Michelle Alexander: More Black Men Are In Prison Today Than Were Enslaved In 1850

10 Harsh Facts

1. More black men are behind bars or under the watch of the criminal justice system than there were enslaved in 1850. Michelle Alexander

2. Legal is not the same as moral or right.

3. A great sex life is not the same as a great love life.

4. One can only be an individual in a social setting.

5. If you decide to live as a digital doll, don’t expect grown ups to respect
you for it.

6. If love is like an itching in your heart, it’s not love

7. The only real sin is making others suffer.

8. Looking young is not the same as being hot.

9. There’s more to life than being alive.

10. One in Four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before age 18.

Rob Goldstein 2015 -2019
Revised June 2019

42 thoughts on “10 Harsh Facts

  1. Rob, those are some tough stats. Plus, I love the other items peppered in for seasoning. As I am age 60, the looking young comment resonates.

    I do not begrudge any person who makes decisions to look younger. We all do it in some form. I wish some would have a spouse, close friend or lover who would be asked what they think before they do anything drastic. Often, in that mission, the person may erase or lose a key attribute that makes them alluring. Perfection is not as alluring as a person with some imperfection in my view.

    Keith

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  2. Great post. Recently read the 9th point in a book and it hit me how most of us lead empty lives hankering after image and status symbols, never really giving ourselves a chance to immerse in the things we love.

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  3. Clearly disturbing, the first one and #10, our society doesn’t seem to be improving, …… in educating our citizens both about, racial and sexual prevention of these atrocities…..

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  4. This list is….brutal, sad but true. Most on the list, I have heard of but below ones are the facts I have witness / experience it myself:

    A great sex life is not the same as a great love life.
    Lust is not the same as love. Period.
    If you decide to live life as a doll, don’t expect the people who haven’t to respect you for it.
    In my country, many people lived a sheltered life (endorsed by our government) and have not really go out and experience what are hard knocks in life yet revelled in telling people their first world problems. Sometimes, I crinched inside when I hear my friends moaned about their mobile battery signal is low and they will ‘miss out’ on the latest Twitter if they don’t stay ‘connected’.
    If love is like an itching in your heart it’s not love
    To me, love overwhelms me, surround me and allow me to bask in it as long as I want. That to me is love.
    Looking young is not the same as being desirable.
    Kudos to that! I have met many desirable men and women alike in their 40s, 50s, 60s.
    Living is not the same as being alive.
    This reminds me of the saying “Eat to live or Live to eat.”

    Thank you for such an inspiring piece, Robert! Great work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. When I saw the first comments on this post I worried that it sounded too negative. And someone I for whom I have a great deal of respect disagreed with one item, and I saw that she was right. But these are some facts that I’ve learned the hard way. They’re not really meant so much to be a slap at other people as they are a reminder to me. Thank you for reading the po9st and leaving a comment. I enjoy your blog very much.

      Please know that not all of us in the U.S. believe that we are entitled to use our government and military to destroy the lives of other people in other nations for personal gain…and some of us are trying to change it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t believe everyone in the States are out to destroy the lives of others. I believe the goodness of each individual, whether they are lost in the process of destroying themselves or others while helping themselves or others, there are still goodness in them. I respect what you write and I think it’s great to face the truth rather than to color it with tinted glasses. Keep the good work up!

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      2. I wish I could agree with your first sentence. I think that many of the people we’ve placed in power have rigged the system to their benefit. They view the lives of their fellow citizens and the citizens of other nations as disposable cheap labor. I think that most of the cruelty of modern life is born of willfulness and greed and intellectual laziness. I do believe in the goodness of individual people but goodness only becomes a force for good when it is magnified by the power of people working together to undo that which is clearly evil. In my mind any social condition that results in suffering and death is evil, especially when the resources are available to alleviate the pain. What gives me hope is that somehow the people of our world manage to lift themselves out of apathy when all causes seem lost.

        I like what you write as well…in fact …I’m due for a visit to your blog…Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. These may be true and they are disturbing overall. But you did shine some light. # 10 actually allows positivity to creep in. 🙂 Life isn’t easy, almost never. But being alive takes work and it doesn’t have to suck at all times if you are willing to accept the fact and work at making the difference between alive and enlightened.

