Thanks to Marty and Phil for highlighting the recent NYT report that the U.S. incarcerates more of its people-and for longer periods-than any other nation, bar none. I was disappointed, though, that the story did not discuss the devastatingly disproportionate rates of imprisonment of racial minorities.
The U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 32 percent of African American males can expect to be imprisoned during their lifetimes, compared to 5.9 percent of White males. The explanation is complicated, and much relates to how we treat drugs: the crack/cocaine disparity and beyond that, the fact that African Americans face disproportionately higher rates of arrest, prosecution, and conviction and disproportionately longer sentences. And those disparities, of course, translate to amazingly high rates of African Americans who subsequently are prohibited from voting, unable to find jobs, ineligible for student loans . . . the ramifications go on and on and on.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.