Unit One Assignment Three – Sam Van Horn

In Angela Davis’ Recognizing Racism in an Era of Neoliberalism, I was intrigued by the idea of race and incarceration being linked and the possibility of changing that with neoliberalistic efforts. What shocked me was the fact that 1 out of 100 adults in the U.S. are currently incarcerated. It was an overwhelming statistic to grasp, and even more so when you hear that for black males between the ages of 20-34, that number shrinks to a mere 1 in 9. We, as Americans, imprison 750 per 100,000 people and additionally, hold the most prisoners in the world regardless of population size at 2.3 million. Angela Davis speaks on the idea of the unjust power differential due to privatization, deregulation, devaluation, etc. and how because of these, African-Americans find themselves with more obstacles to overcome, social structures to fight against, and most jarringly, behind bars more often than their white counterparts. While thinking about this topic, I considered those wrongfully incarcerated. Possibly the result of an overtly racist police officer looking to wrongfully arrest young black males. I thought of those who sold weed, which poses a grand problem now that it has become legal in a number of states. What would the numbers look like without these unjust arrests? What would the numbers look like if people of color had the same resources as white people in our modern day society? Better yet, might we be able to do something about it in the near future?

  1. Might a role reversal in terms of the education received, discrimination, being targeted between people of color and white people result in the same instances society sees today?
  2. Do you believe in reverse racism?
  3. How might we do a better job as a society in getting our counterparts to see the other narrative?

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