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tv   The Political Roots of Racial Tracking in American Criminal Justice  CSPAN  March 14, 2015 10:30am-12:01pm EDT

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war on whatever side from elsewhere in the world tried to test out whatever new equipment they had. the soviet union backed the republic for a while except that they didn't donate the equipment they gave the spanish repluck, they sold it to them -- republic, they sold it to them for spanish gold. >> watch this and other programs online at >> booktv p continue now with nina moore in what she contends is a racially-biased criminal justice system. [inaudible conversations]
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>> hello everybody, i have the job of introducing dr. moore for today's book presentation and discussion. now, when i agreed to do this, she and i talked about the best way to introduce her in the talk, and we decided the best way to do it was to mix things up from the traditional way and change it up a bit. so i'm going to begin by briefly introducing her research interests and professional activities and then say a bit more about where she's coming from in the book by liberal libor rowing from within the preface of the book. her first book examined the interaction of race with the united states senate procedures from the 1950s onward. the book she's currently working on probes the politics of the supreme court decision making on race. and the book to be discussed tonight is about race and criminal justice. i guess you can say dr. moore practices what she preaches. she was appointed by governor paterson to a four-year term on new york state commission on judicial conduct and was later
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appointed by the new york state senate to the advisory council on the underage drinking and substance abuse. last but by no means least, for a liberal arts college like colgate university, she was selected by the princeton review as one of the top 300 professors in the country. her thinking was influenced by some of the early life experience she had during her early teenage years in the largest housing project in the united states. a sociologist used the robert taylor homes in his ground breaking study to illustrate the growing problems of social dislocation in the inner city. wilson observed in 1983 only little more than .5% of chicago's people lived in the project, however, 11% of the city's murders 9% of its rapes and 10% of its aggravated assaults were committed in these projects. dr. moore skews the usual -- [inaudible] project kids grew up as part of
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a mull the city tiered minority. they were minority black within a minoritying is regated by race 99.9% black within a minority poor, within another minority mired in concentrated poverty. there was sill yet another layer of minority identity for dr. moore as her family was a two-parent devoutly religious household in a sea of so-called broken homes, her father gainfully employed and her tenancy shorter than most. the folks there lived quite literally at the intersection of race, crime and the american version of justice in the 1980s. the greater visibility of drug use and trafficking the rapid emergence of violent splinter gangs and the war on drugs all converged on their city like a perfect storm in the 1980s and those in the center were subject to multiple cross-pressures. moore reports in the preface of her book about having experienced up close and personal of her friends being forced to submit to random police patdowns and searches, pull down their pants or spread
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eagle on the concrete ground. several years after her family's exodus came the police sweeps coordinated by eight different law enforcement agencies subjecting entire households to unannounced warrantless police searches during which residents were forced to remain seated and still in their living rooms while police hoped to find criminal evidence all with the blessing of a democratic president. widespread arrests for petty offenses were typically all that resulted none of the dragnets made a department in the my crime rate in the -- dent in the high crime rate in the area. just as impactful as these firsthand observations of -- [inaudible] experiencing the loss of a childhood friend to violent crime. the murder of her friend symbolized many of the recurring themes that preoccupy studies of race crime and justice.
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freed da was brutally raped and beaten beyond reck mission. her assailant, michael madden was also black and a syria offender -- serial offender. his pattern was known beforehand to police and his victims but not published until after the fact. news of the brutal murder occupied a few sentences in local newspapers. there were no marches no demonstrations and no name brand civil rights leaders demanding anything neither in regard to the perpetrator, nor police. following 17 hours of interrogation and forced injection of a tranquilizer, police obtained a confession from madden, a conviction and a 45-year prison sentence. madden's appeal was eventually rejected. madden served only three years of his sentence and then was are elited -- released back into the community. violent crime in the area continued on course, so did the intensity of the intrusive but scarcely effective policing and
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so did widespread arrests and eventually mass prison commitments. in time this vicious cycle reached a point where the only viable solution lock, state and federal policymakers was to completely demolish the robert taylor homes projects and in the process dismantle what little community had managed to survive in the midst of ate all. -- of it all. almost everybody played a role in perpetuating this vicious cycle, even if only by virtue of their failure to mobilize and actively demand meaningful change. it is in her view that as a country we continue to play much of the same role with much of the same dire consequences but on a much wide or scale. so the goaling of this book is to help shed light on what we all bring to the table to expose our collective obligation to do more and to bring into sharper focus why we have not. with that i introduce you now to dr. nina moore. [applause]
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>> thanks so much for that zack i really appreciate it. and as the rest of you come in please feel free to grab the seats in the front. thanks also, to mary and to grace. i believe grace has already had to leave for the day, but most of all thanks to the c-span tv crew who took the truck up here from manhattan with a few twists and turns. you, nonetheless, made it. and, of course, thanks to all of you who are in the audience. and i really appreciate an opportunity the talk about my work. this is something i've lived with for several years, and you sort of picked up from the comments that zack just offered it's near and dear to my heart so i'm grateful that you all are here. i would like to talk for only three hours -- [laughter] and then after that have a couple of questions and those of you who would be interested in asking a question, we'll ask
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if you would please go over to the station their mic -- station their mic. it just works better for picking up sound it has not been often the case that we get this regular sort of onslaught of headline news coverage. and i will tell you when i can stomach watching it -- because when you live with this sort of subject as i have for so many years, at times you need a break from it -- but i have to to tell you on the one hand i have been pleased with the fact that the country has turned its attention to what i consider to be a very important issue. i would even go so far as to argue that this is one of the main human rights issues that we face in this country. but on the other hand, have you all noticed that it's already starting to fade a bit?
