By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke explains why Rick Scott is helping the criminal justice system keep African-Americans down.
Last week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott ramrodded through a decision that explains why African-Americans have no faith in the criminal justice system or those who run it. On March 9, giving virtually no public notice or warning his own cabinet, the state's leader made it ungodly hard for ex-felons to vote. Ever. Even if they have reformed. In 2004, one in five blacks here couldn't cast a ballot because of this rule. Charlie Crist began righting this. Scott has turned back the clock.
Police officers and prosecutors spoke in favor of the changes. It is to their benefit to make sure felons return to a life of crime.
Scott's decision comes on the heels of his plan to give the state prison system to private corporations. Instead of trying to come up with ways to break the vicious circle of crime that afflicts predominantly African-American communities, the governor wants to continue it. Inmates mean dollars. Private prison companies funnel money into the campaigns of candidates running for sheriff, judge, state attorney, and governor to assure the system keeps humming.
We need to come together as a community and empathize with what generations of African-Americans live through every day. When you lived through events such as the 1980 Arthur McDuffie riots and then still see black males being gunned down by police without explanation more than 30 years later, how can you have faith in the criminal justice system?
When your community for decades hasn't seen any new businesses come in — except for the steady rotation of dope boys on the corner — how can you believe that the government wants to see you succeed? People who disagree will say African-Americans in Liberty City and Overtown choose to live in a war zone; it's their own fault. I don't know a single black person who's happy to live in an American version of Afghanistan.
But rather than having a place to live like Aventura or Sunny Isles Beach, African-Americans get police officers performing illegal searches and seizures. This occurs every day whenever a cop pulls over a black male because he "looks" like the guy who robbed the liquor store.
Everyone wants to look down on criminals, but Governor Scott and his cronies don't want to take the time to analyze the circumstances that made those people criminals. He doesn't want to reform a criminal justice system that is geared toward making sure prisons have a steady population. Hell, Scott showed last week he doesn't even like democracy.
I can't seem to understand how you people complain about a system that is already flawed! Speaking as a black man, the system is designed for an individual to mess up. Ironically, I am not at all surprised by the actions of this current Governor. Its the same all across the board! I am somewhat perplexed but, it is just another politician trying to make another name for himself. You people voted for him, so you get whatyou deserve!
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Luke, I love you dude...but really? Rick Scott is trying to keep the black man down? I honestly think he's trying to keep a lot of people down but to say he's perpetuating the plight of the African American is an inaccurate observation on your part.
The African American is down and out today because to be 'gangsta' is cool, to be educated and want to make an honest living is 'too white' for the black community... The vicious cycle you discuss in your column is the one where the parents dropped out of school, had babies at 16 and failed to highlight the importance of an education to their babies and so now, they've dropped out too because only crackers wanna go to school...to make money you gotta 'hustle' down on the corner. That's the cycle you allude to in your article.
And let me tell you, the young men getting shot out there by the cops, 9 out of 10 of them are either convicted felons up to no good, habitual offenders with a long rap sheet, or are armed with illegal automatic weapons. This is no excuse to shoot a human being if they're truly innocent, but I highly doubt, the guys that have been shot were playing scrabble on the corner.
Yes, this country has an awful history with segregation and racial inequality, but think about what the white man at the time was using as his argument: the black man is not equal because he's lower; he's sub-human - he needs to be told what to do - he's stupid - look at how he behaves. How unkind and racist, no? Yet, do you think wearing pants down to there and speaking ebonics is what Rosa Parks had in mind when she sat at the front of the bus sacrificing her freedom? Is that the equality she was striving for? Sad thing is, most young blacks today don't even know who Rosa Parks is.
You're right though, I doubt anyone in Liberty City wants to live in a war-zone, however, in order to come out of that, you gotta educate yourself, you gotta live an honest life...and you have to follow the rules society has in place. The rules don't exclude you just because you're black...and you have to stop placing blame elsewhere. If you're down and out, truly, rise up and do something for yourself - only you can take care of you the right way.
