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Monthly Archives November 2011

WATCH THIS: Compton Cowboys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86Ugg7tEH5Q Blindie loves this article and video about the Compton Junior Posse, an equestrian program designed to keep kids off the street. As featured on Good's website: Compton, a city on the south side of Los Angeles, is a notoriously difficult place to grow up. As birthplace to many of the gangs that put "gangsta" in "gangsta rap," the city has for decades been plagued by violence, drugs, and other crimes that make life hard for everyone—particularly young people, who are recruited and pressured to join in on all the illicit activity. In response to the allure of gangs, a number of organizations both big and small have popped up to try and keep children off the streets and out of gangs. But there's only one doing it on horseback. Founded in the late 1980s on a small plot of land called Richland Farms, the Compton Junior Posse is a program that, in its own words, "keeps kids on horses and off the streets." The posse teaches equestrian skills to children of all ages in an effort to help them avoid the pitfalls of youth. In the process, it's kept a lot of kids out of trouble and caused a lot of Angelenos to do double-takes—it's not every day you see a cowboy riding around the streets of L.A. Meet the Compton Junior Posse in their mini-doc above!
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DID YOU KNOW?: Black Teens Have Lower Rate of Drug Use Compared to Whites

A study found that Black and Asian teens have the lowest rate of drug use, so why are black teens arrested for drugs nearly three times more than whites? Could it be that black teens are portrayed as drug-addled hoodlums in the media? Here is an article Good published on the matter: A study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatrysays that black and Asian teens are less likely to use drugs and alcohol than white people their age. In a survey of more than 72,000 young people conducted by Dan Blazer, a psychiatry professor at Duke Medical Center, 39 percent of white teens and 37 percent of Latinos reported having abused substances in the past year, compared to 32 percent of blacks and 24 percent of Asians. When it came to drugs alone, 20 percent of whites, 19 percent of blacks, and 12 percent of Asians reported using. Blazer called the relatively low rate of substance abuse among black juveniles "surprising": "The public perception is that that’s not the case," he said. Also surprised should be American police, who continue to arrest black kids for drug use at far greater rates than whites. Consider this chart from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice: arrestchart In the 1990s, the juvenile black drug arrest rate was nearly three times that of whites, and in 2008 it remained almost double. The fact is that cops bust blacks kids markedly more for a crime they commit slightly less often. This is especially unfair because petty drug offenses are how thousands of black kids per year end up in the U.S. justice system. Their criminal records then haunt many of them for the rest of their lives, ruining their employment and educational opportunities and all but forcing them to turn to more crime to stay afloat. We've argued before that America's nonsensical drug laws leave a lot to be desired when compared with those of other Western nations. But when police don't enforce those laws evenhandedly, they go from being just nonsense to racist as well.
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Monthly Archives November 2011

WATCH THIS: Compton Cowboys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86Ugg7tEH5Q Blindie loves this article and video about the Compton Junior Posse, an equestrian program designed to keep kids off the street. As featured on Good's website: Compton, a city on the south side of Los Angeles, is a notoriously difficult place to grow up. As birthplace to many of the gangs that put "gangsta" in "gangsta rap," the city has for decades been plagued by violence, drugs, and other crimes that make life hard for everyone—particularly young people, who are recruited and pressured to join in on all the illicit activity. In response to the allure of gangs, a number of organizations both big and small have popped up to try and keep children off the streets and out of gangs. But there's only one doing it on horseback. Founded in the late 1980s on a small plot of land called Richland Farms, the Compton Junior Posse is a program that, in its own words, "keeps kids on horses and off the streets." The posse teaches equestrian skills to children of all ages in an effort to help them avoid the pitfalls of youth. In the process, it's kept a lot of kids out of trouble and caused a lot of Angelenos to do double-takes—it's not every day you see a cowboy riding around the streets of L.A. Meet the Compton Junior Posse in their mini-doc above!
Read More

DID YOU KNOW?: Black Teens Have Lower Rate of Drug Use Compared to Whites

A study found that Black and Asian teens have the lowest rate of drug use, so why are black teens arrested for drugs nearly three times more than whites? Could it be that black teens are portrayed as drug-addled hoodlums in the media? Here is an article Good published on the matter: A study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatrysays that black and Asian teens are less likely to use drugs and alcohol than white people their age. In a survey of more than 72,000 young people conducted by Dan Blazer, a psychiatry professor at Duke Medical Center, 39 percent of white teens and 37 percent of Latinos reported having abused substances in the past year, compared to 32 percent of blacks and 24 percent of Asians. When it came to drugs alone, 20 percent of whites, 19 percent of blacks, and 12 percent of Asians reported using. Blazer called the relatively low rate of substance abuse among black juveniles "surprising": "The public perception is that that’s not the case," he said. Also surprised should be American police, who continue to arrest black kids for drug use at far greater rates than whites. Consider this chart from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice: arrestchart In the 1990s, the juvenile black drug arrest rate was nearly three times that of whites, and in 2008 it remained almost double. The fact is that cops bust blacks kids markedly more for a crime they commit slightly less often. This is especially unfair because petty drug offenses are how thousands of black kids per year end up in the U.S. justice system. Their criminal records then haunt many of them for the rest of their lives, ruining their employment and educational opportunities and all but forcing them to turn to more crime to stay afloat. We've argued before that America's nonsensical drug laws leave a lot to be desired when compared with those of other Western nations. But when police don't enforce those laws evenhandedly, they go from being just nonsense to racist as well.
Read More