Thursday, November 30, 2017

Blacks, Crimes, and Sentencing

We have the NFL National Anthem protests about police injustice. That seems to also include minority sentencing. There is no doubt that blacks get longer sentences than whites. Pointing to racism is the usual reaction, but is that the reason? I am sure that could be some of the cause, but I suspect that's not the global reason.

We know that blacks and other minorities make up a large portion of the gang activity in US cities. I suspect that a gang member will get more prison time for possession of cocaine than someone who isn't in a gang.

We also know that crack cocaine is more widely used by blacks than whites. Crack often gets a longer sentence than other drugs because it's one of the most addictive drugs on the streets. A person can get addicted from a single use. A crack addict once told me he would sell his mom for a rock. He surely didn't mind stealing from his mother.

Attitude has a lot to do with sentencing. A person showing remorse for their crime will likely get less time. I suspect there are some great white actors facing judges for sentencing. I've written before in Interacting With Police about how attitude plays a huge part when dealing with police.

We know prejudice is sometimes involved in sentencing. So, let's address that and how to solve the problem. Kneeling before a football game might be exciting and something to talk about, but national protests never solve the problem. To solve the problem you must look locally.

In Democrat run cities, and often with a black mayor, we see some of the biggest problems with both the police and the justice system. What we also see are the same people or party repeatedly elected. If the mayor won't listen and the problem persists, then don't re-elect him or her.

You must also work on the state level, which is a lot harder. Every problem we have in this country can be traced back to government officials. It's only there that problems can be solved. National protests that only angers a large percentage of people does more harm than good.

I spent a lifetime troubleshooting problems and always found, to solve a problem you must find its root cause—anything less is a patch and will surely fail. Get into the community and find out why people end up before the legal system. We know the leading reasons are connected to drug use and sales. Every time I mention drug legalization I get the “you're insane” look from both the left and right. People are going to use drugs even if they must lie to a doctor to get them, which many do.

If we're not going to legalize drugs, you must find other ways to reduce the demand. For that I have no solution. I can just suggest that if you must stand before a law officer or judge, be courteous and be at your best behavior.

Poor people will always have a disadvantage in courts until the system is changed—until prosecutors' main goal is no longer to convict. Their only desire should be to find the truth. Truth and fairness is all that matters.

Fairness also means when you repeatedly appear before a judge, there should be even stiffer penalties. There are people walking the streets who have been convicted a dozen times and arrested many more times. These people are likely someone's family members. What is the family doing to help these people? Where are these people's family and friends?

Something causes people to repeatedly break the law. We know broken families play a huge part in crime. Denzel Washington said, “Don't blame the system,” for black incarceration, “it starts at home.” The home is where we find the root problem. I have white friends and family who have had their share of problems with the law. I can tell you for sure that family issues were the root of their problems.

We know that in high poverty areas, crime is higher. Some will tell us that they steal in order to give money to their mothers, or they deal drugs for the same reason, Are they telling me the mother takes money from their children when they know it was from an illegal activity? This tells me the mother is a bad parent.

My mother grew up in extreme poverty. She was made fun of in school because of her tattered clothing. My mother was one of the hardest working and most honest people I've ever known. There are many families in small rural towns that struggle. Those children don't steal and sell drugs, they get jobs, which often means they must drop out of school.

In poor communities when we're told people deal drugs to feed their families, do we ask who they're selling those drugs to? It just might be those very drugs that's causing the community to live in poverty. Because crime is so high, businesses refuse to move into the area. You often find abandoned factories. Those empty buildings might be the root cause of the poverty, or they might be empty because of crime. In either case we know the answer is to lure jobs to the area.

Slogans, especially ones like, “Hands up, don't shoot,” can only divide when they're based on a lie. Riots and attacks on police don't help the problem. In fact, things like that will make most believe the justice system is justified in its actions against minorities.

Colin Kaepernick might be a hero to some, but for many he disrespected the country and those who died in its name. If you're going to protest, do it properly—do it for a cause that can't be questioned. But foremost, look within for solutions while working locally to solve problems. The ballot box is the greatest tool we have in the country to solve problems. Find out why, when you live in a town with a black Democrat mayor, you're still having issues. People like me would love to know, but I suspect I know the answer.

In every city or burg in the nation, it's likely run by politicians. Politicians have only one goal, to get elected and to push the party agenda. No matter the party, that agenda often leads with cleaning up crime. That effort will likely involve giving minorities gang members longer sentences to keep them off the streets. You're now back to square one. At the end of the day, this problem is likely best solved at home. I know I keep repeating this, but this point must be emphasized.

When opportunity comes to help minorities it must be accepted. The NFL has offered $100,000,000 for black charities to end the National Anthem protest. Some players want to accept, while others don't want to end the protest. That makes me think they aren't protesting to help blacks, but to bring attention to themselves. Whether that's true or not, their refusal of the money does drive the perception.

The one thing that can't be changed is human nature. The actions of a few can drive perceptions of the many. Those perceptions are entrenched when you make excuses for the few. It's time to stop dividing the nation and work together to solve problems.

Update 12/1/17:

The verdict was rendered for the murder of Kate Steinle. In July of 2015, illegal alien, Garcia Zarate, 45, shot and killed the young woman. Garcia had previously been deported five times and had been convicted of seven felonies.

There was no doubt his actions resulted in the death of Steinle. But he was found guilty of only a weapons violation. We hear everyday about how badly minorities are treated by the justice system. Today, we saw a white victim treated badly by a prejudiced jury. Garcia wasn't found not guilty because he was innocent, it was because they hated President Trump because they had believed the propaganda that he was racist for bringing this case to light during the campaign.

There are many people in the country that are prejudiced against minorities. There are also many who are prejudiced for minorities. This was one of those cases. Had a white American shot Steinle, he would have surely been found guilty of at least manslaughter. A judge who wasn't prejudiced would have set aside the jury decision, but he didn't.

We need a fair justice system, no matter the person's race, creed, or color.

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