I am astonished at the audacity of the above commenter! Who is HE to deem himself even WORTHY to speak the very NAME of Rosa Parks? Even worse that that, the commenter is arrogant enough to presume HE can actually KNOW what was in the heart and mind of Rosa Parks, and the motivation behind her actions. This is reminiscent of Glenn Beck having the unmitigated GALL to quote the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, whilst pimping out King's legacy and memory to further his repulsive, psychotic agenda. I find it very interesting that most of the posters who engage in this racist language, who reside in Florida, have surnames like Reyez, Feliz, Perez, etc. The children of immigrants, be they of Cuban heritage or Russian, or any other nationality, have an instantaneous "leg-up" when they arrive here. The historical abuse and degradation of the black Americans who have lived here for generations, is something they cannot fathom. For one thing, most had two parents with a WILL to improve their lives, and take advantage of the opportunities available for their children. Therein lies to very reason that their "logic" is not only skewed, but self-serving, and comes off as mean-spirited. This "I got mine, so now I can lord it over you" attitude is almost like a mantra of the current right-wing faction of the GOP that is dividing this nation. "I got mine," is all well and good, ONLY if you are willing to be completely TRUTHFUL about HOW you got yours. When your "opinion" starts and stops there, your crowing is not only fraudulent, but dishonest. I am certain the above commenter considers her/himself to be intelligent, have it all figured out, in black and white (no pun intended) and, most likely, even a "Godly" person. That is the most disturbing and dangerous part of this issue. Yes, America is a "melting pot," however, MOST came here of their own accord. If you had arrived in chains, scarred from beatings and considered to be of less value than the plantation MULE, I think you would have a different take on this. I also think you would open your heart and your mind a bit. You might even find yourself able to exhibit some evidence of grace and understanding toward your fellow man. It is the ONLY thing that will save our society.
white people are so dumb these days they'll believe everything they hear on the news..SMH and not to mention their kids will be even dumber sadly enough,why?its simple the money that was supposed to go into their education will go towards prisons which luke is opposed of,race has nothing to do with it in this case because the gov. doesnt care about what race you are when your found guilty,you become a statistic/number that brings revenue every year that person is incarcerated,and worse of all they don't rehabilitate convicted felons so when they are released society will have to deal with what they created and most of the time innocent victims are usually the ones blinded by the trail of smoke left by politician's greed and end up getting the worst end of the deal....so hopefully it will be one of you ignorant crackas one day getting the treatment you voted for......LMFAO
"Governor Scott and his cronies don't want to take the time to analyze the circumstances that made those people criminals." Luke after reading the story on juvenile detention facility I already know the circumstances but what is the govenor to do? Sterilize every welfare mom who can't support her child and whose "baby-daddy" is in jail? What would you say about that?
If you've served your time, AKA paid your debt to society, why shouldn't your right to vote be restored?
Money corrupts, the last thing I want is criminal justice system that's set up to make a profit, giving money to political candidates. Looks like a lot of people here never heard the story about the judge that was locking teenagers up in a private juvenile facility for the smallest of infractions, like posting to facebook about a principle at school. Kids were doing time in that facility that was preposterous compared to their "offense". But guess what. The judge was getting paid.
Sorry, Uncle, but felons, white, black, brown, or rainbow colored, should not vote as their vote may be biased towards baling their own butts out! Should have thought about the loss of privileges before they committed crimes and cost the taxpayers a fortune between trials and incarceration.
