Apparently, a big issue among blacks, and especially the Black Lives Matter group, is the 1994 crime bill that Bill Clinton signed into law while President, which they believe has caused mass incarcerations of blacks. At a rally, he was forced to dress down Black Lives Matter protestors over that very issue.
Its not often that I defend Bill Clinton, but the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act along with the gun control bill called the Brady Bill (which Clinton also signed into law that same year), have gone a long way in saving lives and reducing crime in this country.
In the 1990's, when Clinton came to office, crime was out of control; especially violent crime and murder. Murders hit a record high of 24,700 in 1991 and the incidences of violent crime also hit a record 1.9 million in 1992. As of 2014, murders hit a low of 14,249 and violent crimes are down to 1.2 million. And, yes, because of those two laws by Clinton, black incarcerations have gone up.
But, understand, according to FBI statistics, blacks commit more crimes relative to their percentage of the population. While they makeup just 12% of the population, they commit 52.2% of all murders/manslaughters. They commit 56% of robberies, and overall, 28.3% of all crimes categorized by the FBI. So, its only logical that they would have a higher incarceration rate (32%). Also understand, that blacks have a higher rate of recidivism which is generally blamed on higher rates of poverty which stands at 27% compared to 15.4% for the general population. Additionally, higher black rates of unemployment and higher rates of illiteracy force them to commit higher amounts of crime. According to the Department of Education, 70% of prison inmates are functionally illiterate.
The bottom line is that Clinton accomplished a reduction of crime. Especially when you consider that the population of this country is 22% higher than it was in 1994. Therefore, proportionately, the reductions are even more dramatic. Now, while the crime bill itself really only addressed getting criminals off the streets, it fell woefully short in reducing the very reasons for crime. That's what Black Lives Matter protesters should be focused on and not the 22 year old crime bill itself. Also, blacks need to take responsibility for their high rates of crime and incarceration; starting with education, leading to improved literacy rates, and ultimately, better jobs.
Bill Clinton spars with Black Lives Matter protesters: http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/07/politics/bill-clinton-black-lives-matter-protesters/index.html
20 Years Later, Parts Of Major Crime Bill Viewed As Terrible Mistake: http://www.npr.org/2014/09/12/347736999/20-years-later-major-crime-bill-viewed-as-terrible-mistake
United States Crime Rates 1960 - 2014: http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm
U.S. Population 1994: https://www.google.com/search?q=u.s+population+in+1994&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
FBI: Arrests by Race and Crime: https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-43
Prisoner Populations in 2013: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p13.pdf
Criminal Recidivism: the Plight of African American Male Youth: https://psychsocialissues.com/2013/11/20/criminal-recidivism-the-plight-of-african-american-male-youth/
Poverty in Black America: http://blackdemographics.com/households/poverty/
Illiteracy Statistics: http://www.statisticbrain.com/number-of-american-adults-who-cant-read/