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Vol. #32 - June 12, 2020

I have put my window A/C in. It is now summer. Also, in a wild departure from my norm, I did some gardening this week. I didn't hate it. I also attended a protest for the first time since I snuck down to NYC from Stoughton, MA to counter-march against the 2004 RNC when I was like 19. I won't let a gap like that happen again. Anyway, my personal life has (thankfully) been somewhat sedate this past week which means I've had a lot of time to work on this week's issue and I'm happy to say it's jam packed with stuff I think you'll dig. I won't waste time with any additional preamble i just want to say: Be kind to each other. I love you all.


In recent issues of WesRecs I've acknowledged that this newsletter is design. I love absolutely packing it each week with content that I adore and I envision its readers spending some time with each issue, diving into what they find intriguing, glossing over that which might not be their cup of tea. BUT I realize that the length might be intimidating to some and that many (most?) people who open this will never actually see the bottom of it. With that in mind I am now trying to pick each week a few items that I'm especially fond of to quickly link to right here at the top with the barest of descriptions. Everything here is more fully detailed and introduced below but in the spirit of making this as user friendly as possible, here we go:
  • In 1983 police dropped a literal bomb on a group of Black radicals holed up in a Philly townhouse killing 11 members of the group (5 kids) and destroying 61 homes, displacing 250 people. (A documentary)
  • Dave Chappelle just dropped a short surprise special focusing on the murder of George Floyd and the crisis of police violence against Black Americans. (Some essential viewing)
  • A dope mediation on getting older, processing too much chaos, the show Better Things, & Pam Grier. (An Essay)
  • During the pandemic Americans are buying less and saving more and maybe we don't want to go back "to normal" because few of us could ever truly afford it anyway. (An article)
WesRecs is the weekly newsletter where I (comedian/storyteller/TV Host) Wes Hazard recommend a bunch of cool content (recs) to YOU (the person reading this). There's no particular reason for this other than the fact that I love curating stuff and I'm always excited to share items that I personally have found worthwhile, exciting, or necessary. If you like what you see please be sure to subscribe to get each week's edition delivered straight to your inbox and if you know someone else who might be into it definitely share with them. You can check out all past issues HERE.
Black Lives
"Black Waco" is how I tend to describe the 1985 MOVE bombing in Philadelphia to people who are unaware of the event. That's most people, and I was one one of them until just a few years ago. Much like the 1993 siege on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX the MOVE bombing occurred when law enforcement attempted to remove a radical, familial, cult-like group with anti-establishment isolationist beliefs from their fortified compound. Unlike the Davidians the MOVE (not an acronym) members lived in an urban townhouse surrounded by neighbors, they embraced an anti-racist social justice philosophy, they were *not* preparing for an apocalyptic end-of-days confrontation with the U.S. Government, and their leader was *not* a failed rock star who practiced pedophilia under the guise of being the messiah. Also, they were Black. So whereas the FBI & ATF waited and negotiated for nearly 2 months with the Davidians after their initial entry attempt before finally storming the compound, the Philadelphia Police & Fire Departments waited about a day before dropping a bomb on the MOVE house from a helicopter causing the deaths of 11 people in the house (5 children) and a massive fire that destroyed 60 neighborhood homes and displaced 250 people. And despite having blasted the home with 2 massive water cannons for several hours before the bombing in an attempt to get the members to flee the fire department refused to quell the flames caused by the explosion until well after the blaze had begun to spread to other houses. It was pretty messed up.

Let the Fire Burn is a 2013 documentary about MOVE, their years-long struggle with the Philadelphia PD, the standoff, and the municipal investigation in its aftermath. It's composed entirely of period footage comprising MOVE training videos, news reports, and testimony/depositions from the investigative commission's proceedings. I cannot recommend it enough. It's a film that's both a time capsule AND a vital illustration of the same police overreach, police violence, and disregard for Black Lives that we see all around us today.

