Hat tip to kottke.org.
I think this video speaks for itself.
Hat tip to kottke.org.
I think this video speaks for itself.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech said he hoped that his children would be judged by the content of their characters and not the colors of their skins.
More than 53 years later, this is still a dream.
As Michelle Alexander has written, mass incarceration of black Americans, many of them for drug offenses and other victim-less crimes, has provided an excuse to disenfranchise black voters in some states and deprive them of protection of civil rights laws everywhere.
As Greg Palast has documented, Republican state governments systematically cancel black and Hispanic voter registrations for bogus reasons. And as Black Lives Matter points out, black people are sometimes killed by police or gun-toting whites without justification, with no consequences to the shooter.
And, as I have written before, old-fashioned racial discrimination in jobs and housing, which supposedly was outlawed under the civil rights laws, still exists today. That is the main subject of this post.
Testers find that sellers, lenders and employers will favor the less qualified white person over the more qualified black person.
With all the talk nowadays of government favoritism toward African-Americans, I don’t think there is any rational white American who would want to trade places with them
Statistical disparities between races may have some non-racist explanation. But the examples I’m going to mention, and which I listed in a previous post, are set up so as to rule out any non-racist explanation for the biases.
During the Presidential campaign of 1988, the Reverend Jesse Jackson was asked, “How you are going to get the support of the white steelworker?” He replied: “By making him aware he has more in common with the black steel workers by being a worker, than with the boss by being white.”
Source: It’s Class, Stupid, Not Race by Marshall Auerback for Counterpunch.
One of the things I’ve come to realize is the central importance of African slavery not only in the history of the United States, but of the whole New World and the British, French, Spanish and Portuguese empires.
My understanding has been greatly helped by the historian David Brion Davis. He wrote about slavery as a moral issue—how it was justified in the first place, and how the Western world came to turn against it.
I’ve read his principal books—The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (1966), The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution (1975), Slavery and Human Progress (1984), Inhuman Bondage: the Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (2006) and his latest book, which I finished reading last week, The Problem of Slavery in The Age of Emancipation (2014).
Slavery is a problem because in Western culture because of the heritage of the Greeks and Romans, who regarded freedom as necessary to human dignity, and because of the Christian religion, which taught that all human beings are equally children of God.
In the ancient Mediterranean world, there were two kinds of slaves—debt slaves and war captives. Selling yourself or your children into slavery was the ultimate form of bankruptcy, and it exists in the world today. I read somewhere that the world’s largest concentration of slaves are debt slaves in India.
Ancient armies did not have facilities for keeping prisoners of war. Their choices for dealing with defeated enemies were to kill them (or at least kill all the adult males) or to enslave them.
When the Atlantic slave trade began, the rationalization was that the African slaves had been defeated in war in their own homelands and already forfeited their lives.
The first white opponents of Western slavery were the Quakers and other peace churches. Since war was anti-Christian, the Quakers believed, then slavery, as the fruit of war, also was wrong.
Quakers were leaders of the anti-slavery movement in both Great Britain and the United States; many and maybe most white members of the Underground Railroad were Quakers.
Another strain of opposition to slavery came from the rationalistic thinkers of the 18th century, who opposed hereditary privilege and believed that government should should be based on recognition of human rights.
They were not as wholehearted as the Quakers. Slaveowners such as Thomas Jefferson admitted that slavery was in theory a great evil, but insisted that the times and conditions for emancipation weren’t right.
The invention of so-called scientific racism was in part a response to qualms of people like Jefferson. If black Africans are not as human as white Europeans, then slavery does not have to be justified. There is no reason not to treat enslaved people as if they were livestock.
This argument did not touch the Quakers and other religious opponents of slavery because they opposed slavery on moral grounds, not scientific grounds.
Black people, both free and enslaved, meanwhile fought for their own liberation, in slave uprisings and in appeals to white people for the abolition of slavery. Without their struggle, the majority of white people might have been able to ignore the moral issue indefinitely.
A lot of Hillary Clinton supporters say that Donald Trump’s supporters are not white working people who are worried about their jobs and their economic future. No, Trump’s supporters are all racists and bigots.