I am trying to understand why is it so hard for black males to be millionaire's and even billionaire's in this world ? Its hard for them because most of them all they think about is rap and sex... Not how to be a millionaire or a billionaire....most have sex on the run and never pay for it and some rap/sing about all they did to all the females that have kids with know dads. This is the part where I don't understand This rick scott is successful and he wants our state successful too he is not leaving out the blacks. He is wanting everyone successful. Where does he say only one color thiing...Blacks are mad because we have a leader thats about making money with out raping are sex.....Give this billionaire a chance...Oh I forgot Billionaire's are not lazy you work hard everyday....no color...its not a color thing its a money thing. Blacks are mad because the leader holds no punches...if your lazy get a job do something or move to some other city where you can work for the state and be lazy..blacks are mad because rick does not cut lazy people and we have 1000's that set on tax dollars year after year and do nothing....Cops in Miami are lazy too & they get by.....Other cities around the world retire and never shot a gun or use a gun to take a armed man down..OUR COPS ARE TOO LAZY THEY SHOOT AND SO WHAT...Our cops just could not make it one night without the use of a gun. Back to scott he is about money and the blacks are mad. if your not lazy and you work do something don't worry...WHEN I SAY THE WORD MONEY...WHERE DO YOU GET BLACK FROM THE WORD MONEY...I HAVE NOT FOUND THIS YET...BLACKS DO NEED SOMETHING TO LEAN ON...I AM NOT GOING TO ASK WHY BECAUSE YOU WILL GIVE 9 BILLION REASONS WHY....GO HELP SOMEONE THAT NEEDS HELP..KIDS NEEDS A DADDY...THERE IS PEOPLE EVERYDAY THAT NEEDS SOMETHING..People giving people jobs stop playing with them and give them a job..They took there time to come to see you a fill out the paper or online..Stop playing and hire or take your hiring sign down..
Successful my ASS! You are obviously living in so White Supremecy-Cloud-BLind ass world! You as well as I know that Rick Scott is Racist. He is also dumb as hell... Why the hell wouldn't you want Mass transit in your state which would, no-doubt, make it alot easier for people to get jobs (Lower unemployment rate) and cause less traffic on the highways and of course would make Florida more of an advance state in which it has the potential to be! Also he is making it hard for the less wealth which are mostly us Black people and Hispanics and a handful of yall white people! Lets not live in CLoud Blind/Cloud Lies Bliss! THANK YOU KINDLY CRACKA!
Are you talking about the same Rick Scott who oversaw the largest Medicare fraud in U.S. history? That same company is now bankrupt and not in existence. That Rick Scott!!! Wake up, moron. I will not call you racist as would many others, you are just stupid.
The sad thing is Tricky Rick Scott is a successful sociopathic unindicted fraudster. Successful in that he has the unique skill to have walked away from (well, ok, pushed out of) HCA mere weeks before the Feds descended upon the company HQ with warrants. After pillaging Florida, we'll be lucky to have any salt left in the Gulf or Atlantic.
Comparing Liberty City and Overtown to Afghanistan is absurd and actually offensive. 90% of African-American males, currently with their rights after release, do not reform after their first prison sentence that is simply a statistic. This is also true for White males. It is extremely difficult for any ex-con to reform their life after release which really boils down to the person choosing the right path the first time. I agree that it is difficult to live in an area of crime and come out squeeky clean. It takes a very dedicated person to bring themselves out of their situation but it can be done. The reality is that the "reality" of the majority is we pay our taxes, we take care of our kids, we get up and go to work every day, pay the bills and obey the law. Its that simple. The opportunities for the middle class are so few that mothers and fathers work their butts off to put their kids through school, pay medical bills/insurance premiums, pay for all of the sports and extra curricular activities, etc. I want my son to go to a meet-and-greet with the Miami Heat, I have to pay $1,500.00, low income kids get to do it for free. Can I afford $1,500.00, heck no but my son plays basketball and wants to meet them too, what am I supposed to do? I want my son to go to Football camp, again middle class doesnt qualify for the freebies but its too expensive, again, what to do? I am still waiting for someone to do something for us!
Of course, you could live a clean life to begin with.If you think the losing the right to vote, through your own actions, is the worst problem in the Black community, you are in a fantasy land.Over 70% of Black babies are born to single moms.HIV/AIDS is ravaging the Black community, along with illegal drugs, gangs, and prostitution.
