The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the much anticipated CORI Reform legislation. It has given Gov. Deval Patrick most of what he asked for in his reform message. The bill will eventually be sent back to Gov. Patrick for his final approval. But the bill lacks no real enforcement code nor funds for jobs training and housing.
What will the passage of the CORI Reform law mean to the most affected communities? It will mean that those that are now receiving poor education and those that have no jobs will continue to live in despair and cuddle criminal thoughts just to eke out an existence.
It will mean that those that are incarcerated will receive little counseling or training for jobs due to budgetary cut ba cks. Re-entry is not a priority. In essence these men and women will return with the same mindset that they had when they went in. Therefore, these men and women with CORIs will merely expand their present CORIs to include new charges.
Who then will benefit from the passage of CORI Reform? The prison industrial complex will have a higher population of inmates/prisoners and many will be new. More money will be allocated for the hiring of prison guards and more supplies and more contracts to run/administer the facilities.
So now we have another law/reform on the books. According to one elected official who asked to remain anonymous: “We passed a reform bill with no teeth and keeps the grief.”
I would say in all seriousness that John Brown did more as a white man to free Black slaves than Abraham Lincoln. Too many of us revere Lincoln for an Emancipation Proclamation put forth only by military expediency. Remember, Frederick Douglass, Brown’s colleague, said if someone “gives” you freedom they can take it away.
Brown admired the examples of Toussaint L’Overture, Nat Turner and Denmark Vessey. Brown wasn’t “a saint” in the way people like to categorize Mother Teresa or M.L. King. But he is a worthwhile role model for white Americans to ponder, especially those who call themselves progressives or liberals.
Ponder this too: why is John Brown marginalized as ‘pro-violence’ when the United States would not exist but for wholesale violence against Native American tribes and Africans transported here to work as slaves. Add the violence experienced by African Americans during the turn of the 20th century – the lynchings, the castrations and the unpunished murders during the Civil Rights era. The country’s leaders from 1776 to the present day are never dismissed as pro-violence when they order men to die and kill total strangers on their say-so. But when slaves and former slaves kill and die for their freedom, then its sacrilege!