In the primary election, he talked a lot about unfair trade treaties, industrial decline, immigration and unwise military interventions. He still talks about immigration, but his emphasis now is on law and order, the threat of unauthorized voters and Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.
But all kinds of people support Trump for all kinds of reasons. Some no doubt vote for him because they fear Muslim terrorists, unauthorized Mexican immigrants and illegal African-American voters. Others see him as the last hope of making American industry great again. And many others see him as the lesser of two evils.
If you say that all Trump supporters are racists and bigots and nothing more, then there is no reason for Democrats to try to appeal to them on economic grounds.
And there is no political reason for Democrats to appeal to black and Hispanic working people in grounds of economic self-interest either, because Donald Trump’s candidacy provides sufficient reason for voting Democratic.
The Rev. William J. Barber II is pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C., president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP and leader of a non-violent social justice movement called Historic Thousands on Jones Street.
The video above is his response on July 8 to the killings of black men by police in Baton Rouge and in St. Anthony,, MN, within a 24-hour period, followed by the killings of five police officers in Dallas. The video below is from his address to the Democratic National Convention on July 28.
A good article in Mother Jones tells how Donald Trump has sought and received the support of avowed white supremacists.
Nowadays the word “racist” is used very loosely, like the word “Communist” during the McCarthy era. I’ve even been called a “racist” myself in conversation a couple of times. By “racist”, I mean people who state that members of certain races are genetically inferior and should not have equal rights. Such racists exist. And Donald Trump has successfully sought their support.
He has done this by quoting them (without attribution) and by using their talking points. An example of this was an infographic, taken from a white supremacist Twitter feed, falsely claiming that blacks were responsible for 81 percent of homicides of whites. The truth is that 82 percent of homicides of whites are the result of white-on-white crime. But Trump refused to back down or retract in the face of the facts.
That is not to say that the mass of Trump supporters are racists, any more than the mass of Clinton supporters are war hawks and plutocrats. That’s not the issue. The issue is whether Trump as President or, more likely, as a permanent opposition voice will promote racism.
How Donald Trump Took Hate Groups Mainstream by Sarah Posner and David Neiwrt for Mother Jones.
Black people in the South were liberated during the Reconstruction era following the Civil War. It was followed by a white backlash and the Jim Crow era, in which most of their newly won rights were taken away.
Then came the civil rights era of the 1960s and 1970s, which the Rev. William J. Barber II, leader of the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina, calls a second Reconstruction. Another white backlash attacked the gains from that era.
Rev. Dr. Barber says it is time for a third Reconstruction. Like the first two, he said, it requires fusion politics—blacks and whites working together for the common good. The backlash succeeds only when they are divided.
To see what he means, take a look at the Constitution of North Carolina, originally drafted in 1868 and retaining much of its original wording. It is a very progressive document, even by today’s standards.
It states that not all persons created equal and have the right not only to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but to “the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor.”
It guarantees free public education as a right. It states that beneficent provision for the poor, the unfortunate and the orphan is among the first duties of a civilized and a Christian state. It guarantees all the rights in the U.S. Constitution and eliminates property qualifications for voting.
All these provisions are the result of Reconstruction. North Carolina’s present Constitution was drafted at a constitutional convention immediately following the Civil War. The 133 delegates included 15 newly enfranchised African-Americans and 18 Northern white men (so called carpetbaggers).
It was ratified by a popular vote in which 55 percent voted “yes”. As a result, more African-Americans were elected to public office in North Carolina in the following period than at any time since.
A Bible-believing black minister in North Carolina is the leader of a new movement called that has brought tens of thousands of people of different races, creeds and backgrounds into the streets in support of social justice.
He is the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C. Firmly rooted in the African-American church tradition, he brings together people of all races and many creeds.
I read about his work in his new book, THE THIRD RECONSTRUCTION: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics and the Rise of a New Social Justice Movement.
He wrote that the histories of Reconstruction following the Civil War and the civil rights movement of the 1960s, which he calls the Second Reconstruction, show that black people achieve their goals only through “fusion politics”—white and black people working together for their mutual benefit.
In 2005, soon after being elected president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, he joined with Al McSurely, an experienced white civil rights activist, to organize a meeting of a broad cross-section of reformers in the state—advocates of education funding, living wage, health care, affordable housing, environmental justice, immigrant justice, criminal justice reform and many others.
