aside What My Wish List Is For The USA, Part II (Second Policy: Black Lives Matter)

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Black Lives Matter protest

My wish is that the next U.S. presidential administration would include a cabinet post to openly deal with the issues of racism within the US culture and the racist bias and unfairness in its judicial system. The Black Lives Movement deserves credit for pushing back those who would like to deny the existence of overt and implicit racism existing within the US social structure and its extension into the US judicial system.

To me the Black Lives Matter’s objectives equal being pro-police. An example would be the 2013- 2014  policing reforms, many advocated by BLM and instituted by the City of Dallas despite strong opposition from their union, resulted in a drastic reduction of complaints of police using excessive force on unarmed Black citizens. In addition there have been significantly less on the job police deaths and injuries. (This is despite the recent reprehensible sick actions of one individual in Dallas against police.) In short the same reforms and training that eliminates the killing or serious injury of unarmed Black peoples by police equals less harm and a better, safer working environment for law enforcement officials.


When I  graduated in 1972, the approximate US prison population of 300,000 was comparable to the numbers of peoples in prison in other countries. But then in the late 1970s, after President Richard Nixon started his “War on Drugs,” (tough on crime) the increase in the U.S. incarceration rate grew by 500% over the next 40 years to where it is today, over 2 million 200 thousand Americans.

In a recent 6/18/16 Guardian article, the writer Nicole Puglise reports that Black Americans are incarcerated five times more than white people. The following are excerpts:

“A report published on Tuesday (6/14/16) sought to put data behind that reality by analyzing race within state prisons and comparing those findings to the US census.”

“Black Americans were incarcerated in state prisons at an average rate of 5.1 times that of white Americans, the report said, and in some states that rate was 10 times or more. The US is 63.7% non-Hispanic white, 12.2% black, 8.7% Hispanic white and 0.4% Hispanic black, according to the most recent census.”

“The research was conducted by Ashley Nellis, a senior research analyst with the Sentencing Project, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that promotes reforms in criminal justice policy and advocates for alternatives to incarceration.”

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“Nellis found that in five states, the disparity rate was more than double the average. New Jersey had the highest, with a ratio of 12.2 black people to one white person in its prison system, followed by Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Vermont.”

“Among black men in 11 states, at least 1 in 20 were in a state prison.”

“In her publication, Nellis wrote that the reasons for the racial disparity were problems in policy, implicit biases and structural disadvantages.”

“Criminal justice reform, especially relative to race, has been a key issue for Barack Obama, particularly in the past year. Last July, in a speech to the NAACP, Obama acknowledged those structural disadvantages, calling America’s criminal justice system “skewed by race and wealth”.

(Photo by Jose Lopez)
(Photo by Jose Lopez)


Tim Wise discusses this issue of denial in his 11/25/15 CNN News article, “What whites don’t know about racism.” The following are some excerpts:

A just released report (11/2015) from CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation, finds that white Americans are far less likely than persons of color to believe that racism remains a serious problem in the United States.”

“Even a simple recognition of ongoing racial inequities in life chances differs markedly across racial lines, with clear majorities of African Americans perceiving that the typical black person is worse off than the typical white person in terms of income, education and housing, while about half of all whites fail to perceive such inequality of condition.”


“So despite the fact that African-Americans are worse off than whites in every single category of well-being, and despite the research indicating that these disparities owe significantly to discrimination both past and present, most whites believe there are few, if any, ongoing inequities.”

Who gets discriminated against

“For instance, even though young blacks with college degrees are twice as likely as similar whites to be unemployed, regardless of their field of study, most white Americans don’t appear to see much of a problem.”

“Despite the fact that white male high school dropouts between 18-34 are more likely to find work than black men that age with two years of college, most white Americans don’t see much of a problem, or again, insist that “reverse discrimination” is the real issue when it comes to racism.”

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“Despite the fact that the typical white family has about 16 times as much wealth as the typical black family — and that even white households headed up by a high school dropout have, on average, twice the wealth of black and Latino households headed by a college graduate — most white Americans don’t see a problem.”

“Despite the fact that black children are about three times as likely as white children to be suspended or expelled from school, even though the rates of serious school rule infractions are largely the same (contrary to popular belief), and despite the fact that black children are about twice as likely as white children to be taught by the least experienced teachers, most white Americans don’t see much of a problem.”

