Saturday, May 26, 2007

Corporations & The Left

Ok, Ok - I have been trying to understand the logic that some people present. I frequently debate with these people about various things and thus it appears that we are coming from a different platform of understanding in our origins and thus our positions vary. Lately I have stepped back and not engaged my debate adversaries but instead allowed them to debate among themselves and thus allow the path of the debate to take its natural course with respect to their understanding.

Frequently I hear condemnations of "CORPORATIONS" and Capitalism as people debate the current condition of Black people and the world. It seems that corporations, in their view, are the centerpiece of all the exploitation, corruption, greed and dishonor in the world today. Some of them even make the case that the very act of employment is by definition "exploitation" as the owner is able to sell the fruits of the person's labor for a higher amount than what the person was paid. It clear that debating against someone who's basis is flawed will never end unless their basis is challenged.

Let's consider the modern Reparations movement in response to American slavery. Despite the fact that most of the slave owners during the time of legal slavery in this nation were wealthy individuals who owned large plots of land, those who advance the cause of Reparations have seemingly abandoned all plans to target the family descendants of these individuals who had our Black ancestors enslaved and instead have chosen to go after modern day corporations to pay up. While no doubt the cotton farmer in the South sold his goods to a cotton wholesale COMPANY who booked passage for the commodity from the sea ports likely in Charleston SC, New Orleans, Biloxi for shipment and sale in New York, Boston or Philadelphia, one cannot get past the seeming cherry picking of villains and direct conspirators that certain people on the left stop short of attacking and seeking redress from the corporations of today instead.

Where as no doubt the plantation owner and the brutal overseer who worked the whips upon the backs of the enslaved Africans have direct and bloody hands in the slave holding scheme it is clear that everyone in the entire cycle must be logically blamed if intellectual honesty is to be afforded. Let us walk though the cycle. From the hands of the African captive which is bloody from the spires on the cotton plant poking at his skin was produced the commodity called cotton. This good was sent locally in sacks to the cotton gin. The gin owner being a wealthy individual or company is no doubt a player worthy of targeting by reparations. Once the seeds and foreign matter was removed from the cotton, and all blood from the hands of the Africans washed - the cotton was bailed and then sent to the seaports listed above for shipment to the North. Once this commodity arrived in the North wholesalers distributed these goods to various manufacturers who made cloth and other items for sale in the area. The consuming public benefited greatly from this entire SYSTEM of distribution.

While my debate adversaries would easily condemn the White Northerner of the time who KNEW THE SOURCE OF THIS COTTON but refused to boycott this commodity in order to force change in the system, they are strangely incapable of applying this same logical to the modern day. If it is true that many benefited from the past skulduggery then it stands to reason that today's production system and consumers are guilty of the same offenses today "now that they know" of the production methods and/or the foreign policy that has opened up the doors for this commerce to take place.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer," Is Being Put To The Test WITHIN The Black Community

The following news report is added to add some background to my thoughts and commentary:

News Story: Atlanta's Most Violent Zipcode
http://www.cbs46.com/Global/story.asp?S=6524342&nav=menu140_5


Today I watched journalist Bill Moyers report upon yet another Black male who has been released from prison after being shown to be "not guilty" via new DNA identification technology. An innocent man having spent 25 years in prison for a crime that the DNA evidence says he did not do certainly is unjust. I empathized with this man as I thought of how I would respond to having my life destroyed by such a miscarriage of justice. I support reasonable reviews of judicial rulings to insure that errors are corrected.

With that said I can no longer be silent about the growing threat to justice within the Black community. This type of miscarriage does not have the same type of compulsion for action that the news that an innocent man has been found to be inappropriately jailed. The 2:05 minute mark of the video above shows the impact of this growing threat WITHIN the Black community. This is the crime that is going on within some segments of our community with impunity.

The title of this thread was taken from a an old adage put forth by English jurist William Blackstone. This is known as the "Blackstone ratio" in law school. In theory it sounds good. For the sake of integrity we should error on the side of the defendant unless there is an "abundance of evidence".

Theory and adages are good on paper but how do you apply these principles to a community that is in crisis? It seems that these communities that are being overrun by violence and homicides that are rarely punished have a great problem that is present long before judgment is cast upon the defendant. The problem is that the "assailant" is too often not turned into a "defendant" in the court of law. In a great confluence between the intimidation of "Snitchers", a lack of trust in the police both their motives as they operate within the community and their ability to provide protection to those who "Snitch", rounded off with the belief that good ole "Street Justice" as the most direct means of addressing the beef with another; the innocents who reside in the community don't stand a chance to residing in a community where the "Rule Of Law" provides for Safe Streets for the community members to live within.

I again bring forth my mandate that "proportionality" be used as our guiding force to determine our priorities. While in this case the fight to free the innocent who is imprisoned is not mutually exclusive from the fight to punish those who commit crimes within these highly victimized communities it is past time that those who proclaim themselves as "working for the best interests of the Black community" show that this is indeed their calling. It is clear that this is not JUST a "police problem". The video shows the city councilman and the reporter going after the police command to "do something about this!". The fact is that the police can only work with what they are handed.

So what are the solutions...........?

One only grows strong through exercising that which they seek to develop. In the case of these communities there is a need to exercise a measure of management of the human resources that make up their community. A commitment toward implementing social policies of respect for the best interests of the shared resources that make up the community is needed. This means that conflict resolution skills must be taught, this means that early childhood intervention strategies to define and then keep these young people on a more certain path must be adopted. This also means that the community must find a way to EMPLOY the human potential for these people within and use it toward constructing something greater for the community as a whole rather than being a drag downward for the community.

It is time for these communities to start MANAGING their streets in order to produce a directed outcome. New leadership from within the community who seek to create a better environment within their community and to prolong the lives of their loved ones are going to have to shift their view that "If this was Buckhead, this would not be happening" over to "this is our community and these are OUR RULES that everyone will follow". Certainly a partnership with the police is necessary to make this happen. This is very different from the current disposition in which the police are attacked for both not being around and then being around too much as people's rights are violated by aggressive policing.