He had each group draw up its goals on a big sheet of butcher paper and then, on another sheet, list the obstacles to achieving those goals.
The goals were diverse, but the obstacles were the same—North Carolina’s state government and the corporate interests that controlled it.
This was the birth of a new movement called HKonJ, which stands for Historic Thousands on Jones Street, the location of the state legislature in Raleigh. Each year they bring together a People’s Assembly, which hears testimony of victims of injustice and speakers about how injustice can be remedied, and then closes with a sermon and prayer.
Then they march on the legislature to make their voices heard. Because they represent such a large cross-section of North Carolinians, it is hard to dismiss what they say out of prejudice against a particular group.
Fatal police shootings of black people are fewer in states where black voter registration is higher.
Statistically, the higher the percentage of an eligible black voters are actually registered to vote in any state, the less likely it is that a black person in that state will be shot and killed by police.
An Intriguing Link Between Police Shootings and Black Voter Registration by Maimuna Majumder for Wired.
Bruce Webb posted an article on the Angry Bear web site asking whether Second Amendment rights apply to black people.
Supporters of Open Carry and ‘Must Issue’ Concealed Carry insist that no one should be afraid of someone exercising his or her 2nd Amendment Rights whether that be in some public park or the aisles of your local Wal-Mart.
Yet right along side that we have a doctrine that everyone should comply with every request made by a Peace Officer without question and without hesitation and if refusal to comply ends up with the application of force up to and including deadly force, then a sufficient defense is “I feared for my life”.
[snip] North Carolina is an Open Carry State. Anyone has the right to carry a handgun in or out of a holster as long as they are not actively threatening someone. Which you think at a minimum would mean pointing the weapon at someone with some apparent hostile intent.
But instead a man who was NOT the subject of the particular police search action stepped out of his car while visibly armed and after a disputed set of events was gunned down. Because police “feared for their lives”.
Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand White People by Jason Johnson for The Root.
Progressives Are Targets of Hillary’s ‘Basket of Deplorables’ Speech by John V. Wash for Counterpunch.
Donald Trump tries to reassure supporters they’re not really racist. Hillary Clinton tries to reassure supporters it’s okay to be elitist.
The Coming European Debt Wars by Michael Hudson for Defend Democracy Press.
The European Union is in crisis because it insists on repayment of debts that are too great to ever be repaid.
An Anniversary of Shame by Michael Hirsch for POLITICO.
Some in the CIA say the “war on terror” could have been won in six months if the U.S. government had not given “regime change” priority over capturing or killing Osama bin Laden.
Racism is the belief that certain races, such as black people, are genetically inferior or that they should not enjoy equal rights. David Duke, a neo-Nazi and former Klan Wizard, is a racist. Steve Bannon, Jared Taylor, and Richard B. Spencer, supporters of the Alt-Right movement, are racists.
It’s not just deplorable, but despicable, that Donald Trump has accepted their support, and even appointed Bannon to head his campaign.
Racial prejudice consists of judging an individual based on beliefs about average behavior of that person’s race. That, too, is deplorable. It is deplorable even if the belief has some basis.
The chart above shows that certain beliefs are common to white Americans across the political spectrum. It is not a measure of racism. It may or may not be a measure of prejudice.
For example, it is a statistical fact that violent crime is more common among black Americans than among white Americans. It is not racist or racially prejudiced think that African-Americans are, on average, more violent than white Americans.
What would be deplorable would be to assume that assume that any African-American you encounter is a threat, possibly deserving a preemptive violent response. What would be deplorable would be to ignore the fact that the vast majority of black people are peaceful and law-abiding.
The problem with being overly quick to charge racism is that it provides cover for the real racists. If almost all white people are racists, then David Duke and Jared Taylor aren’t be so bad.
I read THE FREE STATE OF JONES: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War by Victoria Bynum after seeing the movie, “The Free State of Jones,” which I liked, in order to see how much of the movie is based on fact.
The movie dramatized the true story of Newton Knight, a white Mississippi farmer led a guerrilla revolt against the Confederacy during the Civil War, and was never captured or defeated.