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we're not waking up to hearing about it, we're not seeing it in the headline newspaper articles so forth. and so what worries me about the sort of up and down, the ebb and flow, the in and out coverage is that it gives some the impression that these sorts of incidents occur on just a periodic basis. finish see if i can get this to work for me. but the fact of the matter is what happened to michael brown, what happened to eric garner in new york city these are the sort ors of things that -- sorts of things that have been happening in this cup for decades, for decades. and even current government data show that -- and this may surprise to some of you -- it happens virtually every other day here in the country. again, government data show that
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roughly 200 people die during the course of an arrest and more specifically 120 of these are the result of police homicides in particular. so there are all the other types of arrest-related deaths which is what we call them such as natural causes accidents intox caution. and then there's the sort of unpossessfied category as well. and these data show pretty much the same thing going back to when they first began to be traced regularly by the fbi. so there's nothing really new here. and then beyond the issue of police killings, which is what we've really sort of been shocked by, right? as a community. other types of treatment-related issues such as what happens when an individual is stopped during a traffic stop. what happens when someone is out
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and needing help and knocks on the door and is met with a double-barreled shotgun, what happens in all sorts of other instances having, again, to do with difference cial treatment issues. but this is what i want to suggest that the treatment issues are the tip of the tip of the iceberg. what i can to be a -- what i consider to be a much more troubling and much more deeply embedded problem is the high rate of felony convictions and also imprisonment in the black community. and this is not something that we find shocking enough as to have regular conversations in the news media about it. but let me give you a sense of why i find really really sort of a horse of a different color. the prevalence of imprisonment in the black community is
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nothing short of extraordinary. roughly one out of every five black persons is projected to go to prison at some point in his or her life. one out of every five. and that's significantly larger than the 3% of non-hispanic whites who are expected to do the same. how about if we compare in a different way blacks go to prison at a rate that's six times greater than their white counterparts, and you'll hear me say a couple of times -- and i sort of indicated here -- the problem of overrepresentation or at least i will in the next slide. so if you estimate, you can slice the black population all sorts of ways. but if you estimate that they claim roughly 1 percent of --13%
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of the residential population they claim a whopping 33% share of sentenced prisoners sentenced prisoners. this does not include jails which are people who have not committed a felony. so these are really conservative measures. and did i already say a couple of times that these are government data right? so that means we can even take those with a grain of salt. so there's the issue of imprisonment yes, but then there's this category of people referred to as ex-felons. people who have not necessarily served time in prison but have been convicted of a felony. a felony usually nets one a prison system, and roughly 44%, 44% of the black male population in the u.s. is classified as an ex-felon. 44%. and as i was working on this project, you know, this was
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like, depressing stuff. [laughter] certainly, depressing. i had two moments where i sort of stopped and said i have to take a moment and get back my sanity and to sort of, you know, get some distance from it. and that figure struck me. so the 44% actually compared to 9.5% of non-hispanic, white males. so there's the ex-felon population issue but in addition to that is the impact, the impact of having a felony conviction the impact of having served time in prison. the way we have things structured now is one really never recovers from that. there are long-term, truly devastating effects that run the gamut and perhaps i'll have an opportunity to get into some of what those effects are perhaps on the q&a. so what i do in the opening chapters of the political roots of racial tracking is i give what i consider to be the most
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comprehensive account to date using mostly statistical data of racial tracking which is the twin problem of both differential treatment as well as overrepresentation in prisons. and i really sort of go overboard here. i have about a hundred different statistical indicators for doubting minds. i hope they leave knowing that this is a very firm empirical foundation. at some point i would really love to share this with the head of the new york city police union so he'll know that this really is real. it's not just a figment of some imagination. so i give you all of this as sort of portrait of what the experience is like and we've heard a lot of these data in other instances right? in other books, michelle alexander, i think, did a really fabulous job on her last book "the new jim crow," and unpacked a lot of that.
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michael -- [inaudible] another brilliant person who's done the same. so what i'm trying to add to this conversation is how do we appropriate political responsibility? how do we bring politics into this? quite naturally, because i'm a political scientist, that's the sort of thing that i want to do. and i think it's also important for us to do that because too often, too off when we have these incidents happen in the country our conversation about what has happened, our conversation about who is to blame is too their roarly focused -- narrowly focused. we ask the following types of questions, was officer darren wilson justified in shooting michael brown? was officer daniel -- [inaudible] in new york city rightly or wrongly using the chokehold? we talked a lot about, well, should the jury, the grand juries in both of those cases have indicted or not, and that's pretty much where the conversation stopped.
