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Monday, February 11, 2013

The unresolved issues about the rights of undocumented immigrants just beginning to take shape in the White House and the Congress ... .

... are causing some sleeplessness these winter nights, and as is so often true, are becoming interwoven with another stubborn issue -- our disturbing numbers of American citizens of color living lives of desperation within the walls of our prisons.  (Read "The New Jim Crow" by Prof. Michelle Alexander for a more complete picture.)

I've now been blogging for so many years that there's a personal record of my having anguished through these issues before, and repeatedly.  No need to repeat that diatribe here.

I just took myself back a few years (by entering a few key words in that little white search bar on the left side of the screen just above the banner) where I was able to read back over earlier writings on these troubling subjects.

What makes today's news that the Post Office is threatened with further closures -- and that 1 in 5 postal workers has been African Americans since the 1880s -- means that literally thousands of unemployed people of color are soon to be added to the ranks of the unemployed in a national economy too weak to sustain them and their families.

I believe I've found them -- those displaced African American service workers.  They have been moved from the projects and welfare lines into our prison system where they are facing either life sentences, or, are faced with disenfranchisement upon release and re-entry without rehabilitation of any kind; stripped of the right to vote (in many states); having to register on job applications as having a criminal record, and with little hope for a future of any kind except the return to the prison as a means of survival.


Note: The passage of time and our failure to solve some basic issues as a nation, means that little has changed, except that I've grown older without finding comfort around these questions.  If you'll enter the words displaced service workers and/or Immigrant Rights into the search bar you'll bring up those discussions -- me with myself  -- on these subjects.   

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