Making Black Lives Really Matter

I can’t believe I’m going to say this but … ahem … is this thing on? … I agree with Hillary Clinton.

Last week, she met with members of the Black Lives Matter movement. Hillary has a lot to answer for. As First Lady and then as Senator she actively supported the harsh prison sentences and militarized police tactics that have led to two million Americans being incarcerated, millions more under some kind of supervision and cops with assault weapons and body armor assaulting Americans mostly for drugs.

The 2016 candidate even gave suggestions to the activists, telling them that without a concrete plan their movement will get nothing but “lip service from as many white people as you can pack into Yankee Stadium and a million more like it.”

“Look, I don’t believe you change hearts,” Clinton said, arguing that the movement can’t change deep seated racism. “I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. You’re not going to change every heart. You’re not. But at the end of the day, we could do a whole lot to change some hearts and change some systems and create more opportunities for people who deserve to have them, to live up to their own God-given potential.”

She is absolutely correct, although probably for reasons she would disagree with. I think it was P.J. O’Rourke who defined a statist as someone who thinks government can change human nature. Government can not make people less racist, assuming that racism is the problem here. Government can, however, make itself less powerful, less intrusive, more accountable and more respectful of our basic civil liberties. In other words, it can create a system whereby human weaknesses and failings — greed, power-lust or even racism — have less ability to damage the lives of its citizens.

She’s also right about Black Lives Matter. Right now, they don’t have any solid proposals for how to deal with any of the problems they are worried about. They are reminding me increasingly of Occupy Wall Street which had an issue (wealth inequality, bailouts) but no idea of what to do about it.

Raising awareness is a good thing. But ultimately, it has to be followed by concrete action or it’s just noise. And I’ll give Mrs. Clinton credit for saying so.

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  1. richtaylor365

    As First Lady and then as Senator she actively supported the harsh prison sentences and militarized police tactics that have led to two million Americans being incarcerated

    Of course all those incarcerations had  nothing to do with their personal behavior? Silly me.

    Clinton said, arguing that the movement can’t change deep seated racism

    But that is not where the problem lies. This movement emanated from a false narrative, “Hands up, don’t shoot”.  If black lives really mattered, these advocates would not keep electing liberal leaders to run their cities,  these same leaders that have a vested interest in squalor, misery, poverty, and need, and perpetuate the policies that keep these cities right in the cross hairs of gang violence.

    But at the end of the day, we could do a whole lot to change some hearts and change some systems and create more opportunities for people who deserve to have them, to live up to their own God-given potential.”

    Her party’s policies (which would expanded if she became president) have been the greatest impediment to anyone reaching their “God-given potential”.

    Government can, however, make itself less powerful, less intrusive, more accountable and more respectful of our basic civil liberties.

     

    Not on it’s own, regardless of which party has the WH. The beast will not kill itself, it is up to the individual citizens to finally say ,”Enough”, Trump has tapped in to that sentiment.

     

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  2. Hal_10000 *

    Of course all those incarcerations had  nothing to do with their personal behavior? 

    Three strikes laws, massive sentences for drug use, convictions for trafficking based on small amounts of sales, mandatory minimums.  The punishments have gotten way out of proportion to the crime.  If we pass a law sentencing people to death for jay-walking,  it’d be silly to talk about it was the jaywalkers personal behavior that got them killed.  If we put someone in prison for the rest of his life for stealing a beer can because he’s got three strikes, we’re doing something wrong.

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  3. richtaylor365

    Yeah, yeah, our prison population is entirely made up of folks who wouldn’t hurt a fly, folks who just wanted to be left alone and get high. The typical liberal dodge, those out of touch drug laws are the root cause of over crowded prisons, no murderers/rapists/robbers/child prostitution traffickers/property crimes where someone gets hurt (or killed) in the process, all victim less crimes putting these otherwise upstanding citizens in prison.

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  4. richtaylor365

    Before I discuss your chart, a few questions for you there, Cress;

    1) Are there any drug offenses in your world worthy of prison time?

    2) Do you know the difference between serious drug offenses (the ones that get you a prison stint) and other lesser offenses that warrant fines only and or jail time?

    3) Do you know the difference between a prison and a jail?

    4) Do you know the difference between  a state prison and federal prison, what offences land you in what prison?

    Here is another chart for you to chew on;

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Using your chart I totaled 194,980 prison inmates, yet my chart lists that number at 1,362,028. Oh yeah, your chart only covers federal prisons where mine covers ALL prisons ( yet even my chart lists the number of federal prison mates as higher than yours).

    Notice the percentage of drug offenders in the state prison populations, no where near your 48%, is it? More like less than 20%.

    Yet it is that less than 20% that drives the whole incarceration narrative with the left. Get rid of all those pesky drug laws and nobody would be in prison.

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  5. Hal_10000 *

    Rich, you’re right that non-violent drug offenders do not constitute all the prisoners. At some point, we’re going to have to rethink long prison sentences for all but the worst (murderers, etc.).  There are a number of proposals out there to bring our incarceration rate down. Hawaii, for example, has had some tremendous success with a revised probation program — one that punishes every parole violation but for limited times.  They’ve seen the recidivism rate plunge.

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