Thursday, April 06, 2006

Overstreet strikes again.

UPDATE: Welcome to readers of His Highness and much thanks for the link.

Okay, I've had it with this woman. It appears there's not a single thing in this world that's not an example of racism for her. Same procedure as before: I'll post her column and then the letter I wrote to the paper in response.


Glenda Overstreet

"The statistics on drugs was a low key issue so we had to get the public's attention in order to make it look really bad. ... We had to keep milking the federal cash cow to pay for staffing and to help increase staffing, so we offered people an opportunity to get high. Once they passed a joint, they became a 'big time' drug dealer."

That was part of the message delivered Wednesday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka by Jack Cole, a former New Jersey undercover narcotics officer who acknowledged he felt bad about what he did while in law enforcement. He now is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

It amazes me that validation of a reality here in Topeka must come from an outside entity who has put down the pretentious barriers and reached down to the core of acknowledging what is right. To get there, one must go beyond individual feelings, thoughts and emotions and that isn't always easy. After hearing Cole's presentation, I had a great deal of respect for a man who had gone beyond the barriers of life.

His message is disturbing, yet necessary, because many people still have their heads in the sand when it comes to issues of racism. Cole spent more than 30 years in law enforcement, including a period of time as an undercover detective. He shares the message of police corruption to acquire and maintain funding and the truth of institutionalized racism in law enforcement and the judicial system.

Cole compares the U.S. incarceration rate with South Africa's during apartheid. In 1993, South Africa incarcerated 851 of every 100,000 black males. In 2004, the U.S. incarcerated 4,919 per 100,000 black males.

Cole said the Bureau of Justice statistics indicates that every black male born today has a one in three chance of serving prison time.

Why is that important? Because not only is there institutional racism, but the result is disenfranchisement.

Fourteen and one-half percent of the black men will never vote again. Opportunities for funding, housing and education are lost. And after prison it is virtually impossible to protect oneself because felons can't own guns. This is a perpetuating matter with long-term effects.

Now that we have surveys representing feedback from people in all walks of life, government statistics, and the experiences of a retired narcotics officer, what is the next excuse for supporting those who perpetuate this kind of behavior? It is because of people like Cole and interim Topeka police chief Steve Harsha, and others who stood up to face their colleagues whom they knew were wrong, who deserve our respect and admiration. Taking such positions generally isn't popular. However, those few good men are the souls of the earth. Just keeping it real.


Here's what I sent as a response and I hope it gets printed.

Glenda Overstreet cites a Bureau of Justice statistic that 1 in 3 black men will likely serve time in prison as proof that the justice system is racist. That's almost 5 times the chances of a white man serving prison time. But why stop there? According to those same statistics 12% of men are expected to serve prison time versus 1.8% of women. That makes men almost 7 times as likely as women to be imprisoned. By Ms. Overstreet's logic the justice system must be sexist as well.

The fact is that the people committing the crimes are the ones being imprisoned regardless of race. Instead of griping about the justice system being racist perhaps Ms. Overstreet's time would be better served trying to reduce the number of crimes being committed by the black population she's attempting to champion.

Ms. Overstreets broken logic doesn't end there. She goes on to say that this 'institutional racism' is truly important because of the disenfranchisement that goes with being a convicted felon. Convicted felons lose the right to vote. They lose access to various opportunities for financial aid, and in some cases jobs. By committing a felony these people have stated for the world to see that they will not abide by the rules and regulations that society has in place. So why should these people then benefit from the generosity of the society that they scorned? This is simply one of the consequences they have to face as a result of having committed the crime in the first place.

Also, Ms. Overstreets contention that felons are unable to protect themselves because the can't own firearms is inane. Just the idea of legally arming convicted felons is ludicrous. Using the Bureau of Justice statistics again almost 40% of felons have multiple convictions for violent acts and 53% were on probation, parole, or pretrial release at the time of their arrest. An even more telling stat: of the 272,000 convicts released in just 15 states almost 68% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years. Given this evidence of recidivism explain to me, and to the law abiding citizens of Topeka and Shawnee County, how arming felons makes any kind of sense?

This is intended as a wake up call for Ms. Overstreet. It's not about the color of your skin. It's not about the language you speak. It's not about what god you pray to. It's about the choices people make with their lives. Break the law, get caught, and go to prison. Period. All you're accomplishing by crying "Racism!" every time you disagree with something is desensitizing the community to the true examples of racism in the world.


No apologies. No olive branch. No mending of bridges. Overstreet has proven time and again that she's not interested in reason or rational discussion. All she's interested in is making sure everyone knows what color her skin is and how the entire world is racist against the black people. I'm guessing she went to the Cynthia McKinney School of Public Speaking.


At 1:44 PM, Blogger Alan said...

He shares the message of police corruption to acquire and maintain funding and the truth of institutionalized racism in law enforcement and the judicial system.

The only institutionalization of racism (and sexism and other isms) I'm aware of is affirmative action.

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Ah, I see commenta are all italicized. You probably guessed that the first paragraph is a quote from the column and the second is my response.

At 2:34 PM, Blogger sig94 said...

What's that idiots email addy? I got 24 years in as a cop and thirty years total in LE and that's a buncha crap!

At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about what happened in Tulia, TX?

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused here. Where in the column does Overstreet show us there is institutional racism in law enforcement? She talks about black incarceration rates without any context connecting it to causes. We are supposed to assume, without any supporting arguments, it is purely the result of racism?

Perhaps it is somewhere in the first paragraph, which I found a total non sequitor. This is the "confession" of a former law enforcement officer that... he did what, exactly to minorities? Forced them to take drugs? No, no, that's not it... must be in there somewhere, I'll keep reading.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Mindwyrm said...

You missed where Overstreet went off about institutional racism? Try this quote out for size then:

"He shares the message of police corruption to acquire and maintain funding and the truth of institutionalized racism in law enforcement and the judicial system".

Hopefully that's clear enough for you.

At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise be to Mindwyrm. Logic prevails.


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