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The Justice Department Ends Its Use Of Private Prisons, But Will Justice Be Served?

Only 8 percent of prisons in the US are private. 

The Department of Justice decided to end federal usage of private prisons, according to the Washington Post.

In a memo, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates wrote, “The fact of the matter is that private prisons don’t compare favorably to Bureau of Prisons facilities in terms of safety or security or services, and now with the decline in the federal prison population, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to do something about that. They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security."

The move is being hailed as momentous, as private facilities have "higher rates of assaults--both by inmates on other inmates and by inmates on staff--and eight times as many contraband cellphones confiscated each year on average," according a Federal Bureau review.

While many progressives are championing the DOJ decision, it raises questions as to how it challenges mass incarceration and the abusive politics of prisons in general.

Ending federal usage of private prisons won't reduce the prison population. "Private prisons hold about 8 percent of the prison population and a barely measurable number (5 percent) of those in jails. Overall, about 5 percent of the people locked up are doing time in private prisons," pointed out Ruth Wilson Gilmore in an article about race and incarceration.

The announcement has also not curbed prison profiteering. "It is too soon to determine exactly how the new directive will play out, particularly given that it does not apply to existing contracts and it is not yet clear what it will mean to 'substantially reduce' contracts," writer Sarah Lazare points out.

The decision also does not address how merely shuffling prisoners from private to public run facilities will end the brutality of prisons in general. It also does not account for the fact that private prisons came out of mass incarceration.

"More importantly, what good would it do these prisoners, anyway? They will still be locked up, and that's the real public problem, not the manager overseeing their confinement," Lazare says.

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Sean 'Diddy' Combs accepts the Icon Award onstage during the Pre-GRAMMY Gala on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
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Diddy Announces Launch Of Our Black Party

With just over two weeks until Election Day, Diddy announced the launch of  Our Black Political Party, a political action committee whose mission is to “create a platform to help advance a political agenda that addresses the needs of Black people.”

Diddy explained the premise behind OBPP in a series of tweets on Friday (Oct. 16) where he endorsed Joe Biden, and said that voting Donald Trump out of office is a top priority.

“We can’t allow this man to continue to try and DIVIDE US,” he said adding that white people should be “scared to death” because America is “on the verge of a race war.”

“Things have got too serious. It would be irresponsible of me to have us hold our vote hostage. But it would also be irresponsible of me to let this moment go by and not make sure going forward we are doing what it takes to own our politics,” he continued. “We need to get Biden in and hold him accountable. Trump has taken things too far. As Black people, we aren't even a topic of real discussion. We can no longer stand for doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. That's insanity! It's time we unify.”

The 50-year-old mogul described OBPP as the “boldest thing” that he has ever launched. The party was formed alongside “some young Black elected officials and activists.”

The NUMBER ONE priority is to get Trump out of office. HE HAS TO GO. We can't allow this man to continue to try and DIVIDE US. The people that have the most responsibility and should be SCARED TO DEATH of this man are white people. WE ARE ON THE VERGE OF A RACE WAR.

— Diddy (@Diddy) October 16, 2020

We need to get Biden in and hold him accountable. Trump has taken things too far. As Black people, we aren't even a topic of real discussion. We can no longer stand for doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. That's insanity! It's time we unify.

— Diddy (@Diddy) October 16, 2020

The mission is to create a platform to help advance a political agenda that addresses the needs of Black people. So, going forward we aren't in the same position we are in today. Visit for more info.

— Diddy (@Diddy) October 16, 2020

According to the website, the OBPP plans to “power the Black political agenda by developing a coalition of people and organizations” that are “committed to building Black political power” and advocating for “racial change that dramatically improves the quality of life for Black people in America.”

Some of the issues on the OBPP’s agenda include defunding the police, cultivating Black businesses, addressing racism within the healthcare system, and the decriminalization of poverty.

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Ice Cube Explains Working With Donald Trump On “Platinum Plan” For Black America Ahead Of Election

Ice Cube is clearing up rumors that he seemingly joined forces with Donald Trump, ahead of the November election. Cube tweeted out a clarification to reports that he’s collaborating with Trump’s re-election campaign on an alleged “Platinum Plan” for Black America.

