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University Chronicles~ 2007 Prison, The New Plantation

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Alicia Monet White

A05192309

Friday 11, 2007

                                       Prison: The New Plantation

“The prisoners came to the cell doors as before. If they were not the same ones, they were the same ages- in their late teens or earlier twenties.”

           This quote speaks to a larger problem within our country, the consistent increase of convictions and prison sentences of young Black males. This problem is age old, and existed since slavery ended in 1865. The ruling elite knew and understood that once the Black people were freed from slavery there would be a dramatic decline in economic gross. In other words emancipation was not financial sound for the ruling class or the owning class. Of course economics was not the only motivation, pure evil manifested by raw hatred and bitter anger towards darker skin human beings rooted in fear played a key role as well. The ruling class created a law that made it legal for them to reinstitute slavery and make it acceptable to all people. I say that it was made acceptable to all people because I haven’t heard of one story or person who challenged the amendment and this could be due to my lack of knowledge.

According to the 13th amendment, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless as punishment for a crime where the person has been duly convicted shall exist in the United States or any place under their jurisdiction. So what better way to reinstitute slavery and get free slave labor than to convict your old slaves and their descendants of crimes in order to get free slave labor and be protected under the law? This is a brilliant and sly way to protect the interest of the owning and ruling elite.

This quote struck a cord in me because I look around today and it’s the same old story replayed in 2007. My Black brothers, uncles, cousins, friends, and even foes are being locked up at rates higher than any other race or group of people at younger and younger ages. The only difference is that now days Black women are being incarcerated at record breaking numbers. And for what? I have a theory. Emancipation was inevitable so the ruling class planned for it. They knew how many slaves were owned because slaves were property and people kept good tabs on their property. There was a rough count of all of the slaves with a projection of the trends of birthrate and future descendants included. With this raw number the ruling and owning class created a system that would eventually sweep up all of their slaves and all of the descendants of their slaves to keep them on the plantation working for free in physical, mental, emotional, social, economical, and spiritual chains for the rest of their existence in America. This is just my theory and all theories are subject to revision. However I haven’t run across any others that fit the bill, and again this can be due to my lack of knowledge.

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