By Dennis Loo | October 23, 2014
This is a transcript of Dennis Loo’s prepared remarks at a Cal Poly Pomona Symposium on Stop Mass Incarceration, Police Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation on the evening of October 21, 2014.
Michelle Alexander, the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, recounts at the beginning of her book that when she first began working as a civil rights attorney over a decade ago, the prevailing view was that the battle for civil rights had essentially been won and that the main battlefront in defending those gains was in affirmative action cases and so on, a view that matched her own attitude at the time.
One day she spotted a flyer stuck on a post that said in big letters: “The Drug War is the New Jim Crow.” Her response at the time was that this was a gross overstatement that would turn people off who would think that it was “crazy.” It took her years, even after leaving her work at the ACLU, to realize that the criminalization of millions of people of color was going on right in front of her nose and that the slogan was not an exaggeration at all. The Drug War was indeed the New Jim Crow, a way of rendering black and brown people to a permanent second-class caste status, robbed of their rights, deprived of any housing assistance, the right to vote and serve on a jury, condemned to filling out job apps that asked the inevitable question that ruled you out of employment “have you ever been convicted of a felony?” all without being blatantly racist.
On Tuesday, Oct. 14, Columbia University's School of Public Health hosted a presentation by two prominent researchers who have been documenting the shocking increase of birth defects and cancers in newborns in Iraq after bombardments by the US and its coalition.
Two health workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan was treated and died from Ebola have now tested positive for Ebola. Hospital spokespeople expressed astonishment that first nurse Nina Pham and now a so-far unidentified health care worker contracted Ebola, despite wearing facemasks, gowns, gloves, et al, as per their supervisors’ instructions and CDC protocols.
Below is a report on the arrests earlier today in Ferguson. At this writing, Carl Dix and Cornel West have been released from the county lockup. They are waiting for more people to be released, including steering committee members of the Month of Resistance to be released.
The British paper, Daily Mail Online, reported on October 9, 2014:
Harvard students believe that American [sic] is a bigger threat to world peace than ISIS, according to a recent survey of attendees at the prestigious Cambridge university.