Webb: American Gulag "Tearing the Country Apart"

Howard Wooldridge of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition reports :

Jim Webb, the new US Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia announced on a Sunday talk show that having two million people in our prisons is ‘tearing the country apart.' He said he wanted to ‘get to the bottom of it' in the next 2-3 years. In my 11 years of reform he is the first Senator to admit that 2.2 million citizens in prison is a problem. I advised all the major DC offices in reform to make sure they knew of a potential ally on Capitol Hill. Webb's criminal justice advisor starts work this coming Monday and I will meet with him as soon as he has time.

Stark visualization of the problem here.

Here's another way of looking at it, via LEAP's founder, Jack Cole: At the height of apartheid, 851 of every 100,000 black men in that country were incarcerated. Today in America, 717 of every 100,000 white men are behind bars.

And black men? A staggering 4,919 of every 100,000 American black men are doing time.

UPDATE: Link fixed.

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  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Radley,

    You get your hopes up too soon. While one guy might seem to know what he's doing, the rest of them will never want to appear soft on crime. Well, or soft on drugs.

  • zeiner the lurker||

    Stark visualization of the problem here.



    Need another link, it says that I don't have permission to view the file.

  • ||

    The number of blacks in jail doesn't sound too high to me. It probably should be higher. I recall, in high school, a repugnant bitch from FACTER (Flint Area Council to End Racism) came and gave a talk at our school. One of my classmates, who was in no way an atypical urban black male, said "After I seen Amistad I wanted to just hit the first white person I saw." The enlightened cunt, who supposedly was there to end racism, didn't say, "No, punishing someone for the transgressions of others with their skin color is racist." She said, "No, we don't need another brother in jail."

    That day I learned that she was not committed to ending racism, just the racism towards blacks. It also helped to cement my view that most urban blacks are up there with the average gorilla in terms of civility and rationality. I say we give all Negroes, upon request, a one way ticket to West Africa. We'll see how much they bitch about "Whitey" and "AmeriKKKa" then.

  • ||

    Joseph, with a brush that broad, you really ought start a business painting houses.

  • ||

    Joeseph,
    Would you feel the same way about a Jewish person that said, "After I saw Schindler's List I wanted to hit the first German I saw"?

  • ||

    Joseph, what percentage of urban blacks have you actually met?

  • Ryo||

    Has anyone seen my hood? I'm pretty sure it was white (possibly purple). Ah! Never mind, I see Joseph has it.

    Sorry for the intrusion.

  • ||

    AOBP
    Now here is an under reported issue. A national disgrace. Prison conditions and prison abuse could use more light as well. And then there's parole, where the state turns criminals loose on society and collects their ill gotten gains.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    After I saw Team America: World Police I wanted to punch the crap out of Pinocchio.

  • ||

    After I seen Joseph's post I wanted to hit the first white person I saw.

  • ||

    I wanted to hit the first blog commenter.

  • Fluffy||

    After I saw Joseph's post I wanted to hit the first bigot I saw.

  • ||

    I once saw a black person fail to distinguish between individual members of a race. Imagine: she thought that all white people were guilty just because of the actions of some white people!

    Anyway, that's why I hate black people.

  • violent_k||

    I'm gonna hit the next person I meet named Joseph. Just in case.

  • ||

    After reading all this I wanted to hit the first doobie I saw. Luckily I saw one right away.

  • Zach||

    here here!

  • ||

    you people are moved to want to hit a person who has done none no wrong and without having any wrong done to you personally?

    jesus christ maybe i was wrong and those people who want to censor or music, art and entertainment are not fascists afterall.

    if a jew wanted to hit a german, a black wanted to hit a white, a woman hit a man....based on history of how other people acted towards another group of people...it is wrong. it is violence, vengeance, bigotry, racism and idiocy all wrapped up in one foul smelly ball of shit.

    the only time i would want to hit a person would be to keep him from hitting me or my family. i dont see how feeling like comitting a random act of violence on a stranger can be in any way a normal or physiologic feeling...it isnt anger, it is malice.

    mike

  • ||

    The pattern I've noticed with Webb is he likes to stake out bold, powerful positions that generate alot of favorable publicity but then follows them up with...nothing.

    Such as his pre-campaign promise to introduce a concealed carry bill as one of his first actions as a Senator. Still hasn't been introduced AFAIK.

    I would guess his statement about prisons will cause a tempest among activists but will be followed by mostly symbolic actions. As I've previously predicted, by 2012 Webb will be Reason's Most Hated Senator.