He took his grandfather’s slave as a lover and became the patriarch of an interracial community which continued to exist down tinto the middle of the 20th century.
Victoria Bynum’s book begins with the origins of the families who fought in the Knight Company. In colonial times, they lived in the backwoods of the Carolinas, and opposed rich plantation owners in the political struggles of those times.
Racial lines were not drawn so strictly in those days as later, and some sons of poor white indentured servants felt they had more in common with black slaves than with slave owners..
During the American Revolution, many wealthy planters such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were rebels, and many poor backwoodsmen were Tories.
After the Revolution, many backwoodsmen migrated into the lawless frontier region that later became the states of Alabama and Mississippi. They endured great danger, hardship and isolation, particularly the women, but rejoiced in being their own masters.
Slaveowners adopted, taught and enforced a rigid ideology of racism. to a degree previously unknown, Bynum wrote.
Anybody with “one drop” of Negro “blood” was considered black. White men had a duty to preserve the chastity of white women, lest white “blood” be contaminated. This was supported by a religious practice that condemned dancing, alcohol and sensuality.
No doubt the slaveowners sincerely believed in these things, but they served a function of keeping the black slaves isolated and preventing them from joining forces with whites.
But, according to Bynum, not all white people followed the accepted code. Some enjoyed feasting, dancing and drinking, sometimes among black companions. Some preferred charismatic, revival meetings, sometimes led by women, to the stricter and more authoritarian religion. There were those who became lovers across the color line.
What was Jill Stein thinking when she picked Ajamu Baraka as the Green Party’s vice presidential candidate?
I don’t entirely disagree with Baraka. It is true that Sanders isn’t as eager for war as Clinton, but he does not challenge the basic assumptions behind U.S. war policies.
The problem is that mere denunciation will not change anybody’s mind. Baraka’s rhetoric will appeal only to those who already agree with him.
The following is notes for a lay sermon at First Universalist Church of Rochester, NY, on July 24, 2016.
Before the present announcement that Harriet Tubman’s face will appear on the $20 bill, all I knew about her was that she was connected with the Underground Railroad.
I’ve since learned something about her, and come to realize that she is truly a great American – but with a different kind of greatness than that of historical figures such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, U.S. Grant or Benjamin Franklin.
It is not just that those others were white, and she was black. It is not just that they were all men, and she was a woman. She was poor and illiterate, and earned her living through most of her life by physical labor. Unlike her, they were commanders and lawgivers at the pinnacle of power. She showed the power and position are not necessary for greatness.
What did her greatness consist of? Her greatness consisted of the willingness to risk everything for freedom – first her own freedom, and then the freedom of others.
As a young girl, born into slavery, she resisted efforts to force her to accept submission, and eventually escaped. Then, at great personal risk, she returned to the place she had been held in bondage, and rescued others.
During the Civil War, she volunteered as a scout for the Union Army and led other enslaved people into freedom. During the final phase of her life, she supported equal rights for both African Americans and women.
She lived according to the ethic of Jesus in a way that few people today, including Unitarian Universalists, can understand. She had a deep faith in God, and was guided by her visions of God. She shared everything she had with those more in want that she was, and trusted in God to provide.
Paul Street, a smart, marginally-employed left-wing writer, wrote a good article for Counterpunch on why people like him oppose so-called “political correctness.”
He gave a number of examples, but I’ll just quote one of them.
… I have started to become at least mildly irritated by the ever-increasing number of Chinese university students in Iowa City at and around the University of Iowa. Why? Because of racism and nativism. No. Not at all. It has nothing to do with racism or nativism. I’m anti-racist and anti-nativist.
It’s about class, politics, and the ever-skyrocketing cost of college tuition in the United States. The young Chinese showing up all over campus town America are very disproportionately from the upper slices of mainland Chinese society. Their parents have accumulated enough wealth and income to send their only children to college overseas and often in very high style.
This wealth is culled from the massive state-capitalist super-exploitation of a giant Chinese working class that has been forced into a vast industrial complex of global capitalist production.
That is the source of the money that is passed on to the privileged class progeny of Chinese “Communist” Party elites who can be seen driving around in BMWs and living in pricey condominium apartments in Iowa City, Iowa, Madison, Wisconsin, and countless other U.S. university communities today.
