Who won the American election, was it Tweedledum or Tweedledee? In terms of policy there was hardly a whisker between them, and that’s how it turned out on voting night, but when you drill down into the figures it was remarkable that Tweedledum (Ok let’s call him Obama) got 97% of the black vote, and only 39% of the white vote. But his winning margin would have been much larger if so many of the black electorate hadn’t been banged up in jail.
It isn’t really any of our business what the Americans get up to, but the size of their jail population (at well over 2 million) is one of the biggest scandals in the western world. The most scandalous part is that more than a third of the Americans in jail are black. One quarter of the entire young black male population is in jail. The laws in America are colour blind, but their effect is undoubtedly racist. Young blacks get locked up because they are disproportionately poor and they take drugs. The problem will be solved when an American President has the courage to admit that the “war against drugs” has been a much bigger failure than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at a much bigger cost to the most vulnerable. It’s ironic that the blame falls on the shoulders of a black President.
This video, by a young Professor of Economics, Daniel D’Amico, delivers the raw unpalatable facts to a political world who just don’t give a damn (in a completely non-racist way, of course).