Department of Justice is lying about racial drug-related data

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Department of Justice is lying about racial drug-related data

Looks like the financial sector of the government isn't the only one that's willing to cook the books:

http://www.tremblethedevil.com/my_weblog/2009/04/even-without-lies-the-d...

 

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

that article got greenlit to Fark's main page yesterday: http://www.fark.com/cgi/comments.pl?IDLink=4331774

...for a place that's pretty intent on flushing out the government's lies I'm surprised no one has any reaction to this.

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Anyone care to paraphrase for those of us who have browser blocks at work?

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...
HotRocks wrote:

Looks like the financial sector of the government isn't the only one that's willing to cook the books:

http://www.tremblethedevil.com/my_weblog/2009/04/even-without-lies-the-d...

 

 

This is the bare bones of it:

Quote:

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 the truth, but also to not hold any part of the truth back, and to not mix in lies among the truth you do tell.

By its own standards, the US Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics is openly and unabashedly lying about the racial divisions that remain within the American penal system. 

A report by The Sentencing Project uses data provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics to come to the cheery conclusion that over the six-year period from 1999-2005 there was a 21.6% drop in African-Americans serving state prison time for drug offenses, while the number of white increased by 42.6%.  This fact headlines every major newspaper article about the report, including articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Ignoring for a moment the extraordinary racial disparity in the enforcement of drug laws that existed prior to 1996, with blacks accounting for less than 15% of all drug users but over half of those in prison for drug offenses, when you take the time to examine these numbers you'll see that by courtroom standards they are lies.

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Might be that a majority of the posters, viewers here are white. I find this no surprise, as any number of statisics are being manipulated these days. Can anyone believe government numbers today, tomorrow?

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

So I sent Davos a tip about this asking that it gets put in the Daily Digest, and it wasn't.  I don't understand why things like those Uncle Jay videos get put in, along with other bits of obscure economic data that don't have too much impact on our everday lives, but this wasn't.

These are real men's lives, this is the Department of Justice lying about prison data.  How is this not important and newsworthy?

If you think this is important you can send Davos a PM at:

https://www.PeakProsperity.com/user/3915/contact

Or maybe things like Uncle Jay, explaining the "big idea" of piracy to your "little mind" is more important on this site.

 

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

HotRocks,

Please be careful with that temper. There is no need to take this where you are going.

Davos does a great service for this site which he does not, to my knowledge, get paid for in any way. Everyone appreciates his investment. Making disparaging comments about him or his inclusions of things you don't specifically care for are hurting your position greatly. After all, if you don't think Uncle Jay should be included (which I do because it cannot be ALL BAD NEWS ALL THE TIME or we go insane) then it is just as easy to dismiss your article on the grounds that it is equivalent to Uncle Jay in validity.

You may have a point here, but try a different tact bud.

Rog

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

What temper?  The words I had in quotes were from the Uncle Jay videos, which stride some odd line between quirky and patronizing but haven't seemed particularly newsworthy to me.  Where do you think I am going?

If people think it's important, they can drop Davos a line.  If they don't, they don't. 

I said "I don't understand," I asked "how is this not important and newsworthy?" and I speculated that it seems like the Uncle Jay videos pass for important on this site since several of them have been put up on the Daily Digest.

If I seemed worked up or something... well yeah, when hundred of thousands of Americans get thrown behind bars because of laws that have racist origins and then when the Department of Justice manipulats its data to try and make it seems like things are changing more than they are, yeah maybe I get a little excited. 

That seems at least as notable as somewhat the obscure bits of economic data that may or may not directly effect people's lives which regularly get at least one or two posts on the Digest.  Maybe that's just me though.

 

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Which laws have racist origins?

I'm still struggling to see how this is important.

In general, I'm against *most* laws - because they don't do any good.
That said, there is very little in the way of "Jim Crow" laws these days... Correct me if I'm wrong.

I thought we were talking about skewed statistics, not racist laws...?

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Internet Snafu - apologies.

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...
HotRocks wrote:

That seems at least as notable as somewhat the obscure bits of economic data that may or may not directly effect people's lives which regularly get at least one or two posts on the Digest.  Maybe that's just me though.

 

HotRocks -- do you understand what the purpose of this site is?  Are you familiar with the three "E"s?  What does this have to do with the three Es?