  • VM||

    hey Joseph - you can get out of this problem by uttering the secret word:
    "shenanigans"

    just say that, and you'll be fine.

  • ||

    "the only time i would want to hit a person would be to keep him from hitting me or my family. i dont see how feeling like comitting a random act of violence on a stranger can be in any way a normal or physiologic feeling...it isnt anger, it is malice.

    mike"

    Wha?!

    I want to hit mike or his family now.

  • ||

    Elliott-I want to hit you for wanting to hit Mike. ;)

    Doc-Are you familiar with the concept of humor?

  • ||

    After we got to the poppy field, I wanted to hit the hay.

  • ||

    I didn't have the patience to read Joseph's whole comment. I got stuck at "The enlightened..." Thanks for summarizing Number 6.

  • ||

    Number 6, I want to hit you for wanting to hit me for wanting to hit Mike (or his family).

    Will the cycle of violence never stop? I feel as though we're like "most urban blacks [who] are up there with the average gorilla in terms of civility and rationality."

    Am I the only person who wishes Joseph would post comments on every H&R entry? I can't be.

  • ||

    As a Negro, I'd like to request a "one way ticket to West Africa."

    I have a feeling it may help me get over some of my animosity towards "Whitey" and "AmeriKKKa" then.

  • ||

    Basing one's opinion on black people on an encounter with a ghetto thug and a loudmouth racist is like basing one's opinion of white people on an encounter with Dick Cheney and Ann Coulter.

  • ||

    Maybe we have too many people in jail, but don't give me this bullshit about it being a tragedy because they are not evenly distributed among all races.

  • ||

    I don't care about how many go to jail so much as the right people go to jail. Perhaps less people should be in jail (especially non-violent drug offenders), but if we don't put in the ones that should be there, crime will start rising to the high levels it was at a couple decades ago. Meanwhile, New York is safer than London or Paris.

    (By the way, Webb is one of the worst Senators we've got. However, if, as suggested above, he almost never acts on what he says, then I like him a lot more.)

  • Zach||

    Most facist policies do make cities safer,

    My grandmother lived in madrid during the time of fransico franco and she siad you could walk through dark alleys after midnight without fear of mugging. but did that make his policies good? no, someone who reads H&R should know of all people that the end cannot justify the means.

  • ||

    Fuckin' A!! Won't someone think of the gorillas? Some gorillas are both civil and rational. Just look at http://www.koko.org/world/signlanguage.html

    Sheesh people. And, Number 6, of course, Doctors have no sense of humor.

    Lastly, Elliott Owen, I completely agree, reading Joseph's remarks certainly put a smile on my face big and smug enough for the last member of the Answer Coalition I met.

    I only have one question: what would the response be if he had posted the same on HuffingtonPost?

  • ||

    After I watched Buxom Babes in Bondage #7 I wanted to spank the first 38DD 25-year-old redhead dressed as a Catholic schoogirl that I saw.

  • ||

    "Schoolgirl" - goddammit.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    I only have one question: what would the response be if he had posted the same on HuffingtonPost?

    Less humorous.

  • TeX METAFONT||

    "race" is a piss poor substitute for "class"

  • ||

    The problem shouldn't be about quantity but (lack of better term) quality. Are those in jail guilty? If so then the probably deserve to be in jail. Doesn't matter what colour they are. And arguing that decriminalizing or legalizing drugs will reduce prison populations (and that it is a good thing) is not an argument that will persuade anyone who doesn't have a family member in jail for drug possession.

  • ||

    I want you all to hit me.

  • ||

    Hit me!

  • ||

    When I saw "Roots" it made me wanna go out and buy the first...
    Apologies for slavery?
    Heres one. I am real sorry and will forever regret that kunta kinte was brought over here which is now resulting in the ruination of America. The thug, rap, crack culture is producing a whole generation of sociopaths. And the white kids are trying to be jus like them.

  • ||

    What's wrong, master hater? Not enough love at home?

  • ||

    Too much love in your cell?

  • ||

    Too few cells in your brain?

  • ||

    Too many voices in your head?

  • ||

    I'd be happy to double, perhaps even triple, the sentences for all crimes of violence in return for ending the drug war.

  • ||

    Interesting how you all assume I have almost no experience with urban blacks. I LIVE IN FLINT, MICHIGAN!!! For those of you who are ignorant of my lovely city, it's a microcosm of Detroit, the largest pile of shit in the US. I see them everyday. I went to school with more than I would have liked to. I know them.

