Nyle Fort at In These Times interviewed Larry Krasner, who won election as Philadelphia’s new district attorney Tuesday. Here’s an excerpt:
Larry Krasner ran as arguably the most progressive District Attorney candidate in the country. In May, he sent shockwaves throughout the Pennsylvania political establishment after winning the Philadelphia Democratic primary. And last night he defeated his Republic opponent Beth Grossman by more than 40 points in the general election to become Philly’s next DA—part of a broader wave of progressives elected to office.
In These Times spoke to Krasner about the significance of his campaign for local and national politics.
Your campaign website states, “The culture of the Philadelphia DA’s office must change” What exactly must change?
This is a culture that has been focused on trying to bring as many cases against as many defendants as possible, which basically means poor people, as possible. We have one public school after another closing in Philadelphia but we’ve got oh so many prison cells. The reality is that good public education prevents crime. Good drug treatment prevents crime. Good job training prevents crime. Good economic development and availability of jobs, prevents crime. But building more and more jail cells causes the cycle of poverty, it causes crime
How do you understand the relationship between street violence and the institutionalized violence of poverty?
Violence is defined narrowly in terms of people getting hurt on the street by being robbed, by being shot. It is also defined broadly in terms of the trauma that people suffer when they are poor, when they have no hope, etc. How is it related? We know that people who have been traumatized, people who have been neglected, people who have moved 50 times during their childhood because no one could ever afford the rent, tend to end up in jail. We have accepted a prevention model in public health a long time ago and we need to be willing to make that small shift and accept that in the realm of criminal justice.
You sued the Philadelphia Police Department 75 times. As District Attorney how will you hold police accountable?
Number one, you could stop treating them as if they are entitled to different treatment. It’s really not that complicated to treat rich people and poor people and famous people and unfamous people and people who wear uniforms and people who don’t the same. […]
German Lopez at Vox also writes about Krasner in If you care about ending mass incarceration, look at what Philadelphia just did:
The victory is a big deal not just because Krasner is a very progressive attorney who will shape local policy. It also signifies the exact kind of action that voters will have to take in the next few years and decades if they want to unravel mass incarceration.
Krasner’s victory had mostly been assured in a Democratic stronghold like Philadelphia once he won the party’s primary back in May. But even back then, he stood out.
“A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party. […] American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.”
~Henry A. Wallace, April, 1944
Crucial Arctic monitoring satellites are blinking out just when we need to track sea ice. The Air Force had a replacement spacecraft ready to fly, but Congress ordered it dismantled. (Seriously.) https://t.co/6soWL29geS
— Andrew Freedman (@afreedma) November 8, 2017
On this date at Daily Kos in 2008—Chambliss uses 9/11 footage in latest ad:
Ah, class act, that Saxby Chambliss, From instigating lying dirty-bomb politics against triple-amputee war hero Max Cleland in 2002, to stooping to terror-mongering with a national tragedy in the current run-off against Orange to Blue candidate Jim Martin for the Georgia Senate. […]
At least Chambliss’ scumbaggery is consistent. Consistently beyond the pale.
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