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i'm sure that very few of us who are passionate about this and have followed it are aware that the obama administration will soon announce its plans to not pursue charges against officer darren wilson. and so we already see it sort of being relegated back to the sidelines at a time when one might have expected something more. so i think we need to broaden the conversation. and the real questions we should be asking are not about the officers on the scene, but rather why as a country have we permitted this to happen? time and time again, decade after decade in city after city and without stepping up to do more, why are we comfortable with abiding the fact that our prisons are now filled -- the majority of the prison population consists of blacks and latinos. why are we comfortable with that
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when these are the minority groups in our country? and more specifically, why haven't we done something to address these? my answer is, it's because we're not doing anything about it. it's because we have not prioritized this issue. in essence, we are all part of enabling it, abiding it, and i really wanted to title this book "we are the man." i couldn't get my editor at cambridge university press -- and i did try a couple of times. i don't know if he's going to watch this but, you know well after it was submitted i said are you sure you don't want to go with "we are the man"? i think it gets to the essence of the thesis. in any case, i argue that blacks as well as whites -- that's something we really tend to
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think about or say or feel comfortable -- but blacks as well as whites democrats as much as republican lawmakers, president obama, and i come from a family of obama fanatics. my mom is absolutely committed to obama, and i have lots of family members who stump and i'm going to have to be a little careful here if i want to stay in the family. president obama as much as reagan, both congress and the supreme court like, all of these are implicated. we all are the man because we enable or abide racial tracking. so to establish this thesis of the political process the policy process as being primarily the reason why this continues over time i use roughly eight chapters in the
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book fully 68 tables and figures and then wait for it, 949 footnotes total. [laughter] because as i was writing it, i was thinking, okay, i've really got to make sure that i'm bringing it if i'm going to say everybody is to blame. i've got to have something to back it up, and i think i've accomplished that. so in the three hours that i'm going to have you all here tonight, i think i will just offer a very brief overview of that and again i'd like to have some dialogue, so i'll try to get us quickly to the q&a. so before i jump into this, i do the want to say that i admire the tremendous amount of research that's out there that has already been done on this question, and this research stretches over several decades. and i pour over this in chapter eight of the book. in order to sort of get this out there, right from the get, the reason we haven't done
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anything -- and i'm getting ready to use a double negative here -- it's not because we don't know what to do. it's not because we don't understand the issue. it's not because we don't know what sorts of policies to develop. in fact, we have quite a bit of research that points us in that direction, and those have to do with the more immediate causes. and i've categorized them in four ways. again, i really can't do justice to this very rich literature, but if i had to categorize them, they would include the following race-centered three cease which essentially argue that there is either deliberate or subconscious discrimination on the part of both lawmakers as well as law enforcement officers. the second set centers on what i call legal processual issues,
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and these people argue it's the way that the system operates it's the way that criminal courts apply laws in particular cases. and also they point often to mandatory sentencing laws as playing a big role here. the third set focus on socioeconomic disadvantage and implicit in these arguments the next two is the idea that there is criminal inequality along racial lines and what that means more specifically is that there is this idea that yes, blacks are committing crime at higher rates than are others. the first two theories don't necessarily concede that, but the socioeconomic disadvantage argument says, well it's about poverty, it's about inequality it's about disadvantage, it's about not having access to opportunities, it's about being socially isolated, living in neighborhoods where there's no access to labor, to jobs and so forth and so on. and then finally, one of more popular -- and i say "popular"
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because it seems to be a little bit more attractive and sexier especially to conservatives of late, and that is the culture of violence thesis. and unlike the prior two, this is really something about the individuals. something is wrong. the values are offer kilter, etc. but most who -- and i say "most," i really mean here most who are the more respected in the fields of criminology and sociology -- they recognize that perhaps there may be cultural differences there but that those cultural differences themselves are traceable to socioeconomic disadvantage. in order if people are accepting violence as a way of life, it is because they have not been left with very many other options and they don't have access to mainstream american life where the mainstream values would give them a different way of viewing the world. so if you take all of these and
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you mix them all together, ultimately they all are traceable to society forces. one way or another. and what that means is they're all fixable. they're all fixable through public policy. so as i said, there are some things that we can do at the societal level. so the question then becomes why have we not addressed what we know to be these societal forces most immediately driving these issues. now, not just because i'm someone who has studied the supreme court -- and i really love studying the supreme court -- but perhaps for you guys too the first place you would look would be to the supreme court. because we're talking about racism at least in some way and we're also talking about inequality, both of which run up against the equal protection clause of the constitution. so there's that, but there's also the historic role that the supreme court played in dismantling racial segregation
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through its 1954 brown v. board of education decision. that decision many argue, in turn spurred the civil rights movement which in turn led to the ground breaking civil rights legislative reforms of the '60s and later. is so the average perp would say, okay -- person would say okay, let's look to the supreme court. and i do that. i look at 60 cases from 2002- [inaudible] and what i find is this is the one area where the court has, in fact, operated in a color behind fashion. it -- color blind fashion. it has ignored, sidestepped, pretended to not see the systemic racial forces that operate. there's been this reluctance to acknowledge it's not these individual cases that are brought before the court and where it may side with the plaintiff, but rather, there's something very deeply wrong about how race and criminal law
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enforcement interact in our country. and so, you know, we tend to say, okay, well, the conventional wisdom at least tells us this is really about conservative courts. this is more specifically about berger and rehnquist. and i, i would like to challenge that a little bit in the that challenge it in the sense that it's not simply the conservative court. so if we consider as i said, the time stretch that i look at from 1932 to 2005, we will see all throughout that period as we shift from liberal courts to conservative courts, there is this steady trend of just pretending that they don't see what's really happening. so some of you may be familiar with the 1973 powell v. alabama decision the infamous decision there known as the scottsboro boys in which they were tried convicted and sentenced to death t all in a one-day trial, and these were relatively young
