In their important piece "Is the United States a ‘Racial Democracy’?" (New York Times, Opinionator), JASON STANLEY and VESLA WEAVER note that "Starting in the 1970s, the United States has witnessed a drastic increase in the rate of black imprisonment, both absolutely and relative to whites." Thus, in the decade after "the civil rights movement in the 1960s," in which blacks gained equal formal rights under the law Stateside, the law increasingly removed blacks from the streets and (because of voting rules governing felons and ex-felons) the body politic. Stanley and Weaver name this "a racial democracy," that is, a state that "unfairly applies the laws governing the removal of liberty primarily to citizens of one race, thereby singling out its members as especially unworthy of liberty, the coin of human dignity."
Even if the laws were not officially designed or enacted with this purpose, the pattern of consequences has long been visible in the statistics. Given human nature, it is likely that some (the insiders such as law-enforcement, corrections' staff/contractors, certain politicians, media, etc. ) that benefit from this consequence probably noticed it before the people who do not obviously benefit from the new regime. Human nature being what it is, often the disadvantaged outsiders are the first to speak up about the unintended side-consequence. The outsiders are at a disadvantage when they do so because if the side-consequence is really harmful they fight it with relatively slender resources while trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Meanwhile, the insiders can believe they have clean hands. While they actively benefit from an outcome pattern, they can always claim that none of them intended it or actively promoted it.* Moreover, if the outcome pattern is endorsed by justice, why would one even imagine that something is amiss?