Viva -- Sager

 

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Aaron,

You trying to make a point or just get your post count up?

 

HeHe

 

Rog

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Holy smokes - I have *NO* idea why my reply was posted so many times - sincerest apologies.

Hopefully a moderator can clean them up, I can't delete them.

Must be the .gov computers... sorry again.

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Is there an echo in this thread?

 

Lucas

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Sager - items about the social condition in America that don't literally tie into the Three Es have been in the Daily Digest before, coverage of the Tea Parties for instance. Especially when they tie into government manipulation of data.

Aaron - read the article if you want to see what's racist about the drug laws (basically it's the fact that every drug law in America has its origins in class control), but regardless the fact that the Department of Justice is fudging their data is notable in and of itself. 

Ready - nice choice with Neo for the avatar.  Not sure if the first movie of the trilogy is your favorite, you should check out the lyrics of the song it closes with.  It's titled Wake Up, not sure if the Wachowski Brothers chose it purely for its title or they were aware of what exactly that particular song was urging people to wake up from:

Whadda I got to, whadda I got to do to wake ya up
To shake ya up, to break the structure up
cause blood still flows in the gutter
I'm like takin photos
Mad boy kicks open the shutter
Set the groove
Then stick and move like I was Cassius
Rep the stutter step
Then bomb a left upon the Fascists
Yea, the several federal men
Who pulled schemes on the dream
And put it to an end

Departments of police, the judges, the feds
Networks at work, keepin people calm
You know they went after King
When he spoke out on Vietnam
He turned the power to the have-nots
And then came the shot

Networks at work, keepin people calm
Ya know they murdered X
And tried to blame it on Islam
He turned the power to the have-nots
And then came the shot

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

that's pretty funny aaron. the subject of the thread has to do with drugs and you start off HOLY SMOKES LOLHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

 

ps are you a rastafarian ?............you dont look like it.

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

 Aaron

Well you definitely got my attention. Talk about hijacking a thread!

Are you trying to catch D.T.M all in one night?!

Double posting is one thing, but....

I think maybe you've developed machine gun trigger finger from too much time on the Definitive Firearms thread!

Greg

PS: Now out of fairness, I have to take a look at the original post and try to contribute something useful. Thanks a lot!

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Hello all,

Clearly there was a technical malfunction here.  I have asked our site admin to look at it, and we'll also get the page cleaned up as soon as we can.

Jason

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Aaron,

Here is an axample of a racist law in the drug arena.

The penalty for crack cocaine is usually 10 times as severe as the penalty for powder cocaine.  All crack cocaine is cocaine diluted with baby powder.  Poor people usually buy crack cocaine because it is cheaper, and rich people buy pure cocaine becuase they can afford it.  Then why is the penalty for crack cocaine so much worse??  Some people say blatant racism, some people say that crack cocaine causes more problems than powder cocaine.  Your thoughs??

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...
HotRocks wrote:

Sager - items about the social condition in America that don't literally tie into the Three Es have been in the Daily Digest before, coverage of the Tea Parties for instance. Especially when they tie into government manipulation of data.

The Tea Parties were organized to be media-friendly protests of the Obama's admin's outsized ECONOMIC stimulus (although in reality they ended up w/their message somewhat diffused into "anti/pro-[insert pet cause here]" evidently).  What part of your story is directly tied into one of the three Es?  If you can make such a connection, and do it without implying backhandedly that Davos is keeping your story out of the Daily Digest for some nefarious reason, then you might get some traction.

Not every news item in the mediasphere can end up in the CM Daily Digest.  The closer to the heart of the purpose of this site, the more likely IMO the item is to be included in the DD.  Certainly the inequitable application of law vis-a-vis race/drug arrests/jail time is an important story, but again IMO it's not close to the heart of the purpose of this site.  There must be 100 other sites that are more immediately concerned w/this issue.  Can you imagine me showing up on a social justice website incensed that they won't post my story about how Geithner hasn't filled any of the deputy's seats at Treasury yet?  (or the equivalent?)

FWIW, as a New Yorker I'll be happy to see the Rockefeller laws repealed (looks like it's going to happen), and I'm also a ginormous RATM fan (though I'll take Bulls on Parade or Down Rodeo, thanks).  

