The devastation of the Prison Industrial Complex, Drug Wars, three strikes sentencing laws, the "southern strategy" of Right wing jingoist ascendancy, the crack epidemic, and then all the violence in the black community is all hard to reconcile with the progress that has been made in on some levels in some circles in race and underclass matters. It’s like, hey, Barack Obama can be elected President in the same country that is waste deep in Right Wing think tank infotainment and Karl Rove and Grover Nordquist, not to mention Hannity and Rush,are considered philosopher kings of the old guard white way. -T-Bone, of the Mountain-
Anyway, you might be interested in checking out this Studs Terkel book Hope Dies Last before you go drinking with said bestie. This book of Studs is a series of profiles on people who have not lost hope and the first "Chapter" of Part One of the book is a personal essay by Kucinich. I tried to scan it and send it as an attachment with this email but ran into tech difficulties that confound us Luddities. So here is the link to it in googlebooks
The Kucinich piece survives intact in the preview and is pp. 13-20.
A link to a documentary to be watched