Of 245 million adults, 220 million are eligible to vote. Over twenty million – at least half of them people of color – cannot vote. This includes most prisoners, ex-felons, territorial residents and college students on campuses not in their home districts. The more African Americans a state contains, the more likely it is to ban felons from voting. The average state disenfranchises 2.4% of its voting-age population but 8.4% of blacks. In fourteen states, the share of blacks stripped of the vote exceeds 10%, and in five states it exceeds 20%. Over 60% of Republicans want the U.S. declared a Christian nation.
Police kill over a thousand people per year. Blacks are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than whites. Every 28 hours, a person of color is shot dead by a policeman, a security guard or a self-appointed vigilante. 43% of the shootings occur after incidents of racial profiling, and 80% of the victims are unarmed. One in six L.A. deputies is in a gang. Litigation related to their excesses has cost the county over $50 million.
One in every thirty adults is in the corrections system. With five percent of the world’s population, the U.S. has a quarter of its prisoners. Blacks are incarcerated in state prisons at over five times the rate of whites. 80,000 prisoners dwell in solitary confinement, one third of whom, because of this treatment, are or will become psychotic. One in seven incarcerated people are serving life sentences, and 2/3rds are people of color. Three hundred veterans are on death row. Louisiana imprisons a higher percentage of its people than any democracy on earth. Five thousand persons there, 2/3rds of them Black, are serving life without parole, and 344 have served over two decades. The U.S. is the only nation that sentences people to life without parole for crimes committed as minors (currently, nearly 1,500), and ignores any international laws restricting the juvenile death penalty. Over 500,000 Americans work in corrections. Around 63,000 inmates work for over 4,000 companies that have benefited from cheap prison labor.
The U.S. has spent $100 billion on border and immigration control since 9/11. Legal immigrants are at their highest level ever, at 37,000,000. 50,000 Irish reside in the country illegally. Indigenous, Latino, Pacific Islander and Blacks all have significantly higher COVID-19 mortality rates than either White or Asian Americans.
After decades of white flight and neglect by state officials, predominantly Black Jackson, Mississippi lacks drinking water. Three plaques above the entrance to a science hall at West Point Military Academy honor the KKK and Confederate generals Lee and Stuart. The Catholic Church has still not rescinded the Doctrine of Discovery. Nine states have banned race-based affirmative action. Seven still ban atheists from holding office. Chapter 7 of Title 8 of the United States Code is still headed, “Exclusion of Chinese.”
Some insurance companies are refusing to provide coverage for police departments unless they change their policies on matters such as body cameras and chokeholds. A majority of citizens in Florida, New Mexico, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, Texas, California and the District of Columbia are no longer Caucasian. For the first time in its history, the United States has a Native American, Native Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian serving in the House of Representatives.
To be continued.