First Slavery, then Segregation, now Mass Incarceration
White supremacy has always found a way to stay around. First slavery was employed to control black people, and when that was lost in a civil war southern racists were not finished yet. The former slave owners then converted slavery to a new form that could only be described as “slavery by another name.” They did this by passing vagrancy laws that simply made it illegal not to have a job. They did that all the way up until the 1940s and beyond, by kidnapping blacks to work on farms and in coal mines by using the legal system. Black unemployment, and the lack of any help from federal or state governments to really aid people coming out of slavery simply was not present after Reconstruction.
The 13th Amendment was sabotaged. Read it! : “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.” What you have to notice is the trick wording that was meant to satisfy the former slave owners by the federal government that allowed them to put blacks back into slavery by accusing them of a crime, whether it was true or made-up. After the Civil War, former slave owners and the legal system conspired to arrest blacks, mostly on invented or enhanced criminal penalties, by using their principle weapon of vagrancy laws. In each generation, white supremacy has sought to hold on by using new tactics to achieve the goal of keeping people that still believe they are white in positions of power. White supremacy was deemed necessary as an important ingredient in the formation of the United States from its very beginnings. In order to secure its place as an operative policy, new forms began to take shape in the form of segregation. Jim Crow law was instituted across the nation in order to keep the supposed idea that whites were superior. Restaurants, theatres, bus stations, schools, graveyards, swimming pools, and other public spaces were deemed “white only.” In this way, America was never a democracy. Today it is no longer an accepted norm to openly use “race” as a way to discriminate so another tactic was employed, “colorblind” foolery, and a “War on Drugs” enhanced with a “War on Crime.” These racially inspired tactics were, and still are, a method to extend white supremacy. So nowadays, we use the last bastion of overt discrimination, the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system is an interesting extension of slavery and white supremacy, for it punishes crimes differently and drug use based on race. The criminal justice system is a well-disguised and oiled system of racist social control that simply mimics Jim Crow. This is how racism changes from one generation to the next.
One cannot claim that efforts to control crime are simply unconnected to racist control, for all of the evidence reveals that this idea is wrong. Sentencing policies that allowed harsher sentences to be given for crack cocaine is a good example. The so-called “War on Drugs,” launched like the good ship lollypop in 1982 by Ronald Reagan, was publicized to the hilt by highlighting all kinds of “crack babies.” All of this was timed with the CIA moves in Latin America to smuggle drugs into the United States. The United States needed drug smugglers to fight leftist guerrillas in Nicaragua, and hence America’s black community was the dumping ground for the drugs which augmented the fake call for a “drug war.” In this way, blacks and other minorities could be “legally” targeted for arrest. Thus, the extension of Jim Crow could be realized. Felony convictions stripped away the right to vote and prevented family stability from being realized by taking away employment opportunities because one became a convicted felon. This is almost like introducing alcohol on an “Indian” reservation and then increasing the penalties for it. Ooh, they have plenty of people snookered.
In less than 35 years, the prison population mushroomed from about 350,000 to over 2 million inmates, with the largest population being black. This was a well calculated plot, for it created a pool of a permanently unemployable underclass that preys on the people in their own communities. The American penal system has become the method of mass control in this country jailing thousand for failure to pay traffic tickets and thus introducing them to a system that is criminal itself. The black middle-class civil rights movement was snookered into being quiet about this mass incarceration tactic, for they have been powerless to fight the system that created the situation in the first place. It is easier to attack the “drunken Indians” than it is to fight the system that brought crime into the community in the first place.