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Forum Post: Institutionalized Racism

Posted 12 years ago on Oct. 22, 2011, 7:23 p.m. EST by Cicero (407)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

After having a discussion on another thread I find it fitting to explain in a separate thread why the American prison system is institutionally racist or perhaps more appropriately the justice system.

  1. Just a few years ago the penalty for possession of crack was 100 times more severe than for possession of cocaine.

  2. Sociologists contend that drug use is not a respecter of races. (No one race is more prone to drug use than any other)

  3. Non-violent drug offenders make up 21% of the prison population

  4. African Americans make up 12% of the US population

  5. Of all of the nonviolent drug offenders incarcerated in America 4/5 are African American

How can it be reconciled that 4/5 incarcerated drug offenders are African Americans, Yet no one race uses drugs more than another, and African Americans only make up 12% of the US population.

Fact: 10% of blacks use drugs that means 3,600,000 people Fact: 8.2% of whites use drugs that means 18,204,000 people

There are nearly 6 times the amount of white drug users as black yet 80% of those convicted of drug crimes are black.

Food for Thought: There are more African American males incarcerated today than were enslaved prior to the civil war. WTF???



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[-] 4 points by thebeastchasingitstail (1912) 12 years ago

Anyone who does not understand this issue or who doesn't believe that young people who live in certain areas get hassled by police more, and that particularly non-white young men are not getting hassled more than white males or females - please read up on "stop and frisk" in NYC.

I can get the reading started:


and you can Google for more.

There's an article on the front of this website about a demonstration OWS took part in this week.

The Drug War is fought much harder on people with less money & more melanin in their skin.

But the drug laws should change for all of us, starting with the use & possession of marijuana.

Drugwarfacts.org has a lot of solid, well-researched information.

[-] 1 points by DocWatson (109) 12 years ago

Guess who gets arrested and incarcerated the most for gun crimes? Yep, black Americans. Be careful of 'cracking down' on drugs or guns.

[-] 1 points by Cicero (407) 12 years ago

Many of those are probably persons who have records who have possession of a firearm.

The Constitution has no provision allowing the government to take away a persons 2nd amendment rights or their right to vote. But they do it anyway.

I mean sure a murderer or violent criminal should not be allowed to own a gun but a non-violent criminal should continue to have their 2nd amendment rights and the right to vote when they serve their time.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23799) 12 years ago

I think we dropped the ball on civil rights. 42% of African American children live in poverty and the average African American family has a net worth of $5,000. And, most of the time when I see a car pulled over by the cops in my town, it is an African American in the car. I had a friend who had been pulled over twice by the cops in our town (he has since moved) and this guy was an executive for a Big Pharma company. The cops had no reason to pull him over and gave him no ticket. What's up with that?

[-] 1 points by Cicero (407) 12 years ago

I agree. I am glad someone else can see the truth of the matter. Instead of clinging to centuries old bigotry.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23799) 12 years ago

No problem. I'm amazed at how some of these people think. Makes me sick.

[-] 1 points by Cicero (407) 12 years ago

Me too, one guy just told me that i must be a black drug user because of the post.

I'm like I am a white male, but just because i am not affected by an injustice doesn't mean I can't be offended by it!!

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23799) 12 years ago

I've been cursed at and even had death wished upon me for posting mere facts about poverty and unemployment. I don't understand how these people can be Americans. It's just shocking but I'm not going to lose faith, that's what they want us to do. There are too many good people out there who have the capacity to love others beyond their own interests and money. All humans really have is the capacity to love. The rest is fluff. These people just don't know that yet.

[-] 1 points by Cicero (407) 12 years ago

So true, if we lose our compassion we lose that which makes us human.

I don't understand how people can just stand by while so much injustice occurs, while so many of our fellow Americans are suffering.

I really can't understand how they could stand behind such injustice.

Its one thing to do nothing, its a completely different matter to condone such injustice.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23799) 12 years ago

Just keep going, Cicero. You are on the right side of history and humanity. I am 100% certain of it. Love will always conquer all.