Viva -- Sager

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

I never meant at all to imply that Davos has any nefarious purpose for not including this story, only that it was being overlooked as simply "unimportant" or "irrelevant."  I realize what he's doing is a thankless job, and was trying to call attention to the story.  I've got a ton of respect for the site and Chris's work, I've directed at least a few thousand viewers here by linking to Chris's work on another forum.

Although yes, it's not at the literal heart of the purpose of the site - to me it still feels like it meshes with the idea of preparedness and awareness of what's going on in the society around us and the government that (in many ways) controls us. 

And yeah the older I get and the more I learn the more respect I have for RATM, here's Wake Up for anyone who's never heard it.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I didn't think the Daily Digest had a quota that it couldn't go over.  Adding this story in would only bring value to the site, and make readers more aware both of what's happening in their communities and of the fact that everything the government and media tells them isn't necessarily based entirely in truth.  

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...
Jarhett wrote:

Then why is the penalty for crack cocaine so much worse??  Some people say blatant racism, some people say that crack cocaine causes more problems than powder cocaine.  Your thoughs??

I think there are two big reasons why the penalties for crack cocaine are higher.  One involves the medical history of cocaine, and the other involves the political climate when the different laws were passed.

(1)  Cocaine was for many years a completely legal drug, like morphine.  It was used by doctors and dentists, and is an effective local anaesthetic. The reason why cocaine was outlawed was not because it had no medical uses;  it was outlawed because the potential for its abuse outweighed its medicinal uses, especially as newer pharmaceuticals (such as novocaine and dextroamphetamine) became available.

In 1914 when the federal law banning the interstate trade of cocaine was made, pure cocaine was still thought of as a pharmacological substance.  It's possession was analogous to having medicine without a prescription.

Crack cocaine, on the other hand, has no medical uses.  And it is more than simply cocaine which has been "cut":  the making of crack cocaine requires significant chemical processing.  Thus, crack cocaine did not enjoy the protection of being a former medical substance: its only use was an illegal one, which meant that the mere fact that the cocaine was in "crack" form meant that the user had the intent of abusing it.

(2).  While the laws prohibiting the cocaine alkaloid had been passed in the earier 20th century, crack cocaine appeared in the mid 1980's when the war on drugs was at its peak.  Not only that, but when it appeared it was associated with urban blight and brutal gang violence and was seen as a new threat which could not be allowed to spread.  Seeing it sweep through the inner cities, there was a reflexive protectionism, an absolute determination that this new and more dangerous drug shall not be allowed to spread

At the time, one of the main criticisms of earlier drug enforcement efforts was that they had been too slow and too weak.  People had seen what drugs had done to the inner cities.  Since crack was something new, it was thought that perhaps it could be stopped, if the legal reaction was strong enough.

Given the political climate in the 1980's when crack first appeared, it is not surprizing that the laws passed in response to it provided for harsh penalties.  Virtually all drug laws passed in the 80's were harsh, and cocaine had the misfortune of making its debut in this political climate.

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...
Jarhett wrote:

Aaron,

Here is an axample of a racist law in the drug arena.

The penalty for crack cocaine is usually 10 times as severe as the penalty for powder cocaine.  All crack cocaine is cocaine diluted with baby powder.  Poor people usually buy crack cocaine because it is cheaper, and rich people buy pure cocaine becuase they can afford it.  Then why is the penalty for crack cocaine so much worse??  Some people say blatant racism, some people say that crack cocaine causes more problems than powder cocaine.  Your thoughs??

Jarhett

Right now, Aaron's probably trying to figure out what's wrong with his trigger finger, so I'll take a crack (sorry!!) at it. 

My short answer is that there were probably at least some people behind this law who were very cynically aware that it would affect black people much more. But there is also no question that crack cocaine DOES cause MUCH bigger problems. I've got a friend - actually, one of my very best friends - who was a functional alcoholic with a cocaine habit for many years. As soon as he started smoking crack, the wheels came off, almost immediately. It was a classic story. He lost everything - his wife and daughter, his house, his successful business - everything important you could think of. It was almost unbelievable how much money (some of it was mine) he burned through in a matter of months.

Of course drug laws do absolutely nothing helpful at all, but I imagine some legislators thought they were doing the right thing. 

Peace

Greg

PS: My friend got clean.