The reason why businesses leave the Black community, and refuse to move into them is CRIME.I just LOVE how it's the White Govenor's fault that Blacks continue a life a crime.Yep, it's never your own fault.How about raising your kids, having some pride in your neighborhoods, and standing up to the madness.Naw, it's so much easier to blame Whites.
Nothing racist here; just common sence! A convicted felon should not have the right to vote or carry a weapon, for that matter -regardless of his/her race or ethnicity. That's the price he/she pays when he/she choses to victimize another. By the way, you might find interresting the idea that, in a county (Miami-Dade) where blacks make up only approximately 15% of the total population (give or take, depending on who you ask), approximately between 75 and 85 percent of the police BOLOs -be on the look out (for a criminal of course) are for black males. These BOLOs are generated by victim's complaints, not arbitrarily drafted by law enforcement. Maybe that explains the number of black inmates in our correctional institutions.
As far as business in Overtown and Liberty City..., the ability to suceed in the United States lies in whole with-in the individual's motivation, hardwork, and dedication. Driving through Overtown, or Liberty City would make you question its resident's motivation, work ethics, and dedication. And no..., I am not a white racist. We live in a great nation that even today continues to be the land of opportunities. But apportunities don't just fall from the skies -you have to do your part. I know this first hand. I am an American -a Cuban American.
I understand. We need blacks to continue a life of crime so they can be denied the right to vote, live off unemployment, not be able to pay the rent and taxes to live in Aventura, and yes, let me not forget, keep you employed. What would you write about then? Certainly not the minority-focused opportunities, scholarships, and all other entitlements given to a segment of our population simply for being black. Stop bitching and focus on raising the bar for your people. As for criminals no longer having the right to vote, they kind of pissed that privilege away when they broke the law. Blacks and whites, alike.
American version of Afghanistan? I've been to Kabul and you can't even compare. Luke, you are a complete douchebag.
While I too often disagree with Luke's opinions for the most part because they reflect what is so prevalent among our local AA communities' racial attitudes, which tends to be... ahem... still trapped in the sixties, I will say he was spot on this time. Apparently he wont get much sympathy from a city with as prevalent of a fascist streak as our beloved Miami, much less from the erudite readers of a ""porn paper" that you find on the side of the road" (as one commenter noted), but to deny the existence of a Prison-Industrial Complex when this country has a greater percentage of its populace in prison than any other just stinks of a cognitive dissonance of shocking proportions. Something IS WRONG with the system. Americans are not the worst people in the world. It is ridiculous that Americans are incarcerated at a much higher rate than any other nationality. It happens because someone's career/pocketbook in benefiting from the system; be it the cop, the DA, or the catering company bidding for a contract with the new prison. Maybe if the local FOX/Tea-Party crowd actually realized how much this is costing tax payers they would come around. But of course this would take them getting over homoerotic admiration for any form of government that carries a badge and gun. Do they even care that it costs taxpayers more to house one inmate per year that it does to send a kid through 4 years of college? Yes, once a ex-con does his time he should have his/her civil rights. The very reason Florida doesn't do this says just as much about it's Jim Crow past as it does about Republican aspirations to turn this into a defacto one-party state (consider their ongoing attacks of unions) knowing full and well that a fully restored ex-con will likely vote Democrat, and that's exactly what the GOP is trying to prevent - one vote at a time. I'd say Luke's suggestions don't go far enough. First of all, end the failed War on Drugs which contributes up to 40% of inmates to our prisons. Just imagine what good that alone would eventually do for the AA community. Consider alternative sentencing for non-violent as well as parole offenders who likewise make up the bulk of the prison populations. Reduce the number of people being incarcerated, by reducing the number of crimes involving imprisonment. At the very minimum, a crime possibly involving imprisonment must always involve real human victims - in other words no more victimless crimes. Resolution of property crimes should focus primarily on restoring the property. All imprisonment for property crimes does is enrich the state/private entity through tax money. Eliminate all versions of "Three-Strikes-and-Out" laws. Restitution and punishment should escalate for repeated offenses, but thresholds where a petty crime results in a life sentence are insane. And to reduce recidivism, we need a new civil rights law (state or federal) that would forbid discrimination in hiring and housing on the basis of a prior non-violent criminal conviction. Imagine how much we could reduce crime if all that tax money we spend to incarcerate and reincarcerate was actually used to rehabilitate and reintegrate people back into society rather than just line the pockets politicians and corporations whose interests are to keep the prison-industrial complex profitable. So there... I said it. Luke was right this time. Let the badgelickers that find Mugshot Fridays amusing start their flamewar but please fact-check yourselves before you post.
