Trump is doing so much good lately I just can’t write the blog posts fast enough! So I’m making this more of a shout out. President Trump just signed into law the First Step Act, which aims to reform our overcrowded prison system by addressing recidivism, releasing many non-violent offenders into parole, and focusing more on education and rehabilitation. It’s about redemption, rather than just punishment.
I wrote on this subject more extensively in 2016 during the campaign. “Can We Finally Get Criminal Justice Reform In 2017?”
(Update! I made a crucial mistake in the next paragraph regarding the Congressional Black Caucus. As it is my practice to correct my mistakes, rather than cover them up, I’ll leave my original words, but rectify my error in the notes at the end with the corresponding asterisk)
The highly partisan “Congressional Black Caucus”, sadly, did not support it. Now I will agree that it doesn’t go far enough. We need to address mandatory minimums and harsh sentencing also. But as George Orwell would say, a half a loaf is better than no loaf. So many in the Congressional Black Caucus backed that warmonger Hillary Clinton, who passionately supported the Crime Bill of 1994, which is the most institutionally racist law of the post-Jim Crow era. They backed her claiming pragmatism, claiming that while HRC isn’t perfect, at least she was electable. ROLF!!!!!!!
At least she isn’t Trump, right?!!!!!
The current members of the CBC are a disgrace!* I won’t say the caucus itself is a disgrace. Black Americans still face so many barriers, they need to be represented anyway they can. But these current members put partisanship before the well being of the people they are supposed to represent.
I’ll also point out that the First Step Act being less than perfect did not stop the principled Van Jones from supporting it. Van Jones has little nice to say about President Trump, and has called him racist and worst. But Van Jones knows that a good idea is a good idea, regardless if it comes from the left wing, the right wing, or a chicken wing on a string at burger king. That’s why I’ve always respected him.
So, in conclusion, this is a victory for criminal justice reform, but not THE victory. Let’s keep the momentum! This is great, but we need more.
But for now, thank you Mr. President for doing more to combat institutional racism than any president since LBJ.
*I was wrong. The CBC initially opposed the “First Step Act”, but after some changed were made, they supported it in it’s final version, while expressing the need for more substantial criminal justice reform to follow. It appears I’m actually on the same page with the CBC, and I’m truly sorry for my harsh choice of words. (As you can tell, I wrote this initial post in a hurry, and should have done my research.) Here is the CBC’s official statement on this https://cbc.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=970 )