The (3.)1%

No society currently imprisons more of its citizens than the United States of America.

The population of the United States of America accounts for around five percent of the total number of humans in the world. The population of the US prison system accounts for nearly twenty-five percent of the number of humans currently incarcerated around the world. In US specific terms, at year’s end 2009, 2,292,133 citizens were incarcerated countrywide. In 2009, the estimated population of the United States of America was 305,529,237. If you squint a bit you can see where the “1 in 100” statement is coming from in reference to the number of Americans behind bars, but that’s more just rounding.

That being said, if you count the number of people currently paroled or on probation (and we did, the number in 2009 being 4,933,667) and combine that with the total of citizens incarcerated at the time, you have 7,225,800 (3.1% of the population) American adults (juvie accounts for around 87,000 people) under some form of “correctional supervision.”

Breaking it down by populations (because who doesn’t love to do that?) we see that 92.9 percent of inmates are male. Easy math makes for 7.1% being female, a ratio of 13:1 male:female.

Of the nearly 2.3 million imprisoned citizens, 39.4% (a bit over 900,000) are non-Hispanic black. According to the 2010 census, that same minority group comprises 12.6% of the total population. 1 in 15 (6%) black citizens are currently incarcerated. For black men, it’s 1 in 9 (11%). It does beat the approximately 100% rate we had going on a century or two ago, at least. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Occupy Wall Street: Homeless Need Not Apply?

So, how ’bout them Occupy movements?

Every generation has sought something they can rebel against, something they can blame their parents for, and fortunately for our little group of 20-30-somethings, we’ve got a massive global economic collapse and rampant cronyism to raise a banner against. Mind you, we were complacent enough to let a needless couple of wars drag on for, oh, say, a decade, and hell, we didn’t really seem to care about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani civilians displaced and injured and killed to fuel the Military Industrial Complex, but motherfucker, get your hands off my fucking money! amirite? Moving on.

I’m somewhere near the end of the line of people that should be allowed to criticize protestors. After all, the best I do for politics is whine to anyone that will listen, and then keep on bitching long after all the ears have closed. I vote conscientiously, not based on a knee-jerk bipartisan rhetoric wagon. Yet, I don’t get out and march. I threaten fire-bombings, sure, because that’s what the cool kids do, but I’ve passed any number of opportunities to get out, don a gas mask, and cause a public disturbance. Granted, I don’t want to run the risk of being hauled off and jailed for inciting riots and whatnot, I mean, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!, but I do feel like a bad Socialist most days. My job is good, I have a comfortable office, I have a home, I have enough to eat, and I even have luxuries like indoor heating and air (also the internet!). The complacency I feel in my day-to-day goes a long way to quash any rebellious feelings more often than not.

But what of those who have, shall I go so far as to say, nothing? What of the homeless, the drifters, those disease ridden (mental and physical) scumbags who contribute nothing to society but lice, scabies and a good long rant filled with nonsense and halitosis? What of the true champions of anarchy, brave men and women who have been driven into destitution by mental instability or social defect or just because fuck it, that’s why?

The news is that these deviant squatters have started moving in on the non-deviant squatters’ (read: protestors’) turf, and some folks seem to be upset that the property values are plummeting since the new neighbors moved in. On the one hand, the homeless now have a place to go filled with tents, people, food, water, and any handouts they can beg. On the other hand, you’ve got kids in their early twenties, most of them college educated (at least part-way) who are being surrounded by men and women of questionable sanity and who can pose a real danger to themselves and others. On the third…extra…mutant hand…you have the skewed media representatives who are using the influx of the homeless to prove that the protestors are nothing more than filthy, hippie squatters out to have a tantrum because they can’t get the latest iWhatever. Or something. I don’t watch Fox news. I assume this is also somehow the fault of Obama, gays, and Muslims. Also gay Muslims. At least Iran is safe from blame! Give them time.

I must caution my hippie brethren and sistren. This is not the time for class warfare among the lower castes. This is the time to use this sudden influx of outliers to the greatest benefit. Here’s how you approach this “problem“:

Step 1) Counter Conservative Media Coverage – Show these men and women, the conditions they’re in, and find key figures in that community who you can best use to your ends. Yes, it’s Propaganda, but that’s the only way to win an ideological fight. Get a homeless person that is homeless because of the current issues facing the housing and lending markets.

Step 2) Stop Complaining – The enemy is watching you, and any discomfort you show them is a Gold Star for their own Propaganda campaign(s). You must be strong and carry on. You’ve been living in a tent city with no police for a good while now. If you haven’t been raped or murdered yet, chances are you aren’t going to be. It’s not as though you’re all sensible lower Middle class college dropouts.

Step 3) ?????

Step 4) Victory Over The Man

But seriously. This is something that can go one of two ways. Either you embrace these people, and remember, they are people, and use them and include them in your war against the upper class, or ignore them, run them off, and show that you’re no better than the motherfuckers living like Tsars and Tsarinas in those well-hated gated neighborhoods.