Let me start off with this....I grew up listening and dancing to Luke's music. But these political articles that he's written, have made me really dislike him. He's the one who sounds like the ignorant racist. He is constantly blaming everyone else for the problems that Afican Americans face in their communities and has them portrayed as the vicitms. Those communities are responsible for their own actions. Robberies, drugs, murders, drive-bys...who is to blame except for those individuals? It's not the government's job to come into these drug and crime ridden neighborhoods to "fix them" and bring in buisnesses etc... It's the job of those who live there to stop expecting and looking for hand outs and instead stand up in their community and say they won't tolerate this anymore. Maybe Mr. Luke could start these initiatives huh? Yes the political system EVERYWHERE is a mess and that I agree with. But when you start making excuses and blaming the "white man" (by the way I'm spanish) for why a certain culture behaves a certain way, he sounds like the racist. The problems these communities have starts at the beginning...PARENTING! You are a product of your enviornment. He should try educating these individuals on how to be better parents and instill morals and values. This might be hard for him seeing I used to listen to his music...I know his morals and values! Until he starts writing for a reputable and distinguished publisher, not a "porn paper" that you find on the side of the road, the educated open minded individuals won't take anything he says seriously.
such a crock of B.S. the everyone fell sorry for the A. AMERICANS bull they make the own choices this not comming from a music singer but from a WHITE FLORIDA EX CON 12.6years in the system 84-96 ive seen it all inside its allways the judge GAVE me THIS TIME not I made mistakes and 95% inside do not try to better thenself by going to school yesthe G.E.D. is offered or taking any voc,tach courses ELECT. HORT, AUTOBODY PRINTING , no its work inside grounds[pick up trash ] in a area then get out to the rec field to lift weights, get to the skin or tonk table . When the AFRO-AMERICANS start accepting that they made there own mistakes and try to change there life then ill start to care. I got out left state went somewhere i didnt know anyone and busted my ass proving to my boses that i had changed . i now own 2 homes, my cars, boat, bike, had a RV. but the big thing is i got it all by working for it by making the choice to change not staying in the sterotype of being a EXCON
In the words of our apprrentice PRESIDENT, "elections have their consequences". Scott is doing EXACTLY what he promised. Get used to it. Feel free to vote him out of office at the end of his term.
Join the impeach Rick Scott Facebook page-http://www.facebook.com/t...
I have first hand knowledge that what you say in this column is true. I have been teaching juveniles, being tried as adults, at Turner Guilford Knight, for the past 12 years. It appears to me that very intelligent young men are seduced by peers, those rotating drug boys on corners. They come to me at TGK wondering how they got there, regretting the moment they thought they were Hollywood actors and became involved in circumstances that threaten to take away their freedom for a long, long time.These young men are predominantly black, and there is not one Anglo child in our mix at this time. In fact, there has never been more than one Anglo child, and then only infrequently, throughout my 12 years at TGK. How can this be possible? If our juveniles at TGK were criminally insane, or just criminal, we would have a more representative sample of the population in Miami Dade.Liberty City, Little Haiti, Overtown, Naranja, and other crime infested municipalities exist because our governments want them to. After all, didn't the mere threat of global involvement cause Quadaffi to immediately call a truce less than 48 hours ago? Certainly, crime can be totally eradicated in these areas if our State and Local governments wished it to be so.Instead, Rick Scott is going to spend our hard earned tax dollars on devising yet another way to evaluate teachers, restrict teachers who already work in neighborhoods infested with crime from moving to other schools, and end of the year exams, in addition to the FCAT. A fraction of the cost the measures involve would substantially eradicate crime in the neighborhods populated by African American and Hispanic minorities. Rick Scott's measure will effectively insulate the rest of Miami Dade from integration, teacher mobility, I mean who would transfer to a failing school no matter how talented a teacher, and labelling teachers as ineffective and not allowing them to transfer out, will add further stigma to areas already stigmatized.I have learned much from my students at TGK. They, and not mere promises, have taught me the real meaning of transparency, dedication, rehabilitation and most importantly, common sense.
