prison industry complex

In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. So we don’t. Rather than rely on race, we use our criminal justice system to label people of color “criminals” and then engage in all the practices we supposedly left behind. Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination—employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service—are suddenly legal. As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow. We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.
— 

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow

🔹

Take action against the new Jim Crow: mass incarceration > https://alexaweinstein.tumblr.com/7_Ways

6

This is exactly what Coretta Scott King warned congress about in 1986.

Jeff Sessions will fear-monger and stoke anti-Blackness by using everything from casual racism to deeply racist stereotypes, to justify the mass incarceration of Black people for non-violent, victimless “crimes” like marijuana usage.

The Trump Administration is in full White Supremacy mode.

slate.com
The FBI Faked an Entire Field of Forensic Science
For more stories like this, like Slate on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. The Washington Post published a story so horrifying this weekend that it would

“‘Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far.’ The shameful, horrifying errors were uncovered in a massive, three-year review by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Innocence Project. Following revelations published in recent years, the two groups are helping the government with the country’s largest ever post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

Chillingly, as the Post continues, ‘the cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death.’ Of these defendants, 14 have already been executed or died in prison.”

Let this sink in for a minute.

theguardian.com
Chelsea Manning: to those who kept me alive all these years, thank you
When I was afraid, you taught me how to keep going. When I was lost, you showed me the way...
By Chelsea E Manning

sry the prison industry as a whole, even state and federal prisons are just cheap ways to get slave labor, out of people society largely doesn’t give a shit about, and should be abolished. 

They aren’t about reformation, they aren’t about justice, they aren’t even about punishment, they’re about profit.

Today, May 17th, IDAHOT, Chelsea Manning is to be released from prison.

On a personal level I am so so happy for her and I hope she is safe, loved and supported and has a chance to rest, to heal, to overcome. I hope the shit media leave her alone and I hope the first image of her that gets blasted in every newspaper is one that she is happy about.

On a community level, I keep in mind that this is the work of a dedicated group of activists, who kept on pushing, who didn’t give up and didn’t let go, who did the work of pressing for her freedom even after most people had moved on to other things.

And I keep in my heart all the people who didn’t get there, who never got liberty, safety, healing. All whose cases were ‘too complicated’ for most activist groups to stand behind them. All who were left behind because our movements are not consistant and principled enough to leave no one behind and there is a tendency to focus on a few famous cases.

This IDAHOT I think of every prisoner that is not free yet.

A couple weeks ago I got an anoynmous message asking me to explain what “reverse racism” was and why people argue it doesn’t exist.
I was waiting for a good time to respond but I can’t find the message. Last night my roommate said that people can be racist toward white people. So I figured now is a good time.

And while I do know that my feed is completely liberal and full of people that hold a like mind toward mine, so I doubt I might find someone that this may trigger but here is some explanations you may share with someone if you hear them spit the “reverse racism” card.

First, the issues behind reverse racism can be caught with issues of semantics and rhetoric.

When we get into the issues of semantics people look at other pivotal and important aspects of racism such as prejudice and bigotry. And while it is true that people can have a prejudicial view towards white people that perspective is not bound by racism. Because by definition racism is the systematic oppression of people based entirely on race that trickles down and becomes an attitude that people hold toward another. In other words it is institutionalized and also exists among individuals. Since white people hold the highest advantage in society they can’t experience racism. Yes, we white people can experience negative attitude towards being white but that is not racism that is prejudice. And they are NOT the same thing. So, that’s the issue with semantics.

The other issue is with the rhetoric which directly plays off of the issue with semantics. White people play the “reverse racism” card in an attempt to undermine the oppression and suffering of those that experience racism. They do this because they want others to look at them as not holding racism, but that in itself is racism because you completely ignore the issues surrounding being a person of color in America. The whole, “ I don’t see color we all suffer. All lives matter.” It’s a rhetoric they play into in order to dissolve their guilt or blend their racism. So, the rhetoric is a completely inaccurate attempt to push the “reverse racist” card. Because the rhetoric does not even play into what they are actually trying to explain. The argument is completely unbounded. And falls short of meaning.

And the reality of racism is that no white person will ever experience the outcomes of racism to the extent that people of color do, and when they experience things like not getting a job application, being denied housing, being denied a job, police brutality, mass incarceration, unequal sentencing it is NEVER based on being white. While, on a larger scale often these outcomes directly come from being a person of color.

So next time a white person cries that they have experienced racism please tell us to check our white privilege. And furthermore, at any point I encourage a person of color to further elaborate or explain further because this is an issue that I completely feel that a white voice should never shout over those that truly experience the discussion at hand. And lastly, racism is beyond more complex than described as above and it’s important to note that I am entirely speaking of the American social construction of racism that exists here. Because I understand it may entirely operate in different conditions in different cultures and countries.
Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.
—  Howard Zinn
The prison … functions ideologically as an abstract site into which undesirables are deposited, relieving us of the responsibility of thinking about the real issues afflicting those communities from which prisoners are drawn in such disproportionate numbers … It relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and, increasingly, global capitalism.
—  Angela Davis, “Are Prisons Obsolete?”
Political prisoner Leonard Peltier once wrote, “When you grow up Indian, you don’t have to become a criminal, you already are a criminal.” Through the drug trade, U.S. government has effectively marketed the policing and imprisonment of minorities as the key to public safety, and therefore marked them as targets of state terror. This unearths how Native men can be incarcerated at four times the rate of white men, how Native women can be incarcerated at six times the rate of white women. It demonstrates how the flooding of crack cocaine into Black communities during the ’70s correlated with a sharp increase in minimum sentencing laws that helped put 1.7 million Black people under some form of correctional control. It reveals how native Hawaiians, who represent just 20 percent of the state’s population, can comprise 40 percent of the its incarcerated. […] Indeed, of minorities and the poor it fashions enemies of the state with the intent to exercise terror. From the origins of police, to the school-to-prison-pipeline, to the vast network of U.S. incarceration, this has been the enduring legacy of the American judicial system — not safety, and certainly not justice.