Video: Watch Simple Facts Proving That Systemic Racism Is Real In America


In the special Upworthy series on shaping a new language around human rights through the power of storytelling  which is sponsored by the Open Society Foundations, Jay Smooth illustrated four simple facts that show how one huge discriminatory problem results in keeping a lot of black men from their democratic right to vote in the United States of America.

Jay called this “systemic racism” and in the video, he examined some current statistics about America’s prison population in general, further breaking it down base on racial lines, using it to explain how racism is embedded in the American society to the extent that it being used as a tool to prevent certain people from voting.

According to the statistics he gave, out of 100,000 Americans, about 700 are incarcerated. But when the statistics is given from racial lines, out of 100,000 black men, about 4,000 are jailed or imprisoned. And this is four times the average of the general incarcerated rate in the country.

And because when you are incarcerated, you lose the right to exercise your democratic mandate in elections; many black people therefore lose their right to vote by virtue of either being in prison or having their voting rights removed. That is what happens in almost all states in the country. Once you are convicted felon, you cannot vote.

To back this up, according to The Sentencing Project, 1.4 million African American men, or 13% of black men, are disenfranchised; a rate seven times the national average due to their felony conviction.

Therefore, a disproportionate amount of black men get jailed. A disproportionate amount of black men also get barred from participating in one of society’s most important democratic processes in the country.

In his conclusion, he states that “If you can’t vote, you can’t participate in our society and that makes for a systemic problem. When huge societal organization (such as our prison system) ends up systematically giving disadvantages to a racial group that’s systemic racism”.

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    • Yes, the process means they have to wait over a decade, pay amazingly high legal fees, and likely have to appeal the decision numerous times before they ever get the same legal rights afford to all men and women under the constitution. It is not nor has it ever been you do your time and it’s done, they punish you until your deathbed in every way possible. And it’s fucking wrong.

  1. thats he whole point of prison. you think you can break the law and still demand the right to vote? prison is literally “no-rights camp”; punishment for being bad. If you want to walk around your community freely and make good choices through votes, then you shouldnt have such a problem staying out of prison and commiting terrible acts to society. you cant rob a mcdonalds and then demand equal rights when they wont sell you burgers anymore.

  2. So you commit a felony, get your right to vote taken away because you did this, and people are mad because someone who commits a crime bad enough to have their right to vote taken away no longer vote…. I am confused on how this is racist…


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