Trump’s Senior Advisor, Katrina Pierson tweeted that Cube was involved in the Platinum Plan development. According to Cube, both Trump and Joe Biden’s campaigns reached out to him over his “Contract with Black America” plan.

“Both parties contacted me/ Dems said we’ll address the CWBA after the election,” Cube tweeted on Tuesday (Oct. 14) “Trump campaign made some adjustments to their plan after talking to us about the CWBA.”

Facts: I put out the CWBA. Both parties contacted me. Dems said we’ll address the CWBA after the election. Trump campaign made some adjustments to their plan after talking to us about the CWBA.

— Ice Cube (@icecube) October 14, 2020

Cube has been touting his CWBA for months, which demands that the “Contract with Black America be addressed immediately to finally create the ‘more perfect union’ all Americans deserve,” according to the CWBA website.


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Black people: Don’t vote for nothing. Vote for something. Demand that our needs are finally met.

A post shared by Ice Cube (@icecube) on Sep 6, 2020 at 1:00pm PDT

The CBWA is touted as a “patriotic pathway” promoting “shared prosperity and racial economic justice,” according to a statement on the site. “The Pandemic has revealed to us the importance of the essential worker of which many are minorities. We can grow no stronger without improving the sustainability of those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. The Contract for Black America is a comprehensive step toward an action plan that addresses the future stability of minorities and essential workers across the nation.”

The 22-page contracts lists several demands including reparations, and affirmative action for all secondary schools, and public and private universities so that Black enrollment exceeds the percentage of America’s Black population (which is 14%). The CBWA also wants Juneteenth to be a national holiday, a mandatory “Black History 365” curriculum, mandatory civil rights and anti-racism classes in all elementary schools, bank lending and finance reform, judicial and public policy reform, Black representation on all government civil rights investigative bodies, more polling places in Black neighborhoods, equal health care facilities in all neighborhoods, and a formal apology to “Black Americans for past wrongs.” The plan notes that to be eligible for reparations, Black Americans must provide “documentation” proving their “descent from at least one enslaved person,” and proof that they have “identified as Black or African American” for at least a decade.

Additionally, the CBWA will devise a plan for Native Americans that will include giving back “the true value or land promised to them in various treaties.”

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Andrew Gillum Comes Out As Bisexual, Discusses Miami Hotel Incident

In his first interview since being found inebriated in a Miami hotel room earlier this year, former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum spoke openly about his sexuality.

The 41-year old politician appeared on the season 2 premiere of The Tamron Hall Show alongside his wife, R. Jai Gallium, on Monday (Sept. 14). “What was most hurtful was this belief that I was somehow living a lie in my marriage and in my family,”Andrew said of rumors that have swirled over the last several months. “That was most hurtful to me because I believe we’re all entitled to mistakes. And I believe we’re entitled to those mistakes without having every other respectable and redeeming part of our lives invalidated.”

He continued, “To be very honest with you didn’t ask the question, you put it out there of whether I identify as gay. The answer is I don’t identify as gay, but I do identify as bisexual. And that’s something that I’ve never shared publicly.”

“Bisexuality in and of itself doesn’t lead to unfaithfulness,” he added. “There are men who are in marriages with women who just because they’re married to a woman doesn’t mean they’re not attacked to other women, and at any point can slip up, make a mistake, do something, and that is what it is. [It’s] the same thing in bisexual relationships.”

R. Jai, who was aware of his sexual preference before they got married, noted that many people don’t “understand bisexuality.” The couple wed in 2009 and have three children.

“Bisexuality is just something different,” she explained. “I just believe that love and sexuality exists on a spectrum. All I care about is what’s between us and what agreement we make.”

In March, Andrew was found in a Miami hotel room with another man, believed to be a sex worker. Shortly after the episode, the father of three checked himself into rehab for alcohol abuse.

Elsewhere during the interview, Andrew spoke about losing the race for Florida governor, and indicated that him and his wife had grown apart sometime last year. He also opened up about his experience in rehab, and the plans for his life moving forward.

See more clips from the interview below.

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