This is satire. But the facts are all true.
Meet Ralph. Ralph (I definitely just made that name up) is a cartoon white dude, and he's kind of a racist a**hole. (Sorry if your name is also Ralph.)
Let's take a look at what Ralph has to say.
WHOA, um, OK Ralph, this is pretty horrifying. Where are you going with this?
"These days, employment and housing discrimination are illegal. But what if I told you there was something easy you could do to keep the black community down?"
Yeah, still pretty nervous to find out what's coming next. So, Ralph, do tell — what's your atrociously racist idea?
Support private prisons! Oh, you mean that thing all taxpayers are already doing that is 100% legal? Ralph, do you dare suggest that the prison system in the U.S. is racist? *GASP*
Hang on tight. Ralph's actually gonna break out some true facts.
FACT 1: Violent crime rates have plunged in the last few decades, but the prison population has increased.
"We had to find other reasons to put people (black people) behind bars."
See, the U.S. justice system targets black people by giving harsher punishments for things like illegal drug use and lighter or nonexistent punishments for "white-collar crime": prescription drug use, money laundering, stuff like that.
FACT 2: Drug use rates among blacks and whites are pretty much the same, but blacks are convicted four times more often.
FACT 3: When a black person is convicted of the same crime as a white person, their sentence is 20% longer, on average.
Feeling sick yet? That's the point. Because Ralph is obviously a racist a**hat created to prove a point. The facts are true, and his shock-factor-style of delivering them sure made me pay attention.
"So support our prison-industrial complex. You can even invest in it on Wall Street, where our stocks are doing great. I mean, talk about a win-win situation."
Ugh, what a tool, that Ralph. But hey — got you to pay attention, didn't he?
To watch Ralph's spiel in video form, check it out below:
Want more info about how the U.S. prison system is racist? Good.