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people. but even in that case all you see the court really saying is okay, there has to be a right to counsel, not that this other stuff was really messed up right? there was another case, moore v. alabama, in which the defendants are literally on the stand, and they have lynch marks on their necks. they've been whipped, they have the sort of lashes on their back. the sheriff in the town admits on the stand that yes he beat them, and he used the n-word, he said, but i didn't beat them, you know, too bad for -- and he used the n-word. and despite all of this the supreme court just pretends to not see that. so what we find with the rehnquist court is that the rehnquist court is squarely presented with the question, squarely asked, okay, we've got this evidence here. this is not anecdotal, this is not piecemeal, this isn't just a few people, we've got this hard evidence in the form of something known as the balded
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study which took into account literally hundreds of factors used very careful controls, and the court looked at it, and the court really didn't question and say, well did you do it the right way? did you use the right linear estimator, coefficient? okay fine. accept it. but guess what? we don't see these kinds of statistical disparities as evidence of impropriety. the constitution does not, and i have a quote here the constitution does not require the elimination of any demonstrable disparity that correlates with the potentially irrelevant factor, in this case race. so, you know we sort of see this coming. it's been happening up until 1987. in 1987 it's just stated outright for doubting minds who were wondering whether or not it was actually going to happen. this was the rep qis court. most -- rehnquist court. most say okay, this is exactly
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what you would expect from a bunch of nixon and later reagan appointees. but then i argue that we really can't absolve the warren court either, the infamously warren court who ushered in what we know as the second judicial revolution enormously expanded not only civil rights but also civil liberties. the warren court, even when it would strike down death penalty cases involving minorities would do it without recognizing there was some really screwy stuff going on here. that lynch mob that was outside? that probably shouldn't have happened. it just sort of carries on. and one famous case which was a death pen thety case -- penalty case there at a time when death executions, at least 63% of them in this country, were claimed by blacks. at this time the warren court continues to say there is nothing wrong with the death
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penalty. and i offer a quote here in which that's very clear, in which warren goes out of his way to establish that. so at the end of mcclose key here's what the court did. court said we're going to punt this to the legislature. this is a job for legislature, not for courts. we don't want to legislate from the bench. so what i do in the book is i follow the lead. i said, okay well, let's look in congress and see what legislators are doing. and on the one hand i'm pleased to say that there is a set of lawmakers who have been champions of the racial justice agenda, and the proposals that are included on the racial justice agenda are those that either on the face of these laws are are targeting racial differences in law enforcement or in the introductory remarks
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of the, those introducing them the same as -- in other words, they're very explicitly tied to this issue of racial justice. and i are to tell you i -- and i have to tell you i know he's got his problems, but representative john conyers is an unsung hero here. he has made the this his baby since 1988, one year after cc close key came down. and in virtually every year has introduced some sort of bill. ..
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and found there is a handful here. of very small group. they said we are going to try everything. we will try everything from let's go with the bill that just said is it is wrong, nothing more, condemns racial profiling and we ran the gamut. there were those introduced by representative maxine waters we would like some areas we know to be problematic to get federal pre clearance before proceeding with prosecutions that carry a capital sentencing possibilities and then there are others that did a number of other things but as i said, not a lot has happened here.
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there was a resolution that just wanted to -- follow me closely, the house of representatives that congress at some point in the future should encourage to condemn racial profiling. it went nowhere. none of these bills went anywhere. that in and of itself is problematic. that congress isn't doing whinnying. what i find to be even more problematic is while congress is rejecting racial reform on the one hand, it has taken up an anti-crime policy strategy which we know as law and order that has exacerbated the need for it. rejecting racial reform but making racial reform all the more necessary because of the
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bills that are being pushed. i am sorry, just reorienting that it is relatively small but here is what congress's version of law and order has done. first is the federal -- federal government got into the business of fighting crime in the late 1916s. unlike to think it is because they needed something extra to do and it was part of the southern strategy. it was appealing for all sorts of other reasons. the heritage foundation a conservative think tank, pushed against this and found at one point that the federal government has more criminal laws on the books than even the congressional research service could count.
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more laws than we could count. di noaa bond is? kind of? via their students are not sure i want to it met the 9 no. a crime just to have it. the heritage foundation, a conservative think tank is seeing this as an upper reaches of government but they make the point readiness leave that there is an explosion of criminalizing behavior's which means criminalizing people which means opening up more opportunities for people to be ensnared in the criminal process. is second component is the incarceration centered policy. it has not always been the case in this country that our answer to every infraction of caramel law is to send people to prison.
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even for nonviolent offenseses. i am not one of those flaming liberals i am not a liberal at all. i am right of center but it is odd to me that people who have drug addictions, we find it perfectly reasonable the seven them to prison. i will point out later that when this was put in place there was a plethora of health services and organizations doctors pharmaceutical representatives and so forth who said this is not the way you should do this. this is not how you deal with addiction by putting people in prison. the use of post conviction punishment. after people have done their time in prison, after they have done their time in prison they are stripped of the most basic aspects of liberty, full participation in american life,
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opportunity and on down the line. the right to vote, even parental rights. so there's a blood thinner seen as i think in that element of the law and order agenda, the dilution of the phantom rights which in my opinion is encroachment on civil liberties for all of us and finally this preoccupation with enhancing the infrastructure for enforcement as opposed to the infrastructure for prevention and rehabilitation. they are woefully out of balance and in the book i show you how politicians talk but when you look at where they are putting their money, we are helping people and trying to prevent crime most of that money is going to enforcement. how does this connect to raise. blacks are disproportionately
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represented among those who are arrested and those who are sentenced and those who are imprisoned and necessarily without any safety mechanism to mitigate the impact of these bills they are acutely disadvantaged by this particular approach to law and order. to delete blame for this. we tend to blame those on the right. sometimes without even thinking about requesting it. it is just reflexive. sometimes it is blamed entirely on the right but i think leading politicians on the right present a more complex portrait than we normally scheerer about. su who do we credit with the war on drugs? reagan? it was reagan's work.
