American Prison Systems Reformation or Modern Slavery
The Super Predator: 13th
by Michelle A. Reed
"The objective reality is, virtually no one who is white understands the challenge of being black in America."
Is this true? Some circles argue that there is no such thing as white privilege. Especially on social media, where they have the most bravado; Blacks should just let go of slavery, Black Lives Matter protests create problems that don’t exist, or if black people cared about their culture there wouldn’t be so many in prison. Tomi Lahren was given a platform at The Blaze, where she proudly spoke on her disdain towards current black issues. Larhen has had nearly zero evidence to support her theories and accusations. While African American leaders have confirmed historic issues that match present systematic and social injustices.
Jesse Williams’s speech at the 2016 BET awards poetically presented facts on how we are criminalized, culturally appropriated, and brutalized by police. He talked about how the land of the free can be a cage for our people. White America backlashes offended, despite every single word being the truth. Beyoncé’s video for “Formation” had a child dancing in front of cops, and mothers that have lost children to police brutality. She even performed the song at the super bowl in Black Panther attire. White America took both, as her encouraging people to attack police, stating the “black panthers were a violent hate group.” Although the Black Panther’s origin was not one of violence, but for the protection of black communities that were being terrorized by white citizens. So what evidence is there that black activists are just being “radical?” Why are the prison systems around the United stated so heavily populated with African Americans?
A black leader in her own right, Ava Duvernay amazingly presents evidence on the imprisonment of the black community in her documentary “13th.” It includes the loopholes of the 13th Amendment that continues allowing blacks to be systemically hindered in a supremacist America by placing us behind bars.
The 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
The "except as a punishment for a crime" portion of the Amendment, assisted with the mass incarcerations after the Civil War. Blacks were given unreasonable sentences for situations that could barely be considered crimes and used for labor to rebuild the economy. It allowed the government to once again enslave African Americans after it was supposedly abolished. If they weren’t in prison, blacks were publically hung, tortured, and their corpses displayed as spectacles. White people celebrated by posing in pictures with dead black fathers, children, and pregnant women. These inhumane actions were accepted and legal. And today, we are expected to believe that same government doesn’t have an agenda that supports the deterioration of the black community by imprisonment?
“So once you are convicted of a crime,
you are in essence a slave of the state.”
The 13th adds that the U.S. is only 5% of the world’s population of people while holding 25% of the world’s prison population. The statistics of black men that will be incarcerated in their life is 1 in 3. While the number of white men is 1 in 17. This statistic does not exist because white people don’t commit crimes, but because of the bias amount of people who are actually punished. Media and even Republican presidential candidates have always supported the idea of blacks as only super predators; criminals and rapists. But historically white people have been the most terroristic and violent of any culture. Even the original film for “Birth of a nation,” black men are depicted as criminals and a sexual threat to white women. But the rape ratio of white men on black women was significantly higher at the time of the film.
Candidates like Nixon, Reagan, and even Clinton used the public’s fear of black people before and/or after their elections to hold their statuses and popularity. Each candidate put processes in place that destroyed black communities by imprisoning black men for the same crimes being committed in white neighborhoods. Clintons 1994 Crime Bill existed so that he could somehow support the blatant but unspoken agenda of his predecessors. Current President Donald Trump has even spoken of "the good old days" when protestors would be knocked out, carried away on stretchers, or arrested.
White people fear our black leaders so much, that the government has gone out of its way to either murder or imprison the people who were simply fighting to be seen as human. Leaders like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Rose Park, and legendary Angela Davis (who is featured in the documentary) were incarcerated and on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list. The United States has had an open fear of black people and black progression. Fear is the sole reason why the mass imprisonment of blacks continues, and why crimes against blacks go predominantly with impunity. There are even laws and policies initiated by Republican owned corporations that have assisted in black incarceration. They profit millions off of the imprisonment that occurs when those laws are actually passed.
Any person black or white could benefit from the information presented in this documentary. It features exclusive interviews with white and black politicians, lawyers, authors, teachers, and activists. It displays the correlation of events leading up to a number of blacks in prison with the corporations and political parties that benefit from black confinement. Ava Duvernay provided a unique platform for people to present not theories or accusations, but truths about how black men, women, and children ended up in the system. The plan is mainly to keep the prison systems packed so that Republicans remain popular, prison corporations make money, and so that perspective on the black community continues to be negative. This documentary is the sight to the people who are blind to black issues in America.