Michelle Alexander unfortunately ignores important anti-racist, budget-based anti-prison organizing. As the prison system has metastasized, spending on cages and cops has drained funds from education, housing, health and other programs. The burden of such cuts fall on poor people of color—the same people being rounded up to fill America's new prisons. Anti-prison activists are making common cause with advocates for public schools, public health and public housing programs, aiming to shrink the prison system and channel funding now spent on prisons towards programs that meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents.
We're not worried that the race card "will" be played. It is being played daily in courts, police stations and prisons. Our protection against the next Willie Horton ad will come from work now that insists that public safety is a matter of more preschools, not more cops; of more health clinics not more prisons.
Such anti-racist, anti-prison budget-based organizing provides a fertile a ground where a large-scale movement to transform the new Jim Crow state can continue to grow.
Craig Gilmore, California Prison Moratorium Project
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 26 2010 - 1:55pm