Okay, we're back now. We're talking about tough on crime, and specifically, criminal law, criminalizing, what what's the purpose of criminal law, and why are we using it in a DEIB class or racial equity class? So I'm going to first share a side on this history, and then just give a little background. So as you know, or as you may not know, I was a prosecutor in criminal justice for quite some time, kind of on the front lines of really people's lives were in my hands for records or arrests, convictions, and deciding if social justice diversionary programs were of use, right? So as I was doing that I happen to also be, I have a teacher background as well as a law background, and I came across Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. And this is her follow up opinion column from January 17th, 2020, basically saying that the injustice of this moment is not an aberration. What does she mean by that? So we're using criminal law both because it's important to understanding inequity and cultures of inequity and systemic bias, but also because from a historical perspective, right? There's a retrenchment, right, there's a repetition of class and caste systems that have really existed since slavery. And so since her famous book, The New Jim Crow, which basically argued that the prison industrial complex and our criminal law enforcement system does actually repeat a lot of the same kind of caste systems as slavery. She's updated that, and since that time actually, it hasn't necessarily gotten better, right? So a lot of people know this, but if in case you don't, if you do have a criminal conviction, even if you don't or you were arrested or you were exonerated or perhaps you've reformed or what have you you, you risk losing housing, you risk unemployment. And oftentimes, a lot of the communities that have been over-policed also do have issues with lack of social services or strong social networks that can actually prevent some of the kind of pathologizing and criminalization that happens. So as she wrote, since Barack Obama's election, and this was in 2020, 30 years have passed and we're still at literally the highest rate of incarceration in the whole world. A third of black men in particular have felony records, due in large part to the Nixonian, and you'll read an article I think on the next slide by a writer who interviewed one of Nixon's cabinet, who basically said that his drug war policies were really a veiled policy against black America couched in the drug war, right? So tough on crime as a narrative comes from the same kind of cultural structural inequity that sees disparate communities over-policed or over-incarcerated different ways. Now, it's very important, I want to mention this. Two things here, this is a slide from NPR'S Codeswitch, which is a great site for some of this work, and it's actually a list of all the individuals killed at the hands of the police since Eric Garner. What I like about it is it brings in to play narrative, and it starts to get at kind of what we're talking about, what is the narrative and the dignity of the individual prior to actually coming in contact, quite literally, with law? So going down the list for example, Eric Garner, just according to witness testimony, broke up a fight. Tamir Rice, the very sad case of the child playing in the park. An ethical issue, at least for lawyers, and this is a big issue for criminal justice policy and discussions. Natasha McKenna was actually experiencing a schizophrenia episode. So mental health services come into play a lot in some of these contexts with law enforcement. Breonna Taylor, one of the latest, was asleep in her bed at the time. Question is, these narratives are basically kind of anything that I would be doing, right? I could be getting ice cream at the store, I could be sleeping in my bed, I could be watching TV. A lot of these narratives tend to get subsumed by calls for law reform or larger macro level calls for justice, systemic justice. And while that is very important, I think it's also important for us to remind ourselves in a very self-reflective way, these are individuals, right? These are human beings, and the narrative of their life was stopped because of something that could have been prevented. The second part of this video, which I just want to mention, is to be very careful with overgeneralizing, right? So criminalization, we're using the term, it doesn't necessarily mean every member of a BIPOC community is a criminal, right? We're not talking about, and oftentimes as a Latinx individual, you'll watch news or you'll watch the same news that everyone watches and you'll see a crime has happened that is egregious. And communities experienced the same kind of frustration as anyone else. However, we are talking more on a historical kind of operational level, right? So by and large, these communities, our communities, have been over-policed, have experienced a high rate of systemic violence, and even if we ourselves. And there's probably more, but there are plenty, at least in Brooklyn, people of color who have been victims of crime as well as been touched by the criminal justice system or justice-impacted. We're not equating one with the other. What we are saying is historically, and the statistics show over-incarceration and over-policing, systemic biases have directly impacted communities of color and so that could play out in many different narratives, many different ways. One doesn't have to have been touched by the system to actually be exposed to it, right? You think of the hooded sweatshirt, the debates about what to wear, the kind of microaggressions when seeing authority, if you're from a community like that. So this all plays a role in how you're structuring, you're designing your cultural environment.