The American prison industrial complex is vast and highly profitable for so many people.
The fact that the inmate population is overwhelmingly Black should shock and appall us. The fact that we incarcerate huge numbers of people (vastly more than any other industrialized nation) should shock and appall us.
But as we blind ourselves the real horrors of slavery, we choose not to know what our prisons are really like and why people are really there.
We choose wrongly to believe American prisons are largely humane and have a redemptive function.
We choose wrongly to believe that prison inmates are mostly violent people who are a threat to society.
We choose wrongly to believe that racism plays no role in incarceration.
We have a lot of work to do if we wish to live in a just and humane society. We can start by facing the truth.