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Let’s put an end to the New Jim Crow

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Dr. Boyce Watkins and Russell Simmons have gathered a coalition of supporters from various walks of life to stand together to correct the serious injustices of the prison industrial complex.  Rehabilitation and even punishment are acceptable in themselves, but when a nation builds an entire economy around the unjust incarceration of millions of its citizens, that nation is serving as a tool for its own demise.  Families are destroyed when citizens are given extraordinarily long prison sentences for even the smallest crimes, and the failed War on Drugs has created an entire generation of lost children, who’ve grown up without the support and guidance of two loving parents.

The appeal to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder is not written as an attack, but with the goal of persuading the Obama Administration to lend its considerable resources to productive efforts to help solve the problem.  If you support this initiative and would like to join our efforts, please sign up at this link. 

As Dr. Boyce Watkins said, “This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.  We’re in this for the long haul.”  So far, the effort has gotten the attention of media outlets world-wide, for it’s the first time such a vast coalition of public figures, scholars, faith leaders and activists have come together for such an important cause.  We truly have the chance to make a difference.

incarceration

Celebrities and public figures who’ve signed onto the letter thus far: 

 

CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS & ADVOCATES

Julian Bond

Dr. Benjamin Chavis

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH

Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP

Avis Jones-Deweever, National Council of Negro Women

Maria Theresa Kumar, VotoLatino

Donna Leiberman, NYCLU

Margaret Moran, LULAC

Marc Morial, National Urban League

Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance

Rev. Al Sharpton, NAN

Rashad Robinson, Colors of Change

Anthony Romero, ACLU

Michael Skolnik

Julie Stewart, Families Against Mandatory Minimums

Susan Taylor

Dr. Boyce Watkins

Brent Wilkes, LULAC

Vanessa Williams, National Conference of Black Mayors

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Hip-Hop Caucus

Renaldo Pearson, Founding Fellow & President, Emerging Millennials Leadership Alliance

 

ENTERTAINMENT

La La Anthony

Roseanne Barr

Russell Brand

Jim Carrey

Cedric The Entertainer

Margaret Cho

Affion Crockett

Rosario Dawson

Mike Epps

Omar Epps

Jamie Foxx

Tyrese Gibson

Jon Hamm

Hill Harper

Woody Harrelson

Amber Heard

Dule Hill

Ron Howard

J Ivy

Terrence J

Eugene Jarecki

Kris Jenner

Scarlett Johannson

Kim Kardashian

Khloe Kardashian-Odom

Kourtney Kardashian

Sanaa Lathan

LL Cool J

Nia Long

Eva Longoria

AnnaLynne McCord

Michael Moore

Keya Morgan

Jay Pharaoh

Dominic Purcell

Tim Robbins

Chris Rock

Susan Sarandon

Sarah Silverman

Russell Simmons

Vanessa Simmons

Jada Pinkett Smith

Will Smith

Tika Sumpter

Gabrielle Union

Denise Vasi

Estella Warren

Kerry Washington

Pauletta Washington

Marlon Wayans

Jesse Williams

Jeffrey Wright

 

FAITH COMMUNITY

Bishop James Clark

Bishop Noel Jones

Bishop Clarence Laney

Bishop Edgar Vann

Dr. Iva Carruthers

Deepak Chopra

Father Michael Pfleger

Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Rabbi Nina Mandel

Rev. Jamal Bryant

Rev. Delman Coates

Rev. Leah D. Daughtry

Rev. Dr. Fredrick Haynes

Rev. Michael McBride

Rev. Dr. W Franklyn Richardson

 

MUSIC INDUSTRY

David Banner

Eric Benet

Andre “3000” Benjamin

Big Boi of Outkast

Case

Charlamagne tha God

Sean “Diddy” Combs

Chuck D

DJ Envy

DJ Pauly D

Ani Difranco

Jermaine Dupri

Missy Elliot

Estelle

Jason Flom

John Forte

Ghostface Killah

Ginuwine

Keri Hilson

Jennifer Hudson

Ice-T

Luke James

Trinidad James

Lyfe Jennings

Jim Jones

Talib Kweli

John Legend

Ryan Leslie

Joanna “JoJo” Levesque

Kevin Liles

Ludacris

Lil Wayne

Natalie Maines

Angie Martinez

Nicki Minaj

Mya

Q-Tip

Busta Rhymes

Steve Rifkind

Samantha Ronson

Rick Ross

RZA

Timeflies

Katrina “Trina” Taylor

Teyana Taylor

Angela Yee

 

