13th Amendment: Reinvented Slavery

13th Amendment

Last night I watched Ava Duvernay’s, Netflix Original documentary, 13th. The film exposed the inconvenient truth about living and being black in Amerikka today. The alternative to factually abolishing slavery was to reinvent it instead. The 13th Amendment indeed does away with slavery and indentured servitude. Unless, however, it is the punishment for a crime.

The War on Drugs

Ava takes us back to 1971 when President Nixon declared a “war on drugs.”

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, in a 2015 commentary in Free Press, wrote:

The Drug War was officially born June 17, 1971, when Richard Nixon pronounced drugs to be “public enemy number one.” In a nation wracked by poverty, racial tension, injustice, civil strife, ecological disaster, corporate domination, a hated Vietnam War and much more, drugs seemed an odd choice.

  In 1973, New York Governor, Nelson Rockefeller passed  The Rockefeller Drug Laws  which included mandatory minimum jail sentences for possession of drugs and made it impossible for judges to be lenient in certain cases.The bullshit ideology behind the campaign was a means of suppressing and punishing Black Africans for having survived slavery. The “war” sought to systematically exploit us long after official slavery had been outlawed.

The Devil Himself  and His Epic Fail

After the Watergate scandal we they brought in the devil: Ronald Reagan. Public concern over illicit drug use during the 1980’s was largely due to media portrayals of black people addicted to crack-cocaine. Black men were in the forefront.

 

The prison population quadrupled between 1980 and 2000 due entirely to stiffer sentencing policies, not necessarily more crime. More than half of Americans in prison are being held captive for drug-related offenses –  possession. Minorities make up a disproportionately large part of those in prison for drug offenses despite the fact that they don’t use drugs any more than white Americans.  Enter the mass incarceration of Black African’s – Slavery 2.0.

Slavery 2.0

Documentaries, movies, books, and television shows direct our attention to the issue of mass incarceration in this country. Donald Trump and his posse of pussies state that the economy is failing because jobs going to Hispanic immigrants. These “jobs” that he speaks of are being given to those in prison.

Many of the top retailers in the Amerikka take advantage of prison labor. Those organic potatoes or fancy, lack panties are products of prison labor. The likes of Whole Foods, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Starbucks and Victoria Secret are making millions off of prisoners – slaves. Prisoners are out in the field, or in the factory, for 8-10 hours a day and there aren’t any bathroom or lunch breaks. Could you imagine doing your job and earning a mere $0.45/hour? You probably couldn’t. An inmate working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week earns a scraggly $18.00 a week. Now imagine taking that same $18 to the commissary. A roll of tissue will cost you $5, toothpaste is $3.50 and food items cost $5 each.

The “workers” are not only cheap labor but are considered easier to control. Companies are free to avoid providing benefits like health insurance or sick days. They also don’t fret over unions, demands for vacation time, pay raises or family issues.

Something needs to and has to change.

#NOSPOILERALERTS‼️‼️‼️‼️#orangeisthenewblack is a show about the ever growing problem here in #Amerikka and that's #MassIncarceration. Fuck a #piperchapman – it stopped being about her two years ago. I applaud the #writers and directors of the show #jenjikohan who are using an #international platform, such as #Netflix to bring light of this serious issue. It's not about the "criminal acts" but rather the inhumane and selfishness of the those "at the top". ✊🏾✊🏾 ___________________________________________ #theother1percent #SheLived #BrittneySmith #fightthepower #strongerinnumbers #ointb #prisonpipeline #slavery #13thamendment #america #amerikkka #sharecroppers #chaingang #libya #prisonisslavery #prison #prisoners #mcc #writer #poet #artist

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Photo Cred: Shelived_blog instagram, the Atlantic Black Star, JusticeNoJails.org, thehornetonline.com and Youtube