Thursday, 14 August 2014

Quote of the day: on race and crime


Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth.

This is about the USA and comes from a superb article about the militarisation of the police. Don't think for a second this doesn't apply over here.

And the article? It's written by Rand Paul, a Republican Senator. Which rather kicks out at our stereotypes.


1 comment:

asquith said...

Regrettably though, he isn't typical of his party. And I prefer Democrats, though I won't pretend they are much better on this matter.

Personally I think there are too many people imprisoned for victimless "crimes", and that people who are "illegal" (migrants, sex workers, weedeaters, etc) are often not wrongdoers in any real sense but victims of bad laws.

And I think the police should focus on keeping weak and defenceless people protected against, eg, murderers, rapists and thieves. They are on about cuts, but in good economic times or bad they could do away with several police functions and the world would be a better place for it.

And the rank and file policeman, shorn of his pointless paramilitary gear and the requirement to be some continental gendarme, could go back to what he is in the police to do, which is defending the otherwise defenceless.

The Ferguson situation is intolerable. And I fear a lot of, in particular, Republicans, will- this being America- view events through a racial lens and not consider that it's actually a case of how much power the citizenry is willing to give the State.