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Yvettep
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Yvettep

Post Number: 527
Registered: 01-2005

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Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 11:40 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

http://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/news/fact-22-6-2005.shtml

...In drawing state legislative districts, New York uses Census Bureau data that counts the state's mostly urban and minority prisoners as residents of the mostly white and rural prison counties rather than as residents of the home communities where they resided prior to incarceration, where they are deemed legal residents for most other legal purposes. Several upstate legislative districts lack sufficient population to meet accepted one-person, one-vote standards without counting disenfranchised prisoners as part of their population base. At the same time, heavily minority districts in New York City would in all likelihood be entitled to additional representation if prisoners were counted as residents of their home communities for purposes of redistricting.

The brief argues that New York's practice has an historical parallel that the Court should be disinclined to follow. "The practice bears a striking resemblance to the original 'Three-Fifths' clause of the United States Constitution, which allowed the South to obtain enhanced representation in Congress by counting disenfranchised slaves as three-fifths of a person for purposes of congressional apportionment," says Prison Policy Initiative Assistant Director Peter Wagner...


Via Hungry Blues: http://minorjive.typepad.com/hungryblues/

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Abm
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Username: Abm

Post Number: 3697
Registered: 04-2004

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Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 12:07 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'Vette,

THANKS for posting this! 'Cause THIS is the kind of issue that should be on the priority list of ANY Black person/organization that strives for equal rights, opportunity and justice.

Million dollar question: How many seats in the US Congress has the GOP scored via the electoral tactic you've presented here? And is there some 'interestingly' related pattern to WHERE prisoners are being housed? Those are the kinds of questions THAT might make for SPLENDID research projects for some graduate student (at a HBC) to perform.
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Kola_boof
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Kola_boof

Post Number: 315
Registered: 02-2005

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Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 12:32 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I believe they do this in California as well.

Someone posted about this a year ago on here.

It's so frustrating, because MOST black folks wouldn't really care beyond lip service.


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Chrishayden
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Chrishayden

Post Number: 1251
Registered: 03-2004

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Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 12:33 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Abm and Vette:

Thing is the ones doing it know they are doing this. And the people in those counties agree with them doing this.

They won and we are going to get screwed. And it this won't be all--
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Yvettep
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Yvettep

Post Number: 529
Registered: 01-2005

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Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 12:35 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

THIS is the kind of issue that should be on the priority list of ANY Black person/organization that strives for equal rights, opportunity and justice.

Agreed. Just in case it's not clear from the link, here is the broader organization that is working on this through the courts as a legal issue: Prison Policy Initiative: http://www.prisonpolicy.org/

By linking to this and giving this topic attention I do not mean to imply that I think African American prisoners are "political" prisoners, are all unjustly incarcerated, or anything like that. But I have two relatives who have worked or are currently working as employees in the prison industry--and yes, it is very much an "industry." Also, like some of us on this board, I also have friends and relatives who are currently or have been on the other side of the bars. So this topic has much personal interest and relevance to me...
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Abm
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Username: Abm

Post Number: 3699
Registered: 04-2004

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Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 12:48 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'Vette,

You present what might be an effective strategy for resolving this problem.

Perhaps the definition/issue of a "political prisoner" should be asserted here.

Because if prisoners are being used to yield some desired political agenda, which seems entirely probable here, such would most DEFINITELY appear to qualify.

And perhaps THAT's the direction this issues might most effectively be remedied.

Maybe if the issue was elevated to THAT level, it would transcend the boundaries of American laws/politics to that of a larger, worldwide human rights issue.

THEN, it becomes a part of the global politik that the US might be compelled by other nations to resolve.
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Kola_boof
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Kola_boof

Post Number: 316
Registered: 02-2005

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Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 01:09 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM:

Perhaps the definition/issue of a "political prisoner" should be asserted here.


KOLA:

Gosh ABM---the last person I remember doing that on American soil was Malcolm X. Do you think there's anyone brave enough to seriously assert that position.....because in my mind.....it's EXACTLY what needs to be done. Especially now that we have an International World Court that the U.S. is vehemently opposed to---because it can try U.S. politicians for their wrongdoing.

