Mass incarceration is a crisis. It is a capitalist and racist endeavor that has purposely targeted black and Latinx communities through discriminatory policing, bigotry framed as legislation, and a deep-seated fear of blackness and "otherness." This system is, in large part, fueled by mainstream media for the sole purpose of pathologizing black and Latinx people until trapping them in cages is normalized in the nation's consciousness.
See just a few of the stats below:
In the video below, Marlon Peterson, author and TED resident, discusses how one wrong move cost him his freedom, and how—despite pretending to be a country where "pay your debt to society" is a constant refrain—the United States remains in the business of enslaving black people—and business is good.
The system is not broken and it never has been. It is killing, incarcerating and criminalizing all people who #FitTheDescription in a white supremacist society. It's time to dismantle mass incarceration—and the purposeful mass criminalization that fuels it.
Editor’s note: Check in with The Root Friday to see Shilo Murphy's story: “#FitTheDescription: The White Privilege Behind Drug Crimes.”
Also on The Root:
“Bigger Than Incarceration: Angela Davis Talks Mass Criminalization, Mental Health and the War on Drugs”
“NBA Veteran and Drug-Policy Advocate Al Harrington: ‘Marijuana Healed My Grandmother’”
“Gold Rush: Jay Z Takes an Unflinching Look at Racist, Violent War on Drugs in New Short Film”
“For the Record: ‘Superpredators’ Is Absolutely a Racist Term”
“Ava DuVernay on Mass Incarceration, White Fear and Black Joy”