Mass Incarceration: How do we Reverse the System?
As we discussed in class, mass incarceration is a huge issue in the black community. Before I elaborate, it is important to understand what mass incarceration is. Mass incarceration is essentially historically extreme rates of imprisonment and by the concentration of imprisonment among minority groups.
Mass incarceration is one of the ways to keep the black community or black people as a whole bound. Mass incarceration reinforces the idea that white people have to continue to “one up” other races, particularly the African American race because they look at us primarily as a threat. When they cannot stop us from prospering financially, intellectually, etc., they try their hardest imprison us. I had recently seen a video on social media of a man of color that had gotten pulled over due to law enforcement inferring that he had stolen a car that actually turned out to be his. Law enforcement does not look at us as competent human beings — they look at us as criminals. This explains another reason why they are so quick to imprison us. They cannot stomach the fact that we also can have nice things without stealing, selling drugs, etc.
Some ways for us as a black community to stop mass incarceration from flourishing and putting money into the pockets of our oppressors is to find ways for more of us to join the law enforcement and judicial system. “If you can’t beat them, join them”. Second, to build each other up financially by supporting black owned businesses, make sure we have life insurance, teaching our kids how to save and make money, etc. In doing these things, we won’t have to have our black men steal or sell drugs or even be at risk of getting laid off. Another way to keep those in the black community out of prison is to also acknowledge that there is mental illness in the black community and to not sweep it under the rug for them to not learn how to cope with it without killing one another, relying on drugs, etc.