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Shh … Do you hear that? 

It’s the hollowness of our democracy. How is it that voter suppression bills and other disenfranchising measures are being passed by Congress? We the people won’t be saved by policy makers. We must achieve more diversity and representation and democratize power to redistribute resources. The only ones opposed to this idea are the ruling caste. 

Who is the ruling caste? Have you heard the terms “global white supremacy” or “colonial domination?” If you are offended by those phrases, it’s OK. The human condition is sometimes offensive. But dismissing black disaffection is offensive as well. Since all human beings share more than 99 percent of our genes, racial hierarchy is absurd. 

Can we all just admit that we have biases? We all have internalized some sort of stereotype. This is a challenging conversation to have, but for meaningful change to materialize, we must have these conversations. 

This conversation isn’t only about ethnicity. It is also about class.

Racial discrimination, environmental racism, sexism, classism, housing discrimination, criminalizing poverty and immigration are connected. 

We also have to look at the correlation with socioeconomic conditions. The colonial arrangements of power are directly responsible for global poverty, the loss of nature from climate change and mass incarceration (the after life of slavery).

Empirical evidence suggests that harsh sentencing does not reduce crime. So why do we have mass incarceration instead of life-affirming institutions? Why not dismantle a system predicated on Black oppression? 

With the spotlight on racism right now, we must hold a mirror to the land of liberty’s hypocrisy. We need everyone to become engaged. We need a revolution to fight for equality for all with equitable political representation. 

To rebuild society, we need more than legislative stopgaps.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Tasha Palmer-Brown is a writer from San Francisco whose passion is juvenile and social justice. She is incarcerated in California.