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reagan clearly didn't conduct the war on his own. he clearly did not fund it. that is the job for congress to do but more importantly let me give you this small example. a lot of people looked at the entire drug abuse act of 1986 that is the legislative centerpiece of the war on drugs, people look at that and say the penalty structure whereby one is penalized excessively for crack cocaine offenses where people who use parrot cocaine are not so much the 100-101 riccio. people look at that and the thinking is mostly minorities and for our using crack cocaine. and this is clear evidence of the rationalized intentions behind this bill. why would you do 100-1.
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the bill that reagan introduced that is introduced on behalf of the reagan administration by former senator bob dole september 23rd, 1986, you want to know what that calls for? that called for a 20-1 ratio. it was congress that increase it to 1-1. the 20-1 even though that disparity is there and we are still buying into this thinking that the pharma logical effect of crack cocaine homage worse, the obama administration just put in place in 18-1 ratio. clearly not as bad as reagan. i will offer you that as a way of thinking about whether they're right is right fully blamed for carrying much of this. another twist is something i alluded to earlier. republican senator jeff sessions introduce the first major bill
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to equalize drug sentencing, a republican senator from alabama and he continues to be very active. he served as u.s. attorney and use his role there also to try to equalize sentencing. meanwhile we rarely see politicians on the left as contributing to this. we usually see them as a champion. but at the time congress was charging full steam ahead with this grueling leave punitive law-and-order approach than senator joe biden basically not only cheered the month but helped the long. some of you are old enough to remember the will be for an ad which bush i campaign in 1988. everybody looked in that and said that is so incredibly
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racially charged, it is that scare tactic and a very subtle way. that is pretty much to take on dad but the fact is in 1988 joe biden got on that boat. picked up the very same thinking and he said one of my objectives quite frankly is to lock willie horton up in jail. if you heard what will be warranted everybody would want to lock him up but this might have been an opportunity for joe biden to stymie the time to offer some balance mitigate this push by offering the underside, not everybody is willie horton, that every black person is the willy horton, there are other ways of preventing willie horton and so forth but jumped on the bandwagon. what i find really troubling about what joe biden did is in
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1994 when congress was putting in place what bill clinton called the toughest and smartest crime law enacted in the history of the country the racial justice advocates that i showed you before, what they wanted to do as clinton was expanding the death penalty to dozens more dr. oz they wanted simply to include a racial justice measure. that measure would have said for those who are in states where there are clear disparities in capital sentencing along racial lines let's allow the defendant pled in those cases to prevent at as evidence and then prosecutors would have to rebut that and shows that there are nonracial influences, that is not about racism. a relatively innocuous way of
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helping to mitigate this. joe biden said racial justice is not as important as passing the bill. he said the question is whether to accept the house provision, racial justice, which will kill the bill and that was scrapped and eventually signed by president clinton. jesse jackson, a very noted very admirable civil rights person, during his run for the presidency in 1988, not necessarily public, but people in the administration were worried that jackson was going to steal their thunder in the push for the drug war and a jackson went to let hearing a senate hearing and embraced this
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combat of contest of dealing with drugs, bought into the same drug war rhetoric that we were hearing for george bush as well as reagan and to the administration you need to do more in this drug war. to fully appreciate that you have to look at the entire transcript of. dreams -- drugs are the biggest source of crime. scripting influence of the entire fabric of society. drug pushers are terrorists and the nation's security depends on the drug war's success. this is drug war talk coming from a civil rights leader. these are the leaders hardly alone. there was a chorus line of lawmakers that offered what turned out to be bipartisan
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consensus. if we look at the breakdown of congressional support for these laws that function as the foundation of law and order what you see is the overwhelming majority of members both the house as well as the senate voted for these bills. if we were to do a party break down to see what percentage of democrats as versus republicans pretty much the same thing here as well. the only reason you see a larger support for the 1994 bill is many of those who voted in a where republicans who felt the bill didn't go far enough. can we look at this and say this is about people who are racists?
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this is about conservatives, people who don't get it, this is not democrats. these numbers make the point in a very compelling way. what are we following? they are following a party playbook and following the same party playbook. the rules of how we do this. notice how i took the logo so they are facing one another. they are facing out words. they are on the same page and here is what it consists of. pointing in the direction of where they are going, the first is this idea of the nationalization of crime starting in 1968.
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some of the are old enough. you don't have to admit it but old enough to remember this push for crime in 1968. it is spreading everywhere. suburban america as well -- it is everywhere. if you look carefully at uniform crime reports, the most conservative what they show is crime did not spread geographically. crime remained very much concentrated in the inner-city where minorities live end in larger percentages. another element of the party playbook was construction of a new set of stakeholders and the thinking was there were certain groups we have to give special protection to because they are being victimized and they were concerned about children, women
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and the elderly. most often victimized, we look at that data on women. black women in particular are three times more likely than their white counterparts to be raped. three times more likely and this is the second statistic i came across where i thought i got to push back from this because it is too much. i have no idea about this. i looked at data on homicide of children five years and younger and you know what i found? black children five years are seven times more likely than the counterparty. seven times more. if you look at the bills that are named for the special
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victims, the amber alert not a single one of them some of us don't know this is happening. there isn't a conversation at that about this. not just diluting them but more for defendant's rights as opposed to victims' rights even though we full well knows that blacks and other minorities tend to be the agreed, complaint against police officers for accessible kinds of forms. finally a drug epidemic. if you go back and look at those speeches you think the world has gone to hell in a handbasket, the drug epidemic tearing apart our society and how are we going to get past it?
