Racism is dead! Long live ?????

21 Feb

The United States of America has 5% of the world’s population and yet 25% of the world’s prisoners are in American jails. And The number of prisoners in our prison system has increased to 8 times what it was 30 years ago.

And yet only 47% of our prisoners have ever been convicted of a violent crime.

32% of all black men (that’s one third) will spend time in our prisons and will serve 20% more prison time for the same crimes that white men are convicted and sentenced for. (according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission)

6% of all white men (that’s one seventeenth) will spend time in jail.

It costs 6.5 billion dollars every year to keep our prison system operating.

If racism in America is dead and a thing of the past…

Then how do we as American’s explain these numbers?


6 Responses to “Racism is dead! Long live ?????”

  1. RAB February 21, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    Excellent question. As for the total numbers, though, a big element is the privatization of the prison system. Private prisons contract for a certain percentage of their cells, filled or not. The “justice” system makes sure that happens. Crime is down, but we have managed to criminalize poverty, all nonviolent crimes, homelessness, and mental conditions. Some states are ILLEGALLY imprisoning people for debt…. The nice up-side is that the inmates, while not being eligible to vote, are counted in the census of the town where the prison is (rather than where their homes are, since the census counts “who slept at this address” on a particular date), and a lot of those private prisons are in southern and southwestern states, where (aha!) the number of Congressional representatives has risen…. Jobs, graft, government contacts, congressional clout,,, SOMEBODY is doing nicely. How to find all those people to arrest and convict? Of course go after the most vulnerable, which are the poor and the ill-connected, which are disproportionately our citizens of color. “Liberty and justice for all,” our schoolkids mindlessly repeat every morning. Yeah, say it often enough….

  2. The Crazy Crone February 22, 2014 at 6:30 am #

    Wilful and blind ignorance.

  3. onnovocks February 22, 2014 at 10:59 am #


  4. avwalters February 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    As pointed out in the first comment, it’s a win-win. They’ve actually made racism pay — through the privatized prison schemes. It compounds when inmates complete their time–as it’s tough for an ex-con to find work. So it becomes institutionalized lack of opportunity.
    If you want to see another clear example of racism in action, just look at the baseless rants of the far right when it comes to anything Obama. I have criticisms of the president, but they’re based on facts and policy. (I don’t like the drone programs, I think he should implement the mandatory labeling of GMO foods….) Are the tirades of the right based on facts? Look closely.

  5. Harold Knight February 22, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    Just as our education system is designed to make a certain percentage of students fail, our criminal justice system is designed to keep a certain (black) portion of the population in poverty by convicting them of felonies and then refusing to give jobs to felons.

  6. GP Cox July 18, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    Racism will never be dead, simply because some people can not go a single day without yelling for some reason. Ranting and raving causes agitation, yadayadayada – trouble erupts. All the groups that blame whites for everything – how are they going to react in about 10 years when the whites are the minority in the U.S.?

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