You can watch Let The Fire Burn in its entirety, for free, through the month of June on the Kino Lorber website.
In last week's WesRecs I noted the obvious about police violence against black lives in that NONE OF THIS IS NEW. It has been going on since the very start of organized policing in the U.S. and is, quite frankly, a central function of the police. However the difference now is that we have cell phone cameras. In the early 90s a very small number of people had VHS cameras and a random LA resident named George Holliday was one of them. He filmed the atrocious beating & tasing of Rodney King by the LAPD which put wanton & undeniable police brutality on a global stage and set Los Angeles up for a massive 6-day uprising in the wake of the acquittal of the officers involved. Here is a brief 30 min contemporary documentary titled Hands On the Verdict: The 1992 Los Angeles Uprising which is definitely worth your time. It spends time with activists, law enforcement, ex law enforcement, and the family members of victims of police violence to paint a portrait of an an out-of-control force that uses violence and intimidation with impunity. It also does an excellent job of threading a line between the 1992 King Riots and the 1965 Watts rebellion in LA that also stemmed from police violence against a black motorist. The same "reforms" and "commissions" and hand wringing from officials that followed Watts followed King, and here we are once again today because nothing really changes (though this year I have some hope). Looking at this you see all of the same community anguish and all of the same blatant lies and obfuscation that you see from the criminal "justice" apparatus today. One thing that really struck me was the litany of black and brown people either beaten or killed by cops that's presented. Just like we can all name at least 10 high-profile black victims of police murder off the top of our heads now (and no one's list would be the same), the citizens back in 1992 could as well. We've got to stop letting that list grow.

Speaking of WE'VE DONE THIS ALL BEFORE: last week I also talked about the 1983 police murder of Michael Stewart, a young graffiti artist, in NYC. Stewart was a rising figure in the NYC art scene and was choked and beaten in a police van after being arrested for tagging a subway wall. Basquiat painted one of his most powerful works in response and the police were of course...not found guilty. I hadn't had a chance to read it last week but I wanted to share this elegiac and deeply personal piece from Jordan Levin who was an early 80s NYC scenester who knew Stewart and moved in the same circles as him alongside Madonna and Fab 5 Freddy and all the other Lower East Side punks and rappers and DJs and artists and promoters and dancers who were hustling and creating and struggling and thriving back when that section of the city was perceived as a bombed out drug ridden wasteland.
"But when Michael was arrested for supposedly writing three letters on the tile wall at 14th Street, police handcuffed him so tightly that his hands turned blue, and threw him, face down, onto the concrete. One of them sat on top of him. He struggled, tried to run, screamed. They bound his feet, so he was trussed up like an animal. At one point, there were 11 cops around him. They put him in the back of a police van and took him to Bellevue Hospital. During that journey he was strangled, and when they got to Bellevue, he was dead. His face was blue from lack of air. At the hospital they resuscitated him, and kept him in a coma for 13 days until he died again. He was only 25 years old."


"“The room smells of rotten meat. His face is covered in small cuts and bits of glass are visible in his flesh. (Later she learns that the police broke the window of the police car with his face.) His face is huge and swollen. His eyes are bloated, closed pieces of red and black meat. He has cuts and bruises all over his chest and legs. His head is wrapped in a gauze bandage… There are welts on his ankles and wrists. There is no place on his body that has not been hurt.”" - Suzanne Mallouk quoted in "the widow Basquiat"
My usual insomnia was winding down around 4:50a today after I had just finished watching the documentary Let The Fire Burn (detailed above). I finally felt tired enough to sleep and was just about to make a go of it when I checked Instagram one last time (because I am truly depraved) and saw that a fellow comic had posted about a brand new surprise special from Dave Chappelle addressing the police murder of George Floyd that was dropped on YouTube. It took about 3 seconds for me to make the call to keep the night train rolling and watch this, and I finished it just as the sun was coming up and I've been thinking about it all day.

