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Ch. 7: NOTES FROM THE SEVENTH YEAR - THE BLACK FAMILY IN THE AGE OF MASS INCARCERATION 
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 Ch. 7: NOTES FROM THE SEVENTH YEAR - THE BLACK FAMILY IN THE AGE OF MASS INCARCERATION
Ch. 7: NOTES FROM THE SEVENTH YEAR - THE BLACK FAMILY IN THE AGE OF MASS INCARCERATION


Please use this thread to discuss the above referenced chapter.



Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:29 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 7: NOTES FROM THE SEVENTH YEAR - THE BLACK FAMILY IN THE AGE OF MASS INCARCERATION
As usual Coates gives a good perspective on the malevolence and the complacent cooperation behind a strange American phenomenon. Clearly the preferred incarceration option reflects an American pathology: projecting violent and nefarious impulses onto blacks, leading to more of the discrimination and ghettoization which forecloses options for blacks, as it is often meant to, which in turn leads to lives of dealing drugs and fighting over turf for lack of alternatives. The TV series "The Wire" did an amazing job of portraying this downdraft and the difficulty of fighting it.

That families are destroyed in the process seems to be easy for voters to swallow. After all, the treatment is deserved by the choices. Yet the fear of black crime leads, as if inexorably, to the injustice that perpetuates the pattern. And it is certainly relevant that legislative and prosecutorial bias just happens to steadily and dramatically treat black (and brown) men differently from white men.

I think the question on most white readers' mind is likely to be, "how can we cut into this spiral and do something about it?" One answer is heavily featured in the peg Coates hangs the article on, which is Moynihan's essay. Moynihan wanted white America to recognize that we did this damage. Not easy for whites to swallow. But until we face up to it as a society, the projection and the resulting horror show will continue, even if it is subsiding gradually.

After that big step, it turns out the practical measures are many. Correcting the imbalance of school financing. Allowing, nay designing, the integration of neighborhoods and thus of home lives. Intervening on a case by case basis, as many Northern states did after Welfare Reform, to do what can be done to get lives on track and into the mainstream. And, let's face it, getting to know people of color as friends, so the projection has to filter through reality to make any headway. Let's also face it: good police work is part of the equation. Not to shut down drug dealing - but to protect people from violence. But just as important is to provide drug treatment for the addicted, to work on the drug scourge that has trapped so many black kids into crime.

As with other complex problems which perpetuate themselves, this requires determination and a willingness to do many things at once. Which is what should also be used on the Rust Belt economy.



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Post Re: Ch. 7: NOTES FROM THE SEVENTH YEAR - THE BLACK FAMILY IN THE AGE OF MASS INCARCERATION
.
.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander. (Introduction by Cornell West)


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Post Re: Ch. 7: NOTES FROM THE SEVENTH YEAR - THE BLACK FAMILY IN THE AGE OF MASS INCARCERATION
Harry Marks wrote:


After that big step, it turns out the practical measures are many. Correcting the imbalance of school financing.



A treatment for the addicted, to work on the drug scourge that has trapped so many black kids into crime.

As with other complex problems which perpetuate themselves, this requires determination and a willingness to do many things at once. Which is what should also be used on the Rust Belt economy.



The imbalance in school financing may not make as big a difference as one might think. I think I can safely say we all remember when DC schools spent more money per student than any other school district in the country. This money didn't seem to make a difference. The academic accomplishments of DC students... I'm not going to go there.


As for the scourge of drugs ruining the lives of urban black kids; the scourge of drugs also ruins the life of many white, suburban kids. The studies I've seen show the proportion of white kids who commit drug related offenses, be the white kids poor or wealthy, is much the same as it is for black kids. The percentage of white kids addicted to drugs is about the same as the percentage of black kids.

The difference is those white kids have good lawyers. Their parents show up in court and promise they will absolutely, positively pay to put their kid in rehab. Or the kids get a community service sentence. Almost always white kids receive lighter sentences than black kids for the same drug related crimes. This should not happen with mandatory sentencing, but it does.

My sister who taught grammar school students all her life, says kids are kids. But the parents of white kids are more willing to spend time and money to assure their kids a good education because the white kids' parents have more time and money to spend. Often, when a black kid goes home his parents can't or don't help with his homework and make sure it gets done, because they're busy trying to keep food on the table or because they simply don't know how to do their kids' homework.

What I think we have to do is grab a whole generation of minority kindergartners and educate each and every kid as much as possible by, well, pretty much by any means necessary. Teach the whole generation so well from kindergarten to getting good scores on their SATs, that that generation will better the the education of their own kids and so on.

We cannot do this one school district at a time. There has to be a sea change in the way minority kids are educated. Possibly we have the police jail the drug dealers, the drug users, the gang members, overnight. Just overnight. But overnight each and every time the kid seriously has a negative impact on the education of other students. I've been in jail overnight more than once and let me tell you, it sucks big time. My attitude was adjusted permanently.

