2ndlook

1857 – A Year in Hindsight

Posted in British Raj, Desert Bloc, History, India, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on April 23, 2012

Global power equations in 1857 favored the British. After a 100 years of continuous war, India’s global diplomatic presence was negligible.

Cartoon from the December 1857 Nick-Nax.  |  Source & courtesy - superitch.com  |  Click for image.

The pain of 1857 in America. Cartoon from the December 1857 Nick-Nax. | Source & courtesy - superitch.com | Click for image.

World in 1857

The year of 1857, was a remarkable period for Britain.

Germany was not yet born. With control over Indian gunpowder production, France had been comprehensively defeated – and relegated to second-grade power.

Haiti’s independence started a ripple effect across the Americas, Caribbean – and even Europe. Spain began losing most of its South American colonies. By 1857, Spain and Portugal were in steep decline.

America was preoccupied with slavery and its slow-genocide of the Native Americans. Ottoman Empire was not in expansion mode. Britain was well-prepared to militarily confront China and India. The modernization of Japan was just beginning.

That left only Russia to oppose or challenge Britain.

Beginning of the End

Russia was tamed by the Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856).

Britain, France, Austria, Ottomans, Sardinia (part of Italy now) combined against Russia. Nearly 600,000 killed in fighting, with disease or battle injuries, the Crimean War was fought by a trigger-happy Europe.

The Russian Foreign Minister, a German in Russian employ, Count Karl Robert Nesselrode, told Sir George Hamilton Seymour, the British ambassador that

“violence which had been supposed to be the ultima ratio of kings, , it had been seen, the means which the present Ruler of France was in the habit of employing in the first instance”.

Further, Count Nesselrode seeking British support pointed out that

France was forcing a confrontation and that in the conflict Russia would `face the whole world alone and without allies, because Prussia will be of no account and indifferent to the question, and Austria will be more or less neutral, if not favourable to the Porte’. Moreover, Britain would side with France to exert its superior naval strength, `the theatre being distant, other than soldiers to be employed as a landing force, it will require mainly ships to open to us the Straits of Constantinople [the passage from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean through the Bosplate and the Dardanelles], and the united naval forces of Turkey, England and France will make quick work of the Russian fleet.’

An interesting personage in the Crimean War was Hugh Henry Rose (6 April 1801 – 16 October 1885) at the British embassy in Constantinople as chargé d’affaires for the British.

Prevailing Complaint, from the December 1857 issue of the comic periodical, Nick-Nax. “Erie” refers to failing stock in the Erie Railroad & Canal.

Prevailing Complaint, from the December 1857 issue of the comic periodical, Nick-Nax. “Erie” refers to failing stock in the Erie Railroad & Canal.

On Indian Borders

Closer to India was the possibility of Russo-Persian alliance with Indian kings, to take on the British. And the British decided to counter that. Peace in Crimea came about after Treaty of Paris on March 30, 1856, at the Congress of Paris.

After this, the British took on the Persians in the Anglo-Persian War (Nov 1, 1856-April 4, 1857). The origins of this war itself are mired in confusing reasons.

One was the Persian military conquest in 1852 of Herat, now in Afghanistan, but many a time ruled by Persia also. For four years after Persian conquest of Herat, Britain kept quiet. Busy with the Crimean War. After the Crimean war, Britain saw the Persian action, as an extension of the Russo-Persian influence to Indian borders.

The other was the dispute in Persia over Hashim Khan and his wife. Hashim Khan, a part of Shah’s personal bodyguard, was married to the sister to one of the Shah’s wives. Hashim Khan’s wife, married twice previously, became the grist of European gossip  mills. The Shah’s administration preferred charges of deserter against Hashim Khan. The British Embassy provided Hashim Khan with diplomatic cover. The frequent visits to the British Embassy, by Hashim Khan’s wife became a subject of speculation.

The British sent an expeditionary force from India – and the British ambassador, Charles Augustus Murray, presented a charter of demands to the Persian Government. The expeditionary force from India captured coastal towns of Bushehr and the Kharg Island. After a few months of petty fighting in adverse weather conditions, the Anglo-Persian War ended with a treaty. Persia withdrew from Herat. All other issues became irrelevant.

On the Persian campaign were General James Outram, Brigadier-General Henry Havelock. Along with Hugh Henry Rose of the Crimean War, these three people played an important part in the 1857 War in India.

