touted so-called progressive platform of the Democrats came out just
as all hell was breaking loose. Police in Baton Rouge and Falcon
Heights killed two unarmed black men. Two black, armed men killed
three Baton Rouge police and six Dallas officers respectively. Just
like the police, the former military officers had been trained to
violence in this country continues to spiral out of control. So when
I heard the 2016 Democratic draft platform was ready for public
viewing, I went straight to the criminal justice section.
first sentence is: “Democrats are committed to reforming our
criminal justice system and ending mass incarceration.”
should read: “Democrats are committed to reforming our criminal
justice system and ending mass incarceration because we’re the
reason that the U.S. has the highest prison population in the world.”
1994 crime bill unleashed 100,000 new cops on working class
communities of color. It provided nearly $10 billion in funding for
prisons which accelerated the growth of the prison industrial
complex. The bill also expanded death penalty-eligible offences.
have this Democratic president to thank for not only for mandatory
life sentences but for doing nothing about the racial disparity in
sentencing between crack and powder cocaine. This racist policy
helped to explode both the state and federal prison populations by
sucking up non-violent drug offenders.
dove deeper to see what the platform would say about the black bodies
falling in streets across the country at the hands of police. What
would the Dems say about the racist and violent culture of police
will rebuild the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the
communities they serve. “
How so when police, regardless of even incriminating videos, never
seem to get indicted and if they get indicted, they never seem to get
convicted. Without justice and fairness, there can be no “trust”
between police and the communities they occupy.
stopped reading the platform after this section. It was pretty
meaningless. I had already heard that amendments to the platform that
people like me hold dear had already voted down before it hit the
public square. Like single payer health care. Like a $15 minimum wage
indexed to inflation. Like putting a halt to climate change. Like
fossil fuel being phased out over the next 30 or so years. Like a
critique of Israeli “occupation” of Palestine.
platform is supposed to be the guiding program of the Dems—the
Party of the People - that informs their legislation and public
policy. To see how serious the Party is about addressing these
issues, take a look at the 2012 platform and see what work was done.
Bernie-Democrats are suited up for a big fight over the platform, a
watered-down version is what we can expect to come out of the
Democratic National Convention next week.