Bravo, John Legend

I’m only vaguely familiar with John Legend. So far as I know, I’ve never heard any of his music, though it’s possible that I’ve heard a song or two without knowing it was his. But I’m certainly a fan of his social activism, especially his new campaign to try to end America’s mass incarceration system.

John Legend has launched a campaign to end mass incarceration.

The Grammy-winning singer announced the multiyear initiative, FREE AMERICA, on Monday. He will visit and perform at a correctional facility on Thursday in Austin, Texas, where he also will be part of a press conference with state legislators to discuss Texas’ criminal justice system.

“We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country,” Legend said in an interview. “It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration.”

Legend, 36, will also visit a California state prison and co-host a criminal justice event with Politico in Washington, D.C., later this month. The campaign will include help from other artists — to be announced — and organizations committed to ending mass incarceration.

“I’m just trying to create some more awareness to this issue and trying to make some real change legislatively,” he said. “And we’re not the only ones. There are senators that are looking at this, like Rand Paul and Cory Booker, there are other nonprofits that are looking at this, and I just wanted to add my voice to that.”

But let’s be clear about this: There is no way to make a serious dent in mass incarceration without ending the war on drugs, which is the primary cause of not only mass incarceration but of massive corruption in law enforcement and all manner of constitutional violations.

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  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    There are senators that are looking at this, like Rand Paul…

    How long until Pal moves away from this?

    “When I said reduce prison population, I just meant reduce the unlawful imprisoning of Christians for following their faith!”

  • benwalsh

    Important FTB policy: whenever commenting on anything related to sports or popular culture, it is essential to first include a disclaimer stressing your lack of interest and awareness in the topic.

  • cptdoom

    But let’s be clear about this: There is no way to make a serious dent in mass incarceration without ending the war on drugs, which is the primary cause of not only mass incarceration but of massive corruption in law enforcement and all manner of constitutional violations.

    Meet the new Prohibition, same as the old Prohibition.

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @benwalsh, #2:

    Important FTB policy: whenever commenting on anything related to sports or popular culture, it is essential to first include a disclaimer stressing your lack of interest and awareness in the topic.

    oh, bullshit.

    Try googling:

    site:www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/ "hall of fame"

    You’ll find, among other things, this post which discusses Rush and Randy Newman without disclaimers and this one, which takes time to express disinterest in KISS, but not ignorance, and along the way spends much more time gushing about Peter Gabriel and the E Street Band.

    You could also find, outside the realm of music, that your “sports” category is equally bullshit. Ed apparently knows quite a lot about NCAA men’s basketball (probably including more about the Ed O’Bannon case than you will ever know). It may actually be the case that I know a bit more about NCAA women’s basketball, but

    a) I doubt it: I’m sure that despite his denials he’s probably picked up a good deal of random info about the women’s game while watching the men’s game, and I don’t have a television, so I only tune in to specific games I can stream…

    and

    b) when you add everything he knows about NCAA men’s BBall and everything he knows about NCAA women’s BBall, it’s bound to be more than I know about the sum of the two…by quite a lot.

    Here you ought to try

    site:www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/ basketball NCAA

    Though Barton’s lies about an ORU BBall career figure prominently in the results, you would also learn about these two hits among others:

    One of his annual season previews for the men’s side, which discusses his love of the game going back to when Michigan State completely outclassed Indiana State in 1979, thus proving that Michigan State is the ultimate basketball school, ever (Magic Johnson, QED)

    ..and…

    this post, which is immediately pre-tournament from the same season, which, not-so-incidentally discusses how Michigan State was completely awesome and robbed by injuries that year.

    You can lie all you want about FtB hive-mind “rules” but you’re so full of shit the rest of us can see the stains on your comments.

    Also, I insist that my family connection to MSU not be employed in an effort to infer bias. That would be unfair and unwarranted. MSU is merely objectively awesome.

    Though not, of course, as awesome as Auriemma’s Huskies.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Except, benwalsh, for the fact that this is a post about America’s mass incarceration system and not about about sports or popular culture, you couldn’t be more right.