We are at a crisis in our country whenever a trained adult with authorization to use deadly force deploys it on a 12 year old with impunity. Wherever the fault lies, the only way any hope in the police force or the governing process can be restored is for wholesale condemnation of the officer's actions.
Mass incarceration has become one of the most debated criminal justice issues in American media. We have realized the error in the model of incarceration used over the last 30 years in the United States. Interestingly, the reality of the systems truly unfair application, and the resulting fallout has not been covered fully.
We are, this year, 50 years removed from the civil rights movement's "Freedom Summer" of 1964. To be sure, changes in our society have been nothing short of revolutionary. Yet over half a century later, one wonders if white supremacy remains rooted in the American psyche. Is there a racial caste system in America?
How far have we come on the road from slavery to freedom isn't just a rhetorical question 150 years later. A people who don't know their history are more likely to repeat it. The resurgence of hate crimes and emergence of mass incarceration of males of color remind us that freedom requires constant vigilance and justice needs a fire that burns in all of us. I believe that we are in the second post Reconstruction era. Although some forms of continuing racial intolerance are overt, some forms are subtle, covert, technical, political, and very polite. Wrapped up in new euphemisms, better etiquette and clever political rhetoric, it's still, as Frederick Douglass warned, the same old snake. Let's call it out systematically, oppose it nonviolently, and move forward on becoming a free and just nation.