Mass Incarceration. The New Jim Crow. The War on Drugs. Thanks to Professor Michelle Alexander these phrases are now intimately linked in the minds of social justice advocates and faith leaders as we begin a critical struggle for fairness, justice and human rights in the criminal courts, police precincts and prisons of America. The Next Movement is convinced that America can do better, and that the majority of Americans would want us to do better, if they knew the truth. The truth about systemic incarceration, structural second class status, completely uneven law enforcement practices, oppressive and selectively enforced laws that is filling the prisons of America.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NSA Data Mining or Drug War People Mining . . .

An interesting article in Nation of Change eNews today, on the moral challenge to support NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden. As I consider the various information flowing through all of my media and news outputs on this subject, I have to admit . . . I'm still not sure.
I'm not sure if Snowden is a hero, traitor, or somewhere in between.
I'm not sure if the government capturing and sifting through meta data seeking to shine a light on potential enemy plans for our demise is worth the sacrifice of a bit of my personal privacy.
I'm not sure if one day we'll be sorry, or that this is "the tip of the iceberg" or "the first domino."
What I am sure of is that America is sliding into a police state, and that we have been sacrificing our constitutional rights in another way that has caused no panic among the media, the pundits, the government or the majority of people. We have allowed the war on drugs, and associated stretches of police and prosecutorial power to all but eliminate our rights to privacy, freedom from unwarranted searches, the expectation of probable cause, the right to a jury trial . . . and on and on, but where is the cry of indignation.
When the rights of poor, black, and brown individuals, inner-city communities and even rural communities, are laid bare and treaded on with abandon, there is little concern raised on CNN, FOX, ABC, hell even The Onion. Even as our investment in prisons begins to exceed our investment in higher education, few are noticing or caring.
Given the reality I witness, that the NSA is tapping into our data streams isn't surprising in the least. Frankly, I prefer the passive data collection to the active stop-and-frisk, "random" traffic stops, racial profiling, and other tactics used in the interest of "justice."

Daryle Brown

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