My favourite headline for many a month is in this morning’s Guardian: “Black
Britons at more risk of jail than black Americans.” This suggests jail is a debilitating communicable disease, perhaps something like scarlet fever, which visits itself upon people entirely
regardless of their behaviour. The headline accompanies an article based upon the latest report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Apparently the proportion of people of
African-Carribean and African descent incarcerated in Britain is seven times greater than their share of the population. The mysterious reference to American blacks is that the proportion
incarcerated over there is only four times their share of the population. Yo! Well done America! Well done Black Americans!
The interesting thing is that the notion that the figures are such as they are because of greater crime committed within those racial groups is not really touched upon at all, scarcely even
considered. It is not addressed. The only answer given is of course prejudice on the part of the whitey authorities, be it at school or in the criminal justice system. Perhaps they were worried
that the Press Complaints Commission might be watching.