    I also predicted (correctly) that I would be labeled a bigot, although no one has gone so far as to use the "R-word." Rest assured, I judge people first and foremost on the content of their character. I don't, however, find it wrong to point out when large subsets of certain groups of people display barbaric behavior. There are a lot of decent black people. I've met absolutely wonderful black folks and am honored to call one of them one of my best friends (I'm aware this is an old canard of bigots, but I speak the truth), but in the hood the decent are far outnumbered by human scum. Why am I being lynched for pointing this out?

  • LarryA||

    Are those in jail guilty? If so then the probably deserve to be in jail.

    Guilty of what? Does it make sense to incarcerate someone for the "crime" of putting an unapproved substance in his own body? Or gambling with his own money? Or looking at a picture of a nude adult?

    The first reaction of a free person to a law ought to be, "Should this be illegal?"

  • ||

    Joseph

    "lynched"? Oh man, you are too much.

  • ||

    Joseph,
    I'll give you more credit than master hater.

    (This is called damning with faint praise.)

  • ||

    highnumber,

    I feel inexplicably honored, let me assure you.

  • ||

    Inexplicably indeed!

  • ||

    When I saw Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element, I said, "Damn, I want to hit that".

  • VikingMoose||

    *yawn*

    really boring, there, Seph. Real boring. Being turned into a cockroach hasn't helped your disposition.

    oh - I'm gonna go preheat my microwave. Anything is more productive than reading what you have to say.

    Although you do give evidence to the hypothesis that you and Federal Dog are one and the same. I hope 1) someone begins monitoring the internet at your group home or 2) Carnie school spring break ends soon.

    Buh bye. We're gonna... um. Just buh bye.

    [tinkles on his Tony Llama's. Ambles off]

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    How many bigots to the canard, or is that just the general collective term like a murder of crows or a crock of shit?

  • ||

    Joseph,

    Reading some harsh words on a computer screen (which you are free to avoid if you so choose) is getting lynched? Perhaps I misunderstand the meaning of that word. Would you please inform me?

    Oh, and dude, the last time I saw or heard the word Negro used to describe someone with more melanin in their skin was in Trading Places. Is it that common in Flint, MI?

  • ||

    "I also predicted (correctly) that I would be labeled a bigot, although no one has gone so far as to use the "R-word.""

    Here goes, Joseph: You're a "racist" (I assume that's the dreaded "R-word" you're talking about.).

    I apologize for all the lynching you've had to endure. It truly is hard out there for a pimp like yourself. What, with all the gorillas and Negroes running around in your microcosm of the "largest pile of shit in the US."

  • ||

    "Why am I being lynched for pointing this out?"

    I feel for you, bro.

  • ||

    "And arguing that decriminalizing or legalizing drugs will reduce prison populations (and that it is a good thing) is not an argument that will persuade anyone who doesn't have a family member in jail for drug possession."

    Mark,
    Speak for yourself. Not every one is incapable of feeling empathy for those outside of their family circle or being persuaded by the legalization=more drug offenders freed=good thing argument. I have no family members in jail but would like to see every single prisoner who is in jail on a possession or personal use rap out tomorrow. And the issue is actually a political winner for me. Webb has jumped to the top of my politicians who don't suck list by making an effort to turn this into a high-visibility issue.

  • Purple boyz in yo purple hood||

    I LIVE IN FLINT

    Used to, whitey.

  • Fluffy||

    Mark -

    Yeah, double speak for yourself.

    I would also favor emptying the prisons of all drug offenders, despite the fact that I have no family members in jail, because:

    1. I don't want to pay for them to be in jail. It's expensive.

    2. I don't care if addicts hurt themselves, end up penniless, ruin their own health, etc. Knock yourselves out, guys. So there's no downside for me here - no problem that requires correction.

    3. I've smoked a joint in my life. I also consumed alcoholic beverages prior to turning 21. The maxim of my action dictates that I can't therefore regard these acts as something that should be prohibited for others.

  • ||

    Perhaps "lynched" was an inappropriate word, and for that I apologize. But I fail to see, Mr. Owen, how I'm a "racist."

    Purple boyz,

    Come get me, you punk ass bitches. Y'all better come mad deep and hella strapped, too. Up my way we don't fuck around.

  • ||

    Joseph: Look, anytime you say that something is typical of black people, and/or refer to some black people as being similar to gorillas, you will come off as a racist.

  • ||

    Joseph, perhaps I can help.

    The reason you're a "racist" is that you actually said

    most urban blacks are up there with the average gorilla in terms of civility and rationality

    I have no doubt that you know and enjoy the friendship of black folks, but the fact that you live in Flint doesn't change the fact that you don't know most urban blacks and you obviously don't know much about great apes. Chimpanzees are much more brutal than gorillas.