Using unparalleled brutality, they retained the British Empire after two years of ferocious fighting.

But before that

The British in 1857 reinforced their treaty of perpetual friendship with Amir Dost Mohammed of Afghanistan, the Treaty of Peshawar (1855) by an addendum.

Further Britain, withdrew huge amounts of money that were invested in the American markets – precipitating a financial crisis in US (see cartoons linked in the post). Much analyzed and discussed (including Marx and Engels), the 1857 financial crisis severely disrupted US economy.

Britain further reversed it earlier policy of licensing pirates – and instead moved to ban piracy by all countries. This made international waters safe for British shipping and naval force. Piracy was outlawed by The Declaration of Paris, in 1856, ratified by various powers. Initially by Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, Sardinia and Turkey – but not by Spain, Portugal and the USA.

So, when India exploded into war against the British, it was pretty much alone. International alliances, trade, supplies, treaties were all on the British side.

Fighting against such overwhelming odds, Indian armies fought for nearly two years. Lakhs of soldiers died. Millions of civilians were killed by the British to cut-off Indian armies from their support base – and to force Indians to cease fighting.

The Day After

Th British Raj got the message.

The East India Company was wound up. India became a crown colony.

Overt religious expansionism was jettisoned. Queen Victoria went to great length to convince Indians that the British did not have religious ambitions in India. Christian conversion went intellectually underground. Anti-Indian history and propaganda was encouraged with false theories like Aryan Invasion (Max Muller), Caste System (Herbert Hope Risley), Aryan Conquest of Dravidians (Mortimer Wheeler) being the most prominent.

Another Terrible Failure, from the (New York) Picayune, November 7, 1857.  |  Image & courtesy - superitch.com  |  Click for image.

Another Terrible Failure, from the (New York) Picayune, November 7, 1857. | Image & courtesy - superitch.com | Click for image.

On the Home Front

At the beginning of the year, the British ended the Anglo-Persian War (Nov 1, 1856-April 4, 1857) British concluded peace with the Persian kingdom at Paris on March 5, 1857.

On 31st March, the 19th Native Infantry was disbanded for an earlier action (on 26th February) of holding an armed and un-authorized military drill at Murshidabad – the earlier capital of the Nawab of Oudh, near modern Kolkatta. The disarming and disbanding was done by the Queen’s 84th infantry brought from Pegu, at Barrackpur. This regiment from Pegu (now Bago), Burma, came by an Oriental steamer (later to become P&O) – ‘who made their appearance as if from the skies’.

It was on 5th April, that Mangal Pandey, of the 34th Native Infantry was hung to death.  On 3rd May, the 7th Reserve Infantry (irregulars) threatened to shoot their European officers in Lucknow. On 6th May, 1857, the Governor General’s order to disband the 34th Native Infantry regiment at Barrackpore were carried out.

After Tatiya Tope’s diversionary attack on Rose, and escape of Rani of Jhansi, British forces captured Jhansi – and after the loot, set it to torch. A field surgeon, Dr.Thomas Lowe, attached to the Madras Sappers wrote in 1860, how

The British soldiers were thirsting for vengeance. No maudlin clemency was to mark the fall of the city. The Jezebel of India was there, the young, energetic, proud, unbending, uncompromising Rani

Vishnukant Godse, an Indian traveller, whose Marathi account of the War, narrates,

I offered my evening prayers, ate a meal and went upstairs to see the condition of the city. And what a sight I saw! it looked like a vast burning ground. Fires were blazing everywhere and although it was night I could see far enough. In the lanes and streets people were crying pitifully, hugging the corpses of their dear ones; others were wandering, searching for food while the cattle were running, mad with thirst. All the houses in Halwaipura were on fire, their flames reaching the skies, and as no one was attempting to put them out other houses were catching fire too. I became sick and my head began to go round and round.

Caught in an updraft of cash flow from piracy, slave-trade, sugar-plantations using slave labour, opium, gold finds in Australia, Canada, South Africa (after 1857) – and India’s historic gold reserves Britain was in a unique position of financial prowess.

India paid the price for being positioned badly.


Caste System: Its’ Life & Birth

Posted in British Raj, History, India, politics, Religion by Anuraag Sanghi on April 20, 2012

How real is the caste system?