BUSINESS LEADERS

Sir Richard Branson

Ron Busby, US Black Chamber of Commerce

Daymond John – Founder, Fubu/Host of the TV Show “Shark Tank”

Chip Rosenbloom, Owner St. Louis Rams

Bobby Shriver

 

ELECTED OFFICIALS

Congressman Tony Cardenas

Congressman Keith Ellison

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge

Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Congressman Bobby Rush

Congressman Bobby Scott

 

ATHLETES

Brendon Ayanbadejo

Allan Houston – Assistant GM, New York Knicks

Israel Idonije

Lamar Odom

Etan Thomas

Isiah Thomas

Mike Tyson

 

FASHION INDUSTRY

Tyson Beckford

Selita Ebanks

Kenza Fourati

Kimora Lee Simmons

Veronika Verekova

 

MEDIA

Chris Broussard

Chuck Creekmur, AllHipHop.com

Ed Gordon

TJ Holmes

Dylan Ratigan

Jim Wallis, Sojourners

Dave Zirin

 

ACADEMIA & THOUGHT LEADERS

Rick Adams, Chair – Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Michelle Alexander – The Ohio State University

Dr. Carlton Brown, President, Clark Atlanta Univ.

Dr. Ron Daniels – President, Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Prof. Michael Eric Dyson- Georgetown University

Dr. Christopher Emdin – Columbia University

Dr. Michael Fauntroy – George Mason University

Dr. Eddie Glaude – Princeton University

Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Founding director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation

Dream Hampton – Author of the best-selling book, “Decoded”

Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill – Columbia University

Naomi Klein

Dr . Wilmer Leon – Howard University

Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Dr. John E. Maupin, Jr., President, Morehouse School of Medicine

Kevin Powell

Ricky “Freeway” Ross

Dr. Tyra Seldon, Co Chair, Education Over Incarceration (EOI)

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President, Spelman College

Dr. Alicia Taylor-McLaughlin, St. Francis University

Terrie Williams, Author of the best-selling book, “Black Pain”

Dr. John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., President, Morehouse College

Professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Director, Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Institute

 

Please join our initiative at this link.  

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James

9 Comment

  1. No I don’t have any of that expertise. But I can periodically suggest on issues. One suggestion for now is that we should pierce racism itself. How! Expose racist in governments – local, state and federal. Remember racists can be both Whites and Blacks. Examples of Black racists are: Allen West and Herman Cain. These two think we Blacks, including their own wives, are brain-washed and belong to sugar plantations. We have also White racists. I know one-a federal district judge here in Wisconsin-Judge Crabb. She thinks Blacks are intellectually inferior to Whites. I have been writing about this judge. At last now she has recused herself as judge for my cases. So if you find or hear something racist from either Black or White person do not fear or hesitate to bring to public attention. Remember racism is a disease like alcoholism. It can be cured by racist subjected to harsh conditions until they act normal. Remember the following were racists: Sterling, Governor Wallace and Bundy. After they exposed themselves, Whites and Blacks shamed them. You could see Sterling crying – not before he was caught. Allen West is on welfare now. Eric Cantor will join the unemployment line soon. So once you know somebody is hurting Blacks, expose them. They may stop. Any Rebuttal!

  2. No I don’t have any of that expertise. But I can periodically suggest on issues. One suggestion for now is that we should pierce racism itself. How! Expose racist in governments – local, state and federal. Remember racists can be both Whites and Blacks. Examples of Black racists are: Allen West and Herman Cain. These two think we Blacks, including their own wives, are brain-washed and belong to sugar plantations. We have also White racists. I know one-a federal district judge here in Wisconsin-Judge Crabb. She thinks Blacks are intellectually inferior to Whites. I have been writing about this judge. At last now she has recused herself as judge for my cases. So if you find or hear something racist from either Black or White person do not fear or hesitate to bring to public attention. Remember racism is a disease like alcoholism. It can be cured by racist subjected to harsh conditions until they act normal. Remember the following were racists: Sterling, Governor Wallace and Bundy. After they exposed themselves, Whites and Blacks shamed them. You could see Sterling crying – not before he was caught. Allen West is on welfare now. Eric Cantor will join the unemployment line soon. So once you know somebody is hurting Blacks, expose them. They may stop. Any Rebuttal!

