Why Are Black Arrest Rates in Some Places So High?
As the nation continued to watch for the grand jury announcement out of Ferguson, Missouri this week, USA Today released a disturbing analysis of arrest records from across the country.
After pouring over FBI records from more than 3,500 police departments the newspaper finds that blacks are far more likely to be arrested than people of other races – and for all sorts of crimes – from murder to marijuana possession.
USA Today called the racial divide in America’s 2011-2012 arrest rates a, “staggering disparity” with at least 70 police departments from Connecticut to California arresting blacks at a rate 10 times higher than people of other races.
But before you jump to any conclusions, the paper also quoted experts who said the lopsided nature of arrests didn’t necessary prove racism or racial profiling.
Read that sentence again, please. [click to continue…]
Microscopic Swirls of Death
We have got to get smarter about controlling the ever-widening Ebola epidemic – and quickly. Ebola is not just a problem for the West African hotspots of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. And, the Department of Homeland Security’s new system of simply questioning and taking the temperature of incoming air travelers from West Africa isn’t enough to control this potential pandemic.
This is a modern day Pandora’s Box with deadly, worldwide consequences and our Government’s response, via the Centers of Disease Control? The CDC now admits it dropped the ball from the get-go.
At this writing there are two known cases of American nurses contracting Ebola from a Liberian patient who traveled to the U.S. in late September and died in a Dallas hospital October 8th. [click to continue…]
AG Holder Resigns, Suspicious Timing?
When someone decides to retire they tell the boss and within a few weeks there’s a party, maybe a gold watch, and they’re gone.
Not so if you are Attorney General Eric Holder.
Holder recently announced his retirement as the nation’s top cop but promised to stay on until a replacement is confirmed by Congress.
Here’s a double barrel prediction: Holder isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and there could be big political fireworks ahead. [click to continue…]
Cops Cameras Capture Their Point of View
In a rare convergence of opinion both dedicated cops and community activists, as well as prosecutors and defense attorneys, agree: To help keep the peace and restore community confidence in law enforcement more cops should wear cameras.
Police believe video evidence would help curb those who falsely cry, “Police brutality!” And, civil rights advocates believe if cameras are rolling officers will behave better and harass them less.
There’s a recent Justice Department study to back that up and dramatic statistics from ongoing police camera programs that show when video is introduced into the equation the use of force goes way down and so do the number of citizen complaints. [click to continue…]
What We’ve Done So Far Hasn’t Worked
Here’s a riddle: How many knowledgeable people does it take to suggest a policy change before society adopts their sage advice?
Buried in all the recent news about ISIS, horrific weather lashing the United States, the violence of NFL players, and the like, came a hardly noticed news item about the idea of legalizing drugs.
Now, stay with me on this. It’s important.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy, an illustrious panel including former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former US Secretary of State George Shultz, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, former presidents and prime ministers of nearly a dozen countries and others issued a detailed study about why it’s smart – for reasons both humanitarian and financial — to legalize marijuana and other drugs. [click to continue…]
Taking A Tactical Cue From Rosa Parks
A notion struck me as I studied the continuing stream of news about the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri. After his funeral I wondered, could we be witnessing the birth of another historic civil rights movement.
If you are white you may think that’s a ridiculous notion. A recent Pew Research Center Poll reveals that 80% of blacks believe the shooting in Ferguson raises important issues about race that need to be discussed. But, only 37% of whites agreed. Even more troubling: 47% of white Americans think the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.
This signals a disturbing disconnect. When 80% of one group of people says there is a basic human rights problem in America the rest of us ought to be willing to listen and discuss. [click to continue…]
This Veteran Needs to Come Home
Okay, I’m going to propose something radical. I’m sure it doesn’t fit into the strict confines of how our U.S. State Department conducts foreign policy but here goes …
How about we ask Mexico to do us a favor for once? Not only has that sieve of a country sat back and watched as more than 100-thousand desperate Hondurans, Guatemalans and El Salvadorans streamed through on their northward search for a safer life, they have also taken decades of generous U.S. foreign assistance without so much as a what-can-we-do-for-you?
Well, here’s what they can do for us. They can expedite the judicial process for U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, held in Mexico since the last day of March, 2014. He is due back in court in Tijuana this coming Monday but without some high powered attention being applied it’s unlikely he will be quickly released. [click to continue…]
Are We Really Independent Thinkers?
Another 4th of July holiday has come and gone and every year I try to think past the BBQ’s and beer and ponder the origin of Independence Day.
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
That is, of course, the most famous line from the Declaration of Independence approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
We learned that quote as school kids but these days it seems out of touch with where we are as a nation, doesn’t it? [click to continue…]