I am seeking supporters of officially 'impeaching' Rick Scott. I realize that this is a complex process, however, it is very successful in getting the attention of citizens who are truly concerned about the direction this man is taking this State. Governor Crist made a few valid suggestions to assist the black people in this State who have been 'illegally' detained and other outrageous acts of deprivation as per the US Constitution, but he failed to be proactive on this suggestions. Now there is this Rick Scott, who is vehemently trying to bring back the KKK and supporting all hate groups and endorsing the 'good ole boy' ideology of 'blacks are only one-eighth of a person. It is time to show and call for the impeachment of Rick Scott. Every teacher, parent, student and sound minded person in this State of Florida owe it to themselves to vehemently pursue this avenue to keep this State and country going forward instead of backwards. We must be concerned with unity and peace, not separation and war. Rick Scott ideologies promote terrorism! Get rid of RICK SCOTT! Once again, I reiterate and re-emphasize - WE MUST GET RID OF RICK SCOTT - IMPEACH THIS MAN! Start a campaign on every corner, in every city, in every county. We must unilaterally combine our efforts and immediately initiate this campaign. Our teachers, parents and students cannot afford to linger; we must move strategically using the wisdom and understanding we have gleaned from the actions of Rick Scott. Rick Scott is destroyer and will cause dissention among all of us creating extreme havoc. What I am saying is no exaggeration of the facts, as some of Rick Scott supporters will certainly state. What I am saying is exactly the state of our situation. This man is at the helm of state; he must be removed. We are a democracy and we have the right to remove him. He is a liar, and will certainly destroy the fabric of unity we have sucessfully woven in this state, moving us in the opposite direction. Our children do not deserve this, please let us get together and remove this man.
The question has to asked, who profits from crime if you privatize your penal system?We have already seen in two states, Mississippi and Penn where judges were bribed by CCA and CCC (both private prison corporations) to sentence people to jail for the maximum time allowable for the slightest of offenses. When will we as a nation realize that 'Privatization is not the answer but the problem' (yeah, I paraphrased Reagan, what about it.)
Does this idiot know any other word or theme than RACIST? He doesn't even know what it means, because everything is racist to him. What IS racist is allowing a marginally relevant, un-intelligent, untalented person to have a media forum ONLY because he is black.
You have one theme RACISM, and simply plug another person, institution, or event into the sentence "______ is Racist.".
'Fred Armor is a Racist'. Like this Fred. I put your name right where is asked. Feel proud of yourself. You and all your racist friends, you will all burn in HELL! God will not be mocked, His Word will not return to him void. - YOU WILL BURN IN HELL!
Fred you are right on the money, this man is a freaking racist himself, always promoting pro-leftist garbage and black people supremacy; still he dares to call everyone that is not a communist, radical, liberal, or any other name they have elected to be called, which anyhow in the end is just the same communist doctrine; where they intend to apply their on garbage on any one that is a conservative, family and free society oriented person.Could anyone find worst mass agitators and real dividers and destroyers of good human relations among all races and creeds, than this kind of self baptized journalists?They never talk about the real racist fellows including himself!
Since you are sick and tired, die, why don't you. Lessen the earth's population. There are two places - Heaven and Hell. Heaven is certainly SHUT to you. Die and go to HELL! WHY DON'T YA!