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We hear a lot abt the 94 crime bill w/critics from all quarters due to the outcomes that placed far too many Black women/men in jail. Hillary was blamed, Biden now, older Black politicians & older Black folk. Like most political outcomes & laws we tend to forgot /ignore how we
Got to the law. Our communities were being torn apart by gun violence, armed robbery, mugging, drug trafficking, & worse. My city-Oakland was pound for pound the most violent city in the world at one point so much we were called little Beirut (sorry Beirut). Drug kingpins ruled
& their effects were in our streets, schools, homes, churches, businesses. Black voters screamed loudly for years for gov help as we lost sons, daughters, fathers (mine among them) to crack, coke, freebasing, all of it & enforced by crime. Our churches & activists marched -
In our streets- not against cops but against our own community drug dealers who were pushing their dope on everyone. The economic political systemic racism that was there then and that remains were also understood as contributing to the degradation of our communities. Smart folk
Worked tirelessly to address the outcomes & root causes. But they couldn’t do it without federal money. We marched on our politicians, we called, wrote, & shamed them to do something. & not only Black politicians but white ones as well because we necessarily needed their
Political capital & votes. Bill, Hilary, Biden, all the Black elected officials, & even moderate republicans were employed for help. And it wasn’t *only more police. It was after school programs, drug counseling, childcare & foster care, community policing, midnight basketball
& so much more. And of course the application of all the programs met with different levels of success & failure & those failures then contributed to other devastating issues in our communities from cops killing us, 3 strike laws, longer sentences, broken up families, loss of
Wealth & housing & jobs. We paid the price & it’s taken years to recover- real journalism, sociology, historians tell those stories better than I ever could. But as one who lived through it, lost friends & family - death, jail, fried brains I, like many, understand the nuance
of our recent history. We proudly voted for Black prosecutors, celebrated Black police chiefs, & Black police graduating classes. And we continued to fight the good fight. Here is a newspaper clipping that tells story of my middle brother Mark Anthony who organized protest at
Toys r Us to get them to stop selling our kids toy guns. He organized a turn your tour gun in, her real toy (made it to 60 minutes as well). Black folk worked across the country to fix things for future generations. So when keyboard woke Twitter spits on those Black folk in the
90’s for “sitting back & doing nothing” ignore that pollution. Biden, Bill, Hilary did what we asked because they were aliies then and now and the harsh language in those old news clips are the words WE used because we were over being terrorized in our community by skin folk who
Definitely were and were not kin folk.
FYi- As requested I made the thread into a blog. See it on deardean.com (free/no firewall, no ads). Feel free to share, comment, etc. thank you everyone for reading the thread and sharing your stories. 💕
Added this to my blog, with more detail. Deardean.com check it out.
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