    But you also said:

    The number of blacks in jail doesn't sound too high to me. It probably should be higher.

    That's pretty godddamn racist and it indicates you don't know anything about the illicit drug market and how it differs from the market in socially acceptable drugs.

    I could be wrong, of course. If I am, please let me know.

  • Power to the purple||

    Charmed, I'm sure.

  • ||

    #6,

    I'm aware of that. I'm just saying that it's a fallacy to assume someone is racist just because they say things like that. "All blacks are niggers" is racist. "Many blacks are barbaric and act like [insert your violent great ape of choice here]" is an accurate portrayal of reality. If it makes you feel any better I think many whites aren't much better than apes. Same goes for Asians, and Native Americans. But we're not talking about those people, we're talking about blacks.

    Les,

    I'm aware that many blacks (and other people) should not be in jail due to their use of politically unpopular substances. I'm as anti-drug war as you can get. But many more blacks are out there right now preying on innocent victims. They could not do this if they were in jail. Yes, other races rob, cheat, kill and rape, but not at anywhere near the same rate. I could be wrong, of course. If I am, please let me know.

  • ||

    Joseph's comments make me want to go out and beat up Jesus's stepdad. Which means, I think, that I'm going to hell...

  • ||

    Now I want to go punch somebody who feeds trolls.

  • M||

    Joseph - Do you believe something inherent to the race of "most urban blacks" or something inherent to their treatment since the seventeenth century accounts for their hostility? In other words, would similarly treated Caucasians behave better, or would blacks treated better behave better?

    Put another way, if someone who sounds racist (like the young lady in your description) had been better brought up, would you, I mean, would she, come across as more civil and rational? Just hypothetically, of course.

  • ||

    Joseph - Do you believe something inherent to the race of "most urban blacks" or something inherent to their treatment since the seventeenth century accounts for their hostility? In other words, would similarly treated Caucasians behave better, or would blacks treated better behave better?

    Put another way, if someone who sounds racist (like the young lady in your description) had been better brought up, would you, I mean, would she, come across as more civil and rational? Just hypothetically, of course.


    I tend to believe that different races do have different inherent abilities and personalities. Just looking at the countries ranked by GDP, of the top twenty five

    twenty three are majority caucasian, including two Arab oil rich gulf states
    two are asian

    Of course the bottom of the list is North Korea and a bunch of African bannana republics.

    I could be wrong. But I'm not evil (pick your own definition for racist) for considering the possibility that people from different parts of the world could differ just as much on the inside as they do on the outside. Its just hard to believe those world GDP rankings (not to mention crime rates, etc here in the US) are all a coincidence.

  • ||

    But many more blacks are out there right now preying on innocent victims. They could not do this if they were in jail. Yes, other races rob, cheat, kill and rape, but not at anywhere near the same rate. I could be wrong, of course. If I am, please let me know.

    You're making an assertion. Please provide evidence to back it up.

  • ||

    Senor Chalupa-

    The opposite positions of North and South Korea, not to mention the rising status of much of the rest of East and Southeast Asia, would very strongly suggest that the biological component of ethnicity has little or nothing to do with a nation's poverty or wealth.

  • TeX METAFONT||

    why, in my w3 travels, have I come across so many Michiganders who are willing (nay, eager) to play the race card, but are completely ignorant of class?

    the schools? the politics? the water?

    something's amiss...

  • I. Self. Divine.||

    TeX METAFONT: I maintain that it's our governor.

  • ||

    Hey, look at that, racists don't want people to talk about the drug war and incarceration rates.

    I wonder why that might be.

  • ||

    The opposite positions of North and South Korea, not to mention the rising status of much of the rest of East and Southeast Asia, would very strongly suggest that the biological component of ethnicity has little or nothing to do with a nation's poverty or wealth.

    You're right there, and that's a good argument in the other direction.

    I never read the Bell Curve, but I just wikipedied it. Apparentley, a team of psycologists looked at the book and came up with

    The differential between the mean intelligence test scores of Blacks and Whites (about one standard deviation, although it may be diminishing) does not result from any obvious biases in test construction and administration, nor does it simply reflect differences in socio-economic status. Explanations based on factors of caste and culture may be appropriate, but so far have little direct empirical support.

    And knowing that te interpretation social scientists give is usually 5 degrees more politically correct than where the evidence leads I'd say there is certainly a possibility that there is some relation between race and intelligence.