I just don't see black people supporting these initiatives.

And all it would take would be their support.


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Abm
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Username: Abm

Post Number: 3704
Registered: 04-2004

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Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 01:22 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kola,

I agree it would take a level of political aplomb, rhetorical skills and bravery we likely haven't seen since Malcolm X. But there IS a valid argument there that African American prisoners are being made into defacto "political prisoners" and such is having a macroscopic effect on American and world politics.

I myself am very suspicious of some worldwide governing bodies (e.g., UN, World Banks, World Court, etc.) as I don't trust people making decisions over me that I had NO hand in electing.

But perhaps the mere threat of proffering a creditable argument before the World Court might be sufficient to overturn the practices 'Vette has presented here.
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Yvettep
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Yvettep

Post Number: 536
Registered: 01-2005

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Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 01:30 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When I said that I was not trying to say these brothers (and sisters, too) are "political prisoners," it is because I see a difference between them and the folks who that word is traditionally applied to.

Sure, there are politics behind disparities in sentencing laws (e.g., differences between rock and powder cocaine, bank robbery and embezzlement, etc). Not to mention the political practices of "throwing away" these folks literally from the womb via lack of prenatal health care services, poor job training opportunities, and non-functioning schools...

But I do not think most of these folks are being jailed for "nothing," or because they are political agitators (if only such were true) who the govt sees must be silenced.

Like I said, I have kin on the inside of the bars. I have had a relative (now deceased) who victimized his own family. His status as someone needing to be "off the streets" is not something that I dispute.

What I specifically object to in this instance is the way the prisoners are being used--misused, actually--once they are behind bars.

Now, maybe I'm just not being "brave" enough. Or I'm too "bougie." Or whatever. You all can call me whatever you like. But I am wary of this romanticized view of prisoners being our communities' "true soldiers" or some such. I always wonder if folks who say this have ever spent any time in a prison, or had to walk to work because one of their "soldier" relatives stole their car...

That's why, instead of calling the individual men and women "political prisoners," I think it'd be more helpful to recognize and protest the politicized nature of the prison industry.
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Abm
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Abm

Post Number: 3723
Registered: 04-2004

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Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 02:53 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'Vette,

If a "political prisoner" is defined strictly via whether one's incarceration is based solely upon his/her political views, then of course I'll agree most we refer to here are NOT such.

But if a "political prisoner" is someone who's incarceration is utilized to effect some desired political agenda, perhaps then the term applies.

Now. To be honest. I don't really CARE what you call'em.

I only care about whether how they're being wielded is unfairly impacting Black communities.

Thus, I'd gladly label some drug dealing fool a "political prisoner" if doing such would help usurp some improper effect within the nation's Legislature which, of course, impacts the Executive and Judiciary branches of government as well.
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Kola_boof
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Kola_boof

Post Number: 317
Registered: 02-2005

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Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 03:06 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Abm, I think you're totally right.

Especially most black "drug-dealing fools" are disenfranchised due to race in the first place.

Notice that one year after APARTHEID was struck down in South Africa.....ships began bringing in Crack for the first time.

Now, suddenly, the first generation of Free South Africans are beseiged by CRACK addiction.

How can this possibly be an accident?

And then when you COMPOUND this by imprisoning the drugees and benefitting not only financially--because as Yvette said, it's big business finding prisoners----but you also POLITICAL Re-districting and extra Votes, because of them being YOUR AREA PRISON.

People who no longer have the right to vote---but you get CREDIT for their vote and not their own neighborhood?

Surely these people are political prisoners!

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Abm
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Abm

Post Number: 3726
Registered: 04-2004

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Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 04:13 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kola,

Sounds like it didn't take South Africa long to learn the dope-divide-conquer methods of America.

Reminds me of a great line from one of my favorite rap groups of the 80's, Whodini:

FRIENDS

"...But as she shook your hand, she stole your man
And it was done so swift, it had to be a plan
Couldn't trust her with cheese, let alone your keys
With friends like that you dont need enemies..."

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