100 years of a hoax

Strangely, one British hoax that has not been called out, even sixty-five years after independence, is the creation of the caste-system narrative. While many Indians know of Max Muller’s motivations in creation of the Aryan Invasion Theory, very few are aware of how one man created the equally enduring myth of the caste system.

Herbert Hope Risley.

The ethnographer behind the caste system in the 1901 census. In-charge of the 1901 census, as per his biographer

Risley believed that the varna, however ancient, could be applied to all the modern castes found in India, and “meant to identify and place several hundred million Indians within it. seven racial types. The three fundamental races are – Dravidian, Mongoloid and Indo-Aryan. Four secondary races- Cytho-Dravidian, Aryo-Dravidian, Mongolo-Dravidian and Pre-Dravidian. (extract from Wikipedia).

Risley was also behind the Bengal Partition along communal lines in 1905. On the Bengal Partition, as the Home secretary to the Government of India,  in 1904, H. H. Risley, made an official noting:

Bengal united is a power. Bengal divided will pull in several different ways. That is what the Congress leaders feel: their apprehensions are perfectly correct and they form one of the great merits of the scheme… One of our main objects is to split up and thereby weaken a solid body of opponents to our rule. (via The Long View: The Partition Before Partition – NYTimes.com).

Caste system is a hoax, invented by the British, to expand and keep up power in India.

Have faith and belief

For the next few paragraphs, let us assume that colonial history is correct.

As per Western notions about Indian history, Indian society along with its caste system was set up by Brahmins between 400BC-800AD. Goes Western history, from circa 800 AD, Islāmic invaders started conquering India – and for the last 1200 years India has been ruled by Muslims or Christians. Both these Islāmic and Christian rulers have no use for the caste system.

Assuming ‘Hindu’ elites established this system in 1200 years, why have Muslim, Christian and Secular rulers not been able to remove it in the last 1200 years.

Looters and rentier

It cannot be removed, because it does not exist.

What exists today is a system where the Indian economy was handed over to different communities by Islāmic and Christian rulers – under the Iqtedaari system, Jagirdaari system, Zamindaari system.

This created a ‘rentier’ class of land owners, who ill-treated the former land owners, whose wealth was seized and re-distributed.

Numbers shall set you free

10% of Brahmins kept 90% of Indians as slaves?

Keep in mind Kabir Das’ doha

साईं इतना दीजिये, जामे कुटुंब समाए, मैं भी भूखा ना रहूँ, साधू ना भूखा जाये|

sai itna dijiye jaame kutumb samaye, main bhi bhukha naa raho, sadhu na bhukha jaye

(God give me just enough to take care of my family; and feed myself and any saadhu who comes to my house).

In a society, which reflected this belief, that had few super-rich Brahmins, the caste-system narrative implied that Brahmins looted everybody, kept slaves and suppressed everybody.

What kind of fools were the rest of the people?

When the same British tried suppressing people, between Buxar (1765) to Indian Independence (1947), more than 200 revolts, wars, battles, bombings, terrorist plots were executed. The British needed a highly paid army of more than 10 lakh soldiers to suppress the Indian population.

Now these are numbers.

Where is any source about Brahmin wealth, Brahmin armies, required to suppress people?

Indians not allowed

British who had No Indians Allowed signboards in many places promoted themselves as liberators. Probably, people also need to see Europe to understand what is the real caste system really is.

In Protestant Britain, there are hardly any Catholics. Protestant Germany has a few more than Britain Catholics. Now Britain and Germany were both Catholic countries 500 years ago. In Protestant USA, there has been only one Catholic President in more than 200 years. There is hardly any Protestant population in France of Italy.

To repeat a point – If Brahmins have been in power for 1200 years, and established the caste-system, why have Muslim, British and now Secular rulers not been able to remove it in the lat 1200 years.

Words … words … words

Words and logic apart, there is visual evidence that the caste system as ideated and portrayed by the British did not exist. Below is a selection of 5 images of India, dated between 1799-1899, before Risley came out with his caste-system ideas.

What these paintings show in great detail, is how in Indian bazaars and streets, there was a vibrant trade in rotis (unleavened bread), makhan (butter), mithai (sweet-meats). How could this be possible in a society where untouchability was rampant and embedded?

