Monday, December 16, 2013

Slavery By Another Name

jailEveryone has an opinion on the prison system and incarceration. Some view it as the New Jim Crow and of course there are others who see nothing wrong with the system at all. My view is that it makes you wonder about the fairness received by some, namely minorities and the poor, whether it works for those unable to afford justice. I think everyone will agree that it is a cash cow. Not unlike what was slavery the prison system is Slavery, just by another name.
It is reported in news accounts daily people are released after spending years incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. Then, there is the sad irony of people being put to death who are innocent that may fall into the category of shameful; executions of the mentally disabled and life sentences for minors are all a fact of American justice. In addition, there is the fact that once released the convicts voting rights are taken away in most cases forever.
There is a long history of lynchings, chain gangs, and the free labor derived from this unholy system of injustice. It was not until recently that the disproportionate sentencing in crimes such as cocaine vs crack being clearly unfair! There is also the Stand Your Ground Laws and Stop and Frisk that I would compare to the Fugitive Slave Laws championed by the American government.
Let me say, again, that it is not my position that laws and order or punishment is not necessary. What is disparaging is that the justice system disproportionately affects the minority population of the citizenry. Did you know the clothing worn by our soldiers are made by the cheap labor of the incarcerated? In closing, let me suggest that you read Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow”.
When you work for free and someone else receives the profit that is slavery regardless of the new name given to it. And that’s my thought provoking perspective… 

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