Pubdate: Sun, 07 Oct 2007
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2007 The Dallas Morning News
Author: Suzanne Wills


Re: "Don't make Jena out to be more than it is - Events there 
certainly merit scrutiny, but they're not emblematic of country's 
race relations, says Heather Mac Donald," Sept. 30 Points.

To justify her contention that the largest prison system in the
history of the world is filled with black men because they choose to
be criminals instead of attending elite universities, Heather Mac
Donald points out that blacks commit many more murders than whites.

Never mind that only .01 percent of all arrests are for

The first crime that a person commits is rarely murder. It is often a
nonviolent drug law violation. There are more arrests for nonviolent
marijuana offenses than for all violent crime combined.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about 11
percent of drug users and 15 percent of drug sellers are black. Yet,
37 percent of those arrested and 63 percent of those imprisoned for
these crimes are black.

With a prison record, elite universities are a pipe dream. Even decent
jobs are difficult to get. To quote Harry Whittington, former board
member of the Texas Department of Corrections and unfortunate hunting
partner of Dick Cheney, "Prisons are to crime what greenhouses are to

Suzanne Wills, Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Dallas
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