Hank Willis Thomas

I believe the Parrish Museum in Water Mill opened roughly ten years ago. An excellent addition to the east end of Long Island in a burgeoning artist community, but somehow we have never been. This past weekend, we went to a wedding there, and as long as you did not have a drink in your hand, you could go into the galleries to see the shows.

We roamed into the multiple galleries to see an artist-led collaboration with Freedom for Fighters coordinated with Hank Willis Thomas. Freedom for Fighters models and increases creative civic engagement, discourse, and direct action.

This particular piece above just hit me between the eyes. I thought our judicial system sucks. What is the point of putting people in jail for certain crimes instead of spending money helping those through education and social support be part of society?

The USA is the most incarcerated society in the world. Since the mid-1980s, thanks to the absurd and failed war on drugs, our jails have quintupled. Why do we treat people like this?  And why is it ok? How do we break the cycle of despair when the only thing we do is toss people in jail instead of helping them?

The US spends over $80 billion a year on incarceration. It is a significant drain on state and federal budgets and communities. We should look at other countries and ask ourselves why they don’t have the same problems and what they are doing differently than us.

It was a big move for Biden to acknowledge that the war on drugs has been the destruction of families on drugs, and it is time to let those who have been jailed for cannabis be released and have it expunged from their record. One step forward, but there are multiple more steps needed.