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we will never live, we are all doomed and this is being fuelled specifically by abusive cocaine and heroin. excuse me. but if you look at data that come out of the monitoring of the future which is produced out of the university of michigan, what it shows from the 70s through 92 in particular. sorry. cocaine use remained below 10%. some might say that is a big deal. i say it is not an epidemic and it wasn't spreading because in the two years before reagan declared war in 1983 the two years just before he said we have got to do something, drug use was on the decline. in all of the years following
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that time point we see drug use bit below 5% and remain so. we don't normally expect officers, lawmakers to be terribly honest with us. putting in place laws -- what is it that would drive lawmakers to do this and behave in waves they know are counterproductive, incarceration policy has been shown not only to not reduce crime but refill prisons. to do exactly the opposite of what it is intended to do and so i can tell you this. after having poured through literally dozens of hearings they didn't do it because of the information they received from experts. they didn't do it because of the pressure from law enforcement
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lobbyists and law enforcement officials they got a lot out of this. they got the power to seize assets, seldom and use them. clinton put in place a bill to at 100,000 police officers and supplement their salaries with $50,000. there are all sorts of benefits you get and our governor andrew cuomo came in, and was proud when he said you can't expect to have a job by keeping people in prison. but that wasn't the reason lawmakers pursued this approach. not the reason they ignore the importance of racial justice and here is where it might get a little bit of trouble. we also know that black voters are not demanding the democrats do something different. the black vote for the democratic party is not -- it is
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not -- driven by what the party is doing. ever since 1968 blacks have voted for the democratic party to the tune of 90% and upward regularly even though the party is just as complicity here as republicans said they don't penalize. what is it that is driving politicians? politicians are doing what fits with the public mind set. they are doing what fits with the expectations, the understandings, the positions of the american voter. a electoral politics, when we start pouring through what is it that american voters believe? might surprise you to know they actually do believe there's a problem with racism in criminal
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justice. and i will ask those of you who are anti statistics, but a majority believe racial profiling in roads and highways, this has been done by several organizations and over several years a whopping 80% say that racism is some of the reason behind black imprisonment so they understand, it has to live under our rock to not know that but still sense that there is racism doesn't change the others things i'm going to talk about which is in this country even though we say we know police officers are engaged in racial
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profiling, at the same time we still consider police officers heroes. we give them very high marks and even higher marks than we give to clergy. police officers are fairly consistently at the top. how is it we recognize this but at the same time thinking of police officers as heroes because of beliefs about blacks? significant portion of americans believe blacks are criminally oriented 47% to be exact. 62% say the reason for their higher imprisonment rates is due to the fact they commit more crimes. literature out there says that is just a bunch of racists. i had students -- why would you
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ask that? when you look at black opinion data, 47% of the country as a whole believe blacks are more violent. look at black public opinion, 41% of blacks say the same thing. how do we parsed this as racism? very complicated thing. believes about black criminality are part of a much larger frame work with by blacks are judged negatively along several different dimensions which i am happy to get into during the q&a. that is how they satisfy the racism. blacks are partly responsible but there's another piece of the public mindset which is the belief that there's a serious violent crime problem even
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though we don't have it. we don't have a serious violent crime problem and even those who believe that they will tell you that their beliefs are not personalized. are you afraid to walk at night near your home? no. do you fear that you are going to be murdered and so forth? note. assaulted? no. is not a personalized fear probably because so few americans have been victimized by violent crime. viewers and one half of 1%. blacks have a higher victimization rate. so the -- i am sorry. the worry is really a worry about something out there. this phantom monster we get this by asking questions like do
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you think it is worse? is much much worse. is it getting better? no. are we handling it properly? no. absolutely not. we are not. and another way of getting at it is how do you protect yourself and ensure you don't have a victim? i don't go to certain neighborhoods. there's an idea there is a bogeyman out there somewhere that could soon arrive at their doors. what do police do? police protect them from that bogeyman. they are the dividing line. you are wondering how can these grand juries do this? grand juries are saying we have got your back because without you without you, jack nicholson said we are standing on the wall, we are going to stand behind you. given all of this when you ask what the criminal justice system should be doing, what policies should lawmakers be putting in
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place, i will tell you racial justice is nowhere near the top of policy priorities for criminal-justice. what americans want is a system that is squarely focused on crime and turns it to increasing amount of criminal sentences and so forth and to a lesser extent putting in place preventive measures but even when they can have all that and include race and. i ran three national surveys, racial reform of criminal justice never makes it to the top of the list. is grounded in our thinking and in the book i characterize public opinion as the primary route. there are lots of roots but it is the primary route. so where is the public getting all this from? why do they think this?
