By Doni Glover, Publisher
(BALTIMORE – March 4, 2023) – I can’t believe I’m writing this. Even more, I can’t believe why I’m writing this.
Admittedly, I caught an episode of Fox here in Baltimore. You know – the local affiliate that rips a new hind part on any politician, especially Black, who doesn’t conform to their demands. After all, they are the voice of the people. Right?
Last night, I watched as the new Baltimore City State’s Attorney Ivan Bates made a mockery of the term “mass incarceration.” Given how he conformed to Fox’s news bent during his campaign, I guess this actually comes as no surprise.
During the campaign, Bates did everything possible to show the rest of Baltimore – the non-Black side, that is – that he would be good for Baltimore and certainly he’d be better than Marilyn Mosby.
While Mosby had her missteps, one thing she stood against was mass incarceration. Tell the truth and shame the devil.
Anyway, here is one advocacy group’s definition that may shed some light on the topic for Mr. Bates:
An Enormous, Racist Carceral System: “Mass incarceration” refers to the reality that the United States criminalizes and incarcerates more of its own people than any other country in the history of the world and inflicts that enormous harm primarily on the most vulnerable among us: poor people of color. In 2018, more than 10.7 million people entered U.S. jails and prisons—the equivalent of locking up every single person in Portugal, Greece, or Sweden. On any given day, nearly 2 million people are behind bars in this country and 4.5 million people are on probation or parole, under the “supervision” of the state. The majority of the people we criminalize and incarcerate are Black and Latino, even though these two groups constitute less than one-third of the national population.
Since our very first day, BMORENews.com’s 5-point agenda has included Black business, public education (especially in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Prince George’s County), returning citizens’ services, affordable housing, and universal access to housing.
All this to say, we have always been aware of the impending damage and threat that mass incarceration has had and still has on the Black community. We have always been clear that while Black people make up approximately 12% of the US population, we, unfortunately, comprise 38% of the nation’s inmate demographic.
Beyond the numbers is the impact that comes from locking up all of these Black and brown people. The end result is more trauma, including that which falls on the children of inmates as well as the rest of the civilians in the community.
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