The Anti-Slavery Society defines slavery as a condition in which one person exercises power or control over another person “1) to restrain their personal liberty; and 2) to dispose of their labour against their will – without lawful authority.”
Those last three words – “without legal authority” – are the only qualifier that prevents us from labelling all the inmates of Amerikkka’s prisons as “slaves.”
But, is it a valid qualifier? Should there be any “lawful authority” to enslave any human being? And, given the entrenched racism of the Amerikkkan judicial and penal systems, should this “lawful authority” not be viewed as merely a device for the majority race to maintain illicit control over minority races?
Amerikkka sends a higher percentage of its people to prison every year than any other country in the world but year after year after year the number of persons sent to prison tends to be very disproportionately drawn from the ranks of racial minorities and the poor.
That is because racial minorities – especially African-Americans – are more likely to be charged with a crime whether guilty or innocent; more likely to be prosecuted for the alleged crime; more likely – because of the high incidence of poverty in their communities – to receive sub-standard legal representation; more likely to be the victim of prosecutorial withholding of exculpatory evidence from the defence; and more likely to be harshly punished for these crimes, whether guilty or innocent.
There are more African-American men in Amerikkkan prisons today than there were in slavery in 1850 – eleven years before the start of the U.S. Civil War.
While in prison they are deprived not only of their liberty but also of their personal autonomy and their personal safety. Oftentimes, they are even required to provide free labour for local entrepreneurs and corporations.
But it is not just while they are imprisoned that these African-American – and other racial and ethnic and religious minority – “convicts” are punished.
Long after they have completed their sentences and paid their “debt to society,” many – especially African-Americans – are even denied their constitutional right to vote.
Dozens of Amerikkkan states have passed constitutionally questionnable laws depriving persons convicted of “felonies” of the opportunity to ever again exercise their constitutional right to vote.
These laws must be seen for what they are: They are nothing more and nothing less than a blatant effort to rob African-Americans and other “pesky,” traditionally oppressed minorities of their constitutional rights by Republican Tea Party hyper-racists and the malevolent, mega-billionaire Koch brothers who manipulate them.
Already, 13 percent of African-American males have been permanently stripped of their constitutional rights. And since African-Americans have traditionally been the most progressive voting demographic in the U.S., it must be viewed also as an unlawful effort to perpetuate harsh right-wing government.
And when you consider that the majority of these “felony” convictions of African-American males stem from petty drug offences and not from any serious acts of violence, it is clear what the agenda is.
Clearly, Amerikkka’s modern penal system has devolved into a device for perpetuating the slavery of African-Americans and other dispossessed minorities.