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how do they know? it is because of the news media. here it is the thing. i want to play the groundwork for this. that was a quick three hours wasn't it? most americans get their source of news and information from what media you imagine? television. the pure research center, does a really fabulous job pointing out how even though there's an increase in reliance on internet sources that increase has not supplemented but has extended the amount of time devoted to consumption of news, generally does not supplanted the
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importance of television. television plays more important roles for race where white americans are concerned, see if you can follow me on this, because of racial segregation and what that amounts to is very limited interracial interaction in a meaningful way. it is common to hear i have got a black friend, not as common to hear the black for in this regularly a part of my life. if you're not getting that information through personal interaction, television figures that much more largely. what you get when you turn to television is blacks are criminals so this bar raja of the ideas that most crime in the country is violence when in fact it isn't but more importantly blacks are the main cause of crime. frequently when you see blacks
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in television and local news they are either being depicted as victims of crime, perpetrators of crime or as charity cases so when you are bombarded with these images as a a regular basis, you see this on a regular basis should we really be surprised that this is what people think? should we really be surprised that this is how law enforcement officers are reacting to see a black person, especially black male so this is pretty common. if you will notice the gentleman to the right, eventually in connection with the disappearance of a woman later found to have been murdered but it started out with he was involved in reckless driving, that takes us back to the overscriminalization of all
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things the we do. it is easy to blame the media. it is all the immediate's fault. but the fact is the media can only sell what the public buys. it is a market-driven industry and the public tends to buy the kinds of stories that already fit with existing belief frameworks. that is why conservatives watch fox news. that is why liberals watch other news channels. i could list them, but i will stop there. it is comfortable. it creates too much cognitive dissidence, too much thinking doesn't have to be done. we come back to the public.
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it is what we are watching. fundamental belief that we have, that we need news stories and want news stories to stick to is this idea that everything that is happening is the result of individual choices. we are so married to the idea in this country that you worked hard, you got a pretty studied hard, you pull yourself up by your bootstraps, everybody has bootstraps and boots so if you end up in prison, locked up it is because of something you did. we don't live in the kind of society where people are just screwed. there is this idea of
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individualism. the individualist idea runs deep in this country and has always been there and we are comfortable with it. researchers for coming out. and economic disadvantage, relative deprivation. the needed to shut that down. if you believe in structuralism you got to do something about it, that is not an easy thing to do. why not blame the individual and say there's nothing we can do about that. go to church more go to temple more, prey more become a better person. one of our most popular and persuasive presidents helped to reinforce our thinking here and so all this information coming
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up, i can tell you again when they were holding those hearings i was impressed that the number of researchers who filed in and said you are going about this the wrong way here are all the studies we have done. i call them the crime preventers and the justice advocates as opposed to the crime fighters. they outnumber the crime-fighter's 5-1. i close with this quote from reagan that rejects the concept of individualism. we don't buy it anymore. i am declaring the death of structuralism, and individualism, at the roots of this philosophy, there are things beyond individual's
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control, and the playing field is level the root of this philosophy uses a presumption about human nature. by changing this environment through social programs, this philosophy holds that government can permanently changed man in an era of prosperity and virtue in much the same way individual wrongdoing is seen as a result of poor social and economic conditions or underprivileged background. this philosophy suggests in short that there is crime or wrongdoing and that society, not the individual, is to blame. he declares in 1988 times haven't changed. a new political consensus among the american people utterly
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reject this view. so i will stop there. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. that was a short three hours. i wanted to leave some time for q&a. would anyone like to ask questions? these. >> i would like to know others. how can you utilize this information? and to see buying up what they
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say. there is an issue there. what about petition? what can you do? >> people at the grassroots level. what can be done to raise public consciousness? you have to expand the conversation beyond what we have been focusing on. we begin by asking what is obama doing, what are members of congress doing? blacks have a lot of power. if blacks condition their vote on this issue in the same way latinos and others make very clear that their vote has to be earned, that might be one place to start. using a power we already have in our hands the other is to embark on a public consciousness
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raising enterprise of sorts. we look at the civil rights movement of the 60s and tend to think it was about forcing change but if you read dr. king's rating is very carefully conlan and he was asked why confrontation, why these demonstrations, he said because it shocks the public consciousness and is a way of educating the public and helping the public to understand the quiet ways in which people buy and sell. there is a brutal underside. there is another town in alabama where the gentleman, the sheriff had read dr. king's writings before he arrived for the protesters, he knew he needed to rob dr. king of the opportunity to get the public's attention
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and educate the public. that has to be it, to find ways to and to be less accusatory and help people understand. i got to tell you this. i talked to people about race because that is what i'd do. e will be surprised at the number of people whose a i am sick of hearing about race. one of the surveys, prioritize racial reform or criminal justice reform, and i got the most shocking responses including of course crime. the others, who talk about race are people who are race beaters. right? this comes from people from
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everywhere. sarah palin, never mind sarah palin. you find people who say it is time to move beyond this. you get questions like is there any such thing as race? said just having that conversation but at the same time using the power. blacks have tremendous power here especially with the country being so evenly divided between the two parties and once upon a time the black vote function as a sort of commodity where neither party could take that vote for granted so in the 1960s nixon went in to harlem and was quote courting voters. that -- they both use the powers that is fair but also think about the need to at a.g. kate more than we have. >> thanks for the question.
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>> any other questions? >> the reason we position the mic is because the sound is for the camera toward center. >> it is question, more explanatory. i was thinking of those pictures in media, thinking about thatch, this is where we are going and why do people want those scripts? why did people want to see that all the time. and another thing reagan was in
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favor of cabanas and anti-communist we have this consensus that everyone is the same, we have the rights but no period of approach. where people are doing that. we increasingly accept inequality in this country so all-american this have this consensus that we accept to some degree of quality where people are concerned about a lot of people need concern, maybe i am never going to be bill gates, or something like that. >> i think you should do that. >> better not be as a thought.
