The black panthers were a political organization that went up against police brutality against the African American community. J. Edgar Hoover saw the black panthers as an “internal threat to American democracy”. Black Panther leader Fred Hampton united black, whites, and Native Americans to fight for a common cause. They represented them as dangerous criminals, but really, they were fighting to abolish oppression. For example, Assata Shakur and Angela Davis were presented as armed and dangerous criminals. In the case of Angela Davis, who was put on the FBI most wanted list became one of the most influential activists of her time. Her fight has impacted class, race, and prison abolishment movements to this day.
3. During the Nixon, presidential term drugs were a symbol of social and political rebellion. Nixon called for a “total war against the public enemy in the united states” which were drugs. Drugs were dealt with as a criminal problem and not a health problem. The Nixon administration increased the federal drug control agencies and pushed for law and order. The Regan administration made the official launch against the war on drug. Nancy started a campaign of “just say no” and the documentary shows a commercial of an egg (brain not on drugs) and a fried egg (brain on drugs) as a way to educate people on drug effects. A new drug crack came to market and Regan established harsher mandatory sentencing penalties than those on cocaine (powder). Minorities were being sent to prison for longer amounts of time than a white person would. Therefore, millions of dollars were placed into prisons systems and gave rise to mass incarcerations. The Clinton administration created the 3 strikes and mandatory minimums which also increased jail population and dismantled African-American families. Ultimately, he ended up doing more harm to the black community than Regan and Nixon.
5. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is an organization that writes “model legislation” on various topics. Alec has been around for 40 years and composed of corporations and lawmakers. Some of the corporations that make up ALEC include Altria, PhRMA, Koch inc., Exxon mobile, AT&T, Verizon, state farm, NRA, unicor, Securus, among others. Alec’s purpose is to lower corporate and capital taxes by rolling back on regulations. The problem with Alec is private corporations get to propose laws and vote as equals to lawmakers to then write bills and introduce to all states. For example, Walmart benefited from ALEC when the stand your ground law was passed and also increased gun sales and prevented the arrest of George Zimmerman. It also influenced the jury that a cop had the right to stand his ground when threatened but not the kid who was chased with a gun. Another corporation that benefits from ALEC is the CCA. CCA benefits from a continuous intake of inmates to generate and increase profits for private sectors. For example, Senate bill 1070, gave police officers the right to stop any individual that resembled an immigrant and by passing this law, prisons gained $11million dollars. Also having an overpopulation of inmates increases prison labor and prisons benefit from family members.