  3. I am confused. What have we been doing the last 200 years.

  4. Russell Simmons, is fake and a sale out , I don't give a damn what he say's check his track record. I don't care how much money he has this guy is nothing more then an agent for you know who. phony ,and Rick Rubin started Def Jam and ONLY BROUGHT IN Simmons because a black face was needed for the hip hop label . study!

  5. You are confusing what racism is. Racism has nothing to do with where West or Cain want blacks to end up. Racism has to do with power and control. Black people cannot be racist because we do not make, create or enforce anything. We dont make the laws, we dont own the banks or the major economic structures. Those who are in power controls those who are not. They decide who goes to jail, who gets the loans, who goes to school, etc. Black people, at this time, do not have that power. Blacks and others can be prejudice but not racists. The new dictionaries have changed the definition of what racist and racism is but if you find a dictionary from the early 90’s or so, you will find the real definition.

    • Really – Black people cannot be racists because we do not make, create or enforce anything! You’re kidding. Some Blacks are now supervisors and hiring officials in governments. Therefore they have power to hire and fire. I have seen a Black supervisor who refused fellow hiring qualified Blacks – just to show to Whites that he was impartial. He was a political appointee. Three years after he was removed from his job, I asked him why he did not hire Blacks. He started crying – that he missed the chance to promote Blacks when he had power to do so. Allen West had all White people in his office when he had power to hire Blacks. Cain was messing groping White women before hiring them. We never heard he was groping Black women. Cain had power to hire Blacks – he did not.

  6. One way that we can put an end to the harsh punishment of racism is to reach one teach one. We must raise our own children and show them that we love them. Too many of us that can walk away from our children. http://www.amazon.com/Black-Man-Raise-Your-Children/dp/0615940781/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403092886&sr=8-1&keywords=black+man+raise+your+children

  7. Yes!!! Here's a rebuttal!!! You are twisted and uninformed. Allen West on welfare? Allen West and Herman Cain are racists?? because they know that Black people can and must do more and better to survive? You believe you are a victim because you have been deceived into believing you are!! What you need is a change in mentality from victim to victor and underdog to winner. You need to start making decisions rather than just intentions. You, like many of us Black folks need to rethink who and what we are. As you may think, we are not worms to be used and stepped on and we're not helpless bugs to be squashed. We are kings and queens but we think like servants and slaves. You need to understand that external stimuli does affect our lives but it does not determine the quality of our lives unless we allow it to. Bottom line, you need a lobotomy!!!!!

  8. That is exactly happened in my case. I believe you have read my positing elsewhere. I took state job exam and ranked No. 1 or highest. Getting my exam slip, I went to the AAO, a Black guy like me. I told him I had ranked highest on exam therefore he should watch how the hiring official would do. The AAO could not believe, I as a Black male, beat Whites in written exam. Then I went and saw the hiring official, a White female, and showed her my score. She too would not believe it. She said the State of Wisconsin was not ready to hire Blacks in supervisory technical positions. That was in 1994 when nobody would guess one we would have a Black male as President. I sued in federal district court of Wisconsin. Here is what took place in court Judge Crabb presiding:

    Judge Crabb: What was your score and rank on exam?
    Balele: I scored 94.6% and I ranked number 1 or highest.
    Crabb: No!
    State Attorney: Yes, your honor. He ranked highest
    Crabb: How many people took the exam?
    State Attorney: A lot of people, your honor
    Crabb: Were there Whites taking the exam?
    State Attorney: Yes, your honor
    Crabb: I can’t believe it. It was not an exam:
    State Attorney: Yes your honor. It was an exam – here is copy of his slip
    Judge Crabb almost peed in her pant. Crabb was raised to believe Blacks were intellectually inferior to Whites. Now we still have behaving the same as Crabb. Thank God Judge Crabb is soon retiring. Judge Crabb is federal judge in Wisconsin. Do you think I am a whiner? No. I have enough education to fight injustices let be from racists of all races. And I think I am winning.

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