his existence from their racial prisoner data entirely.

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Comment » | controlled substance, Current Events, diversity, economics, innercity violence, islamist, marijuana, organized crime, politics, prison system, racial inequality, racial tension, racism, reform, war on drugs

blowback in the windy city

June 12th, 2012 — 7:06pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

A little while back al-Qaeda’s American-born spokesman “Adam the American” released a video exhorting Muslims in America to wage the “death by a-thousand cuts” version of jihad.  Instead of looking to stage large dramatic attacks which would require months of preparation and planning, he implored would-be jihadis to simply buy guns and start shooting people:

Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders, and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam waging war on their religion, sacred places, and brethren.  This is a golden opportunity.

“The way to show one’s appreciation and thanks for this blessing, is to rush to discharge one’s duty to his [community] and fight on its behalf with everything at his disposal.  And in the West you’ve got a lot at your disposal. Let’s take America as an example, American is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms…

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Comment » | Chicago, domestic terror, innercity violence, news, politics, racial inequality, terrorism, Uncategorized, war on drugs

what’s in a day?

June 8th, 2012 — 6:55pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

Recent tax data recently led to a select group of families being labeled as “The Fortunate 400.”  But before we look into where that name comes from, let’s consider something real quick.

There are hundreds of people who made more in one day of work than someone who pulls in just over six-figures a year.  Much more in one day.  Five times as much in fact, more in three-hours than he made in a year.  Trying to argue that this is simply what happens in a capitalist economy gets a little bit fuzzy when you consider that although between the 1930s and the 1970s CEO pay increased by a modest four-percent, since the 1970s it has increased eight-fold while employee pay has remained stagnant:

The AFL-CIO reckons that the ratio of chief executive pay to median worker pay rose from 42-1 in 1980 to 343-1 in 2010. The average S&P 500 CEO now makes over $10 million a year, according to a report from the Institute for Policy Studies.

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Comment » | current affairs, news, politics, racial inequality, war on drugs

because we destroyed ourselves

May 25th, 2012 — 11:52am

(read the book free onlineread the Reddit AMA)

As our financial crisis deepens and the schisms between the haves and the have-nots continue to open, American drug laws and the prison system they’ve perpetuated are beginning to gather an increasingly harsh spotlight. But so what. It’s not like the War on Drugs, which started over forty-years ago in 1973, has done anything to increase the growing level of economic disparity in America… right?

A lot happened in 1973.

It was a few years after Nixon slammed the gold window shut, the waning hours of a decapitated Civil Rights movement, and the year we began to disentangle ourselves from Vietnam. But it also marks the genesis of the War on Drugs: the year the Rockefeller Drug Laws were passed. And that same year something funny happened: the income gap between black and white began to widen back out, instead of closing – as it had been up until 1973.

Did the start of the War on Drugs play a significant role in creating our present economic and social realities – where the average black family has eight-cents of wealth for every dollar owned by whites, and a black child is nine-times more likely than a white child to have a parent in prison?

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14 comments » | books, current affairs, domestic terror, news, politics, publishing, racial inequality, terrorism, war on drugs

New Black Panthers and Jesse Jackson warn of impending unrest

October 5th, 2011 — 12:24pm

(learn more about the book at the “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit)

It doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to imagine that the sky really is falling this time.

A few decades ago Malcolm X basically threw himself under the political bus by speculating that JFK’s assassination was simply the proverbial chickens coming home to roost, a statement that got him all but kicked out of the Nation of Islam.  After the fact he claimed that the statement just referred to the fact he wasn’t surprised an assassination occurred given the pervasive climate of hatred in America at the time, although it doesn’t seem too much of a jump to imagine that perhaps he might have been referring to American interventionism abroad finally returning to bite the nation in her backside.

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Comment » | current affairs, domestic terror, racial inequality, terrorism, Uncategorized, war on drugs

innocents and innocence alike

August 13th, 2011 — 12:52pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

In one of The Dark Knight‘s pivotal scenes, Alfred descends into a strictly ordered and starkly lit Batcave as Bruce Wayne is doggedly patching himself up. After helping his employer with some stitching, Alfred realizes that Master Bruce doesn’t fully comprehend the dystopian miasma of violence that the Joker has brought upon Gotham City:

Alfred: A long time ago, I was in Burma, my friends and I were working for the local government. They were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans were being raided in a forest north of Rangoon by a bandit. So we went looking for the stones. But in six months, we never found anyone who traded with him. One day I saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing them away.

Bruce Wayne: Then why steal them?

Alfred: Because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

It’s a fantastic scene from a cinematic standpoint, but a problem occurs when you pull the Joker out of the movie as one crazy-ass allegory for chaos and death. And especially when you make the leap of trying to fit terrorism into the framework provided by the Joker, to use the the Joker as a rubric for terrorism.

No one better proves this than the Ft. Hood shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan.

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Comment » | books, counterinsurgency, Current Events, domestic terror, islam, news, politics, terrorism

the water is wider

August 5th, 2011 — 9:31am

(learn more about the book at the “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit)

Along the banks of the Mississippi, simmering tensions that should’ve been judicially dissolved over fifty-years ago have recently roiled back to the surface.  Due to the growing likelihood of financial dissolution, the school district that governs inner-city Memphis schools recently voted forfeit its charter and force a merger with neighboring Shelby County, a much wealthier and much whiter district.

Families in Shelby County aren’t exactly thrilled, its Board of Education sued to block the merger and referred to the proposed melding as a “hostile surrender.” And Memphis is far from alone.

Since the economy began to tank in 2008, thirty-four states and Washington D.C. have been forced to make cuts in K-12 education, with many of those cuts affecting the poor and disadvantaged.  Examples of this include Arizona eliminating support for disadvantaged elementary school kids, California cutting help for high-need students, and Illinois ending a program aimed at reading and study skills of at-risk students.

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1 comment » | Uncategorized

an American nightmare

August 1st, 2011 — 10:27pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

Things had been looking up for black families, back in 1963 as MLK gave his “I Have A Dream” speech about 70% of black families were headed by a married couple. But that percentage steadily began to drop, between 1970 and 2001 it declined by 34%, double the white decline, and by 2002 it had bottomed out at just 48%.

But if the War on Drugs didn’t directly precipitate the destruction of the African-American family, why did the decline in married black women triple during the first decade of the War?

In fact, the impact of the War on Drugs has been so racially biased that although only 14% of all illicit drug users are black, blacks make up about half of those in prison for drug offenses.  (When you adjust for the fact that the Department of Justice simply throws prisoners who identify as mixed race half-black and half-white out of their data, the proportion is well over half.)  A black man is eight-times as likely as a white man to be locked up at some point in his life. And by 2006 America had, proportionally, almost six-times as many blacks locked up as South Africa did at the height of Apartheid.

Our penal system has grown so massive that the U.S. criminal justice system now employs more people than America’s two largest private employers, Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, combined.

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5 comments » | Arab Spring, current affairs, domestic terror, innercity violence, islam, news, politics, prison system, racial inequality, racial tension, racism, reform, revolution, terrorism, war on drugs

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