The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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Opinion

April 3, 2014

Sex and race equality

There are several race and sex issues that need addressing. Let’s look at a few of them with an ear to these questions: Should we insist upon equal treatment of people by race and sex or tolerate differences in treatment? And just how equal are people by race and sex in the first place?

According to the National Institutes of Health, male infants 1 to 3 months old should be fed 472 to 572 calories per day, whereas their female counterparts should receive 438 to 521 calories per day. That’s an official sex-based caloric 10 percent rip-off of baby females. In addition to this government-sanctioned war on women, one wonders whether the NIH has a race-based caloric rip-off where they recommend that black newborns receive fewer calories than white newborns.

Anyone who watches “Lockdown” on television will see gross racial segregation in California prisons — such as Pelican Bay, Corcoran and San Quentin — where prisoners are housed by race. Colored signs have hung above living quarters — for example, blue for black inmates, white for white, red, green or pink for Hispanic, and yellow for others. Sometimes inmate yard times are racially segregated. Being 78 years old and having lived through an era in which I saw signs for white and colored water fountains, waiting rooms and toilets, I find California’s racial segregation practices offensive.

Prison Law Office, a public interest law firm that seeks justice for prisoners, criticizes such flagrant racial segregation policy, but I question its sincerity. Criticizing racial segregation while not uttering one word about flagrant prison sex segregation is at the minimum, two-faced. In my book, if the all-male military bastion is being eliminated, it stands to reason that prison segregation by sex should be eliminated. No decent American would accept the idea of a prison for blacks and another one for whites. If we value equality, we shouldn’t accept one prison for men and another for women. There should be integration.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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