The highly particular US conception of “race” is a direct outcome of the unique status of the United States as a slaveholding republic. While slavery itself has long been abolished, its dynamics were replicated in Jim Crow segregation and later in the urban ghetto. Henceforth, another ‘peculiar institution’, born of the adjoining of the hyperghetto with the carceral system, is remoulding the social meaning and significance of ‘race’ in accordance with the dictates of the deregulated economy and the post-Keynesian state. For the first time in US history, the carceral system has become the main ‘race making’ machine. Its material stranglehold and classificatory activity have assumed a salience and reach that are wholly unprecedented in American history as well as unparalleled in any other society.