I’m old enough to remember the late 1960s, when it seemed like almost every time I turned on the TV, there was a new report of rioting and burning by black people in an American city.
Almost every one was touched off by a real or imaginary report of police abuse of a black person.
The divisions in American society today are bad enough, but, believe me, they were nothing compared to the division back then.
Could we return to that era? Eric Hoffer in The True Believer wrote that violent revolutions happen when downtrodden people are offered hope, and then that hope is taken away from them. I think this feeling exists today among all kinds of people, not just racial minorities.
The rise of Trump has provoked a considerable outpouring of commentary from the pundits. Most of it centered on the chief complaint that the white working class is upset about losing its privileged position and see Trump as the ticket to setting things right.
There is considerable truth to this story. Trump’s strongest support comes from white men without college degrees, although he also does quite well among small business owners. But before we condemn these workers as hopeless Neanderthals, it is worth stepping back a bit to consider what led them to support Donald Trump’s candidacy in the first place.
The “privilege” that these working class whites are looking to defend is middle-class factory jobs paying between $15 and $30 an hour. These jobs generally came with decent health care benefits and often a traditional defined benefit pension, although that has become increasingly rare over the last two decades.
This is certainly a privileged position compared to billions of people in the developing world who would be happy to make $15 a day. It is also privileged compared to women, whose pay still averages less than 80 percent of their male counterparts. And, it is privileged compared to the situation of Americans of color who have frequently been trapped in the least desirable and lowest-paying jobs.
But these factory jobs and other blue collar occupations are hardly privileged when compared to the high flyers in the financial industry, the CEOs and other top level managers, or even professionals like doctors and dentists. These groups have all seen substantial increases in their pay and living standards over the last four decades.
If you want to see “privilege,” look to the CEO making $20 million a year as they turn in a mediocre performance managing a major corporation. Or talk to a cardiologist, an occupation with a median annual salary of more than $420,000 a year.
The pundits all know about these disparities in pay, but they want us to believe that they have nothing to do with privilege; rather, they reflect the natural workings of the market. And they tend to act really ridiculous when shown evidence otherwise.
Source: Dean Baker | truthout
Minor revisions 5/24/2016
Aviva Chomsky wrote a good article for TomDispatch about the anti-racism movement on college campuses. She discussed how it has come to focus on individual change rather than societal change, and is thereby less threatening to the powers that be.
In some of their most dramatic actions, students of color, inspired in part by the Black Lives Matter movement, have challenged the racial climate at their schools.
In the process, they have launched a wave of campus activism, including sit-ins, hunger strikes, demonstrations, and petitions, as well as emotional, in-your-face demands of various sorts.
One national coalition of student organizations, the Black Liberation Collective, has called for the percentage of black students and faculty on campus to approximate that of blacks in the society.
It has also called for free tuition for black and Native American students, and demanded that schools divest from private prison corporations.
Other student demands for racial justice have included promoting a living wage for college employees, reducing administrative salaries, lowering tuitions and fees, increasing financial aid, and reforming the practices of campus police.
These are not, however, the issues that have generally attracted the attention either of media commentators or the colleges themselves.
Instead, the spotlight has been on student demands for cultural changes at their institutions that focus on deep-seated assumptions about whiteness, sexuality, and ability.
At some universities, students have personalized these demands, insisting on the removal of specific faculty members and administrators.
Emphasizing a politics of what they call “recognition,” they have also demanded that significant on-campus figures issue public apologies or acknowledge that “black lives matter.”
Some want universities to implement in-class “trigger warnings” when difficult material is being presented and to create “safe spaces” for marginalized students as a sanctuary from the daily struggle with the mainstream culture.
By seizing upon and responding to these (and only these) student demands, university administrators around the country are attempting to domesticate and appropriate this new wave of activism.
Source: Aviva Chomsky | TomDispatch
(Hat tip to Bill Harvey)
Barbara Fields, co-author of the newly-published Racecraft: the Soul of Inequality in Amerian Life, had this to say about racism and inequality:
Racism and inequality have the same central nervous system. They’re a part of the same process. People should not think, for example, Bernie Sanders isn’t addressing the problems of black people because he doesn’t have a black label on it, with a bow tied around it, saying this is for black people. But, when he speaks for a new minimum wage and for higher-education to be within everybody’s reach, these are the inequality problems that plague everyone.
