I was a prison library director for three years back in the 1980s in my home state of Kentucky. It was abundantly clear in that job to see that the vast majority of prison inmates were black. I have learned since then that this imbalance of races in prison populations was carefully calculated as a measure of control of other races. I lived in the South. In another job, I traveled to prisons in South Dakota as a consultant from the South Dakota State Library. The only difference I saw in South Dakota that another race was being oppressed through mass incarceration in that state: Native Americans. Moving to South Carolina to assume the same kind of consultancy, I noted that all of the prisons I visited were teeming with Black men and women, with only a small percentage of whites in each prison's population. This did not extend only to the incarcerated in South Carolina.
I checked out a video from the Library, and it had the wrong tape in the video case. I was appalled to see on the tape a local school assembly where the children were singing, led by their teacher. Why was I appalled? Because this was in 1990, long after desegregation laws had gone into effect--and the only white person on the video was the teacher. Every child was Black! Laws can effect change only if they are observed. In Columbia, SC, where I lived, a major street had two distinct sides: on the left were fabulously wealthy neighborhoods and homes where whites lived. On the other side of the same street were the poor homes and neighborhoods where Blacks lived. This redlining in Columbia, SC, brought home to me the extreme unfairness of a system that is set up to provide financial opportunities for whites that Blacks cannot access. In El Paso, the irony is that the Latino population are the majority, but somehow a small circle of white authoritarian business and government men and women still rule El Paso. These examples of racial disparities are also acts of aggression by the white race against other races, based in fear, and they are acts that must be stopped.