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    1. exactly…I think that most of the items on this list are the insights that bring one humility. I think that our culture has normalized arrogance and most of the items on this list take up the problem of arrogance. While one is looking out for Number 1 be aware of the fact that of you are your only concern then your life becomes meaningless. I think that meaning is found through genuine interaction with other people. Being alive means opening one’s self to pain and joy. It means knowing that I am not alone on this planet.

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      1. I think so. I think that very often charity is a function of feeling as if you have enough. Although I’ve noticed that the people who seem to have the least are often the most generous with what little they do have.

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  6. A very, very true list. And now I am curious to learn more Ayn Rand, I’d never heard of her in my ignorance. As for the child abuse, I was translating pro bono for one of Italy’s organisations fighting child abuse, and the mammoth they were fighting was heart-breaking. What we dealt with was all the online stuff, and that already was pure horror. When my main correspondent told me that was nothing compared to the child abuse that is committed by relatives, and friends of relatives, I just wanted to drown it out. It’s horrendous. 😦
    The best I felt I could do then was make my own children aware and have them receptive of any sign they might see in their friends and classmates that such horrors were going on in their lives.
    Then I came to England and for a while we lived in a place where you could look around if you went to certain areas, and you would see it… everywhere. I had a friend who came from that background (what she herself and most middle class people would call “chavs”) and she instructed me about it.
    The hopelessness, the horror. But the worst thing? The indifference. For most other English people those are just “things that happen when you are born a chav”. Now I thought I’d seen horror, but that, to me, was the real horror. The indifference. Oh dear I am going on too much about this I might have to write a post about it and get it out of my system.
    You’re a very precious person to read, Rob, thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for such a compelling reply to my post.

      You wrote: “these are things that happen when you are born a chav”

      That is nightmare of a rigid class system.

      We create pseudo-democratic systems as a pretense, a show of how much we ‘care” about human rights but it seems we only truly care when the horrors that we impose on “them” threaten to strike at us and those we love.

      These are the barriers that we must tear down in our own lives and in our own minds.

      That little “chav” is just as precious as the new royal baby.

      Neither of them chose the lives they will lead.

      One will go to the best schools and most likely have seen most of the world before it reaches its teens and the other will be lucky to have access to an underfunded public school. But there is absolutely no difference between that “chav” and the royal baby.

      It’s all in our minds and in the language we let ourselves use.

      In States replace “chav’ with ‘white trash’ or the N-word. They both denote class.

      As long as we continue to tolerate the brutal destruction caused by our inability to see past our instinctive need to create class divisions our children will suffer.

      The worst thing you can do to a child is to strip it of its potential.

      To be born a ‘chav’ is to be stripped of one’s humanity from the beginning.

      It’s cruel and it’s stupid and it is beneath us as human beings and the ‘chavs’ who delude themselves into thinking that they somehow benefit from it don’t seem motivated to end it.

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      1. I agree with every word. A man I would often meet in the woods whilst walking the dogs, who used to be a headteacher in the local school, confirmed that if a child exhibited potential, but lived in the wrong postcode, the teachers would give up on him or her. If he or she exhibited problems, if he or she needed help, if they lived in that road/street, they wouldn’t bother doing anything to begin with, except refer to social services in extreme and obvious cases.The things Sam (my “self-defined chav” friend) told me about made my skin crawl and made me want to shout for injustice. At the time I would rant and rave but being so isolated and on top of that being a foreigner in this country there was nobody to hear me or give a toss 😦
        To be born and the whole world has already given up on you: that is just inhuman :/

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      2. To be born whole into a world that demands that unprepared Mother give birth to you (so she can hate you) even as it destroys access to the tools you will need to function and succeed in a demanding and complex world is the most profound brutality of all.

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  7. Clear facts. But I don’t believe in fact #2. It will continue in a new order after we are gone. But we do influence people throughout our lifetime and leave something. If we had not existed life and the development of those people for sure would have been different. We inspire and affect one another even if it is not noticed consciously. You inspired me a lot for example which expands my horizon!

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