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Re: Theos-World Status of Indigenous Australians

Nov 14, 2002 03:36 PM
by Steve Stubbs

--- In theos-talk@y..., Bart Lidofsky <bartl@s...> wrote:
> While blacks are
> represented disproportionately in jails, they are still very much 
> minority of the prison population. And only a small minority of 
> are in prison.

It was reported in the news one time that 25% of the black male 
population is in prison or has been in prison at any one time. No 
comment on whether this makes sense or not, but it is the position of 
some black leaders that violence should be decriminalized as a form 
of reverse discrimination. The implication is that the high rate of 
incarceration is due to a cultural bias against violent subcultures 
rather than to a legitimate social need. (I.e., some subcultyures 
consider violence a good thing, but the law favors the Eurocentric 
model.) I am not sure I agree, but a s a philosopher I believe ideas 
which radically challenge commonly accepted prejudices have great 
value in shaking us out of routine ways of thinking. I would 
therefore encourage you to explore the pros and cons of that position 
whether you ultimate accept it or not. One other idea that has been 
floated which is less outrageous and has considerable merit is that 
the congress, determing that blacks favor crack cocaine whereas their 
sons and daughters favor the powdered form of the same drug, passed 
Draconian laws against crack while leaving penalties for use or 
possession of powdered cocaine relatively mild. Even the mild 
penalties are of course not enforced if the offender is connected. 
Look at the case of Winona Ryder, convicted of grand theft and free 
to do as she pleases. A fellow was featured on 60 MINUTES a few 
months ago who was not wealthy and who was sentenced to life for 
stealing a jelly doughnut.

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