The latest demands from the Black Lives Matter movement may be the most over-the-top and ill-informed yet.
Several “officials” of the Black Lives Matter and Million Hoodies Movement for Justice crowd addressed a group of Democrat state legislators Friday at the State Innovation Exchange in Washington, D.C., suggesting the United States taxpayers owe money to convicted criminals as “reparations” for time spent in jail away from family and friends. They claimed these incarcerations have broken up families and disproportionately affect certain communities.
And here I was thinking it was the criminal behavior causing the problem.
The Washington Examiner broke it down for us:
The case for reparations is typically made as a form of economic compensation to descendants of slaves. These days, some racial activists also make the case for reparations as compensation for systemic discrimination in law enforcement.
Several black leaders addressed Democratic state legislators Friday at the State Innovation Exchange in Washington, D.C.
“Thinking about decriminalization with reparations,” Marbre Shahly-Butts, deputy director of racial justice at the Center for Popular Democracy, said. “The idea is we that have extracted literally millions of dollars from communities, we have destroyed families. Mass incarceration has led to the destruction of communities across the country. We can track which communities, like we have that data. And so if we’re going to be decriminalizing things like marijuana, all of the profit from that should go back to the folks we’ve extracted it from.” That comment received widespread applause from the crowd of Democratic state legislators. Shahly-Butts was referring to decriminalizing more than drug crimes, but also loitering, bans on saggy pants and thousands of other laws that disproportionately affect blacks.
Shahly-Butts added, “‘Reparations’ makes people kind of uncomfortable, so we can call it ‘reinvestment’ if you want to. Use whatever language makes you happy inside.”
Fellow panelist Dante Barry, executive director of the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, also called for a type of reinvestment. “In terms of response around black youth unemployment, it gets back to this whole piece around reinvestment,” Barry said. He spoke about New York City’s plan to spend $100 million on 1,000 new cops. “What would you do with $100 million? How would we better use that money to provide jobs for unemployed youth, to provide housing, to have mental health access. … It’s really about how do we rethink some of our budgetary needs and how we’re putting power behind the way that we can really incorporate reinvestment in communities.
Shahly-Butts and Dante Barry, ENOUGH ALREADY. Criminal behavior and drug use and sales have destroyed many folks who just couldn’t say no, period. This is just the same song, verse one thousand, of the “Don’t make people responsible for their own behavior” song. If an activity is illegal and you decide to engage in that behavior, how does the taxpayer owe that person anything if they get caught and put in jail?
Please explain out “we” have extracted “millions of dollars” from certain communities because those communities have residents who’ve decided to engage in criminal behavior, gotten caught, convicted or pled guilty, and gone to jail. Perhaps we should be suing those criminals for the cost of incarceration to the American taxpayer?
And no, it doesn’t make me feel “happy” inside to call it an investment rather than reparations, because it is really neither of those. As a side note, if you stacked up all the dollar bills that have been “invested” in social welfare programs over the last sixty years, the piles would fill up every square inch of every prison and jail in America. If, as you assert, communities are destroyed, families decimated and black youth unemployment at an all-time high, then I assert all those programs and money spent have failed to accomplish even modest improvements in the lives of those communities.
Hey, I have an idea. Perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at the policies that have engendered these issues — brought to you by the Democrat party. As Col. West has written:
Historically, this is the party of slavery, secession, segregation, Jim Crow, lynchings, poll taxes, and literacy tests. It was President Lyndon B. Johnson, who on Air Force One before other governors, used a racist epithet to describe how his policies would have blacks voting Democrat for 200 years. We are fifty years into the seemingly intended consequences of those policies. Policies that have advanced a new type of slavery; not the physical but rather the metaphysical – economic enslavement of our urban centers, mostly populated by the black community.
Consider the crisis of good quality education in the inner cities. Once upon a time the Democratic Party stood outside the doors of institutions of higher education denying access to blacks. Today’s Democratic Party embraces policies that trap young blacks inside the doors of failing public schools denying them access to better quality institutions of learning. It was the first black President who decided in April 2009 to cancel the DC school voucher program – his kids attend the prestigious Sidwell Friends. It was the first black Attorney General who brought a lawsuit against the state of Louisiana and their school voucher program.
It is the Democrats who are denying blacks access to better quality schools and educational opportunities.
What about the crisis of the decimated black family? Fifty years ago at the time of Johnson’s signing into law the policies of his “Great Society,” the two parent black household was at nearly 77%; today it is at 25%. That is a crisis, despite programs aimed at attempting to “fix” it.
So perhaps instead of focusing on more “reinvestment,” perhaps it’s time to consider looking at the policies this investment has supported. And, more importantly, which leaders YOU are supporting at the ballot box. Many of the problems you raise have come to us courtesy of Democrat policies, so perhaps it’s time blacks stop showing them the courtesy of their unconditional support.