Currently New Orleans has a major teenage crime problem. Far too many teenagers are committing crimes. Car jackings, murders, shoplifting – nothing seems shocking anymore. Many assume because they are black, they are prone to crime. Others think young minds are undeveloped and do not understand the reality of their choices. Listen to WBOK 1230am radio, the voice of the black community, and invariably a caller of three will call in blaming bad parenting. Some cite a complete breakdown of the family unit. A bunch of callers will blame absent fathers. Rarely do you hear about the effects of past mass incarceration. Yet past mass incarceration causes crime today.
If you just believe black people are naturally bad, then you are a real part of the problem. I mean if your heart skips a beat when a group of young black boys turn the corner and face you, then you are just being cautious. But if you automatically feel like your life is threatened then you are a brainwashed fool. This limited and stupid thinking is racism based and rooted in greed and corruption. And it produced centuries of bad policy.
The bad policy? Mass Incarceration. How did we get it there? Blacks and whites commit crimes at about the same rate. Yet black men fill jails and prisons across the country. Why?
Mass incarceration was the backlash to freeing the slaves. The 13th Amendment has a unique exception for those interested in the continued exploitation of black labor. Read it:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Incarceration jumped a whopping 20000% after the amendment became law. In essence, black men went from being enslaved to incarcerated overnight. Today, Louisiana is still a worldwide leader in mass incarceration. Even after serious and significant reforms.
What are the effects of mass incarceration and how does it contribute to crime:
- Fatherless homes
- Lack of paternal influence and guidance in families
- Sons and daughters feeling isolated and fearful
- Gang and street stuff attraction
- Poor educational outcomes for children in families of incarcerated families
- Poverty from lack of paternal income
- Breakdown of the family unit
- More than normal female led single parent families
Mass incarceration, born just after slavery and continuing today has a direct impact on the crimes we see now. This year violence is at levels not seen since 2005. And children who are 15-18 today were born in, just before or right after 2005. Two things about the year 2005. Louisiana was the mass incarceration capital of the world by far. Oh and this storm tore through the city. The federal levees failed. And today we see the double whammy of our state’s bad policy and poor planning.
Related: How to Stop Car Jackings
Past Mass Incarceration Causes Crime Today
Where are the fathers? In Jail.
Why are families not intact? Father in jail.
Why did the family breakdown? Father in jail.
Why are kids in gangs and don’t have fatherly influence? Father in jail.
Why are so many black families in poverty? Father in jail.
On and on and on and……
Storms are bigger and more frequent. Crimes are more brazen and frequent. Only smart policy can fix both.