Let's fix our IN-Justice System.

The United States is home to five percent of the world's population, but we house 25 percent of the world's prisoners. That is just one of the reasons why President Obama is calling for sweeping reforms to our Justice System.

During a speech last Tuesday at the NAACP, the President called for changes to mandatory minimum sentencing, for a review of the use of solitary confinement, and for more investments in education and assistance programs that keep people out of jail in the first place.

He said, “Any system that allows us to turn a blind-eye to hopelessness and despair, that's not a justice system, that's an injustice system.” He added, “Justice is not only the absence of oppression, it's the presence of opportunity.”

And, the President addressed the fact that our Justice System has never really been blind when it comes to race or economic standing. He pointed out that African Americans and Latinos only represent 30 percent of the American population, yet those groups account for 60 percent of all inmates.

Statistics clearly show that these minorities don't commit crimes more often, but they are more often subjected to harsher penalties that trap them in a cycle of incarceration.

Although many of us have been pointing out the racial disparity and injustice in our nation for decades, more Americans are finally recognizing these massive flaws in our Justice System.

At his speech last week, President Obama said, “The eyes of more Americans have been opened to this truth, partly because of cameras, partly because of tragedy, partly because the statistics cannot be ignored. We cannot close our eyes anymore.”

Incarcerated Americans are still Americans and it's time that our Justice System stands for more than injustice.


Luis_L.'s picture
Luis_L. 7 years 45 weeks ago

Re: Senator Sanders and minorities. Sanders needs to go to the community and speak directly to the people. He has a message that will resonate with minority communities and that we can get behind. He does have a problem with name recognition and also that many people do not know what he has done either directly or indirectly for us. In order to build that support he's going to need to get down and dirty. The only way to do this is to talk to us directly.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 45 weeks ago

Luis L -- From what Thom says. Bernie does more speaking directly to the people than any other politician. My question is what are you suggesting?

ChicagoMatt 7 years 45 weeks ago
At his speech last week, President Obama said, “The eyes of more Americans have been opened to this truth, partly because of cameras, partly because of tragedy, partly because the statistics cannot be ignored. We cannot close our eyes anymore.”

If you take Obama's name from that quote, it almost sounds like something a white supremicist/black nationalist/any other extremist would say. They're CONSTANTLY talking about "eyes being opened to the truth" and "statistics that cannot be ignored anymore".


What I see is a continuation of the trend of the last 20 or so years in the US: Changing laws because too many people are breaking them. I believe that's a form of capitulation to a complete lack of self control among adults.

"Fuck it... we can't stop people from smoking weed, so change the law...." "Homosexual couples aren't going away, so change the law...." "People took out students loans they can't afford, so change the law...."

I was listening to Stephanie Miller one morning last week, and they were talking about birth control. Specifically, they were talking about how expensive the different options were, and how people who had multiple partners needed it but couldn't afford it, so states should just pay for it.

Not once in their entire conversation did anyone say anything about the possibility of just not having sex until you were in a committed relationship and could afford your own birth control. It's like the thought of having a little bit of self control was beyond their grasp.

I work with young teens. I understand a lack of impulse control. It's common with my students. But it used to be something people grew out of. But now it seems common in adults as well.

flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 7 years 45 weeks ago

Great comment. What ever happend to self management. Nanny state is here....greece is us. Social Democracy will not work for a population as diverse as USA. Break up USA into multiple countries and you can have your European Social Justice Democracy. Just move all the hispanics to one area, whites to another, blacks to another, and "other to another". Then split up the debt and assets. Urphoria.....

gloriapower's picture
gloriapower 7 years 45 weeks ago

Legal pot would solve so many problems.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 45 weeks ago

ChicagoMatt, co-opting the phraseology of the opposition is actually a good rhetorical tactic.

kara2004's picture
kara2004 7 years 45 weeks ago

Obama's comments are not likely to make any changes.

Just words....He's waited this long to address this shameful issue. Just add it to the list of other bold, concerned promises.

rougepaln's picture
rougepaln 7 years 45 weeks ago

It is about time that the nation woke up to the waste of money and the ruination of the lives of people because of the prison system being too draconian.

I applaud President Obama for speaking up and attempt to fix things. The injustice to young minorities and their families has been a travesty. When young people don't have proper guidance and avenues to grow up healthy and secure, they have to find ways of survival that are not good or society.

The lack of support once they are out of jail is also a big problem. Not being employable, not having a roof over their heads, not being able to eat properly, what is one going to do but return back to jail.

Thank you President Obama or waking people up on this issue.

rougepaln's picture
rougepaln 7 years 45 weeks ago

I hope that you are freakin' kidding! (This comment is directed to flyguy8650 and previous poster).

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 45 weeks ago

flyguy8650 -- Social Democracy worked quite well in the USA from 1930 to 1980. It worked so well it scared the billionaires sh#$%ess.

What we need is some self-control from corporations like BP. For example, giving sex and drugs to govt workers, so they didn't have to protect the "safety and health" of their employees.

PaulHosse's picture
PaulHosse 7 years 45 weeks ago

No question Thom. Our "justice" system is as corrupt and broken beyond any serious chance of "reform" as our political system. Today, we are no longer a democratic republic. We are---officially---an oligarchy and a neo-police state. It's not surprising that our justice system should reflect this change. The only real question here is what are we prepared to do about? Picking from the choices allowed us by Washington isn't goign to change anything. The corporate news isn't goign to tell us what's really going on, and I'm not sure Americans even seriously want to know or have the spine to do anything about it as long as they have their video games, sports, cable TV, and can still order take-out pizza and pick up their beer at the store. The corporate media tells us what is important, what to think, what's in fashion, and the weather. I think we really want to believe their lies as long as they don't interupt our little worlds.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 45 weeks ago

What do you mean "officially"?

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