This is a master at work...under the most unusual (COVID pandemic) and tragic (globally broadcast modern day lynching) of circumstances. The main thing I have to say is: WATCH THIS. Here are some other disjointed thoughts:
  • Dave talks about COVID itself very little here but its cloud hangs over the production in so many tiny observable ways. The opening shots of the concert site show an outdoor venue, with pairs of chairs spaced out 6 feet apart and buffer zones clearly marked. Staff run heat-checks on attendees before entry. Every single audience member is masked (either in a mask they brought or one they got at the venue stamped with Chappelle's personal "C" logo). It's like nothing that we're used to as comedy fans, but this outdoor/distanced/masked/precaution taking approach will be (or should be) the state of comedy and concerts for some time works. Is it ideal? No (as Chappelle notes) but it works.
  • A subtitle appears when Dave appears announcing that it's been 87 days since he last performed on stage. For someone's who's been performing regularly since he was 14 that might seem like a drop in the bucket, and in many ways it is (standup is in the marrow of this man's bones) but some rust, and certainly the rawness/freshness of the material shows. He looks at his notebook frequently and seems unsure of where to place it once he's sitting on the stool (which he does for much of the set). He stops multiple times to ask the (far-away) crowd if they're enjoying it and to declare that "this isn't funny", he takes long pauses to gather his thoughts, even when he smiles a visible grief hangs about him. All of this is to be expected and NONE of it takes away from this piece of art. It is brilliant and necessary.
  • The title refers to the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that Officer Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis PD casually kneeled on George Floyd's neck, with his hand in his pocket, killing him. We learn 8:46a is also the time of day that Chappelle himself was born. This is just one of the very many minor and not-so-minor coincidences that Chappelle comments on throughout.
  • Laura Ingraham and Candace Owens (to Hell with them both) will definitely NOT enjoy watching this.
  • I can't imagine another celebrity  making abetter case for both why they have (and should have) remained silent up to now AND for why we, their fans, so often still end up looking to them.
  • Long stretches of this...most of it?? not "funny". That is not a criticism in any way. First of all given the subject and how recent it is it would be absurd to expect (and kind of ghoulish to want) refined laff-a-minute bits on a public murder that the country is very much still processing. To be sure, there are laughs to be had (if you're wondering Chappelle can't resist a momentary aside addressing Azealia Banks' recent confession of a tryst with him, and his perfect impish timing is as present as ever) but this is less of a "comedy special" and more of a "grief special", a "righteous rage special", a "warning special" and I can think of very few artists in any discipline that could drop something as vital and as timely as this.
Unearthing the True Toll of the Tulsa Race Massacre - Sapiens

A past event, horrible beyond description. A present hope for truth, acknowledgement, & community empowerment. The Tulsa race massacre was just one of many many similar eruptions of organized and ruthless white violence against entire towns & enclaves of Black American citizens that took place between 1865 and the 1940s (see also Colfax, LA / Rosewood, FL / Ocoee, FL / Elaine, AK / Wilmington, NC / etc/ and so many other "smaller" mass killings & razings that were too frequent and similar to be given proper names). Due to the vigilance of survivors, descendants, & historians over the years (and most definitely boosted by its inclusion in the recent hit HBO series Watchmen) the site of the Tulsa massacre is finally being revisited by historians (with meaningful community involvement) in order to excavate the horrors and educate America about this more-than-usually dark chapter of US history.
"The attackers killed an unknown number as they reduced a vital neighborhood to ashes. The official death toll recorded was 36, but some historians estimate the figure at around 300. No one was held accountable for the Tulsa race massacre. Its memory was both ignored and actively suppressed for years, despite the tragedy’s consequences for subsequent generations."


"The Tulsa race massacre investigation doesn’t look like a typical archaeological project. While the mayor’s office is spearheading the effort, the city has ceded much control to the community. Local civil servants, activists, cultural leaders, and descendants of massacre survivors make up a public oversight committee that has been involved at each step.

In packed, live-streamed meetings, committee members ask archaeologists about how remains will be treated and whether DNA analysis is possible. They press for answers about whether Tulsa police lost or destroyed evidence on the massacre decades ago, and why the landowners of one cemetery have been slow to allow archaeologists to survey their site. (In late March, the graveyard’s owners finally granted permission for the investigation.) The members vote before any new phase goes forward."


"After the destruction, insurers refused to compensate many home and business owners; some rebuilding efforts were blocked. Of Greenwood’s 11,000 residents at the time, 9,000 were left homeless."

Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop - Medium

I definitely hesitated about including this essay here. Not because I personally doubt its veracity or disagree with its view, but because there's no real way to verify it. It's posted  by an individual account on Medium rather than in a mainstream or quality alt publication so it's gone through no formal editorial review or fact checking. And it's posted under a (wiseass) alias so there's no way to research the background of the author. I happen to be down with idealogical stance here, but I for one would be dismissively skeptical if some MAGA-leaning publication had an article titled "Confessions of a Former Antifa Crisis Actor" written by some guy claiming to have worked on staging a mass shooting or something. What made me decide to say "off it" and include this here is that the last 3rd of it makes one of the most logical and level-headed arguments for defunding the police that I've ever read (and I've read a fair amount). Whether this guy was a cop or not (and I def think he was) you can't argue with the fact that  cops are simply not qualified or trained to deal with half of the things they're tasked with addressing, they almost never stop an actual violent crime in progress, they are trained and badgered into covering up the crimes of other cops as a matter of course, and it's a very rare situation indeed that is ever helped by inserting an armed dude who can largely operate outside of the law. Read it, love it.

