On Wednesday, Civil Rights leader John Lewis, spoke to a packed house at the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. Lewis, was part of forum as a panelist held by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee addressing the injustice of the American criminal system when dealing with people of color.

It is well documented that black communities are targeted by police and if not killed are often sentenced to a longer serving time than a person of non-color. The criminal just reform spoke on issues concerning the black community such as longer sentencing for non-violent crimes and profiling.

Many individuals were at the forum to listen and speak on their personal injustices and concerns for the future. Lewis who has been very verbal about his disdain for Donald Trump and his racists antics, stated “We need to get over this idea of locking them up and throwing away the keys. We can reform our justice system.”

The incarceration numbers are overwhelming for communities of color. Black Americans are incarcerated five times more than white people. This research comes from Ashley Nellis, a senior research analyst with the Sentencing Project, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that promotes reform in criminal justice policy and advocates for alternatives to imprisonment.

With documentaries such as Ava Duvernay’s 13 bringing more light to a problematic criminal justice system I hope things will begin to change? Do you think they will? Please share your thoughts.


Malachi Rivers, The Al Rucker Show
Thursday January 25, 2018