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the book at the media, closing neatly to reassure there is somebody under me. i had different color skin in that condition that reassures me and another thing the idea that in that year as that politicians were able to tell the 4 white sharecropper at least you are not black. and i wonder about the individualism versus the comfortable social status how do you think they fit together? >> i wonder if it really is the comfortable this was
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stratification more so than it is having, not the word position within that social strata you are alluding to. as long as you are not at the bottom, certainly some of that is there. a lot of the work i came across. a lot of vitriol and this need like the jerry springer affect of needing to have someone, as you point out someone you can at least feel you are better than and it gives your life on little more value. also i hope the day she read a lot of fascinating concerns and that don't address from all. there's also this need that people at the bottom have to feel hope, to feel a sense of control over it their faith and
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their lives and to feel when they get in the car comment and they are headed to work they made not worry about being adjusted to something they did not bring on themselves. the trumpet player, jazz player when he lived in el a you would get on a telephone before he left his lavish neighborhood and would call the police and say i am getting ready to leave so if you stop me i am letting you know so most people don't want to have to live that way or think that way. accept the possibility that no matter how much they play by the rules no matter how much they work hard, no matter if it is a cellphone in their hand or not they need to believe the worst is not going to happen because if we accept structuralism what
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do we do with that? this could all be for naught. working as hard as heck to get good grades could be point isless. that also, needing to have that belief, that hope in order to continue to move forward, that explains the vitriol, ways of wanting to talk about race not wanting to recognize here is a group of people that isn't really working away it should for us. a wonderful book called the racial divide sort of hit on something you just mentioned and that is lower class white americans their fates are more closely tied to their black counterparts than they realized think about globalization, decline, the worldwide decline in wages, the train dnc in
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employment and so forth, the impact of the shift from goods producing to service producing, exportation of jobs, they have as much to lose one would expect that there would be an awareness to join to get there and it doesn't happen because as he pointed out the one up is white skin and i will take that. thank you. >> i would like you to comment on how we have gotten in touch
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with -- allow racial profiling -- [inaudible] >> the supreme court has the power? which i think the argument and management and -- social movements -- [inaudible] the message of calling out all of zach as important. >> yes.
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yes. to the latter part of your question about affirmative-action. the court has said -- i am going to try to answer carefully. the court has said it is permissible to consider race, suspect classification but to do so in the context of education because the court has said diversity is an important part of the educational process so it has completely invalidated affirmative-action although it has severely restricted the applications or areas in which it can be utilized to the bigger question of whether affirmative action would be the way to offset the inequalities that ultimately underlies the phenomena we talked about. my answer would be because affirmative-action is primarily utilized in the college setting
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and the minority business program and also within government and employment very few of which are accessible to the truly disadvantaged so you can set ten seats at colgate university but is that going to be something that is realistic for those who confirm, something to take advantage of an even if they are admitted to survive without struggling in a big way, the other question you asked about, what kinds of things can government do given the costliness of social programs geared toward rehabilitation and prevention, consider this. the average amount of money that we spend in prisoners is somewhere between 20 to 25,000
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per year. per year. the recidivism rate is as high as 70% so even after we are spending that amount of money per year per prisoner, we set them up to guarantee that they come back so we are throwing good money after bad and we are well into the tens of billions at doing this. conversely consider the smaller amount of the wheat expand on a per pupil basis closer to 10 to 15,000 which produces something so the question of costliness, this is a policy that is costing us and not giving us a return on investment. education on the other hand
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does. our lawmakers decided to deny access to school loans for those convicted of a drug felony. when governor cuomo recently announced wanting to provide community college education to those in prison the state went berserk. how dare you educate the prisoners. i am thinking you would much rather pay for them? that is the better alternative but we are not thinking about it because we are so focused on just desserts, retribution retaliation, rather than pensions, at the root of the
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term penitentiary. this goes back to the question dan was raising which is we now have a class of people we referred to as back sconce. you committed a crime. it could be something as small as one gram of crack cocaine. a person doesn't get job. that means that is a risk in communities, a risk to society as a whole. we are depleting economists refer to as human capital so the question of cost to me is can we afford to continue doing this? error colder, i have tremendous respect for attorney-general eric holder began pushing for a bill not called fair sentencing that was the title of the bill enacted in 2010 fair sentencing. that meant we are being fair to those who are subject to the
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100-1 crack cocaine structure. it is smarter sentencing because maybe we will get smarter and figure out we should be ensuring, we are talking roughly 7 million people. we were just out there in our communities. all of our communities so even after it that there are studies that show the reduction in productivity, the reduction in gdp impact on families that imprisonment especially black male parts so that contributes to the breakup of the family, the breakup of the family is connected to poverty, poverty is connected to a limited education and so on and so on so i don't think we can afford to do
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something different. [inaudible] >> i think the only way that is going to succeed is the equal employment opportunity commission permits employers to take into account the potential liabilities of that. it is because they have to get the costs in the foreseeable consequence so if we change the rule where employers cannot be first of all suits and held responsible than it is possible that might work but most employers will play it safe rather than sorry and not higher. anyone have any other questions? thank you all again.
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[applause] >> booktv is live this weekend from the tucson festival of book starting at 1:00 p.m. eastern, 10:00 a.m. pacific obama we will cover several of their panels on topics like race and politics trauma supreme court, environment, immigration and more. all this live from the arizona university, the site of the seventh annual tucson festival of books. here is a look at the current best-selling nonfiction audio books according to
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