I am a slavery abolitionist! Today here in America and especially here in Alabama we have an issue that exist and has existed since the birth of our nation - that issue is slavery. Many individuals have labled this issue under a misconception and call it "mass incarceration". Mass incarceration is not what we are fighting - we are fighting slavery, servitude, bondage, enslavement. All of which is defined as a wearisome drudgery.
The 13th Amendment of the United States did not and was not meant to end slavery. It was constructed to legalize 'restricted' slavery.
The 13th Amendment exception clause traces all the way back to 1777 Vermont. It is in their constitution right now, where they say slavery shall be abolished in the State of Vermont except for prisoners duly convicted or in case of debts or the like. The "Like"!? From Vermont in 1777 it went to Alabama, (go figure), From Alabama to Ohio. Those were the first three states that adopted what was the predecessor of the 13th Amendment.
In 1865, it had gotten to Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, the ever being lawyer seen the political and economical advantage of this and made it the "law of the land". Catch on to what was occuring in those years...Lincoln was in the middle of a Civil War that many today believe was fought to "end" slavery. Many also believe Lincoln fought to end slavery - this is far from truth. Lincoln only looked to find a way to solve the problem between the north and the south. The only differences between the north and south in the times of the Civil War was clear - the south thought slavery was a "right" that should be allowed by all, and those in the north thought it should be "restricted". (Read the letter to Lincoln from Justice Stephens in 1862). Now, you have to look closely to the definition of restricted. "To confine within bounds: limit; to place under restriction as to use. In essence the war was not to end slavery. What occurred in 1865 was not the abolishment of slavery and involuntary servitude - it was the enactment of convict leasing. In 1865 the government said by enactment of the 13th Amendment "You the private sector can not be the owner of slaves - but we the Federal and State government can". However we will lease you government property any time you want. This was the beginning of what many call "Mass incarceration" today.
"I freed a thousand slaves and could of freed a thousand more, if only I could have convinced them that they were slaves." Harriet Tubman.
"I freed one slave, and could free thousands more if only I can convince them they are slaves." Swift Justice.
When saying I freed "one" slave, I speak of myself. I am no longer misguided nor have a misconception of why I am in this plantation called prison, here in Alabama. Many would say "You're there because you broke the law", I'd in turn refute that by saying - "If that was true why is no one attempting to change the alleged criminal thinking I must have?". If that were true, I ask why is the penal systems across America focused on profit over people? Instead our Justice systems convict and imprisons men, women, and children daily without the intention of "rehabilitating" the alleged offender. Instead - society has deemed all confined citizens to be out cast and undeserving of rehabilitation, redemption, or reform. Sadly the out-look of society has emerged in these concrete jungles as well. These men and women confined on these plantations believe they are undeserving to be more than what society says they are. Unknowingly we in essence refuse to see we are slaves.
The slave in the 1600's - 1800's failed to realize he "could" seperate himself from being a slave. In doing so he accepted his condition. He accepted his treatment, and worth over his true identity. His true identity was not the "negro". His true identy was a "man". In todays time my identity is not a convict, inmate, or criminal. I am a man, and in being a man I decide to seperate myself from what society has so conviently labled me as under the guise of the so called justice system.
How has Alabama been successful in hiding the fact we are legal slaves? Well to be honest it's never been a secret. On the other hand each and every single confined citizen as well as the "temporairly" free citizen has failed to see the light, or writing on the wall. What is the writing on the wall outside of the 13th Amend.? Well look at the fact that Alabama (or your state), capitalizes off of each offender of the law, billions of dollars through convict leasing, inmate canteens, collect calls, inmate clothing and food packages, federal grant funding, etc. Without the slave there is no profit. Many have misconcieved and stated that the prison system is failing, however the fact it is is all but failing. Since 1866 the prisons have been booming. In 1865 the prisons across America were occupied 90% white. By 1866 after the 13th Amendment it went to be 90% black. Mind you this doesn't mean they did a mass release of whites.
Before 1865 there was no logical need to "incarcerate" a black man, woman, or child. They had already been convicted and enslaved for being black, but past 1865 the crimes broaden as well as the variety of criminals. It went from one targeted group to another; from a racial target to a social target. There is no secret that todays targeted class is the poverish. Color is no focal point in todays time although the black community still suffers more so across our nation than any other ethnic group abroad.
Todays "free" world society and "confined" society both suffer from the "slave" mentality. Dependent upon the "massa" and fear separation of the norm. Over 2.4 million people are incarcerated in America and very few see what is occurring. Most individuals who are called "law abiding" citizens see the problem as the individual who is arrested, convicted, and imprisoned. The majority of those arrested, convicted, and imprisoned see the problem as the government. In both cases they are wrong!