[-] 1 points by Hellomynameis (243) from Aptos, CA 12 years ago


Almost 50% of all deathrow inmates are black... and "In 82% of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i.e., those who murdered whites were found more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks."

[-] 1 points by Cicero (407) 12 years ago

Good research!!!

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

so many people use pot

the government can be selective on who they prosecute

[-] 1 points by Kulafarmer2 (118) 12 years ago

I think it would be interesting to know what percentage are repeat offenders, ie how many white fall again, how many black but as a percentage of their groups.

[-] 1 points by Cicero (407) 12 years ago

I can assure you if we had an approach that actually sought to rehabilitate criminals then the numbers would be much lower than they are.

Instead we send 1st time offenders to become the cohorts of murderers, robbers, and rapists. Is this somehow going to make these non-violent offenders better people?

[-] 1 points by Kulafarmer2 (118) 12 years ago

Just curious because addiction is a disease, the only way is through long term rehab,

[-] 1 points by Cicero (407) 12 years ago

No but certainly a better approach than the mass warehousing of people at the cost of $40,000 or more per annum.

[-] 1 points by DragonflyT (7) 12 years ago

pissing off African Americans and pitting them against Caucasian Americans and Asians American and Latino Americans, Arab Americans basically everyone separating themselves into hatred filled caves..... plays into the hands that want division..tho it's completely true that the justice system is designed, on purpose, to create havoc amongst people...by trapping and enslaving one group more than the other, keep this group poor, crap in their education, and pour drugs in their neighborhoods to keep the people down and desperate....while the other group gets slap here and there a little fine...wag of the "no no" finger now off back to the white world... I get this anger but I can't stand that it works for the people who power trip's favor. When I see people walking down the street hating one another, i rather have the Earth fold in on herself and all of us poof away than to have to watch a race war ( considering we're all human race despite what nazis want to believe) I hope she does(the Earth) I hope she washes it or burns it all away...... I'm sick of it ALL!

[-] 1 points by Redmist (212) from Yazd, Yazd 12 years ago

If they can keep up the divisive talking points we will never escape the antiquated idea of race.

[-] 1 points by Hellomynameis (243) from Aptos, CA 12 years ago

Ignoring a problem never made it go away.... silence always helps the oppressor... never the oppressed

[-] 1 points by Cicero (407) 12 years ago

I posted this in the interest of inspiring unity within OWS to illustrate that everyone is harmed by our current system (some more than others) but that we all stand to gain if we can get some real changes instrumented.

[-] 1 points by Hellomynameis (243) from Aptos, CA 12 years ago

perfect response... and I love the post!


[-] 0 points by UKfighback (49) 12 years ago

the truly victimized people in the US are white males aged between 16 and 45.

take a look around we're blamed for f*@%ing everything.

and a further point how many white on black crimes are there? virtually none

[-] 1 points by Cicero (407) 12 years ago

I am a white male and i am man enough to admit that white men in the past have oppressed minority groups to their own benefit.

So those white men can be rightfully blamed. Can you and I be blamed personally no.

But what i am speaking to is so much more than that.

[-] -1 points by roloff (244) 12 years ago

I think George Bush is behind this, everyone knows that although African American males between the ages of 16 and 25 comprise almost 2% of the national population, how could there really be responsible for 55% of all violent crimes in America. George Bush is framing them.

[-] 1 points by Cicero (407) 12 years ago

I wouldn't go that far.

But there are definite signs of injustice!!

[-] 0 points by roloff (244) 12 years ago

George Bush is the devil himself and I wouldn't put it past him.....

[-] 1 points by Cicero (407) 12 years ago

Haha, So you feel that he is secretly controlling things behind the scenes?

[-] 0 points by roloff (244) 12 years ago

I think his whole family is they made their money by stealing from Indians. Warren Buffet is the devil as well. Do not believe these evil white men.