The Charleston Gazette’s Most Unappealing Fetish

April 13, 2012

Every once in awhile the Charleston Gazette, perhaps THE most liberal publication in the United States this side of Mother Jones, makes an excellent point.

Then they have to go and ruin it.

In a recent editorial, the Gazette discussed our overcriminalized and overpunished society. It stated that:

Another self-inflicted injury to America arises from over-harsh laws that send excessive numbers of Americans to prison, saddling U.S. taxpayers with huge costs and hurting the U.S. economy.
America jails five times more citizens than other nations do. Does this mean that Americans are five times more criminal? No, people are mostly alike everywhere. Instead, it means that the U.S. public mentality is five times more punitive.
This country’s extreme incarceration costs U.S. taxpayers more than $70 billion per year. It wrecks millions of families, producing ex-convicts with little chance to find jobs, leaving their children in poverty. America is harmed by its own lock-‘em-up obsession.
Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., wants to create a National Criminal Justice Commission to seek ways to ease what he calls the “deeply corrosive crisis” of over-punishment. He wrote:
“We have 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s known prison population. More than 7 million Americans are incarcerated, on probation or on parole; 2.27 million Americans are in prison — five times the world’s average incarceration rate. At the same time, two-thirds of Americans say there is more crime today than a year ago.”
Webb said America’s mass jailing is “draining billions of dollars from our economy, destroying notions of neighborhood and family in hundreds of communities across the country, and — most importantly — not making our country a safer or fairer place.”
Excellent points. We need to reevaluate our criminal justice system because it vacuums up an ever expanding portion of government spending at all levels. One major problem is that we have not yet figured out how to treat the quasi-mentally ill who eventually commit crimes and find themselves paying debts to society.

Figuring out how to get the mentally ill to be willing to go to treatment could reduce a great deal of the strain on the justice system. But does the Gazette talk about that? No. It has to go “there.”

The Gazette has a racism fetish. Here is what they say next:

The U.S. war on drugs is chiefly to blame for this mess. And low-income blacks are its foremost targets. Although some studies find that white youths peddle more dope than African Americans do, policing and prosecution focus strongly on jailing blacks. Ohio State University law professor Michelle Alexander wrote a book titled “The New Jim Crow,” calling this unfair system a modern type of racial discrimination.

Anything they can do to keep people as divided as possible. That is the Left wing mantra. And the Charleston Gazette is one of the loudest crooners of this tired old song.


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