Obama and the preservation of the incarceration nation

Glen Ford

What the Obama administration is demonstrating…is that the rulers of the United States have no intention of dismantling the permanent Black counter-insurgency regime – the New Jim Crow, as Michelle Alexander calls it – that was instituted two generations ago in response to the Black liberation movement of the Sixties. Obama’s Task Force, co-chaired by Charles H. Ramsey, the Black police commissioner of Philadelphia, envisions policing in the 21st century as perfecting the same mission as in the 20th century.

Bruce A. Dixon

If the Obama White House ever wanted to change this stuff, ever intended to limit much less roll back the police and prison state they wouldn’t have waited till their last 600 and some days in office and when they don’t control either house of Congress.  The report [Barack Obama’s “Task Force for 21st Century Policing”] is fluff. President Obama, the CBC and the rest of the black political class are prepared to give and receive praise but not to take political risks for the class of people victimized by the police and prison state which liberals as well as conservatives helped create. They will hail the task force’s empty recommendations as a great step forward, just as they heap empty praise on outgoing and incoming Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch as champions of the poor and oppressed, though neither has ever sued a corporation or defended a poor person in court against imprisonment, eviction or dispossession.

21st century policing, according to Obama’s post-Ferguson task force, will look a lot like the 20th century. For some time we can expect to see more Eric Garners, more Trayvon Martins, more prison hunger strikes and more Fergusons. Get ready for it.


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