A Netflix documentary (called 13TH) shows us is just how easy it is to criminalize a previously enslaved population. This history is ugly, and the present is not pretty either. The percentage of our populace that is behind bars far exceeds that of any other nation, and the percentage of that imprisoned mass that is black or brown in skin color is also ridiculous. There is definitely something wrong.
13TH was directed by Ana DuVernay who has quite a resume.
The US has 5% of the world's population, and 25% of the world's Christians.
Currently 1/17 white men are imprisoned, and 1/3 black men.
The 1915 silent movie "Birth of a Nation" served to perpetuate the fear/hate of the negro in the minds of Americans.
Emmet Till was a black boy who was beaten, mutilated, shot, and sunk in a river in 1955 after supposedly flirting with a white woman. His open casket funeral revealed the brutality of the white men who'd abducted and abused him, and images were dispersed widely sparking a black rebellion. Today social media and videos shot using mobile phones can bring this response in a hastier way.
In 1967 the Detroit Riot was the first of many riots in response to police brutality
The mass incarceration of Americans began in the 1970's under the "law and order" platform
Nixon's "southern strategy" involved using a law and order platform to develop a strong Republican base in the south by covertly directing the increased enforcement at blacks, drug law enforcement.
During his campaign Trump called himself the "law and order" candidate
1982 Reagan kicks off the modern "War on Drug" which was a continuation and expansion of Nixon's law and order
In the war on drugs, crack cocaine possession was drastically penalized while powdered cocaine penalties were less
The term "super predators" came into vogue to stir up continued fear among whites
Three strikes and you're out law made it possible to lock felons away for life after 3 convictions
Truth in sentencing law made parole obsolete by requiring convicts to serve at least 85% of their sentence
These laws and many others were written and proposed by ALEC, an org that writes laws for corporations
ALEC has been providing law-writing services to congress, funded by big biz, for over 40 years
Many large corps have supported ALEC but their names are falling from the list as they are exposed
They still give money, just not in their company name, ex: Walmart owners donate, company does not
The corporation benefitting from law & order laws is the Corrections Corporation of America (and others)
The Feds destroyed the Black Panther movement by basically murdering their best leaders
Fred Hamptom was an Illinois panther who was uniting black, white, hispanic and native groups: he was killed
Bill Clinton's 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill vastly expanded prison infrastructure, he says now it was a mistake
The unjust murder of a black youth Trayvon Martin under the FL Stand Your Ground Law restarted modern black rebellion
SB1070 in Arizona made being Hispanic without papers on your person a crime
Allows for mass imprisonment of Hispanics
In 2014 the Ferguson unrest resulted in 3 warrants per house in the affected area.
Poor blacks were treated as enemy combatants: the methods learned by military in the middle east were applied to US citizens
The BlackLivesMatter movement and #blackspring have increased public awareness and black determination to change this
The US currently has 2 million people behind bars. It is seen as the New Jim Crow.
The Prison-Industrial Complex is expected to shift its population base from blacks to immigrants
Must maintain enough heads in containment to make lots of money
Serves Aramark food, uses Free labor to make money
Corporations using prison labor prefer to keep that under wraps
Victoria's secret (and other companies) used prison labor until exposed.
Welcome to America, your prison bed is waiting for you.
*Song at end of movie: Freedom, freedom, hold on, won't be long. (credits say music by Jason Moran but I can't find this song online)