First allow me to be clear...there "are" those in prison who have committed crimes that deserve to be removed from society. But....is this the "purpose" for prisons today? Something you should know, and history supports this, is the evolution of the prison has suprisingly little to do with crime (as politicians have convinced you it has), and a great deal to do with America's natorious history of racial conflict, social stratification, and need to profit from the use of slaves. Decoupling punishment from crime defies conventional wisdom; most tax paying (law-abiding) citizens like to think that prisons keep predatory villians off the streets - and to a certain extent they do. However, as many that are ignored, have continued to point out time and time again, an examination of the historical record as well as present day statistics and facts reveals that "state punishment" has consistently served purposes beyond crime control that many refrain from talking about around the social table. And this should be an alarm to you and me! I'll not say the strong arm of the law has not "partially" been deployed to protect public saftey, but I will say it has "mostly" been deployed to preserve priviledge, bolster political fortunes, and most of all discipline, subject, segregate, and control those on the low social margins, especially those of color, (black, brown, etc.).
Despite the so-called historic victories of the civil rights movement - culminating with election of Obama in 2008 - the criminal justice patterns set during slavery and segregation have not faded away, no matter what you would like to think - it has however evolved. According to statistical indicators, on crime, conviction, imprisonment, and release, the U.S. is dispensing less equitable justice today than it was a generation ago. Yet in the U.S., where the highest court bears the inscription "Equal Justice Under Law", this is ignored. In America we tend to see justice where dominion resides. It reminds me of the saying, "in every case the laws are made by the ruling party and it's interest."
The problem today in relations to this topic is, to many "free" citizens and "confined" citizens are asleep and refusing to see what is taking place. "Free" citizens would love to trust their government - after all you are the ones who elected those in power - right? I assure you there is so much you don't know and for some refuse to take notice of when it's put in your face.
For the "confined" citizen you have the choice to disrupt the plans and purpose of your enslavement. All you have to do is first realize you are a slave then you reclaim your true identity as a human, a man, a woman - not property! In doing so you - not the "massa" - regains your individuality. Once you do that you will cut off all avenues that one can capitalize off of you in your imprisoned state.
What I am about to touch on next is something the public has limited knowledge on because it's very well controled through various public relations personel that work for the Dept. of Corrections, the courts, legislators, and the main stream media. Here in Alabama ADOC public relations personel only relates what it wants the public to know. It hides all that it doesn't want you to know. For example officer on inmate assaults, prison conditions etc. Think about it - (you) the public can't go inside the prison - right? Legislature pass acts like the (P.L.R.A) Prison Litigation Reform Act that requires the courts to make near impossible for an inmate to prevail in civil litigation. The media is controlled by the government. Thus you will not be told all the deep dark secrets that transpire daily in our concret jungles.
Alabama is currently one of the nations most overcrowded, understaffed, violent, and in humane prison system. It has topped the national average in murders, and stabbings. Why is this? The answer is simple for me to answer - number one issue is the fact the entire Alabama prison system is infested with drugs and the inmate population inside your medium, and maximum security prisons have 1.) excessive idle time, 2.) no insentive to reform, 3.) and all inmates are forced to survive the best way they know how.
Alabama has one goal today, and that is build new prisons. Rehabilitation has never been a goal. Control, punishment, and profit alone fuel Alabama's purpose for prisons.
If I had to estimate how many inmates incarcerated are using drugs inside these walls I'd say 75% or more. What can you expect with an environment of so many active drug users? (one-) high rate of recidivism - (two-) Violence - (three -) a continuation for the need of more prisons because low violent offenders and non-violent offenders become high violent offenders.
Although Alabama says it provides rehabilitative programs I will say this is only partially true. You at this time will not find one program (other than in name) that actually exist and focus on changing the criminal mind. Most programs one can purchase a completion certificate without participating in any form. Even Alabama's Parole Board knows that A.D.A.C's rehabilitative prorams are a facticious display of reform that they refuse to give notice to them.The ADOC is not broken!
Alabama's prison are not failing! It's working exactly the way it was desighned. I wish I could go on in this article but being I am only aloted 5000 words and I would need way more to proceed I am forced to refrain.
For the tax payer "free citizen" understand exactly what taking place - your tax money is being used daily but not for what you think. 90% of those incarcerated will one day return to society and statistics show that over 66% of those will reoffend making you a possible next victim. The reason this is, is because your government has one agenda - profit over people - not rehabilitation.
For the confined citizen know and learn each of us are the rules of our lives and we can choose to be set free from the slave plantation. Without you there can be no plantation. While you are there you can disrupt the "massas" goal to profit from your work, and body, separate yourself from a slave mind.
If ever I get the chance I'd love to continue on with this subject. Until then - Peace - Swift Justice!
For any readers or followers of Swift Justice and his articles you can correspond with him through the non-profit organization. "Unheard Voices O.T.C.J." P.O. Box 10056 Longview, TX 75604. You can find other articles by Swift Justice reguarding this topic all over the internet if you google "Swift Justice Unheard Voices O.T.C.d."
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