By Sam Madden
We as a society should always be looking for the truth. It is faulty of us to jump to conclusions. Police Officers have lost their jobs and called racists before all the facts of an incident have even come out.
So why do we as a society so quick to jump to conclusions about something because we see body cam footage, youtube videos from someone’s cell phone, or just a caption that comes across our news feed?
I personally don’t have an answer to that. Maybe a trained professional in Psychology or Psychiatry does and I am planning on doing a follow up on this question after I talk with experts.
Now the George Floyd incident from all accounts and video is cut and dry. But at the same time the Ferguson incident was not. And after grand jury testimony by African American Witnesses not only was the Officer cleared, but the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” narrative turned out to be completely false. Yet we as a Nation ate that narrative up, including the media. Due to that false narrative, police officers were ambushed, gunned down execution style all around the country. And then in Dallas, TX in 2016 five Police Officers were shot dead and Nine others injured in a Sniper attack during a peaceful protest. All this over false narratives.
Which brings us to Michelle Alexander’s Book, “The New Jim Crowe.”
I started reading this book several years ago, I read less than 100 pages and then stopped. Why did I stop? Because I read something I knew to be false. So I looked up in her source listing where she got this information and it was nothing but hearsay, which Alexander should have known better being an Attorney not to use such a source. But if she hadn’t then her narrative of the title of her book would not jive.
She states on page 85 that in Wisconsin that anyone who makes more than $3,000 per year is considered by the state to be able to afford a lawyer. Her source is the link below from a USA Today Article.
Now here is Wisconsin’s actual guidelines for court appointed counsel for those that can’t afford it. (One will have to read the last page, to get the what the guidelines were with the proposed amendment at the time).
Then on page 90 Alexander states that in England the max sentence for selling a Kilogram of Heroine is 6 months. This is false. I don’t have her source handy, (I had picked up her book from the Library), but here is the actual sentencing guidelines for England.
For disclosure purposes I had started reading her book in 2016, though it was originally published in 2012. This book is currently #13 on the Amazon Best Seller List, and whenever I discuss race relations, people always bring up this book, even though they can’t cite things from it.
In conclusion, just because something is in a book doesn’t make it true, there are books out there by College Professors with PhD’s in Criminal Justice that dispute what Alexander wrote and her conclusions, (but these books don’t get much attention for some reason). Just because you see something on the Internet, (unless it is from a credible source), does not make it true, and just because I or someone else writes something does not necessarily make it true. This past week I caught an error in my article here titled “Death of George Floyd and Racism.” Which I updated on June 25, 2020 with a proper source listed.
Sam Madden is a Representative and Board Member for the Center For Pluralism based in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Sam Madden