I just read an article that is weighing heavy on my conscious. Heavy because there is this movement, so subtle and so insidious that if you aren't aware, or you choose to ignore it, you'd find yourself within a movement of people who are brainwashed into thinking that their skewed logic and flawed data is the TRUTH.
The article in question is from the Blog, "the Root". Specifically, "Black Men: Death Rate Lower in Prison than Outside it?" Normally I'd read it and debate it within myself, research it and or debate it among my friends but this particular article I needed to take a way-back stance and look at the Big Picture. What is going on that is not seen or spoken. Where is the information trying to take me or "us" what matters. Who was this article for? And ultimately why?
As a researcher and historian, I have found that noting the person, group, institute and the sponsors of a study is very important and should be presented before quoting its data. I do not believe these statistics are applicable to the whole of Black Men nor do I subscribe to the notion that the application and gathering of the data is non-bias. Granted that People of Color are disproportionately incarcerated than Whites, the elements of prison life; depending on the prison (minimum to maximum security), would determine the health and welfare of individuals. Also consider that within the Industrial Prison Complex, resources such as medicine, health care, physical conditioning may be available but the mental health of prisoners are always a matter of concern and debate.
Michele Bauchmann recently made a statement that Black Families were better off during slavery for having a stable two parent structure than during a time when there is a Black President. Looking at the statistics and numbers, that may be true but the data is flawed because you don't take into consideration that there were outside elements which adds to and or prevents families from staying together or taking in extended family members as it was during and post-slavery. During slavery you had direct families, extended families as well as adoptive families collectively together. Within the US, there are laws as well as economics that prevents this or make it difficult to do. To use this type of misrepresentation would be like stating that Black employment was better during slavery than under a Black President thus using him as the cause of Black unemployment. This being said, the data for this study is flawed because elements such as education, family, environment, social structures both within and outside, the diversity of Prisons studied and their resources and the core comparison of those whom are/did serve time in prison over an extended period of time and those that haven't was not presented in an actual academic setting.
Do I believe that there is "some" truth to the study? I believe in a small way yes but with all things being equal, with health care, physical conditioning, access to education, a healthy diet and the like, Black men on the outside would live longer due to better Mental Health. This article not only encourages but give credence to the existence of the Industrial Prison Complex as it relates to Black men and other Peoples of Color and frankly as a Black man I am offended especially since the articles doesn't address that once many of these Black men leave, they either return (mental illness), they suffer from addiction (sustained and or acquired in the prison), are or have become HIV positive, or in need of medications that were freely given to them but become unavailable once they leave the system. I could easily say that Black children do better in Summer Camp than those that stay home. Does that mean we should consider removing all Black children from their homes and have them live in perpetual summer camps? Some would say that's what our modern day MILITARY is for. Collect all the Black men in America for Summer Camps, Military duty, Colleges and Universities, the employed and Community Active and let's do a real comparison and contrast ... you'd have to show me all of the data and the people who signed the checks for this to have this study done. Then again we can allow the subliminal messages sink in and eventually live in the world of the researchers and Michele Bauchmann and have Black male unemployment at 0% as slaves and have a child and a wife in every shack under Massa's care. Life was so much better for Black people then.