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Another Tiresome Comparison Between the U.S. and a Nordic Nation
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August 14, 2015, 08:08 AM
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The American prison system is without doubt ghastly, huge, and expensive.

But it's that way mostly because it houses a disproportionately high number of blacks and Hispanics.

So while it's nice to ponder this New York Times treatment of Norway's Halden Prison, where a grand total of 251 (!) inmates serve up chocolate mousse in wine glasses with orange peel garnish, that just ain't ever happening here.[The Radical Humaneness of Norway’s Halden Prison, By Jessica Benko, March 26, 2015]

The writer does acknowledge the temptation to attribute the prison's "humaneness" to Nordic racial qualities—but dismisses the notion on grounds that "only" three-fifths of the inmates are white (she says "native") Norwegians.

Only? That's still pretty good. That's 150 prisoners, and if the rest are from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, one wonders exactly how many sub-Saharan Africans reside in Norway's most-secure prison. Twenty-five? Fewer?

Please. It would take three American correction officers—skinny ones—to handle that. Heck, I could put these guys up in the horse barn and sit outside with a shotgun.

Norwegian gunman Anders Breivik apparently complains about the lack of face cream in prison--a sign either of his insanity, the cushiness of Norwegian prison, or both.

Race drives it. And when you have only a sprinkling of racial "other", the "other" is smothered by the scene set by the dominant group.

In the U.S., "other" is what's taken over. Prison is black and Hispanic territory.

I agree that the American prison system is absurd. Much of what we lock up non-whites for is activity that hurts other non-whites: drug dealing, inner city violence, black-on-black murder.

But the non-white victims don't see the white system as being on their side, and they're far less shocked than we are by the crimes. The endless parade of black and Hispanic males off the streets, into the arms of the police and into prison is not slowed by the shame of criminal sanction or the threat of lost freedom. They just don't care. Mention of incarceration on a Christmas card—if one is sent at all—isn't shameful, it's just part of being black.

So the entire system is a resource-sucking game, an industry built on natural minority behavior and white fear—justified or not—of it. In this sense, I agree with left—I just part company on the issue of inherent racial differences, rather than white racism, as the cause.

In a white society, the portion of the government budget taken up by law enforcement, criminal courts and prison would shrink to comically small levels.