Don Imus and Jason Whitlock

Whitlock continues with a scolding tone. He blasts black leaders such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for focusing on Imus’ trash talk and avoiding the real menace to society.


He uses the passive voice. There is no active agent that imprisons black people. Apparently, the process of being locked down requires no further explanation than this.


Consider incarceration data from the International Centre for Prison Studies at Kings College, London for 2003-4. The U.S. rate of incarceration per 100,000 people is 726 prisoners. Compare that rate of incarceration per 100,000 people with other nations: New Zealand, 166; United Kingdom, 145, Spain, 142; Portugal, 124; Netherlands, 123; Australia, 121; Canada, 116; Austria, 106; Italy, 97; Germany, 96; France, 91; Belgium, 88; Ireland, 85; Greece, 82; Sweden, 81; Denmark, 70; Finland, 66, Norway, 65; and Japan, 60.


Why? Asking the question is an important step to understanding the role that the prison system plays in the U.S.


Meanwhile, Whitlock faults the cultural shortcomings of some black youth. Presumably, too many black adults choose flight instead of fight against this harmful culture.


"The unemployment rate for African Americans is on average approximately twice as high as the overall unemployment rate, and the unemployment rate for African American teens averages approximately six times the overall unemployment rate for workers with a college degree," writes economist Dean Baker in The United States Since 1980 (Cambridge University Press, 2007).


Seth Sandronsky is a member of Sacramento Area Peace Action and a co-editor of Because People Matter, Sacramento’s progressive paper www.bpmnews.org/. He can be reached at: [email protected].org/. He can be reached at: [email protected]


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