Saturday, August 11, 2007

Green Party calls for cancellation of "War on Drugs"

Black Agenda Report's Glen Ford's got the 411:
The Green Party, which has been adding more color to its ranks but remains predominantly white, is putting to shame not only the Democratic Party, but also the rapidly disintegrating Black electoral and traditional leadership. The Greens, alone, have placed up front a demand for an end to "institutional biases" against "Blacks, Latinos and the poor" in the U.S. criminal justice system. In doing so, they make Barack Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus and most established African American organizations look like milk-toast.
The Greens call for an immediate "cancellation of the war on drugs," which they call "a war on youth and people of color." The death penalty, they say, is "barbaric," and is a further abomination because "black, brown, and poor white people disproportionately get executed." And the Green Party calls for a halt to privatization of prisons, which creates a corporate incentive to incarcerate more and more people.
Like Gravel, the Green Party is making mass Black and Brown incarceration a political priority. They base their position on a study by The Sentencing Project, which found that "African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites, and Hispanics nearly double the rate" of whites. In Iowa, Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Wisconsin, Blacks are ten times more like to go to prison than whites. "If current trends continue," said The Sentencing Project, "one in three black males and one in six Hispanic males born today can expect to go to prison." Among the most important of the study's recommendations is its call for Racial Impact Statements, similar to Environmental Impact Statements, to document the criminal justice system's impact on people of color.
Noticed this first via The NarcoSphere. The prison-industrial complex has been part of a long-standing form of structural violence targeting predominantly low-income and ethnic minority groups. We are indeed a Gulag Nation, as I've noted previously. One need only do a cursory study of the US government's recent history to realize that the "tough on crime" pose is one that the Democrat branch of the elite class embraces to a degree that almost puts their Republican counterparts to shame. Hell, the Clintonistas were really down with expanding the incarceration rate back in the 1990s. Word to the authorities: there were more than a few of us taking notes and we have pretty damn long memories.

A point I keep bringing up is that if you're of relatively low-income or are a person of color you have no friends in either of the three branches of the federal government (and probably none in most state governments). If one is from a less-than-privileged station in life and is left-leaning (be that "progressive" "liberal" or whatever), and is still not quite ready to give up on the electoral process, alternative parties are the way to go. The Greens seem like they're at least getting it when it comes to the racism inherent in the current system, which is much more than the Donkle (which reminds me that the next time any one of those Dem bozos starts wanting to use us as ATM machines for their campaigns, the best response is "aww Hell no!").

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