On August 19, 2017, the city of Washington, DC will host a Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March to draw attention and national support to amend the 13th amendment of the United States Constitution for its ratification of modern day slavery within the U.S. prison system.
The 13th amendment has spawned various forms of penal slavery since its ratification by the then all-white U.S. Congress, such as the Convict Leasing system, the Chain Gang Labor system, the Prisoner Agricultural Workers system, and the modern day prison slave sweatshops that are euphemistically called “Correctional Industries Corporations.” Today, the prison system’s “Correctional Industries Corporations” generates hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue from prisoners’ free labor and slave-wage labor.
Arguably, the 13th amendment is the most evil, contradictory, controversial, deceptive, and despicable part of the U.S. Constitution; arguably, because the 13th amendment runs neck-to-neck in terms of depravity with the U.S. Constitution’s decree that considered Black people who were enslaved as three-fifths of a human being for purposes of increasing southern slave holders’ voting power.
All arguments aside, the duplicitous double-speak of the 13th amendment regarding the abolition of slavery in the United States of America harkens to a time when — after the Indigenous peoples of this continent had been decimated by Caucasians’ practice of Manifest Destiny’s genocidal wars and pronouncements of coming in peace and war in the same breath — native peoples reached a profound truth that, “the white man speaks with a forked tongue.”
The 13th amendment is a prime example frozen in time for all to see of “the white man speaking with a forked tongue;” of an all-white U.S. government having no intention of truly emancipating Black slaves; of their Machiavellian designs to re-enslave Black people within the U.S. prison systems under the guise of crime.
In the first sentence of the 13th amendment, the U.S. government firmly abolished chattel slavery in the U.S., whereas in the second sentence it retained and transferred chattel slavery into its prison system as punishment for those convicted of crime.
With a stroke of the enemy’s pen, America went from chattel slavery to prison slavery, from mass emancipation of Black peoples to mass incarceration of Black, Brown, and now poor white peoples. Brought to you by America, from the Land of the Beast and the Home of the Slave.
Let us make America know its sins against Black and Brown peoples. Let’s struggle to amend the 13th amendment and to abolish prison slavery and for-profit prisons by attending or supporting the August 19th Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March on Washington, D.C. For additional information, go to: Amendthe13th.org.
From the Belly of the Beast, at Prison Radio, I am Shakaboona.