Monday, March 8, 2010

You are white and you think you aren't racist, right? So did consider this:

We whites hope that the reason so many blacks are in prison is just because so many blacks committed crimes. Of course, we admit that police do racial profiling, and that a black man who does the same crime is more likely to be charged, convicted, and given a longer sentence.

But consider this. What if blacks in the USA, for whatever reasons (past discrimination, bad welfare policies which encouraged the creation of fatherless children, past slavery), are statistically more likely to throw a punch, join a gang, or sell drugs? This is not a racist observation on its own, but what is racist is our response: then throw them all in prison!

Why is that racist? Because we are doing the wrong thing: overcriminalizing (so, possession of a small amount of pot is not a civil offense, but a horrid crime, and throwing a punch for someone insulting your mother is a very serious crime when it might just be what the fellow had coming...) and, particularly, over-imprisoning. Many small criminals could be dealt with through various kinds of intervention and supervision far short of a penitentiary. But we don't do that. Instead, we shove the black race behind bars.

Simple solution, right? If it was that high of percentage of whites who were behind bars, we would find a new solution. Ergo, its racist intent or racist neglect (it isn't whites, so who cares attitude) that causes whites to let so many blacks rot in prison.

Shame on the whites in the USA, and shame on me, for I have been a part of this process.

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