I hate writing this. I'm writing about throwing high school kids into cells. I feel horrible. But there is a cycle that goes on and on no matter what. Charter schools have not worked. Hiring well paid young teachers from good colleges with a great desire to simply do some good, hasn't worked.

I hope somebody has a better plan.


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Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:59 am
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Post Re: Ch. 7: NOTES FROM THE SEVENTH YEAR - THE BLACK FAMILY IN THE AGE OF MASS INCARCERATION
Litwitlou wrote:
The imbalance in school financing may not make as big a difference as one might think. I think I can safely say we all remember when DC schools spent more money per student than any other school district in the country. This money didn't seem to make a difference. The academic accomplishments of DC students... I'm not going to go there.
I agree that spending money is not a magic wand. But there are systematic differences in service on offer in the schools in working class neighborhoods and those in white collar neighborhoods, and money is a major factor in that. We can't really expect the problem to get fixed if we aren't willing to spend any money on it.

Litwitlou wrote:
As for the scourge of drugs ruining the lives of urban black kids; the scourge of drugs also ruins the life of many white, suburban kids. The studies I've seen show the proportion of white kids who commit drug related offenses, be the white kids poor or wealthy, is much the same as it is for black kids. The percentage of white kids addicted to drugs is about the same as the percentage of black kids.
That matches with what I have heard, also. But there is a big difference: drug selling is pretty much the only occupation on offer for most black young people. So while drug addiction might be about the same, likelihood of being caught selling the stuff is much higher for black kids. When I advocate treatment programs to reduce the scourge of drugs as a way to address racial differences, I am thinking more of cutting out the incentive to be a seller than of saving the buyers (important as that also is).

Litwitlou wrote:
The difference is those white kids have good lawyers. Their parents show up in court and promise they will absolutely, positively pay to put their kid in rehab. Or the kids get a community service sentence. Almost always white kids receive lighter sentences than black kids for the same drug related crimes. This should not happen with mandatory sentencing, but it does.
I expect you are right about this, though I suspect some of it is not racist treatment but the effect of the whole matrix of different resources. Left in charge of their parents, middle class white kids are probably going back to an environment with lots of good entertainment, contacts with role models, and money to address whatever family pathology may have put the kid on that road in the first place. A judge is going to see that as a more hopeful option.

Litwitlou wrote:
My sister who taught grammar school students all her life, says kids are kids. But the parents of white kids are more willing to spend time and money to assure their kids a good education because the white kids' parents have more time and money to spend. Often, when a black kid goes home his parents can't or don't help with his homework and make sure it gets done, because they're busy trying to keep food on the table or because they simply don't know how to do their kids' homework.
My son is teaching at a turnaround school in the Southwest. Lots of Latino students whose English is a little shaky and no help from parents who barely speak it. Sort of like my kids faced when we put them in the local schools here in Europe. I completely agree that there are home life disadvantages that minority kids are more likely to be dealing with.

The discussion in "Hillbilly Elegy" is relevant here. The author there knew that his home life was chaotic and could see, in hindsight, that it was hurting his school experience. With all the damage done to black prospects over the years, all the extra stress and denial of opportunities (like capital gains on houses), we should not be surprised to learn that the kids are facing an uphill battle.

Litwitlou wrote:
What I think we have to do is grab a whole generation of minority kindergartners and educate each and every kid as much as possible by, well, pretty much by any means necessary. Teach the whole generation so well from kindergarten to getting good scores on their SATs, that that generation will better the the education of their own kids and so on.

We cannot do this one school district at a time. There has to be a sea change in the way minority kids are educated.

Yes, I completely agree. Not just kindergarten, obviously. We have seen Head Start gains eroded by the grind of bad schools and toxic home life, so the intervention has to be big, serious and not just in the schools. David Brooks has promoted evidence that black kids growing up in mixed-race neighborhoods, or put in schools where they are surrounded by middle class expectations and habits, turn out like middle class kids.
Litwitlou wrote:
Possibly we have the police jail the drug dealers, the drug users, the gang members, overnight. Just overnight. But overnight each and every time the kid seriously has a negative impact on the education of other students. I've been in jail overnight more than once and let me tell you, it sucks big time. My attitude was adjusted permanently.

I hate writing this. I'm writing about throwing high school kids into cells. I feel horrible. But there is a cycle that goes on and on no matter what. Charter schools have not worked. Hiring well paid young teachers from good colleges with a great desire to simply do some good, hasn't worked.

I hope somebody has a better plan.
It's good of you to mention your own insight from experience. I watched a good friend of my brother turn from a fun-loving joker to a hard, ultra-cool and self-destructive block of granite because of six months he did in prison. It was scary. I don't know what the intervention needs to be to put a stop to the downward cycle. But I do know these are all our kids, and we can't wash our hands of the matter.

