There are many different manifestations of racism in America and throughout the world. But there is not a more insidious form of racism in the United States today than “economic racism.”
Freddie Gray, 25, was racially profiled and then chased down by the Baltimore police officers. He subsequently died as result of police action taken after what the mayor called an unjust arrest. But the Gray tragedy is not an isolated case. It is symptomatic of a criminal justice system gone mad with racism and bigotry.
Despite ill-intended efforts to do it for us, Black Americans have a responsibility to define our own reality. It is a fundamental human right recognized and respected by the United Nations. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to define, without apology, the deadly and debilitating manifestation of racial discrimination and injustice as “economic racism.”
Mass incarceration in the United States is counterproductive and disproportionately causes a long-term injury to Black Americans and others who remain trapped in poverty and disillusionment. How is it that the richest nation on earth and the most technologically advanced society now has the largest prison population in the world?
[caption id="attachment_23799" align="alignleft"]stockvault.net[/caption]I know from firsthand experience that the “criminal justice system” today in the United States is in serious and urgent need of reform, repair and restructuring. Millions of families have been devastated by the “overcriminalization” of people in America. Black American families in particular have suffered and continue to suffer disproportionately as a result of an unjust system of justice.
[caption id="attachment_23710" align="alignleft"]stockvault.net[/caption]In recognition of the 75th Anniversary of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), I believe it is important to emphasize both the historical and contemporary mission, value and success of the Black Press in America. For the past 188 years Black Americans have labored diligently and responsibly to publish and distribute Black-owned newspapers in the interests of millions of Black Americans and others who cry out for freedom, justice, equality and empowerment.
[caption id="attachment_23606" align="alignleft"]stockvault.net[/caption]The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) report on the Ferguson, Mo. Police Department sheds a brighter light on a serious racial injustice malignancy that is not isolated or unique to that besieged city. What the Justice Department concluded in Ferguson, after months of intense investigation, exposes a systematic pattern of injustice and inequality that can actually be found in many cities across the nation.
[caption id="attachment_23447" align="alignleft"]mentalhelp.net[/caption]There are two related violent phenomena in that are now getting renewed public attention and research around the world, as well as considerable debate and denial. The twin evils are terrorism and racism.
[caption id="attachment_23253" align="alignleft"]stockvault.net[/caption]Whether it is in an inner city neighborhood across America, the Caribbean, in Europe or in a sprawling mass of people in an African or Brazilian urban area, millions of Black youth throughout the world are crying out for a better quality of life. They should always have a better life than their parents.
The best way to celebrate Black History Month is to make more Black history. Black History Month is now celebrated around the world. We are grateful for the visionary leadership of noted historian and scholar Carter G. Woodson for being the founder of what was known as Negro History Week in 1926 that 44 years later evolved into Black History Month.