Injustice in the Justice System: The Shame of Juvenile Incarceration
Statistics prove it; recent events in Jena, LA confirm it. USA Today's editorial, "In La., a missed opportunity ignites a racial uproar," (10/05/2007), fulfills its mission "to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation," Al Neuharth, Founder, wrote September 15, 1982.
Clearly I am not black nor male but I remember the '68 race riots in Detroit. I was only in grade school but remember trying to make sense of the anger in the streets. My father was particularly shaken because many of his customers were black and lived within the city limits. The city was in lock down. He didn't work for three days, and the good people were prisoners in their own homes.
But I believe the bigger story has been hidden. Until now.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), states that public policy in California drives the building of more prisons and pulls no punches in this YouTube video.
- a five-year-old is handcuffed and taken to jail for having a 30-minute temper tantrum
- a nine-year-old is charged with attempted armed robbery with only a towel wrapped around his hands
- five students, 14 to 18, were charged with second degree murder for a school fight and their tennis shoes deemed "lethal weapons"
our communities and leaders should be ashamed.
The Gathering For Justice addresses this sickening scope of juvenile incarceration. Spearheaded by some of the most notable thought leaders in the black community (Harry Belafonte, Marion Wright Edelman, Dr. Cornel West, Ruby Dee, and others), The Gathering evolved out of the understanding that civil rights and social justice organizations require national solidarity and collective focus to stop the political and moral obscenities that are severely undermining our justice system and violating the most sacred tenets of the U.S. Constitution.
They have created an intergenerational, interracial, and multicultural space where like-minded individuals can work together to change the justice process.
As the atrocities of WWII were being revealed, a man was asked, "What is the nature of evil?"
"It is when good men do nothing," he said.
The purpose of this blog is to encourage, educate, inspire and, on this occasion, to engender outrage among virtuous men. Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.