And they’re one of the reasons why racism, not race, is intense and resurgent in this country. We have a white working population that, by and large, expected to be taken care of, to be treated fairly, so long as they abided by the rules. And now, with good reason, they feel left out. Not just since the crash but, in years probably going back as far as the 1970s (certainly from the 80s), they’re watching the situation deteriorate.
The same has been true for black working people, if anything, to a more intense degree. Of course the difference is black people never expected fairness. So they don’t react to unfairness in the same way.
Abraham Lincoln was born this day in 1809. Lincoln’s Birthday was a national holiday until it was absorbed by the meaningless “President’s Day”.
Some question Lincoln’s greatness. I am not one of them. The best and truest rebuttal to Lincoln’s critics by Frederick Douglass in an oration delivered at the unveiling of Freedman’s Monument in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C., in 1876.
Here’s is the meat of the talk.
Abraham Lincoln was not, in the fullest sense of the word, either our man or our model. In his interests, in his associations, in his habits of thought, and in his prejudices, he was a white man.
He was preeminently the white man’s President, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. He was ready and willing at any time during the first years of his administration to deny, postpone, and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the colored people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country. In all his education and feeling he was an American of the Americans.
He came into the Presidential chair upon one principle alone, namely, opposition to the extension of slavery. His arguments in furtherance of this policy had their motive and mainspring in his patriotic devotion to the interests of his own race. [snip]
In his lifetime, Martin Luther King Jr. was a hated and feared radical, with reason. Many of those who honor him today today were, or would have been, violently against him had he lived.
J. Edgar Hoover regarded him as a dangerous Communist, much as Hoover’s successors regard the #BlackLivesMatter movement today.
He is remembered today by many as a nice man who thought that people should be judged as individuals and not by race, and that black people should not engage in violent protest. He is honored by the kind of people whom he fought in his lifetime.
What’s forgotten is his call for radical social and political change, his advocacy of labor rights and his unconditional opposition to war.
He advocated economic justice as well as civil rights. and spoke almost as often in union halls as in churches. His “I Have a Dream” speech was given at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs (my emphasis) and Freedom. Dr. King was murdered in Memphis, Tenn., while on a mission to support striking garbage collectors.
He turned against President Lyndon Johnson, the greatest presidential champion of civil rights since President Grant, because he could not be silent in the face of war and massing killing in Vietnam.
The best way to honor Dr. King is to oppose the things that he opposed and to do the things that he did.
Bryan Stevenson’s JUST MERCY: A Story of Justice and Redemption (2014) tells of a broken criminal justice system with little justice and less mercy for poor people, juveniles, minorities and the mentally ill and the mentally retarded.
He is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, based in Montgomery, Alabama, which provides lawyers to indigents and to people who have been denied adequate legal representation.
Stevenson and the other EJI lawyers have freed people who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit. They also have argued for mercy for abused children, the mentally ill and the mentally retarded who have been tried and punished, sometimes with death sentences or life sentences, as if there were no mitigating circumstances.
We are all broken people in one way or another, Stevenson wrote. None of us deserves to be judged on the basis of the worst thing we have ever done. All of us, not just poor and abused people, are in need of mercy and mitigation.
Just Mercy weaves together three themes. One is the story of Walter McMillan, a black man sentenced to die for a crime he obviously could not have committed, and Stevenson’s six-year struggle to prevent his execution and prove his innocence.
Another is the story of the EJI and the other individuals, both black and white, whom Stevenson has defended, not always successfully.
The third theme consists of facts and figures on the flaws in the U.S. criminal justice system—racial disparities, lack of adequate legal representation of poor people, sentencing of juveniles as adult offenders, harsh treatment of the mentally ill and mentally retarded, punishment of poor mothers who suffer miscarriages and are treated as murderesses.
Stevenson successfully argued before the Supreme Court that it is “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution for a juvenile to be sentenced to death or to life imprisonment without parole. Yet, he said, the intent of this decision is often thwarted by judges sentencing juvenile as adults to a term of imprisonment equal to their life expectancy.