In recent Milwaukee news, a 20-year-old man was charged for selling drugs on a 40-minute, Facebook Live video. The video contained all the evidence of him in action, they needed to take him down. The young man is faced four counts of Manufacture/delivery of THC and four counts of Possession of a firearm by adjudicated delinquent.
Although things like this happen in many places, it’s even more personal to know that male incarceration takes place, right here in Milwaukee.
When it comes to the black male incarceration rates, The Business Insider stated that in state prisons (2016), African-Americans were incarcerated at 5.1 times more than whites. Yet, 77 percent of the US is whites, while only 13 percent are black. In 2005, Wisconsin’s jail and prison incarceration rate of blacks were 4416 per 100,000 in comparison to that of 415 of whites.
As of 2016, we still have the highest incarceration rate in the country.
The questions that come to my mind is what causes this to happen so often? What can be done to prevent it? What is it that will make a first offense criminal not have a second, or third offense? How can we change our city? Are our black men being guided?
These questions linger in my mind as a look at how imperative it is for us to unite. We need a change in our community.
Millennials are booming left and right, starting their own businesses, working for progression and even launching their own books. There’s so much positivity going on in Milwaukee but what are we doing collectively?
Are we doing enough just by fulfilling our dreams; going to work, making a few dollars?
Are we doing enough by only worrying about our own households? Should we be in the streets showing other millennials that there’s another way out? How do we grab the attention of those who feel their struggle leads them to no other choice?
“It was discovered that 53206 is the most incarcerated zip code in America, and so we said, ‘Well let’s start there. Let’s go there and find the stories and tell this story about mass incarceration,'” says Keith McQuirter, the director and documentarian behind the film Milwaukee 53206: A Community Serves Time.
In my opinion, we need more leaders who are not afraid to listen to what our young people have to say about the choices they make.
They need more inspirational influencers in their lives to let them know that they too can make a difference. Our young male millennials and young adults are our future and I truly believe it is up to us to remind them of their worth. We all have a role to play and a position to hold.
Written By: LaShawnda S. Wilkins