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Looking Inside the Bubble from the Outside

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I've noted more than once (for example, here, here and here) that there exists in some precincts of the literati and academia such an unhinged anti-American attitude that it's hard for normal people to grasp.  Every now and again the public gets a glimpse (as when some Harvard, Columbia and Georgetown law students loudly announced they felt too infuriated by America's awfulness in the Ferguson and Staten Island cases to take their scheduled exams), but generally it remains out of public view.

One of the reasons I follow ideologically diverse legal blogs is that I like to see just how into the Twilight Zone this anti-American, anti-police attitude extends.  Doug Berman of Sentencing Law and Policy does us the favor of giving an illustration today by noting this new piece at The Nation by Willie Osterweil.  As Doug says, it "serves as a review of sorts of a book by historian Naomi Murakawa titled The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison in America."  Here is the first excerpt from the article, as quoted by Doug:

In her first book, The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison in America, historian Naomi Murakawa demonstrates how the American prison state emerged not out of race-baiting states'-rights advocates nor tough-on-crime drug warriors but rather from federal legislation written by liberals working to guarantee racial equality under the law.  The prison industry, and its associated police forces, spy agencies and kangaroo courts, is perhaps the most horrific piece of a fundamentally racist and unequal American civil society.  More people are under correctional supervision in the United States than were in the Gulag archipelago at the height of the Great Terror; there are more black men in prison, jail or parole than were enslaved in 1850. How did this happen?


And that is where I get off the ship.  America, the "prison state" (when 0.7% of the population is incarcerated, virtually all because of their own greedy or violent choices; 99.3% of the population is not).  "Race-baiting" conservatives (when essentially all of the race-baiting and its allied race-based bullying is done by Mr. Osterweil's buddies).  "Spy agencies and kangaroo courts" (when spying has next to nothing to do with criminal convictions, and the courts provide process to the point that it's overtaken substance).  "The most horrific piece of a fundamentally racist...society" (It's not just that Amerika stinks, it's that it's horrific).

I don't know if liberals/libertarians take this stuff seriously, but I thank Doug for putting it up on his blog to remind us once more of just what a bunch of unhinged so-called thinkers we have to deal with.  That it even gets noticed by people at, say, the top of the Justice Department is astonishing.  And ominous.

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