We are friends with the Norwegian Ambassador and her husband in this capital. He had to step in and clean up the life of a nephew, including literally carting away most of the furnishings in the guy's house. Every family faces trouble, and there is no single answer how to get people out of it, but it starts with caring and believing something can be done.



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Post Re: Ch. 7: NOTES FROM THE SEVENTH YEAR - THE BLACK FAMILY IN THE AGE OF MASS INCARCERATION
Litwitlou wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:


After that big step, it turns out the practical measures are many. Correcting the imbalance of school financing.



A treatment for the addicted, to work on the drug scourge that has trapped so many black kids into crime.

As with other complex problems which perpetuate themselves, this requires determination and a willingness to do many things at once. Which is what should also be used on the Rust Belt economy.



The imbalance in school financing may not make as big a difference as one might think. I think I can safely say we all remember when DC schools spent more money per student than any other school district in the country. This money didn't seem to make a difference. The academic accomplishments of DC students... I'm not going to go there.


As for the scourge of drugs ruining the lives of urban black kids; the scourge of drugs also ruins the life of many white, suburban kids. The studies I've seen show the proportion of white kids who commit drug related offenses, be the white kids poor or wealthy, is much the same as it is for black kids. The percentage of white kids addicted to drugs is about the same as the percentage of black kids.

The difference is those white kids have good lawyers. Their parents show up in court and promise they will absolutely, positively pay to put their kid in rehab. Or the kids get a community service sentence. Almost always white kids receive lighter sentences than black kids for the same drug related crimes. This should not happen with mandatory sentencing, but it does.

My sister who taught grammar school students all her life, says kids are kids. But the parents of white kids are more willing to spend time and money to assure their kids a good education because the white kids' parents have more time and money to spend. Often, when a black kid goes home his parents can't or don't help with his homework and make sure it gets done, because they're busy trying to keep food on the table or because they simply don't know how to do their kids' homework.

What I think we have to do is grab a whole generation of minority kindergartners and educate each and every kid as much as possible by, well, pretty much by any means necessary. Teach the whole generation so well from kindergarten to getting good scores on their SATs, that that generation will better the the education of their own kids and so on.

We cannot do this one school district at a time. There has to be a sea change in the way minority kids are educated. Possibly we have the police jail the drug dealers, the drug users, the gang members, overnight. Just overnight. But overnight each and every time the kid seriously has a negative impact on the education of other students. I've been in jail overnight more than once and let me tell you, it sucks big time. My attitude was adjusted permanently.

I hate writing this. I'm writing about throwing high school kids into cells. I feel horrible. But there is a cycle that goes on and on no matter what. Charter schools have not worked. Hiring well paid young teachers from good colleges with a great desire to simply do some good, hasn't worked.

I hope somebody has a better plan.


Things nowadays have changed the way that kids have much more possibilities in order to self-educate. I have a son and a niece who are commpletely different in their approach to studies. One is devoted and spends a lot of time reading books and the other is using some sort of time management tools in order her homework to be done by some essay writer site and have more possibilities in out-of-school activities. That is, every kid is managing fine.



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Post Re: Ch. 7: NOTES FROM THE SEVENTH YEAR - THE BLACK FAMILY IN THE AGE OF MASS INCARCERATION
Scouttyke wrote:
One is devoted and spends a lot of time reading books and the other is using some sort of time management tools in order her homework to be done by some essay writer site and have more possibilities in out-of-school activities. That is, every kid is managing fine.

Realizing that this is probably spam, I would like to point out how misguided it is. Many people think that the point of education is the certification at the end, and for some purposes that is true. However, the system that assigns meaning to the certificates is based on the benefits of the process, starting with learning. If you get a fake certificate, without the changes to neurons indicated by the process that was supposedly behind it, there is an excellent chance that you will be found to be inadequate in the job you get with that certificate, or that you will be so aware of your own lack of qualification that impostor syndrome will ruin your first year and you will burn out, or that someone will get suspicious and investigate further and you will realize that you could be blacklisted for fraud.

Someone I know went to a college which consistently has the highest pay offered to grads of any U.S. college or uni, at which they take tests on the honor system. He was able to self-time and self-test on a debate road trip, for example. He explains that he was never tempted to cheat because if he hadn't learned the material he would be in trouble with all the subsequent material coming at him, and the truth would come out on the final exam anyway. Not to mention he would be in even more trouble when they got to the next class and he didn't understand the stuff he was supposed to have learned.



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Post Re: Ch. 7: NOTES FROM THE SEVENTH YEAR - THE BLACK FAMILY IN THE AGE OF MASS INCARCERATION
Australia, huh? I doubt it. VPN at work, I expect.



Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:19 am
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Post Re: Ch. 7: NOTES FROM THE SEVENTH YEAR - THE BLACK FAMILY IN THE AGE OF MASS INCARCERATION
Harry Marks wrote:
Australia, huh? I doubt it. VPN at work, I expect.

Hopefully the moderators will delete and ban the spammer so readers will not know what your post is about.


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