Systems and organizations, they are just things. Things we make and agree to support because they serve us as whole. Stellar organizations are able to be fiercely efficient while simultaneously ghastly. If we should have learned anything from the Khmer Rouge or the Nazis, it’s that. The only way to judge a system’s merit is to look at the outcomes. And this system, our criminal justice system, it’s outcomes are not good. They are not just. They are not reforming people who have lost their way (recidivism). They are not fair:
-black folks use drugs at comparable rates with white folks, yet 37% of drug arrests are black folks while they are only 13% of the total population.
-85% of the stop and frisks in NYC are brown people (Latinos and blacks mainly) while whites make up only 8% even while they make up 44% if the population
-eligible black people are regularly excluded from jury service 8 of 10 rejected in Alabama in 2010 for capital and felony trials, ensuring that black folks are denied a jury of their peers.
-black offenders prison time is 10% longer than white’s for the same crime
-2 thirds of the people serving life sentences today are non-white
-black folks, 13% of the population, 14% for the drug using population, make up 36% of the drug arrests and make up 56% of the current prison population serving time for drug charges
-black men are 5 times, latinos 3 times, more likely to go to prison than white men
-black juveniles make up 16% of the population, they are 28% of juvenile arrests, 37% of the kids in juvie and 58% of the youth sent to adult prisons
-white ex-cons get call backs on jobs 16% of the time while black ex-cons get call backs 5%
These outcomes? They are not good. They are not just. It’s time to admit that the system is broken.
These shootings… they are a product of this system. They are not good. They are not just.
My heart is heavy for the families who have lost their loved ones. In Minneapolis. In Dallas. In Baton Rouge. I beg you, you, the police apologist reading this. I beg you to consider these numbers. I plead that you understand you can be pro-police and be an advocate for changing this corrupt system at the same time. This is not good. This is not just.
Note: most of the stats came from here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-quigley/fourteen-examples-of-raci_b_658947.html