African Americans are overrepresented in the nation's prisons and jails, and it's common to attribute some of this to systemic forces; poverty, poor schools, inadequate legal representation, drug-enforcement policies, and sentencing laws. It's not that black people are more prone to criminality; it's that they are more likely to find themselves affected by the things that guarantee high rates of incarceration. Of course, some people disagree. Like, for instance, two justices on the Washington state Supreme Court:
Last night, CNN aired a documentary on the financial standing of African American families, that featured this inspired plea on the problem of debt by Pastor DeForest B. Soaries Jr., the senior pastor at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey. Here's the promo:
Bill Clinton, The Washington Post reports, is "baffled" by Democrats' inability to define themselves and their message:
Bill Clinton is baffled. The former president's friends say he is in disbelief that in the closing weeks of the midterm campaigns Democrats have failed to articulate a coherent message on the economy and, worse, have allowed themselves to become "human pinatas."
I try to avoid commentary on Sarah Palin -- because she really isn't that interesting -- but Jonathan Martin's piece on her political operation is worth reading, if only for the assurance that Palin will never sit in the Oval Office: