M. Alexander claims that the widely accepted explanation for why so many people in the US are sent to jail is wrong by giving examples of studies that show the same amount of crime as US in other countries, yet the punishment in US is much harsher with many more people ending up in prison. The amount of prisoners is even higher in US than countries with serious human rights violations like Russia and Iran.
The racial disparities in the rates of incarceration ” cannot be explained by rates of drug crimes” due to studies, mentioned by M. Alexander, that show about the same amount of drug use among people of all races. These studies also showed that there is a slightly higher instance of whites selling drugs than their non-white counterparts.
I understand the phrase “the American penal system has emerges as a system of social control unparalleled in the world history” by interpreting it to mean that the American penal system is deeply corrupt and is being used to control certain groups within the country. This level of control and it’s negative impact is worse than other systems/tyrannies that have come before it, like that of the Apartheid in South Africa.