I’ve forgotten this before

My father remembers that his summer vacations were spent in serving cooled water from earthen pots with mur-mura-chana handfuls, in Hyderabad, at the side of the Hyderabad-Mumbai highway. There were widespread culture of piyaoos where water was served – at many centres with mur-mura (popped rice) and roast chana (lentil).

All, from all castes and religions were welcome, many times even persuaded, to slake their thirst and take the edge of their appetite with chana-mur-mura.

Bon appétit!

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1857 – A Failed ‘Mutiny’?

Posted in British Raj, History, India, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on April 19, 2012

Getting into the details of the 1857 War reveals some interesting sidelights.

An elephant gun-battery in 1857, a wood engraving from the 1860's. These elephant guns were crucial to both sides.

An elephant gun-battery in 1857, a wood engraving from the 1860's. These elephant guns were crucial to both sides.

Guns vs bow & arrows?

When it comes to the 1857 War, popular impression is that Indian ‘mutineers’ fought with swords, bows and arrows, and the British had guns and cannons.

For at least 400 years before 1857, India was the largest producer of gunpowder elements – specially crucial nitrates. India was the largest producer of nitrates (main component in gunpowder) – and availability of explosive material was not the problem in the 1857 War.

Not for Indians. Not for the British, too.

The Indian Court at the Great Exhibition, Hyde Park, London 1851.  |  Painting by Joseph Nash  |  Click for image.

The Indian Court at the Great Exhibition, Hyde Park, London 1851. | Painting by Joseph Nash | Click for image.

Explosive power

Since nitrate-production was concentrated in the greater Bengal area (Bihar, West Bengal, East Bengal), the purbiyas (the Easterners) were also the explosive experts. Malwa’s rulers recruited  Purbias from Bengal and Bihar for their expertise in gunpowder. The British initially valued and later (after 1857) feared the Purbias for the same reason.

The purbiyas (the Easterners) were the main body in in Malwa and Mughal armies, in Sher Shah Suri and Ranjit Singh’s armies – and in the army of East India Company also. In fact, the main component of anti-British Indian soldiers in the 1857 War were the Bengal soldiers, the purbiyas (the Easterners).

Indian nitrate production was in the hands of the private sector – and the whole world bought its gunpowder from India. Indian rulers too, had to buy nitrates at near global prices.

But buying nitrates, hiring soldiers, buying guns was an expensive affair.

Note the damage to the structure. Soldiers of the 1st Madras Fusiliers seated amongst the remains of the British entrenchment de fences to barracks at Cawnpore which General Sir Hugh Massy Wheeler surrendered in June 1857.  |  Image by Felice Beato; source & courtesy - iwm.org.uk  |  Click for image.

Note the damage to the structure. Soldiers of the 1st Madras Fusiliers seated amongst the remains of the British entrenchment de fences to barracks at Cawnpore which General Sir Hugh Massy Wheeler surrendered in June 1857. | Image by Felice Beato; source & courtesy - iwm.org.uk | Click for image.

Slavery, narcotics & piracy

Indian rulers ‘hampered’ by Indian dharma systems had limited access to funds. Taxation across India was set at 16.67%. Only in dire emergencies could the king impose the chauth rate (25%) of taxation – used by Shivaji.

The British East India Company could easily buy nitrates – funded by the riches of slave-trade, sugar production (using slave-labour), piracy, narcotics trade (opium to China).

Capital formation in Britain also pushed the Industrial Revolution – fully underway in Britain.

A cargo of seventy elephants from Burma during the 1857 Mutiny; |  Image date: 1858–61; Albumen silver print; from Gilman Collection, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art  |  Click for image.

A cargo of seventy elephants from Burma during the 1857 Mutiny; |m Iage date: 1858–61; Albumen silver print; from Gilman Collection, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Click for image.

By 1857, production of armaments in Britain was the highest in the world. The Grand Expo of 1851 announced Britain’s industrial might and leadership to the world.

By 1857, steam engines were driving production in England. Indian armament industry was powered by manual power – instead of steam power in Britain.

But was industrial might the deciding factor?

Siege guns, 18-pounders were much used by the British to bombard Indian soldiers.

These guns drawn by elephants made a difference. But more than guns were elephants themselves.

Contemporary British accounts record capture of elephants from Indian armies.  At least at one time, the British resorted to ship elephants from Burma to supplement their armies in India.

