America’s new Jim Crow system,
Poverty and the war on drugs. And I don’t think it’s really that a lot of black people go to prison, it that a lot of poor people go to prison. Due to historical reasons (see slavery) a lot of black people are poor. Poverty creates a lot of desperation and social dysfunction. Also, the war on drugs is used as a pretext to arrest poor people. If you’re poor and you have drugs, you’re a lot more likely to be arrested then a rich person to be arrested. Black people actually use drugs at a lower rate then whites, but make up a grossly inflated amount of the arrests for drug related offenses.
The fact is racism in the US is real. Racism in America today is often subtle – meaning you can often identify it only by uncanny or unlikely outcomes – say if you notice that the average white household tends to have ten times the wealth of non-white households. There should at least be the suspicion of racist policies that encourage or cause that outcome.