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  • Mr. Walker, thank you so much for joining us

  • on the The Daily Social Distancing Show.

  • Happy to be with you, Trevor.

  • Um, let's get straight to the matter at hand.

  • You are fighting for an issue

  • that has been raised by a few and ignored by many--

  • the issue of people who are locked up in prison right now,

  • and may be about to experience some of the worst effects

  • of the coronavirus.

  • Tell me why you think this is such a big issue,

  • and what do you think needs to be done?

  • Well, first, the foundational fact

  • that really is at the core of the issue,

  • and that is that the United States incarcerates more people

  • than any nation on the planet.

  • Two point three million Americans

  • are behind bars.

  • Six point seven million Americans are ensnared

  • in some way in the justice system.

  • Those people are living,

  • in some ways, on a cruise ship.

  • A cruise ship that is destined

  • to be a life sentence for many people.

  • People who are simply there

  • because they couldn't post bail.

  • Mm-hmm.

  • Because they had a technical violation,

  • like the gentleman

  • who died this week at Rikers Island,

  • the notorious Rikers Island here in New York City.

  • The county jail where a 53-year-old black man died.

  • He was there for a technical violation.

  • That means he missed a meeting with his parole officer,

  • or he broke curfew.

  • That is not a reason to be sentenced to death.

  • I think everyone would agree,

  • or you would hope most people would agree.

  • Um, the question would come, though,

  • from many people who would say, "What can be done?"

  • You know, um, you have these prisoners who are locked up.

  • You have people who are in the prison system

  • in some way, shape or form.

  • But what would you propose gets done in this situation?

  • Well, there are actions that governors can take.

  • And in fact, we're seeing actions.

  • Our governor here in New York state, Governor Cuomo,

  • released 1,100 people from Rikers.

  • Governor Pritzker in Illinois, Governor Polis in Colorado,

  • Governor Newsom in California

  • have all taken aggressive steps to release people.

  • We can release, uh, elderly people.

  • There are tens of thousands of people behind bars

  • who are elderly and infirm.

  • There are people who are within six months

  • -of their date of release. -Mm-hmm.

  • Why not accelerate the release of these people

  • and make it possible for them

  • to not be subjected to this virus,

  • which in many ways is a heat-seeking disease

  • for black and brown people?

  • Because it metastasizes

  • around the very conditions

  • that our community is victims to.

  • That is, the condition of chronic disease--

  • hypertension, asthma, high blood pressure, obesity.

  • And this disease is like a heat-seeking disease that...

  • a virus that finds these populations

  • and ultimately kills.

  • Here's the... here's the question,

  • to play devil's advocate,

  • that-that... that many people would ask.

  • They would say, "I understand

  • "that you don't want anyone to die from this, but

  • "how do you convince the population at large

  • "that people who have been locked up

  • "for maybe committing a crime,

  • "as opposed to a technical violation,

  • "should be allowed out?

  • "You know, is this not endangering

  • the public at large?"

  • How would you respond to that?

  • There's tons of research.

  • This is an issue that has been debunked.

  • And so it's not about public safety.

  • There are literally thousands of people incarcerated

  • -for low-level crimes. -Mm-hmm.

  • They can be released,

  • and it is in no way a challenge for public safety.

  • Obviously, this is an issue

  • that is being amplified by the coronavirus.

  • But it feels like the coronavirus is exposing issues

  • that have long laid dormant

  • or even alive within America itself.

  • After the coronavirus has gone,

  • once life returns to normal,

  • I know that you have oftentimes been call upon

  • by leaders, such as Joe Biden, to give your opinion

  • and to try and help, you know, shape policy.

  • What do you think America needs to do moving forward

  • to try and prevent the prison system

  • from experiencing what it's experiencing today,

  • and what it was experiencing before the coronavirus hit?

  • We simply need to look at our history.

  • At the time of every crisis...

  • Let's just look Katrina.

  • Katrina exposed the inequality

  • in our society

  • that is manifest in race and racism

  • and America's racist history.

  • We didn't learn the lessons there.

  • We're once again being presented

  • with a national emergency

  • that exposes the core issue

  • of inequality and race.

  • And the question is,

  • are we going to learn the lesson this time?

  • Let us not forget

  • that philanthropy cannot

  • take the place of government.

  • All of the giving in this country combined

  • in the aggregate in one year is less

  • than the smallest government,

  • federal government agency.

  • And so while I am very proud-- and we should celebrate

  • the generosity of Americans--

  • we also need competent government.

  • Competent government

  • and generous philanthropy can do great things.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time today.

  • Um, I'm hoping

  • that your words are heard by the people in power,

  • and, um, we'll continue to get the message out.

  • -Thank you, Trevor. -Thank you so much.

Mr. Walker, thank you so much for joining us

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B1 中級 新型コロナウイルス 新型肺炎 COVID-19

ダレン・ウォーカー - パンデミックの間、囚人のためのアドボカシー|社会的ディスタンス・ショー(The Daily Social Distancing Show (Darren Walker - Advocating for Prisoners During the Pandemic | The Daily Social Distancing Show)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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