Fox & Friends isn't just a happy morning chat show. Its inanity masks the reality that it is "one of Roger Ailes' primary vehicles to inject his venom into the media bloodstream." Rather than providing intellectual stimulation, it plays to ignorance and bigotry communicated by the curvy couch potatoes who are so not the Algonquin Round Table. Last week, during the right wing and Fox enabled "controversy," surrounding Beyonce's and Jay-Z's trip to Cuba, our favorite MENSA candidates, not surprisingly, criticized the trip because it was just so unfair that these entertainers could go to Cuba when "most of us can't travel to Cuba." (Awww) And then Brain (whoops Brian) Kilmeade provided us with a gem that surpassed the usual stupidity of Fox & Friends - and that's saying something because if this show excels in anything other than ratings. It's stupidity!
In citing how travel restrictions to Cuba have loosened, Kilmeade was still puzzled. He said that “You would think there’d be outrage and disdain for those who rob you of your rights, you creativity and jail you." And the he proclaimed - ready for it - “I believe there are more African-Americans in jail per capita in Cuba than anybody else.”
African-Americans jailed in Cuba? So there are large numbers of American blacks who are imprisoned in Cuba? Really? I believe that the term is Afro-Cubans - but, hey, Kilmeade claims to have data so it's all good...
But if Kilmeade is concerned about a government robbing its citizens of rights and jailing them, he should be outraged and disdainful about the United States which has the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the world. Cuba, however, is number 7. And if he was as concerned about the racial disparities in the American criminal justice system as he seems to be about Cuba, perhaps he code devote some of his genius to Fox & Friends outrage and disdain about these inconvenient truths:
- While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned.
- According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.
- Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated.
- African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison.
- As the number of women incarcerated has increased by 800 percent over the last three decades, women of color have been disproportionately represented.
- The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses.
- Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders.
- Voter laws that prohibit people with felony convictions to vote disproportionately impact men of color.
- Studies have shown that people of color face disparities in wage trajectory following release from prison.
And as far as a Cuban prison that holds people without due process? It's called Guantanamo!
I don't seem to recall Fox & Friends being "outraged and disdainful" about this. Oh, right, they're not!
But "African-Americans" imprisoned in Cuba. You just can't make this stuff up. Oh, right, this is Fox & Friends!
…Cuba is at least in North America
While he doesn’t really pay attention to what comes out of his mouth, he does realise that there are certain words to be avoided on the air and the only euphemism for the N-word he could think of was A-A.
Yes, Visitor, he is really and truly stupid.
Yes, Joseph, the top dogs in Battista’s society were the descendants of the Spanish colonialists and the blacks were and remain the descendants of their slaves. The former made sure the latter were kept in abject poverty and subjugation. Most farm workers and their families lived in shacks alongside the roads, hoping to get a call from the farm bosses acting on behalf of the owners in town. No need to apologise for using the word “slaving” for that’s precisely what it was.
Castro has made many mistakes but I expect History (big “H”) will give him credit for important achievements as well, one of which is a serious weakening of inequality based on skin color. An unintended spin-off effect of the early programs (adult literacy, universal education, food rationing to make sure the poorest also got something, affordable housing, health care) was that new generations had time to realize that there were alternatives to eking out a living through casual laboring in the fields. Their elders couldn’t think beyond the next meal let alone dream of a different life.
Rising dissatisfaction with conditions in Cuba is, to my mind, a pretty valid proxy indicator of the immense progress made during the early years of Castro’s government. There’s no denying that gangrene set in when Castro failed to step down as he had promised, but that doesn’t wipe out the real achievements. After a single decade – and in spite of having lost a large part of its educated (mostly light-skinned) population – Cuba started sending (mostly black) physicians and engineers to work in the developing world. I used to measure the size of their presence in a country on the basis of how many baseball games I’d find on Sunday mornings. A rags-to-riches story, IMO.
I hear, I hear, the roaring of the likes of Brian (mindless) in the offing. Enraged at anybody saying anything positive about that gnat in the Caribbean called Cuba.
Well, historically, back in the “good old days” when Fulgencio Batista was the thug of a dictator (but hey, he was “our” dictator) running the show, those Afro-Cubans about whom Kilmeade seems to be so concerned were at the bottom of the social heap, likely to be in prison as they were out in the sugar or tobacco fields, slaving away (pardon the expression) for Batista’s 1%ers—the bulk of whom led the first Cuban “diaspora” after Castro came to power. And why were those poor Afro-Cubans at the bottom of the social heap? Pretty much for the same reason that African-Americans in the Deep South were at the bottom of the social heap during the 1950s—skin color and good ol’ boy racism. (The white Cubans in the Batista era largely believed in the same racial superiority ideas as white Americans in the 1950s, not just in the South, but fairly widespread—the main difference being that Southern states had largely codified the beliefs while Northern states simply let them exist on a “personal” level; a part of the reason why Betty and Barney Hill’s UFO testimony was so readily dismissed by law enforcement, even though they lived in New Hampshire, was the fact that they were an interracial couple—and the 2nd-season opening episode of “American Horror Story,” set in the early 1960s, featured an interracial couple in New England being harassed by local white boys just before the couple are presumably abducted by aliens.)
If it’s more than 1% then it’s worse than I fear.