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A Passion for Fairness

by Rev. Donald L. Perryman, D.Min.

 The real [progressive] is that person who has a vision of equality and is willing to do those things that will bring reality closer to that vision. 

                    -  Bayard Rustin


Rev. Donald L. Perryman, D.Min.

With the endorsement of Joe McNamara for Judge on The Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, the Lucas County Dems appears to have finally gotten it right.

Although blacks constitute a mere 12 percent of the population, they represent approximately 50 percent of prison inmates and receive longer sentences for the same offenses committed by whites. This unfair, targeted over-incarceration of black and brown men and women has perhaps, more than anything else, helped to perpetuate the tragic collateral consequences of structural inequality’s grip on the black community.

Yet, the pipeline from the black community to jail and its negative social, economic, environmental and racial impact doesn’t begin in the prisons. Mass incarceration and the resulting devastation heaped on black individuals, children and families starts in the courts with the application of the law and how cases are handled. Thus, it is critical to hire prosecutors and elect judges who are evaluated, not by number or rate of convictions, but rather, by their passion for justice or fairness.

Too much of the talk concerning local criminal justice reform is centered on obtaining dollars from the federal government or philanthropy. All the while, the shot-calling decision-makers give a wink and a nod while the African-American community becomes the poster child for social and economic pathology.

McNamara, a progressive Democrat and graduate of the University of Michigan and New York University Law School, deserves support from the community. Unlike most, he understands how institutionalized racism in the criminal justice system perpetuates the criminalization of the poor and, in return, the cycle of poverty. Joe also seems to have a passion for making the system fair, finding ways of keeping people out of prison and helping returning citizens or ex-offenders find the resources necessary to restore their dignity and reconnect them to the community so that they are less likely to return to prison.

At a time when there is only one justice from the Democratic Party currently represented on the Ohio Supreme Court (soon to step down to run for governor), it is urgent to build a bench of judicial candidates that can provide some balance to the high court’s staunch conservatism. McNamara has the fundraising ability and the aggressive style necessary to compete and serve as a fair, wise and good judge for the next 30 years.

For too long, we have been too indifferent, too unmoved and too undisturbed about inequality in Toledo.  It is time to put forward a passion for fairness.

Contact Rev. Donald Perryman, D.Min, at drdlperryman@centerofhopebaptist.org



Copyright © 2018 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:12 -0700.



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