"And consider this: my job as a police officer required me to be a marriage counselor, a mental health crisis professional, a conflict negotiator, a social worker, a child advocate, a traffic safety expert, a sexual assault specialist, and, every once in awhile, a public safety officer authorized to use force, all after only a 1000 hours of training at a police academy. Does the person we send to catch a robber also need to be the person we send to interview a rape victim or document a fender bender? Should one profession be expected to do all that important community care (with very little training) all at the same time?"


"What I mainly provided was an “objective” third party with the authority to document property damage, ask people to chill out or disperse, or counsel people not to beat each other up. A trained counselor or conflict resolution specialist would be ten times more effective than someone with a gun strapped to his hip wondering if anyone would try to kill him when he showed up. There are many models for community safety that can be explored if we get away from the idea that the only way to be safe is to have a man with a M4 rifle prowling your neighborhood ready at a moment’s notice to write down your name and birthday after you’ve been robbed and beaten."


"Wrestle with this for a minute: if all of someone’s material needs were met and all the members of their community were fed, clothed, housed, and dignified, why would they need to join a gang? Why would they need to risk their lives selling drugs or breaking into buildings? If mental healthcare was free and was not stigmatized, how many lives would that save?"
Things Read
Long Time Woman - Believer

I don't know what I love most about this essay. Between the ease with which it moves between various major & minor pop cultural touchstones, its stubborn hope for the future in spite of an insanely difficult present, its appreciation (embrace?) of an impending late middle age, the way it affords screen queen Pam Grier the justice she so richly deserves...I could go on. Discussed within this we have Saidiya Hartman, Jackie Brown, the Pamela Adlon helmed show Better Things, COVID, aging, George Floyd, and much more. I love it. I love the voice. I love the style. I love the questions it grapples with. You will love it too.
"I love its direction (which is mostly done by Adlon), its music supervision, its vignette style, its depiction of friendship among women, and its verisimilitude, but I recognize another reason I enjoy the show. I close-read Better Things as a thirty year-old for the same reason I devoured, in middle school, the adventures of older teens in Moesha, The O.C., That’s So Raven, and Gilmore Girls; and for the same reason I couldn’t get enough of Smith’s campus novels and polyphonic explorations of life after thirty in my late teens and early twenties. I watch them to get a sense of what might happen to me. Like Raven Baxter, a role model for my goofy twelve year-old self, I can’t stop gazing into the future, wanting to preempt what might meet me there. That’s a long-winded way to say I appreciate the show’s depiction of aging, and all that comes with it. One day, I look forward to being as comfortable in my skin as Sam and her friends."

"...And despite her financial windfall, she can’t get back all those years of uncertainty. They have taken a toll. As I watched this film on Tuesday, and parts of it on Thursday as Minneapolis burned, I’m bothered that I haven’t yet cried over George Floyd. I recognize Jackie’s shell, the tears that just won’t come, her fear of breaking down and of being vulnerable, even when she is her only witness. I’m afraid of further developing that kind of steely veneer."

A Simple Acronym Sums up What’s Wrong With Social Media - Quartz (2018)

As a performer and writer who is almost always trying to promote a show, or a clip, or a media appearance, or this very newsletter, I am very skeptical about my ability to completely turn my back on social media. It's where people are, and I want people to see the things I make and appear in, so I need to put them on social media so they can more easily do that. But as a consumer of social media I grow more disillusioned daily. Sure it's great to be able to keep up with old friends, and check in on your cousin's new baby, and get a cool article recommendation from a likeminded acquaintance (I love a good rec if you couldn't tell...) but so often after a 40 minute scroll session that started as an "innocent" idea to "check my feed real quick" I just feel...bad. it's not only that it was time wasted, but I find myself feeling angry and hollowly superior and frustrated. This is by design. If you see a headline or a comment or tweet that enrages you you are more likely to read the article, or leave a comment, or counter-post and the only peoplee who really benefit from any of this are Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg and their ilk and...fuck those guys. Straight up. I'm at the point now where I'm just trying to make my content, post it, then check back in 12-24 hrs later in order to respond to any comments, like what needs liking on my post, and then bounce again until the next time, but I can these days I can more easily picture a time when I don't even do that and I have no doubt it will be healthier.
"He’s developed a simple acronym to sum up the sinister purpose of tech companies that brought us the platforms we’re hooked on and their effect on us—BUMMER. It stands for Behaviors of Users Modified and Made into Empires for Rent.

