I enjoyed this thoughtful post on racial discrimination in policing and sentencing, including the citation of the decisive McCleskey case, which gave legal justification for the supposed "age of colorblindness."
* * * * *
Numbers never lie. All the statistics and factual data point in the opposite direction of African Americans being such horrible criminals. Even though the facts are there, African Americans are still the ones who get in the most trouble. This is the exact reason why white privilege is enforced. The image projected on to African Americans is of being such criminals that they need to be behind bars, where whites can watch them. It's proven that the majority of illegal drug users and dealers are white, but three-fourths of the people actually imprisoned are black. Black men have been admitted to state prison on drug charges at a rate that is more than thirteen times higher than white men. Black men are searched just because they "look suspicious," not because of an actual reason from police officers. You can't just assume someone is doing something wrong, but in some situations and cases, that's how the legal system works with regard to certain races. Race is used as a factor when making decisions regarding whom to stop and search.
In the era of colorblindness, when race isn't discussed, everyone knows that the enemy in the War on Drugs can be identified by race. It's just not said. The McCleskey decision was not actually about the death penalty but about the Court's choice to shy away from claims of racial bias. Multiple studies show that youth of color are more likely to be arrested, detained, formally charged, transferred to adult court, and confined to secure residential facilities than their white counterparts. It seems in some cases, if you have one African American man and one white man who commit the same crime, the black man will severe more punishment than he deserves -- not because of the actual crime, but because of his race.
* * * * *