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The Streets: Earning a Ph.D. -- 5 of 6 parts

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Richard O. Jones
The popular culture of today is grooming our youth for prison. According to the Bureau of Justice

Statistics of 2001, two thirds of America’s prison population is African-American. In one study that the U.S. Federal Corrections Authorities held, of all Americas inmates between the ages of 18 and 25, 56% were African-American men, compared to a 6% of same aged white young men. From these statistics one would get the impression that African-Americans were more dangerous, unlawful, and corrupt people. But the reality is that we are not given the same advantages as others.

Wealthy people have higher percentages of not serving jail time.

For example if you can afford a high priced attorney you probably won’t get railroaded in court. In many cases it’s obvious that these individuals committed a crime, the evidence is present, but the difference is that they can afford good lawyers, where someone who is appointed a lawyer from the state is not going to get the same quality of service.

Today its vital to have a college degree to get well paying jobs.

About a third of America is not educated through the twelfth grade. In the 2003 National Adult Literacy Survey, conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics, its been calculated that 30% of American adults have not finished high school. And our education system is not equal at different schools in the same city, let alone nation wide. Therefore people aren’t starting out with the same kind of knowledge or basic training. With our youth anxiously aspiring to a ‘Street Degree’ its no wonder the belly of the prison system continue to feast on African Americans. I recently saw a special on HBO or B.E.T. about Black pimps, among them was the celebrity Ice-T. In jest they were referring to a Ph.D. as a Pimping-Hoes-Degree. Therefore the ‘Street’ offer its graduates a Ph.D.

Many African Americans are uncomfortable taking unpopular positions. For instance we’ll march and protest with a raving passion if a white gang came to into a Black community and merely shook their fist at our children as they played basketball in the schoolyard. We would demand that the police catch those dangerous criminals, lock them up and throw away the key.  We’ll shown up in court in mass numbers to assure that the judge and media understood that we were serious about protecting our children.

However, when a group of Black youth are caught after a drive-by shooting where an innocent baby was shot nobody from the community shows up and demands the shooter is severely punished.

Nobody except the baby’s immediate family, that is. Black criminals know that Black people won’t hate them for selling drugs to schoolchildren.

That’s why no one is ashamed or fearful to boast that they are drug dealers. We must let Black criminals know that we’ll demand justice against them. The reason rapists, and child molesters don’t boast, to anyone, not even in jail, is because they realize the community won’t have it. We allow thugs to flaunt their gang affiliation then protest against the justice system when the police shoot one of them in the commission of a crime. We can’t have it both ways.

richardojones1@verizon.net

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