According to Lanier, social media platforms need us to keep coming back, so they’ve designed tools that accumulate data about us, then give us more of what moves us most to create wealth for the platforms. BUMMER platforms are more than just a bummer from Lanier’s perspective—they’re eroding health and happiness and political and social discourse, curbing our free will, and turning us into, well, “assholes.”


"Or, as Claire Lehmann, founding editor of Quillette magazine puts it in an Oct. 17 tweet (of course—where else might she express herself?), “Social media satiates our appetite for moral disgust and tribal conflict.”

Since fear, loathing, anxiety, and outrage tend to drive more engagement, the platforms serve us more and more of this negativity. In turn, in an effort to generate as much engagement with our own posts and accounts as possible, we mimic the platform model on an individual level, creating—as Mark O’Connell puts it in a story about “the deliberate awfulness of social media” in the New Yorker—a “toxic miasma of bad vibes.”"

I Don't Feel Like Buying Stuff Anymore -Buzzfeed

In the "before time", prior to the pandemic, I was really into my burgeoning blazer collection. It was boldly colored, multi-patterned, and I had just enough button downs and pant combos to really push it into whatever direction the the particular season and occasion called for. I was also working on a small (but respectable & growing) roster of wristwatches that I'd color coordinate to the blazers. Since the pandemic I very happily alternate between 2 pairs of sweatpants and a OK-sized cohort of graphic tees while in the house, and I wear the same pair of jeans and 1 of five solid-colored wicking T-shirts when I venture out. As for watches: what tf is a watch??? WHAT IS TIME?! I got a fitbit in April and I really don't see why I'll ever need another timepiece again. Buying & styling just ain't what it used to be. Don't get me wrong, I've spent money during all of this, but it's mostly been on online classes, books, and things to make my living space more comfortable and efficient. I'm shopping for quality and utility and I'm happy to save the rest to help me get through the next pandemic (and there will assuredly be one). I'm by no means the only one feeling this way and as the US "economy" is built on consumers spending beyond our means it just might not survive all of this. Oh no...not that..yawn.

I had to stop myself from quoting damn near this entire article below. Read it. Think about it. See if you really really feel like going "back to normal".
"In post–World War II America, the vast majority of things we buy are often not what we actually need. But they’re indisputably things we want: manifestations of personal and collective abundance. We buy because we’re bored, or because planned obsolescence forces us to replace items we can’t fix. We buy to accumulate objects meant to communicate our class and what sort of person we are. We buy because we want to feel something or change something, and purchasing something is the quickest way to do so. When that doesn’t work, we buy “an experience,” whether it’s a night at Color Me Mine or a weekend bachelorette trip to Nashville. We buy because, from the Great Depression onward, how we consume has become deeply intertwined with how we think of ourselves as citizens.

The US didn’t become a nation of consumers because everyone has ample amounts of discretionary cash. Before the pandemic, income inequality had reached its highest levels since the Depression. Most Americans’ wages, when adjusted for inflation and purchasing power, have barely risen in four decades. In 2018, with the economy at its most robust in years, 61% of Americans said they could not cover a surprise expense of $400. In 2019, a study by the AARP found that 53% of American households did not have an emergency savings account — including a quarter of those who earn more than $150,000 a year."


"In many ways, the pandemic has functioned as a great clarifier, making it impossible to ignore the dilapidated state of so many American systems. It’s highlighted whose work is actually essential, which leaders actually care about people who aren’t like them, and whose lives are considered expendable. The supply chain is broken; the social safety net is in shambles. And a whole lot of things we thought of as needs have revealed themselves to be pretty deeply unnecessary."

The Russian "Firehose of Falsehood" Propaganda Model - RAND

Yeah it feels a bit weird to be sharing policy reflections from The RAND corporation, but dammit they do good research and they have some solid insights on how Russia uses multiple simultaneous channels (often conflicting with each other and inconsistent in message amongst themselves) to amplify Russia's power over the globe (such as by seeding conflict and mistrust among the American populace in order to influence elections). Observing these tactics makes it fairly easy to extrapolate the methods by which a two-bit, dirty dealing, impossibly corrupt, desperate to win, Putin boot-licker halfway around the world might try and adopt these very same tactics to advance his political agenda. Or maybe I'm just trippin.