“According to the survey, whites are also far less likely to believe the Voting Rights Act is still needed, even as several states have moved to create impediments to voting that will disproportionately affect voters of color.”

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“And while the overwhelming majority of blacks see biases in the justice system, only about half of whites agree; this, despite the racial dis-proportionality of police-involved shootings, and the blatant disparities within the so-called war on drugs, whereby blacks, for instance, are four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana, even as rates of usage and dealing are virtually identical.”

“It apparently doesn’t register as a “big problem” in the eyes of most whites that there are roughly 160,000 black folks arrested for drug possession annually who wouldn’t be were it  not for the racially-disproportionate way in which African-Americans are targeted in the drug war…”


blm ID_Just_Mercy_Bryan_StevensonThere is a book that I highly recommend for everyone to read but especially those who question the legitimacy of the words,” Black Lives Matter.” It is the NYU’s highly regarded law school Professor Bryan Stevenson’s book, “Just Mercy,” which details stories of real cases that he has personally handled, to drive home the point that racism and judicial unfairness exists and that this  needs to be confronted and addressed with the urgency, it deserves.


  1. Regarding the arrest rates of Blacks, what can we expect when police chiefs put the majority of cops on patrol in Black areas to stop and frisk? In non-predominately Black communities, people are walking around with drug pipes and drugs, and they do not worry about being stopped and frisked. The police, by the way they conduct patrols, control the numbers that they now use as percentages in effort to support their claims that more crimes are committed by Blacks. It’s like having a thousand fishermen at one lake, and 5 fishermen at another lake, then say that the thousand fishermen are responsible for catching 90 percent of the fish.


    • AMEN! I have always said that if police were to patrol any college fraternity row on weekend party nights, they would find ample folks breaking US laws but they don’t dare offend their powerful parents. It could be the police chief’s son or daughter.Two US Presidents would not have made it to the White House if they had been arrested in their younger years and they could have. Yet too many Black men are in prison for doing the very same activities and have had their futures marred.This is so unjust.


      • Gronda. You are so correct. I used to watch the television show “Cops” and there were episodes where they said they were stopping a car because it was in a neighborhood with a drug house. My first thought was, if they know there’s a drug house, then why not shut it down rather than arrest folks who are buying the drugs? Well, drug dealers might just have money for bail and private attorneys, making prosecutors work a bit more than they would like.


        • YOU SAID IT! Worse, someone may be on the take. There is no good reason why a known house of drugs should be allowed to continue to do business and why cops are not doing their job in closing it down.


        • On the take? That doesn’t surprise me. We know what was happening during Prohibition with the cops in Chicago and that reputation follows that department until this day.


    • Dear Xena, Thanks for being such a great advocate for BLM and for doing me the honor of reblogging this post. Thanks again for your support, Gronda


  2. Everyone is born equal, inequality is propagated by the State, POTUS needs Congress to back his changes which won’t happen unless Congress can see some profit signals. American Democracy sucks when you can have a POTUS wanting to change lives and make the system work for #Black Lives Matter but Congress blocks him at every turn. Racism is rampant in some States but not so much in others, I say again Black Lives Matter because Every Life Matters. The war on drugs is failing so let’s call a halt. Gun crime is increasing so let’s limit who can buy guns and the number they can own. Stop selling guns and knives on eBay and hold the manufacturers responsible for every death they cause. It worked for tobacco companies so let’s do it again. #Black Lives Matter everywhere.


    • Dear Dave Barkley, Welcome again. I am for teaching young people to take charge of their own lives and not to be so dependent on any system. President Barack Obama has had to deal with a lot of haters who were divisive. The result is that Donald Trump is now their standard bearer. The gift is that the democratic party has found their soul while the republican party has lost theirs. Time will tell. With warmest regards, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Gronda, I wonder why the USA keep doing that? Trump is a bigot but has a 50/50 chance of becoming POTUS, don’t you have other options? You gave us George ‘Dubya’ Bush and that led to World War III, however you want to label it that’s what it is. I wonder why America is still filled with racists then listen to Trump and the reality dawns. I hope you can avoid giving us Trump to deal with after such a great POTUS, but judging by past experiences I’m not banking on it. Dave with love and peace.


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