The Truth

Posted September 20th, 2012 by

“You want answers?!”

“I think I’m entitled.”

“You want answers?!”

“I want the truth!”

“You can’t handle the truth!”

That scene from A Few Good Men has become iconic. And it reminds me of America’s unwillingness to face the truth of what our prison-industrial complex has become. My world view regarding the U.S. criminal justice system was turned on its head by Michelle Alexander’s brilliant book (which I reviewed here). Sharon and I were not only profoundly impacted by Ms. Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness, it was a key resource for our own work. We have sent her a copy of Gather at the Table and look forward to her reaction.

Angela Davis is the legendary, radical activist at the heart of the 2012 documentary Free Angela & All Political Prisoners; directed by Shola Lynch, daughter-in-law of Gather at the Table author Sharon Leslie Morgan.

On September 14, 2012, Ms. Alexander and Angela Davis participated a panel discussion at Riverside Church in New York City about mass incarceration in the U.S. prison system.

Spend the next 12 minutes watching this video in which these two powerful women address the question of the problem of mass incarceration today and what it says about American society. If you are not familiar with Alexander and Davis (other than headlines in news reports), it will give you a good introduction to not just their perspectives, but of just how daunting the task before us remains to undo an unjust system.

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