People are so creative with their signs at rallies.
(Source: lyssybloobearrs, via eljotitodeperris)
The truth in Kanye’s anti-prison rapThe backdrop to Kanye West’s “Saturday Night Live” performance was a lie. Projected behind the rapper, as he let loose with two rage-filled and politically fueled tracks, were the words “Not For Sale.”
Yeezy wouldn’t have graced the set if he wasn’t hawking a soon-to-be released LP. But his incendiary performance was peppered with damning truths: Angry and pointed condemnations of institutional racism and the prison industrial complex, which disproportionately jails young men of color to fill state budget holes and enrich private corporations.
In the final verse of “New Slaves,” a track released Friday with the coordinated projection of a video on 66 buildings worldwide, and the second performance in his “SNL” set, West raps:
Meanwhile the DEA
Teamed up with the CCA
They tryn’a lock niggas up
They tryn’a make new slaves
See that’s that private owned prison
Get your piece today
Condensed and reduced to flow in rhyming verse, West’s lyrics smack of the conspiratorial. But he is correct: The War on Drugs, abetted by and fueling the private prison industry, currently serves to incarcerate hundreds of thousands of black men in the United States, who provide dirt-cheap labor. Various industries — from call centers to weapons manufacturers to retail companies — rely on prison labor. Private prisons pay inmate workers as little as 25 cents an hour; prisoners who refuse to work are regularly held in isolation. These are the de facto “new slaves” of the prison industrial complex. The CCA (the Corrections Corp of America) is one of two major private prison corporations (along with the GEO Group) that share in a market worth $70 billion.
And West’s implication that the CCA and the DEA are “tryn’a” lock up black people, leaving racist intentionality aside, is supported by troubling statistics. While the entire U.S. population is only 13.6 percent black, 40 percent of its vast prison population (over 2.5 million) is black. In 2010, black males were incarcerated at the rate of 4,347 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents of the same race and gender, compared to 678 inmates per 100,000 for white males. The disparities are striking, especially when the majority of those held in U.S. prisons are guilty of minor drug offenses. This brings us to Kanye’s reference to the DEA.
As attorney and author John W. Whitehead pointed out in a HuffPo comment piece last year, states specifically opted to make sentencing laws for minor drug offenses harsh in order to fill private prisons — prisons which promised to fill gaping holes in state budgets:
[W]ith an eye toward increasing its bottom line, CCA has floated a proposal to prison officials in 48 states offering to buy and manage public prisons at a substantial cost savings to the states. In exchange, and here’s the kicker, the prisons would have to contain at least 1,000 beds and states would have agree to maintain a 90 percent occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years. The problem with this scenario, as Roger Werholtz, former Kansas secretary of corrections, recognizes is that while states may be tempted by the quick infusion of cash, they “would be obligated to maintain these (occupancy) rates and subtle pressure would be applied to make sentencing laws more severe with a clear intent to drive up the population.” Unfortunately, that’s exactly what has happened. Among the laws aimed at increasing the prison population and growing the profit margins of special interest corporations like CCA are three-strike laws (mandating sentences of 25 years to life for multiple felony convictions) and “truth-in-sentencing” legislation (mandating that those sentenced to prison serve most or all of their time).
As has been well-documented, young black men are disproportionately targeted by police for marijuana arrests. In New York City, for example, nearly 90 percent of the people arrested for marijuana possession are blacks and Latinos. The logic is simple: If states rely on minor drug arrests to fill privately run prisons, and young black men are targeted in minor drug arrests, then states rely on young black men to fill private prisons.
Or, as Yeezy put it: “See that’s that private owned prison/Get your piece today.”
Dream Activist: Drop the ICE Hold on Cornelio! Family facing Homelessness! -
We’re baaaaaack! #lobbyingillegal #sacramento
Soo last night me and the Undocuqueers went to Long Beach Pride to go see Fantasia perform.
When we was leaving, we were making jokes about white folk when some white girl comes up to us wanting start some shit because we were “racist”.
Obama Deports More Immigrants Than Any Other President In History
The statistics don’t lie: Barack Obama has become the deportation president.
The number of people thrown out of the U.S. for lacking proper immigration documentation started growing from the late 1990s through the 2000s, but it hit a peak during the Obama years. As the New York Times reported:
In four years, Mr. Obama’s administration has deported as many illegal immigrants as the administration of George W. Bush did in his two terms, largely by embracing, expanding and refining Bush-era programs to find people and send them
homeback. By the end of this year, deportations under Mr. Obama are on track to reach two million, or nearly the same number of deportations in the United States from 1892 to 1997.
The Obama White House defends its record, claiming that rather than a general crackdown, the Department of Homeland Security under Obama has just been highly successful in making “[deportation] of criminal aliens the top priority,” according to the Times. The message is that the federal government is focused on getting rid of the “bad guys.”
In fact, immigrant rights activists point to studies showing that the government is still deporting huge numbers of people whose only “crime” was to enter the country without documentation. Even among deportees with a criminal record, the offense was minor in many cases. In a report last year, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency admitted that over one-quarter of “criminal immigrants” deported from the U.S. in fiscal year 2011 had been convicted of traffic violations.
But the case of Santos Reyes shows why the Obama’s administration deportation injustices extend even to immigrants with felony convictions.
Santos was finally freed from prison this year after spending 15 years behind bars as a victim of California’s draconian “three strikes and you’re out” law. He was convicted of a minor and completely nonviolent offense—taking a California drivers’ license test in the name of his cousin to help him get a license—but because he already had two felony convictions, he got a 26-years-to-life sentence.
This year, Santos finally won his long struggle against the cruel three-strikes sentencing law and was ordered released. But he then suffered another injustice—on March 28, ICE agents were waiting for him at the prison when he was released, to deport him to Mexico immediately because he was undocumented.
This society owes Santos the many years he spent unjustly imprisoned. Instead, the federal government is kicking him out of the country.
c-newt said: why are you going to Chicago?
For a training on Mental Health and how to support/identify/ and respond to folks with “mental illness/substance use disorders”.
I’m excited I’ll finally be going to Chicago though…I’ve only been there like for one day.
I like how a multi-city flight (LAX—>Denver—->Chicago) is still cheaper than a direct flight (LAX—->Chicago)