Black men are hardly our biggest problem in America, but under George Bush, we beat out encarcerating black men against South Africa in 1993 under apartheid:
US in 2004: 4,919 per 100,000
SA in 1993: 851 per 100,000
(stats via prisonsucks.com)
We execute more white people than blacks though. White people are more likely to be serial killers. The Europeans called for a ban on executions. Here, more than 60% of the populace endorse it. Probably because we discuss who we are killing, not who is doing the killing. We are not number one in worldwide executions, but we share the stage with such luminary countries as Sudan, Kuwait, China, and republics of the former Soviet Union. (link)
So is it really hard to believe, when you read these days, that we're the number one torturers in the world and we are able to break a human being better than anyone else without even killing him? And if you ask around, like I have been doing lately, this doesn't seem to even bother a lot of people. They say that they don't want to be mugged or terrorized. It has never occured to them that giving equal opportunities to all people may reduce crime and terrorism. Or maybe it has, but they don't care.
If you read some right wing blogs, you'll see that the thirst for blood still runs strong. The consensus is that we haven't bombed the shit out of enough middle eastern countries to date. Maybe I don't care enough either because I haven't organized a nationwide outrage. I really do care though. I am outspoken and all it gets me are more enemies.
How sad it is to read this article by George Monbiot of The Guardian (UK): Torture Is Now Part of the American Soul. I want to cry out and say, No! Not my soul! But we've been taught to affect change at the voting booth, not to rally in the streets (because we are so civilized.) But we only have the choice between worse and worser on election day.
Please do read the article by Monbiot which details what the US has done to Jose Padilla and what goes on in our prisons (some things that are rarely ever done in a democracy.) This is what he concludes and he's sadly not mistaken:
President Bush maintains that he is fighting a war against threats to the "values of civilized nations": terror, cruelty, barbarism and extremism. He asked his nation's interrogators to discover where these evils are hidden. They should congratulate themselves. They appear to have succeeded.
PS: Check out this article about differences between men and women when it comes to the joys of punishement: Men Are From Vengeance
And this one: In Men, 'Trigger-Happy' May Be a Hormonal Impulse