Russell Simmons Slams Kardashian-Trump’s Release Of Black Prisoner For Good Reason
In case y’all haven’t heard by now, Kim Kardashian has convinced the president, Donald Trump, to commute the sentence of an African American female prisoner. The prisoner, Alice Marie Johnson, served 20 years of her life sentence without the possibility of parole in Aliceville, Alabama, for a first-time nonviolent drug offense – a sentence that was clearly way too harsh. Kim’s act was a righteous cause to fight for, and it was great to see Kanye’s wife use her influence for something other than her reality show.
After Kim Kardashian met with Trump last week and created their infamous photo op in the Oval Office, Alice Marie Johnson has now been released from prison today (June 6, 2018).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Following Ms. Johnson’s release, Kardashian tweeted, “BEST NEWS EVER.” That’s where music mogul, Russell Simmons, stepped in.
Russell Simmons Speaks Out
After peeping Kim’s tweet and the hype she and Trump have stirred up over Johnson’s release, Simmons brought up some valid points, which suggest Trump is once again using a deflecting tactic to take focus off larger issues occurring under his presidency:
Does Russell Have A Point? Here Are Some Harsh Truths About Trump’s Plans
Ever since the crack era arose in the 1980’s, it quickly made way for a massive surge of Black incarceration across America. Why? Because it’s no secret that lower priced drugs, such as marijuana and crack-cocaine are far more rampant in predominately African American and Latino communities, therefore leading to the rise in Black/Latino incarcerations. Cocaine, methamphetamine and other higher priced drugs are found in more abundance among White communities.
In 2016, former President Obama implemented his reform plans of the decades old harsh Federal policies that intentionally inflict harsher prison sentences on low level drug offenders. Meaning, people who may have been arrested for crack or marijuana, and ended up serving 15 years to life sentences…even if it was their first offense.
Via Vox: Early in 2016, President Barack Obama began pardoning and otherwise shortening the prison sentences of hundreds of federal inmates. In November, Obama said he would like to treat marijuana “as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol.”
Incarceration dropped significantly by the following year, 2017, after Obama’s reform plan had a chance to take full effect. So, by January 2017, Trump and his U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced they’d rolled back Obama’s prior drug policy reform, to allow and encourage state prosecutors to impose ‘tougher prison sentences on even low-level drug offenders,’ just like it was in the pre-Obama era.
In 1980 there were 15,000 people locked up for drug offenses. In 2018 there are approximately 450,000 locked up drug offenses. This is also a figure Trump and his team deem to be okay.
Via Vox: While most people in state and local [jail] facilities are not locked up for drug offenses, most states’ continued practice of arresting people for drug possession destabilizes individual lives and communities. Drug arrests give residents of over-policed communities criminal records, which then reduce employment prospects and increase the likelihood of longer sentences for any future offenses.
People of color are dramatically overrepresented in the nation’s prisons and jails. These racial disparities are particularly stark for Blacks, who make up 40% of the incarcerated population despite representing only 13% of U.S residents.
So in other words, higher overall incarceration rates among minorities, lead to the larger scale breakups of Black families. That leads to higher possibilities of financial, psychological, and employment disparities within Black communities, which can then lead to repeated cycles of illegal quests to earn money by any means necessary to support one’s family. Thus leading to higher crime and more arrests. That process not only destroys Black communities, but also benefits private sector prison owners (several of whom are linked to the entertainment industries and reportedly to government officials) who earn larger government stipends, based on the amount of prisoners they continue to house each year. Let that marinate.
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