- Black people make up about 60% of the prison population.
- 1 out of 3 black men will go to jail in their lifetime.
- 70% of school related arrests or referrals to law enforcement are people of color.
- From 1980-2007, 1 out of 3 25 million adults arrested for drugs were black.
- Based upon population, of the 752 police deaths in 2015 blacks are 2 1/2 times more likely to be shot by police.
In closing a want to offer seven points to consider wherever we may be in the U.S. or in other countries experiencing some of the same racial disparities, police violence and inequalities.
1. Environmentally there are no boundaries for consciousness; this is why so much is invested in media that socially engineers narratives that distracts, deceives, confuses and emotionally destabilizes the people. The largest investment in any country is not its military it's their media. The media is the conduit of its cultural ideas and icons; their greatest export that their military ultimately protects. I've said this numerous times and I will continue to say it: we must use our platform to CONSISTENTLY control the narrative and amplify our voice. Facebook Live and Periscope have been a great resource people are now using to inspire, empower and educate others. However, lets put more than put our two cents in and be a CONSISTENT voice of clarity. What we have to say is worth more than that, don't you think?
2. Some people often talk about good cops taking a stand against bad cops and their need to crack the blue code of silence yet don't offer suggestions how. With any people who are expected to take a stand against injustices, especially when they're in the minority, we must consider their need for a safe-space to do so. In this case a safe-space is a place an officer can fully express themselves without fear of retaliation against them and/or their family or them being made to feel uncomfortable, unwanted or bullied on account of standing against police corruption. If we expect our officers to have integrity like Frank Serpico then we also need to have their back because some of their partners, an entire precinct and possibly IA (Internal Affairs) may not.
3. Be a constituent, not a voter. The power in the political process is not in itself voting it's in constituency. The difference is one votes with a voice, the other votes with money where their mouth is. On a regional and local level get to know who our officials are and their jurisdictions. Then find out who their constituency is; those who are financially backing them. Then we will see the basis of their policies and expose their political agendas. Even more so we can start identifying or organizing lobbyist groups who are aligned with our agendas and engage these regional and local law makers about what matters to our group, with money, not just our mouth. There's strength in numbers and the numbers in our pocket.
4. Prayer changes things.., when you do something about those "things" after you're done praying. Ever since George W. Bush founded the Faith Based Community Initiative in 2001, churches and other religious organizations have been getting millions of federally funded social service dollars from the U.S. government. One of the reasons you see many of these institutions less likely to get involved with social justice issues, and if they do they're supportive of the status quo, is because they don't want to bite the hand that's feeding and breeding them. Knowing this, as a congregant you need to hold your leader's feet to the fire and demand that some of your financial support go towards projects, programs, initiatives and collaborations that directly address the racial disparities in your city. If they're unwilling to do anything or their solution is to just pray for your city, you know what time it is.
5. It's a fact we have feelings yet our feelings aren't always a fact. As a matter of fact, our feelings can heal or hurt, build or destroy. We can only make that determination from a conscious place. I know it's challenging, and it may take everything in us to share or not some things, yet we must put thought into what we choose to share. Don't just be angry, articulate that anger. Although I'm sure many of the things I've seen on social media and hear in conversations are well intended. Our children just don't need to pay for our well meaning mistakes.
6. Allies will align themselves with you, don't go begging for them. Keep in mind that white allies must give up a lot in order to systematically fight against racial disparities, police violence and inequalities, not just protest about these issues. Most aren't built like that. How do I know? Because if the majority of the 63% of their U.S. population were built like that we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. The same white allies were outnumbered during slavery and segregation, that's why the status quo remained the same, that they still got privileges from. They were always grossly outnumbered and some really weren't who they say they were. Also, trying to appeal to a moral conscience of white people, and other people of color, who are not convinced that black lives matter is an exercise in futility. Slaves didn't get free by putting forth some bullet proof argument to convince their masters it was wrong or by making them feel ashamed about their actions. Regardless, we have to be committed enough to do things on our own to protect and support one another.
7. The historical and present day racial disparities, police violence and inequalities against black people in the U.S. and in other colonialist countries don't have any thing to do with race, they have everything to do with race.