 

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

i think the part of the story that applied to the three e's was the music part...............you know the one that is supposed to make you feel better. i think it had all three e's ............e tuning , e chords and e notes ..........so what is the problem

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

 jrf29

I learned a little something

Thanks

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

GregSchleich - I don't doubt that many legislators did believe they were doing the right thing, "the path to hell" and all.  There are countless examples of laws passed with good intentions that have had reprehensible results.

jrf29 - Interesting history, and all in all that does make sense.  However cocaine wasn't "completely legal," minorities did not have the same access to it that whites did. And early on you didn't even have to be a doctor to possess it, Coca-Cola may have only contained trace amounts of it but there were plenty of other examples - it was a drug more more in the sense that Sudafed is today.

Minorities did not have the same free access to cocaine, or alcohol and opiates.  From the second half of the article:

     Following the Civil War the earliest anti-drug laws were passed, banning the consumption of alcohol. But not, of course, for everyone.

Whites could drink as much as they pleased, but if you were a minority in much of antebellum America you were prohibited from imbibing at all.

At the time it was a widely held belief in American politics that some races, bless their brown souls, simply couldn't control themselves. Furthering the codification of this perception, in 1901 Henry Cabot Lodge spearheaded a law in the U.S. Senate banning the sale of liquor and now opiates as well to all "uncivilized races."

In this case, "uncivilized" was synonymous with "dark." At this point in American history, whites could get as drunk, high, or smacked as they wanted – while the brown-skinned members of American society were completely banned from consuming any intoxicant.

Throughout the first half of the 20th Century, any violence carried out by a black man against a white could be attributed to the commonly-held caricature of a "cocaine-crazed negro." Newspaper headlines screamed of coked-up black criminals who were SHOT BUT DON'T DIE!, and policemen claiming that WE NEED BIGGER BULLETS! because their current caliber wasn't large enough to stop the crack-crazed negroes they routinely came up against in the line of duty.

However blacks weren't singled out as a racial minority, the first anti-marijuana laws targeted the wave of Mexican immigrants who were spreading across the American South. They were seen, then as now, to be stealing jobs and government resources from resident whites, and so politicians from that region of the country first banned marijuana use by minorities alone, and then eventually altogether.

Drug laws in America, after all, "have originally been based on racism... all of these laws are based on the belief that there is a class in society that can control themselves, and there is a class in society which cannot."19

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Well,

 

Hhhuuhh????

Are gun control laws racially motivated? Isn't it mostly white males between the ages of 20-50 that either own guns, are trying to own guns or own so many guns their pick-up truck gun racks can't hold them all? And what about the assault weapon ban? That is just wrong. It singles out white males in the south!!! I mean after all, Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy are the most likely white guys that I know of who would own an assault weapon!

I'm sorry, using the drug laws as an example of racial discrimination just don't fly with me.

The justice department lying about the percentages of whites versus blacks in prison... What's the point? What do they have to gain? I am not saying they aren't lying, I just can't see why.

FWIW -C.

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...
HotRocks wrote:

GregSchleich - I don't doubt that many legislators did believe they were doing the right thing, "the path to hell" and all.  There are countless examples of laws passed with good intentions that have had reprehensible results.ether.

Drug laws in America, after all, "have originally been based on racism... all of these laws are based on the belief that there is a class in society that can control themselves, and there is a class in society which cannot."19

HotRocks

Your point about the "path to hell" is certainly well taken. But here, at least, the larger point can be made that intentions, either way are irrelevant. Why do we care if these laws were designed by racists or not? The question should be, are they good laws? And I'm assuming you agree with me, they're not. The war on drugs is a spectacular failure, and the prison industrial complex that has grown up around it is shameful. To me, that should be the only issue.

And there's your Chris Martenson E.  E for economic - the billions of dollars wasted on drug interdiction and incarceration.

Greg

 

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Jarhett,

The connotations here are dangerous.
The title of this thread is 'DOJ is lying about racial drug-related Data'. We can assume, since this forum is predominately caucasian, that we're discussing racial prejudices against persons other than caucasians. This can be confirmed by the assertations in the link provided.

That said, your assertation that "crack" is a drug that is synonomous with "poverty" creates two further assertations that are mutually exclusive;

1. That all minorities are impoverished, due to the nature of the topic discussed, or;

2. That all persons who smoke crack are minorities.

We know that neither of these are true, so right away we have flaws in the arguement.