But what was the main achievement of the 1857 War? Western views is

Kashmiri Gate after the pounding by cannons during the 1857 War  |  Albumen print by Felice Beato; source & courtesy - bbc.co.uk  |  Click for image.

Kashmiri Gate after the pounding by cannons during the 1857 War | Albumen print by Felice Beato; source & courtesy - bbc.co.uk | Click for image.

Indian Mutiny was a revolution which failed.

Except that it destroyed the East India Company as a quasi-government once and for all: when executive administration and military authority were restored in the Raj, both were firmly in the hands of the British Crown. And except that never again, in the 90 years which remained before Indian independence, would Britons stand so confidently astride the subcontinent. Its balance had been fatally shaken at Meerut and from that day onwards it was a matter of when, not if, the Raj would fall.

The story which began in 1857 has never quite been resolved. Not all of its million sub-plots found so neat an ending as the tale of Margaret Wheeler. More representative by far is the legend of Wheeler’s nemesis, Nana Sahib, the enigmatic rebel leader who oversaw the massacres at Cawnpore. Despite being the most wanted man in the British Empire, Nana Sahib was never captured. Long after his probable death, sightings continued to be reported. The last came in Gujarat in 1895 when a young British officer detained an elderly sadhu and excitedly cabled Calcutta: “Have arrested the Nana Sahib. Wire instructions.”

Calcutta’s reply, subtly redolent of exasperation at the power of myth and mirage under the Indian sun, read: “Release at once”. (via Bounty from a mutiny – Books – Scotsman.com).

If … But … Why …

If the 1857 War was such a failure, why was the East India disbanded? Why did Christian missionary program start taking a back seat? Added to this, after the 1857 War in India, Christian proselytism too had to take a back seat.

Victoria Regina’s Colonial India Government printed leaflets in tens and thousands to proclaim that the British Crown had no intentions to dictate faith to its Indian ‘subjects’. The 1857 War also forced the British to change the war. Instead of military means, the British mounted an intellectual war on India. Euro-centric historians to change the entire drift of world history.

Less than ninety years after the 1857 War, in February 1946 Indian sepoys raised the Indian flag of independence – again.

This time around the British decided to walk.

Away.


Death of Indian Shipbuilding

Posted in British Raj, European History, Gold Reserves, History, India by Anuraag Sanghi on April 14, 2012

Bengal, which Mughal rulers described as paradise on earth, became a hell on earth during the British Raj. Right from the Famine of 1765 to the 1943 Great Bengal Famine which killed at least 3-4 million..

Note: Read 'f' as 's', where needed.  |  From: The ... report from the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the Affairs of the East India Company (Google eBook) | Published in Great Britain | Author: Select Committee on the Affairs of the East India Company, East India Company (London) | Publisher: Cambray | Year: 1810

Note: Read 'f' as 's', where needed. | From: The ... report from the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the Affairs of the East India Company (Google eBook) | Published in Great Britain | Author: Select Committee on the Affairs of the East India Company, East India Company (London) | Publisher: Cambray | Year: 1810

Gunpowder capital of the world

After the Battle of Plassey (1757), the British gained control of Bengal – which was India’s major industrial centre. For the British, the most valuable product from Bengal was saltpetre – nitrate, the essential ingredient in gunpowder.

In 1757, right up to WWI, India manufactured more nitrate (essential for gunpowder manufacture) than the rest of the world put together. An intricate technology, no other country in the world manufactured gunpowder products, as much as India, of such good quality. For the British, Bengal’s gunpowder production was the passport to a world empire.

Gunpowder apart, Bengal was a major textile centre, famous for shipbuilding and a significant agricultural centre.

Lockstep in Bengal

Between 1757 and the Battle of Buxar (1765), the British moved step at a time, to tighten their grip on Bengal.

One of the first steps was to create a famine. After Buxar for the next two hundred years, the Bengal region started witnessing famines that continued upto 1943, when some 30-40 lakhs Indians died in Bengal (3-4 million).

Bengal which was intricately connected by thousands of kilometres of waterways and canals, had lakhs of boats plying up and down the region. In 1788 came the order that killed shipbuilding in Bengal. Today it may seem fantastic, but more than 20 different types of boats, were used. Each of them built for different use.

