Black American Politics in the 21st Century: Is It Time For A New Plan?

Our black Democratic politicians do talk about the wave of mass incarceration, but mostly in a sort of a “drive by” fashion, and rarely if ever even identifying mass black incarceration as a national policy in need of reversal. Proposals to end mandatory sentencing, to reduce prosecutorial discretion and the power of grand juries, to restore Pell Grants to prisoners and convicted felons are almost never heard, even from black Democrats. More common are black Democrats like Georgia’s attorney general Thurbert Baker, who boasts of his key role in passing a “three strikes” law that nearly doubled the state’s prison population in the late nineties.

Democrats, even black Democrats are not delivering on justice.

Are Democrats delivering on human rights?

Our first black president pledged to end torture, denounced secret imprisonment without trial, and promised to close Guantanamo, but not to close any of the dozens of other secret and near-secret US prisons around the world. But the US is still kidnapping, still torturing and still imprisoning citizens of dozens of countries, and Americans too, in offshore hellholes and on military bases around the world. The Obama administration has even introduced laws to make “legal” some of the horrible things the Bush-Cheney gang did without benefit of “legal” sanction.

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