The headline is NOT clickbait.
I know you won’t believe this, but slavery is still legal in the U.S.
While police brutality and stopping use of choke holds are definite and achievable realistic goals, abolishing the police is not, and will most likely not end with measurable change.
So, let’s pick an issue that affects Black people disproportionately, but also affects every American.
Let’s get started and jump right into it.
Every Black man and woman should know the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution ended slavery. But did it, really?
Here’s the actual language of the amendment:
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.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Did everyone catch that?
“except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”
So, that’s why we have prisons full of inmates working for three cents an hour. They’re slaves.
Should punishment for a crime be slavery? What if the person was wrongly convicted? Even if they were truly guilty, how is that a just punishment?
All crimes? All convictions? I’m not sure it would even be just punishment for murder. Isn’t incarceration enough?
Should prisoners also have to work for meager wages, often for the benefit of corporations using prisoner labor for their own economic gain? Prisoners either need better pay, or this practice should end, altogether.
Outright slavery ended. But doesn’t the Thirteenth Amendment have the ability to keep Black people down, even still?
Did you know that prisoners were still picking cotton until the 1970s in some states? It’s a fact. Shocking, no?
What about wrongful convictions? It happens, and probably more often, historically, than anyone ever realized.
What about the overpolicing of the underclass? It’s true that this is a thing.
Private prisons are a big issue. Focus on that. Real issues.
For-profit prisons pay shareholders based on slave labor. Fact.
Isn’t that enough to make your blood boil? Make you shed real tears? Infuriate you to the point of shouting?
What good Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, or secular humanist finds it alright that we still have slavery in the United States, under any pretext?
I thought slavery had ended. I know you did, too.
“Stop and frisk,” “broken windows” policing, and similar policies help keep Black people on the plantation.
Stop and frisk keeps guns off the street. But it also brings many new underprivileged people into the criminal justice system, giving them a record for nonviolent offenses, like carrying a small amount of marijuana for personal use.
Economic determinism is at play as well, because with a public defender, you’re likely going to be found guilty. So, if you can’t afford a “real lawyer,” you’re going to get convicted, or have to take a plea.
It may no longer be so obvious, there may not be a “massa” with a cruel whip, but once you examine the facts, you’ll see it’s the same as it ever was.
End prison system slavery. Abolish private prisons. Make police choke holds illegal. And finally, end the War on Drugs.
That will all do more to help Black people, and all people, than anything else.
If we can’t set clear goals, we won’t be able to act effectively toward a definite end.
Start organizing today. The tragedies of George Floyd and Eric Garner helped raise awareness.
But if that awareness isn’t channeled, the anger and pain will just go nowhere.
The Democrats used to let rioting go on to let the Black folks “get it out of their system.”
But you don’t want this energy to just be dissipated.
Be truly WOKE and realize not all social action is equivalent.
Some acts are truly senseless. Like burning and looting. Some are good, like marching and speaking up.
But most of all, we need to change the laws that keep Black people down.
Freedom is not far. But it’s not here yet. Do your part and research, ask questions, and then share facts with loved ones and friends.
It’s the only way out of this mess. Abolishing the police is a trap. Don’t get suckered in.
Institutional racism is hidden. Taken together, all these measures constitute concealed racism.
But don’t hate your White or Brown brothers and sisters. This all keeps everyone down, and needs to stop.