February 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm #8616
National Photo Co. Former Slaves 1916 “Washington, D.C., Convention of former slaves. Annie Parram, age 104; Anna Angales, age 105; Elizabeth Berkeley
[See the full post at: Our Depraved Future of Debt Slavery (Part I)]February 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm #917
Ash, it takes cajones to bring our attention to slavery in our times when most people believe we live in a democracy with freedom and equal opportunity for all. Bageant comes to mind and his words about just pull yourself up by the bootstraps.
On the week-end a conversation touched on building more prisons in Canada. My neighbour was wondering aloud about it as the crime rate in Canada is going down. ” Why is the gov’t building more prisons?” Excellent question. Why indeed. Privitization of the prison system is an earner.February 23, 2012 at 12:35 am #918
Slavery has been part of every civilization — until the age of fossil fuels. The British started using coal to fire the industrial revolution at the end of the 18th century. They outlawed the slave trade in 1808. Colonel Drake’s first oil well in Pennsylvania was drilled in 1859. The Emancipation Proclamation came 4 years later in 1863. I don’t claim that fossil fuels ended slavery but they did make the (temporary?) end of slavery stick — at least for a while.
You can’t have a hierarchical society with rich idle rentiers at the top without some way to produce a surplus. Slavery is apparently quite handy.February 23, 2012 at 3:20 am #921
Seems appropriate to the discussion:February 23, 2012 at 5:11 am #922
As noted by Michelle Alexander in her book, “The New Jim Crow,” those convicted of drug felonies loose access to foodstamps, welfare, public housing and educational assistance (with some exceptions). So, a small time dealer can get busted for a felony drug offense spend several years in prison, get released and if his wife/partner and children are living in public housing, not only can he not live with them, THEY could be kicked out of their housing for letting him do so. And to top it off in many states he also is barred from voting.February 23, 2012 at 5:37 am #923
How did those slaves live so long under those conditions? Amazing. We live affluent lives and don’t even make it 80!
Besides my firm conviction that all but 3 people in Congress should be in jail for life and joined by all the big bankster and corporate criminals, I believe that…
Everyone imprisoned for non-violent or non-serious or non-damaging crimes (in other words they are not true menaces to the society or sociopaths) should be released. Our societies real criminals that are in prison should be made to work 8 hours per day M-F. And the work should not be for private interests it should be for the public interest (road work, litter clean up, etc.). If they refuse to work they are just given the barest of essentials for living so that they die off fast. There should not be any “white collar” prisons for white collar criminals that have been very destructive… they should have to labor as well. Plus, no TV or recreation for ANY prisoner. All the benefits of freedom need to be gone. Then and only then would people think twice before committing a crime… the recidivist levels would drop. Bring back the chain gangs. Let’s get real and let’s get tough with the people that hurt us and our society and out country.February 23, 2012 at 5:41 am #924
One point I forgot to mention. Just to show how illogical our government can be. It costs $80,000 per year to keep a person in prison! They get full dental and medical as well. Taxpayer’s money! Yet your average American is living on $30,000 per year!! Really makes sense. Just more government corruption, unworkability and fleecing of the taxpayer.February 23, 2012 at 6:46 am #925
1. Mega banks own the private prisons.
2. Mega banks work with CIA to put drugs in front of our children and addicts.
3. Mega banks launder the drug money.
4. ATF gives cotnainer loads of drugs to mega bank sponsored drug gangs.
5. DEA launders drug money.
6. Government cuts deal with drug cartels to bring in tons of cocaine into America to put in front of our children – free and clear. All the while they grope your children and spouses and parents at the airport.
All of these items are in the bankster stream media… I’ll be happy to point any article out if anyone is interested.
Here’s a link to the article that led to item #6…
Look it up – Sinaloa also received guns from the ATF through the “Fast and Furious.”
These criminals use the drug war to…
1. Profit immensely from incarcerating Americans and using their prison labor as slave labor.
2. To wage wars against private property rights – they take your home, even if they plant the drugs.
3. They make $100s of billions of dollars to fund their illicit and covert activities.
4. They destabilize the nation – read up on their drug war 1.0 – The Opium Wars.
the citizenry has to wisen up here or we are gonna get stomped on after the sheering has taken place.February 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm #928
You mentioned that sharecroppers were poor black farmers. My wife’s ancestors were white sharecroppers in the south. There was” equal opportunity ” debt slavery. Not all issues have to be cast in black vs white.February 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm #931
Good post Ash, sensitive and timely.
The graphs speak for themselves. As prisons became privatized, the number of inmates went up. I highly recommend the video “Prison Valley” for an overview of the situation in US prisons. See: https://prisonvalley.arte.tv/?lang=en
You can sign in as a guest and need to “continue the journey” periodically or go back to video.
The top 1% are suggesting that they privatize state prisons as a means to solve State debt problems. This is pure evil. Already the US has one of if not the highest prison population in the world.February 23, 2012 at 10:34 pm #934
Ash – very, very well written. Thank you. I had read a few years ago that some corporations were using prison inmates for labour. I couldn’t believe it! A steady stream of cheap labour.
And what the Black people went through is unconscionable.February 24, 2012 at 1:49 am #935
I’m so proud of this site for discussing this unmentionable subject. I can’t even write about prisions, I feel so strongly like shouting and ranting about it. The prisons for victimless crimes is one of the biggest travisties of our country and California is the worst of the lot.
I’ve been working a bit in prison ministries and hope to somehow start some kind of halfway houses. Me, in my optimism, had been thinking that they’d have to start releasing more prison/victims due to the debt crisis, but I fear that the “private” companies will take over the prisons and start to make a profit from them. Think how competative prison labor will be against the cheap labor of young Chinese village girls.
Grrr. Words cannot express my anger about this!!!!February 24, 2012 at 3:19 am #936
I had to be out of town last weekend due to work, but in my absence there was a day of action Feb 20 – https://occupy4prisoners.org/ Many people from Occupy Oakland converged on San Quentin the local state max security prison over in Marin Co. where the rich 1% of the Bay Area live. (I suppose it makes them feel secure to see that constant reminder of our police state protecting them.
Here is a video of part of the demonstration in the village of San Quentin. I recognize the skyline and a couple of people in the audience.
In Ohio prisoners staged a hunger strike on Feb 20 and then went on to extend it. After 3 days the result is that the warden has back pedaled on some repressive measures. I suspect they didn’t want a prison riot.February 24, 2012 at 3:37 am #937
One more thing. A local Oakland theater that supports the Occupy movement will be showing this film on Mar. 1. I plan to be there and may review it here.
This website has a fine preview of it. Telling it like it is.February 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm #1007
What about all the slaves, inhumane sweatshop laborers, and child serfs in the third world who make a lot of our everyday goods? It’s all documented and when they’r busted for child labor (Kathy Gifford), they’re on the news all the time. Yet so one seems to care. Out of sight, out of mind. Everyone is happy buying their iphones, laptops, clothing, shoes, comforters, etc.
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