    I'd say the evidence is inconclusive and to shout "RACIST!" at people who come to a certain conclusion is poison for debate.

    But I could be convinced otherwise. I am not emotionally invested in the outcome one way or another and those that are scare me.

  • ||

    Hell, even I don't think that there's anything inherent to race when it comes to poverty and crime. Read Thomas Sowell's "Conquests and Cultures."

    The reason Africa is such a shithole is due to the geography of the continent. Europe and Asia have done so well due to their geography. If Eurasians lived in Africa and blacks in Eurasia then the roles probably would have been switched.

    "Do you believe something inherent to the race of "most urban blacks" or something inherent to their treatment since the seventeenth century accounts for their hostility? In other words, would similarly treated Caucasians behave better, or would blacks treated better behave better?"

    It's possible that many Caucasians would behave similarly if the roles were switched. Hell, many Caucasians act like that now. But the past is no excuse for present behavior. Many, although probably not most, blacks have gotten over the past and are capable of acting like human beings. Their ancestors went through the same shit as the scumbags' ancestors but they're aware that, today, what a black does is more important than what is done to them. That's why I have no sympathy for the "angry black man." It's time to grow up and get over the past.

  • ||

    Grand Chalupa,

    Don't fall for the fallacy of assuming that the most easily measured factors are more important than those more difficult to quantify.

    "...obvious biases in test construction and administration...little direct empirical support."

    That test bias and cultural factors lack direct empirical support are difficult to find direct empirical evidence for is not suprising. How do you dust for cultural factors?

  • ||

    That test bias and cultural factors lack direct empirical support are difficult to find direct empirical evidence for is not suprising. How do you dust for cultural factors?

    You don't. That's why social science is bullshit and until nueroscience advances a bit we're not going to know one way or another.

    Combine te Bell Curve, the GDP rankings, the state of Africa and "hip-hop culture" tend to lead me in one direction but its still pretty much a guess. I'm aware there is evidence to the contrary. I'm sitting back and waiting to learn more and don't have a burning desire to come to a PC conclusion like some people seem to.

  • M||

    Grand Chalupa -

    I tend to believe that different races do have different inherent abilities and personalities.

    The sensitive question seems to be whether such differences as you tend to believe exist are morally neutral. Rationality, civility, and intelligence are characteristics that have come up in this thread. If possessing greater or lesser degrees of these qualities is believed to establish the essential worth of their possessors, the rights of those possessors will accordingly be expanded or limited, and that's where the problem begins for those who hold to the equality of persons.

    In other words, rights-egalitarians might accept the idea that x group of people share a distinctive characteristic that has both positives and negatives, but not if the characteristic they share makes them morally inferior to others. For example, since intelligence is a good, intelligence is hard for us to separate from goodness, which is why people become upset at the suggestion of racially stratified intelligence, which seems to lead to racially stratified worth, which leads to racially stratified treatment, which offends humanists.

    * * *

    Joseph -

    That day [in Joseph's high-school]... helped to cement my view that most urban blacks are up there with the average gorilla in terms of civility and rationality. I say we give all Negroes, upon request, a one way ticket to West Africa. We'll see how much they bitch about "Whitey" and "AmeriKKKa" then.
    ---
    It's time to grow up and get over the past.


    How's that working for you?

  • ||

    Let's also keep in mind that the aggregate differences between races found in the Bell Curve - even using their sloppy methodology - are far less than those an individual would score on different days.

  • Greg||

    Race is an eighteenth century construct by Europeans to justify imperialism and the slave trade and has caused far more harm through to the present day than should have ever been allowed.

  • nominal_plumage||

    Steve darkly - I think you meant "schmoogirl", actually

  • nominal_plumage||

    Just looking at the countries ranked by GDP, of the top twenty five

    twenty three are majority caucasian, including two Arab oil rich gulf states
    two are asian

    Of course the bottom of the list is North Korea and a bunch of African bannana republics.


    So where is South korea in terms of GDP?

    Near the top?

    How different 'racially' are North and South Koreans?

    Or could it be that there are a shitload of other reasons?

    Dweeb.

  • ||

    Greg,

    Sure, the way people perceive race is strongly socially influenced. But it's not just completely made up. Race is already there to be perceived. Human beings really do have different ethnic backgrounds, and this really does show up in their physical appearance and genetic profile.

    It's not an arbitrary social construction that explains the incidence of sickle-cell anemia or Tay-Sachs.

    Epicanthal folds weren't made up by 18th-century Europeans.

    I mean, come on.

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