"Russian propaganda is produced in incredibly large volumes and is broadcast or otherwise distributed via a large number of channels. This propaganda includes text, video, audio, and still imagery propagated via the Internet, social media, satellite television, and traditional radio and television broadcasting. The producers and disseminators include a substantial force of paid Internet “trolls” who also often attack or undermine views or information that runs counter to Russian themes, doing so through online chat rooms, discussion forums, and comments sections on news and other websites."


"We are not optimistic about the effectiveness of traditional counterpropaganda efforts. Certainly, some effort must be made to point out falsehoods and inconsistencies, but the same psychological evidence that shows how falsehood and inconsistency gain traction also tells us that retractions and refutations are seldom effective. Especially after a significant amount of time has passed, people will have trouble recalling which information they have received is the disinformation and which is the truth. Put simply, our first suggestion is don't expect to counter the firehose of falsehood with the squirt gun of truth."


"Another possibility is to focus on countering the effects of Russian propaganda, rather than the propaganda itself. The propagandists are working to accomplish something. The goal may be a change in attitudes, behaviors, or both. Identify those desired effects and then work to counter the effects that run contrary to your goals. For example, suppose the goal of a set of Russian propaganda products is to undermine the willingness of citizens in NATO countries to respond to Russian aggression. Rather than trying to block, refute, or undermine the propaganda, focus instead on countering its objective. This could be accomplished through efforts to, for example, boost support for a response to Russian aggression, promote solidarity and identity with threatened NATO partners, or reaffirm international commitments."

Things Seen
My nascent obsession with mycology continues. I'm happy to announce I'm awaiting a beginner's grow kit and I hope to have my first batch of blue oyster mushrooms by mid-July. I've already got all of my recipes for the crop worked out and I look forward to sharing both by growing and culinary results. In the meantime I just bought Fantastic Fungi and I can't wait to watch this weekend.
Things Made
At Stories From The Stage we didn't let little things like "not being able to physically congregate" and "having to tape with the host/audience/tellers/production staff all being hundreds of miles away from each other" get in the way of creating yet another episode that centers human connection and the power of sharing stories. And now you get to see what we were able to make with our newest episode on the theme of Challenge Accepted. You can catch it here on your TV on WORLD Channel (check your local listings).
I take long walks through Brooklyn every day that I can. It's great for exercise, fresh air, mediation, podcast devouring, and simple observation. One thing that's been interesting to note the last several months is the predicable emergence of the mask as an uber-common piece of litter. This is my tribute to that. A short slideshow that I made featuring something like a third of the street mask photos I’ve captured in and around Bushwick over the last 6 weeks or so. Will figure out a way to present the collection more fully down the line but just felt like making this one. Stay tuned later in the season for Part II (Dead Birds) & Part III (Abandoned Pee Bottles). Shoutout to Future for the obvious music pick (and a Wes playlist staple).
Word of the Week
[ ruhk- shen, n ]

Meaning: an uprising, an insurrection; a disturbance directed against authority. Unpleasant or angry reactions to an event; protests; complaints.

Origin: Apparently representing an Irish English pronunciation of a shortening of insurrection.
Somebody Said This
A week ago I watched a 90 second excerpt from this interview/speech/eruption and I felt like I got the wind knocked out of me for how immediate and true and essential and powerful it was. It was the most righteous expression of legitimate Black rage and hurt and exasperation that I've seen in a minute. But I didn't feel like sharing it. I wanted to sit in it, turn  over the gem of it in my mind. I figured that the people who this for would find their way to it. And they will. But having had some distance and time I want to do whatever I can to speed that along. I would actually suggest watching the excerpt first, and then going to the full clip above. but that's just me.
U.S. "Justice" System Facts
  • The U.S. incarceration rate of 724 people per 100,000 population is the highest in the world.
  • One in 17 black men aged 30-34 was in prison in 2015, as were 1 in 42 Hispanic males and 1 in 91 white males in the same age group.
  • Nearly half (46%) of people incarcerated in state prisons in 2015 were convicted of nonviolent drug, property or public order crimes.
  • People convicted of drug offenses were 16 percent of state prisoners and 50% of federal prison inmates in 2015.
  • The United States prison system costs US taxpayers an estimated $80 billion per year.
  • Most people in jail in the United States have yet to be found guilty of any crime. Approximately 60% percent of individuals locked up in local jails are awaiting trial. Most of these people simply cannot afford bail.
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Copyright © 2020 Wes Hazard -- Comic. Poet. Performer., All rights reserved.

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