As part of his talk before the Rotary Club of Pensacola in August 2013, Sheriff Morgan made the following statement that it was wrong to "appease crime...appease political opponents, and appease those who have different religious beliefs than we." This post challenges "Sir David, Knight of Grace's" factual claims regarding appeasing crime.
In the context of recommending William Manchester's three-volume biography of Winston Spencer Churchill, Sheriff Morgan stated:
"And what you’ll find striking, and I find striking by the way, is the policy of appeasement that we go through in almost a cyclic mode throughout our communities and our societies. An appeasement across the board. We intend to appease crime; we intend to appease political opponents; we intend to appease those who have different religious beliefs than we do. And the frightening thing about these volumes is this, if you changed NAZI to Muslim, you'll have a terrific eye opener in the history and the way the world is progressing." [emphasis added]
He claimed that federal and state governments "intend to appease crime." Really? A county sheriff, one who prides himself on having a wife with an MA degree who teaches criminology at a local college that keeps him up to date with the latest scientific findings, believes that the United States has been appeasing crime?
To not know about basic crime statistics is to suggest that the sheriff is incompetent and unaware of the basic data, or, he simply is a right-wing ideologue peddling whatever nonsense will make him look authoritative instead of just authoritarian.
The Data Undermines Sheriff Morgan's Reality
In 2010, Michelle Alexander published a landmark study, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. On page 6 of her Introduction she wrote, "In less than thirty years, the U.S. penal population exploded from around 300,000 to more than 2 million, with drug convictions accounting for the majority of the increase. The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world..."
Yes, Sheriff Morgan, in the United States for the last three decades--the time you were supposedly becoming an expert law enforcement officer--we incarcerated more people than "even...those in highly repressive regimes like Russia, China, and Iran," according to Alexander.
In 2012, one year before Sheriff Morgan expounded upon America's appeasement of crime, Michelle Alexander wrote a short article detailing the numbers and the devastating consequences on the Black community from the War on Drugs:
"There are more African American adults under correctional control today--in prison or jail, on probation or parole--than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.
As of 2004, more African American men were disenfranchised (due to felon disenfranchisement laws) than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race.
A black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery. The recent disintegration of the African American family is due in large part to the mass imprisonment of black fathers.
If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas have been labeled felons for life. (In the Chicago area, the figure is nearly 80%.) These men are part of a growing undercaste--not class, caste--permanently relegated, by law, to a second-class status."
And, the War on Drugs or at least the impression that it was a war on importers and traffickers was a sham. According to her 2010 article, Alexander pointed out that in 2005 "four out of five drug arrests were for possession. Only one out of five was for sales." Similarly, in the "1990s, the period of the greatest expansion of the drug war, nearly 80 percent of the drug arrests were for marijuana possession..."
The sources for the data are not 2010. Some of the data is from 2006 and 2008 and even 2004.
Why would Sheriff Morgan choose to tell the Rotary Club of Pensacola in August 2013, that the United States has been "appeasing crime" or criminals when the data points in exactly the opposite direction? Putting Black, brown, and white people in jail for marijuana possession is a highly profitable industry. Did Sheriff Morgan not get the memo?
Only the Sheriff knows why he is grossly misinformed about his chosen career field.