DA Thompson campaigned on a platform similar to de Blasio’s, but his office is showing more signs of progress than City Hall. With little control over who the police arrest by routine, the borough’s first Black DA has taken the approach of at least minimizing unnecessary criminalization. “I not only want to keep Brooklyn safe, I want to protect the future of our youth,” Thompson said during his inaugural address, according to The Huffington Post. His office would avoid prosecution and issue non-criminal $100 fines for possession under 25 grams, as the decriminalization law intended….
The stakes are high as serious evidence of a national two-tiered legal system exists. Public defenders are heavily overworked, with the worst reality-to-recommendation ratios being for misdemeanor cases (consider that many of New York City’s racially-slanted drug violations last year were misdemeanors). Huge case loads leave little time to properly assess the facts and build a defense, most likely resulting in many public attorneys recommending a guilty plea to their clients, advice 90% of them follow….
Climate Change and the broken promises of environmental justice have caused or perpetuated harm in so many ways that it may be impractical to leave it out of the discussion. When socioeconomic problems like Stop and Frisk and Poor Doors are resolved, their roots may only take on deeper manifestations in environmental injustices like toxic housing or concentrated poverty in the new flood zones. And those are only so far the ones we have realized….
As divisive as the topic is, Colorism is convincingly consequential and prevalent throughout our society. Both immigrants and Black Americans have argued that they lose out when lighter complexion peers are assimilated into and promoted through organizations, creating a curious kind of diversity where heritage is represented but power is still held by a distinct color of people. Empirical research has supported a unique privilege in being a ‘White-skinned’ immigrant, and historical testimony supports the social benefit of ‘passing’ for lighter-complexion Black Americans….
How do you pull the bottom 80% of a City, making less than 50% of the income, closer to the top 20% of income earners? As Reeves notes, the issue is complicated by a few deep problems, some of them only addressable within the national lens. High returns to education and people of similar socioeconomic backgrounds marrying each other are problems that most likely will perpetuate income inequality for a very long time.
But Reeves’ suggestions have the potential to be launching pads of opportunities that could spur the kind of upward social mobility that might reduce our income inequality….
Black women helmed many justice movements: Constance Malcolm, Carol Gray, Emerald Garner, and others whose fury at these cop killings would easily rival a Huey P. Newton.
Black women were-and still are-crucial cogs in the black liberation movement. They organized brigades and church congregations, began the Montgomery Bus Boycotts and even the entire Civil Rights movement itself. (Rosa Parks, anyone?)
Yet when it came down to who the struggle focused on, they may as well have been ghosts….