Chronicles of India

In the eighteenth and nineteenth century, wonder-stuck Europeans spent years making etching and woodcuts, that are today the main surviving record of that age gone by.

The Mughals built the world’s largest treasury of the world – and even after that, India was a major economic power. After the end of Mughal power in 1857, in the next 100 years of the British Raj, we see India become a starving, naked and homeless population.

And in the last 65 years, India has again become the fourth largest economy in the world.


Yummrika: 1 in 3 Black Men Go To Prison

Posted in America, Current Affairs, Desert Bloc, Feminist Issues, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on April 10, 2012

150 years after the American Civil War, 50 years after Civil Rights movement, the American justice and prison system is a fortress of prejudice and hate.

Between myth and reality, between maya and propaganda  |  Cartoon titled - American Exceptionalism By Tim Eagan, in Deep Cover on 2/2/2012 12:00:00 AM  |  Click for image.

Between myth and reality, between maya and propaganda | Cartoon titled - American Exceptionalism By Tim Eagan, in Deep Cover on 2/2/2012 12:00:00 AM | Click for image.

Today people of color continue to be disproportionately incarcerated, policed, and sentenced to death at significantly higher rates than their white counterparts. Further, racial disparities in the criminal-justice system threaten communities of color—disenfranchising thousands by limiting voting rights and denying equal access to employment, housing, public benefits, and education to millions more. In light of these disparities, it is imperative that criminal-justice reform evolves as the civil rights issue of the 21st century.

Below we outline the top 10 facts pertaining to the criminal-justice system’s impact on communities of color.

1. While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.

2. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have a disproportionate number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.

3. Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated. Black and Hispanic students represent more than 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement. Currently, African Americans make up two-fifths and Hispanics one-fifth of confined youth today.

4. According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates. The data showed that 96,000 students were arrested and 242,000 referred to law enforcement by schools during the 2009-10 school year. Of those students, black and Hispanic students made up more than 70 percent of arrested or referred students. Harsh school punishments, from suspensions to arrests, have led to high numbers of youth of color coming into contact with the juvenile-justice system and at an earlier age.

5. African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison. According to the Sentencing Project, even though African American juvenile youth are about 16 percent of the youth population, 37 percent of their cases are moved to criminal court and 58 percent of African American youth are sent to adult prisons.

6. As the number of women incarcerated has increased by 800 percent over the last three decades, women of color have been disproportionately represented. While the number of women incarcerated is relatively low, the racial and ethnic disparities are startling. African American women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated, while Hispanic women are 69 percent more likely than white women to be incarcerated.

7. The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses.According to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate of arrests. African Americans comprise 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. From 1980 to 2007 about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African American.

8. Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes. The Sentencing Project reports that African Americans are 21 percent more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than white defendants and are 20 percent more like to be sentenced to prison.

9. Voter laws that prohibit people with felony convictions to vote disproportionately impact men of color. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote based on a past felony conviction. Felony disenfranchisement is exaggerated by racial disparities in the criminal-justice system, ultimately denying 13 percent of African American men the right to vote. Felony-disenfranchisement policies have led to 11 states denying the right to vote to more than 10 percent of their African American population.

10. Studies have shown that people of color face disparities in wage trajectory following release from prison. Evidence shows that spending time in prison affects wage trajectories with a disproportionate impact on black men and women. The results show no evidence of racial divergence in wages prior to incarceration; however, following release from prison, wages grow at a 21 percent slower rate for black former inmates compared to white ex-convicts. A number of states have bans on people with certain convictions working in domestic health-service industries such as nursing, child care, and home health care—areas in which many poor women and women of color are disproportionately concentrated. (via 1 in 3 Black Men Go To Prison? The 10 Most Disturbing Facts About Racial Inequality in the U.S. Criminal Justice System | Civil Liberties | AlterNet).


Single mothers is equality of sexes; Unmarried men are 'free', overflowing prisons is liberty  |  Cartoon titled Orwell Man Bush teaches Doublespeak By Andy Singer, in Politicalcartoons.com on 3/24/2006 12:00:00 AM  |  Click for image.

Single mothers is equality of sexes; Unmarried men are 'free', overflowing prisons is liberty | Cartoon titled Orwell Man Bush teaches Doublespeak By Andy Singer, in Politicalcartoons.com on 3/24/2006 12:00:00 AM | Click for image.

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