Furthermore, beause we know that not all minorities are impoverished crack-heads, that it's catagorically untrue that these laws are "racist". They may levy more severe penalties against crack users, but that doesn't in any way denote anything other than the perceived damaged relative to regular cocaine; as socio-economic status is a red herring - I can tell you from experience, crack is not a drug limited to some dark slum alley in the ghetto.
Generally, the ones who are impoverished are the ones who get caught doing something like... say, robbing a convenience store.

So, what we're left with after distilling this arguement to it's core is this:
People who smoke crack are more severely punished than people who use traditional cocaine. It might have more to do with the higher ratio of incidence involving violent crime is higher with crack than it is with cocaine.

Poverty may or may not be the determining factor here, but I'd venture to say that race is not.

HotRocks,

Guilt is non-transferrable.
Sorry, but historic injustices are history. I do not feel any shame, remorse or burden for crimes I did not commit. I can honestly say I've never degraded a person for their race, or judged them solely because of their race. As this is the case, I do not really have any reason to believe that the current system isn't just flawed intrinsically and that minorities in prison have probably committed some crime. No different than caucasians in prison. I strongly agree with the post above stating that the War on Drugs has been a monument to failed policy.

With regards to RATM - I found the exact opposite. The older I get, the more juvenille and petty they sound. 
Indeed, it's just a form of rascism put to catchy beats. I'd be willing to be that Zach De La Rocha is the type who'd wear a Che Gueverra shirt, never pausing for a second to acknowledge the hundreds he slaughtered.

Cheers!

Aaron
 
PS - I hope this only posts once.

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

RNcarl - How many white families have been torn apart by gun law bans?  Also from the article

Between 1979 and 1990 blacks made up a steady percent of our overall population, but between those same years black went from making up 39% of our prison population to 53% of it.20

Although only 12% of the American population is black, over half of the two-million Americans locked up in prison are black. A black man is eight-times as likely as a white man to be locked up at some point in his life. At any one time in America, almost a third of black American males in their twenties are under some form of "correctional supervision" – if not actually incarcerated, then either on probation or on parole, meaning they've recently passed through the American penal system.23

This means that as of 1996, a sixteen-year-old kid in America would have nearly a one-in-three chance of spending some time behind bars if he was unlucky enough to have been born black. If he happened to be born white, he'd only face a 4% chance of incarceration. In Chicago's home state there're 10,000 more black prisoners than black college students, and for every two black students enrolled in college there are five elsewhere in the state either locked up or on parole.24

And then there's the final statistic from the chart - in 2005 blacks made up 14% of illicit drug users but 50% of the prisoners.  So, what would it take to convince you that the drug laws are racially discriminatory?  The motive the DoJ has for massaging the data is to make it look like the issue is improving - the incredibly high rate of incarcerated blacks has been under fire for a long while, they're trying to make it look like policies are working. 

 

Aaron - Your logical chain about crack doesn't make any sense, it's simply not logically sound.  Crack is synonymous with black poverty in America, the same way meth has become synonymous with white poverty.  And no one if saying you should feel any remorse for crimes you didn't commit, but if you think the fate of so many millions of black men is never going to touch your life or effect you in any way - maybe you're right.  But if you have no issue with such extreme social injustice going on in your country and that doesn't bother you in the least, you're not the kind of person who's going to effect the world around them for the better anyways so there's no point in arguing with you.

RATM is far from morally or logically sound, but they call attention to a lot of things that are otherwise under the radar in popular music - it's sensationalistic and ridiculous at times, but at least they have a message.

 

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Re: Department of Justice is lying about racial ...

Today there's an article in the Daily Digest which would support the argument the one this thread is about could also be fodder for the Digest, Know Your Enemy.  And it's mostly speculation, doesn't provide too much empirical support.  There is this tidbit though:

The civil unrest is most likely to erupt among Hispanics and African Americans. The unemployment rate of Hispanics is 11.4% versus 5.0% in November 2007. It is doubtless far worse, as many Hispanics worked “under the table” in the housing industry. The unemployment rate of African Americans is 13.3%, the highest since 1993, and up from an all-time low of 7.0% in 2000. The urban areas of the United States are a powder keg, with automatic weapons available to anyone. Policemen are being slaughtered at a record pace.

And although I'm not against quoting Green Day, I think a quote from Abe Lincoln captures things better:

"America will never be destroyed from the outside.  If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

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