Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Recap: "Drug Laws Impact on Black Community"

    Tuesday night's show on "American Drug Laws" was one of our best yet! It was filled with useful information on the crisis of American Drug Policy in the Black Community and what we need to do about it. Last night we had Revered Peggie Russell JD, the Defending Childhood Initiative Project Coordinator at Shelby County Office of Early Childhood & Youth. She is an associate faculty at University of Phoenix. Mrs. Russell served as the project manager for the Drug Market Intervention Initiative; community coordinator for the BJA Smart Policing Initiative Grant; & co-chair of the Gang Resistance to Assist Society Youth (GRASSY) pilot. She has received numerous local & national awards including a Daily Point of Light. She is an ordained minister actively involved in several community partnerships promoting faith based engagement. She earned her Juris Doctorate in 1995 at the University of Memphis. She shed great light on the social impact, the children and families who suffer the weight of the criminal justice system in America. Reverend Russell explained how Ronald Reagan's "War on Drugs" only created a revolving door of drug addicts and low level drug dealers, making no real impact in the flow of drugs in our communities. She talked about dysfunctional prisons that offer no rehabilitation for addicts who continue to use while incarcerated, then get released into a society that will prejudice and alienate them from opportunity. Reverend Russell shared her experience as a defense attorney during the height of the "War on Drugs". She dealt with the business of criminal justice like lobbyist, congressman, and corporations who spend billions of dollars in Washington to keep this unjust system in place. Reverend Russell introduced us to the "Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign", an initiative that advances policies and youth programs to combat the criminalization of poor and minority children. She explained how corporations project how many prisons to build based off the reading level of black male 4th graders, we discussed the need for parents to be aware and seek out the information on how to protect your children from a system that preys on them. Reverend Russell encouraged us to seek out grants and private funding to start initiatives in our community, she was an inspiring guest and we look forward to having her again. 

    Charles Johnson talked on the story of Green Bay Packers player Johnny Jolly who was sentenced to 6 years in prison for codeine related arrest. He debated the fairness of the sentence considering the circumstances around the arrest. Should non-violent drug addicts be imprisoned without treatment. In the show we talked about the corporate fuel behind this crisis, exposing the major Fortune 500 companies who are making billions off the labor of Prisoners. We explained how companies lobby and buy off politicians to increase what is now the largets incarceration of its citizens in the world. During the show I talked about the government's involvement, covering declassified documents that prove the CIA was actively involved in Cartel Level Drug Smuggling in the US and around the world since the sixties. I put emphasis on the need to know what we're up against in our fight for Judicial Equality. The condition of our community is not due to our inability to live as a functioning people, but rather the result of a malicious and inhumane American Policy. Post Civil Rights movement, the drug laws became the way to enforce a system of bigotry and exclusion that whites have  maintained for 500 years. The extraordinary disparities in the incarceration of Black People is not a new phenomenon in America, but a cancerous component that has grown untreated since 1619. With the corporate interest in prison labor rising, we must  wake up to the reality of how our communities are being targeted.  If you'd like more information on how to reach Reverend Peggy Russell contact her on Facebook or Twitter  

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Music Feature:
 Last night we featured the hot sounds of guitarist Ced Hawkins. His hot new single "The Last" talks about the importance of living life to the fullest while you have the time. This rock inspired record is funky and full of energy as Ced delivers a well written message over the dope guitars. His album "Alcohol Follows the Water" is available in all major online outlets and is a great addition to your music collection. Listen Here => "The Last"

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