TheRoot, June 12, 2017
Contrary to popular belief, slavery was never outlawed in the United States.
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution does not outlaw slavery; it only prohibits slavery in certain situations. It is entirely constitutional to turn some people into slaves. It is perfectly legal for corporations to use legions of slaves to increase their profit and pass them along to shareholders.
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 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America
When Hillary Clinton called black men “superpredators” in January 1996, it was only a few days after the New Year’s Day release of her book It Takes a Village. In the book, Clinton spoke about her days in the Arkansas governor’s mansion and the long-standing tradition of using convicted felons as free labor.
Arkansas is one of the states that still use prison labor without compensating the prisoners. She was cool with it, though—except when she was forced to send “back to prison any inmate who broke a rule.” Clinton lovingly referred to the felons as “emotional illiterates.”
America has the largest prison population in the world. About half of the 1.6 million people in state or federal prisons are black, even though African Americans make up roughly 13 percent of the population. “Black Americans were incarcerated in state prisons at an average rate of 5.1 times that of white Americans,” The Guardian reported last year, “and in some states that rate was 10 times or more.” Even when convicted of the same crime as whites, black convicts, according to a 2014 study, were even more likely to serve time in private prisons.
The untold, secret story of America’s criminal-justice system is that there are large corporations benefiting from free black labor, and under the Trump administration, business is booming.
In August 2016, former President Barack Obama announced a push to end the federal use of private prisons. One of the first decisions Jeff Sessions made as the current attorney general under President Donald Trump was to reverse this order. The second move by the Sessions-led Department of Justice was to end the Obama administration’s practice of not seeking mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses.
Sessions’ investment portfolio is filled with thousands of dollars in private-prison stock. GEO Group Inc. and CoreCivic, two of the nation’s largest private-prison operators, gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump’s fundraising efforts.
There are prisons and companies all across the country who use free or barely paid prison labor to make a profit. These prisoners make between 12 cents and $1.14 an hour. The products and companies that benefit from this slave labor include the following:
- McDonald’s uniforms stitched by inmates in Oregon
- Office furniture made by Unicor, which starts prisoners off at 12 cents an hour
- Microsoft products
- Honda automobiles
- Victoria’s Secret lingerie
This list doesn’t include the states, like Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, that don’t pay prisoners at all for labor. Places like Angola State Prison are known for the cruel and inhumane treatment of their prisoners, forcing them to live in tents and work for free.
GEO, the private-prison operator, the corporation used as many as 50,000 federal detainees to work for free, or for as little as $1 a day, even threatening some with solitary confinement for refusing to work as a slave.
As harsh as this sounds, there will be more. With the DOJ’s directive to use mandatory minimums and the renewal of the war on drugs, slavery will make a comeback under the Trump administration.
Slavery is still legal in the U.S. because there is apparently one thing that has always trumped freedom, equality and justice: white people’s money.
Между тем, здешние политиканы, «эксперты», подконтрольные ЦРУ СМ»И» продолжают нахваливать псевдодемократическую Америку.
Те, кто любит «наших американских партнеров», «забывают» о грязных, злых уродах США.
О таких монстрах, как коварный и крайне опасный мошенник, расист, лжец, и убийца Дональд Трамп. И о таких, как порочный Конгресс США, фашистские ФБР и ЦРУ, лживые американские СМ”И”…
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США