once you comprehend the whole thing of slavery being illegal in the US except as punishment for a crime, all it takes is the merest shred of cynicism to realize at least the potential abuses of that condition, which pretty quickly jump to awareness of the actual abuses.
And if we accept the probability or fact of local governments and businesses unjustly incarcerating people in order to profit from forced, unpaid labor… paired with the understanding that there is a significant portion of the population who have historically profited from the enslavement of people of color, whose inherited wealth originated from slavery and who have demonstrable connections to deeply racist culture?
it should be the logical conclusion that “slavery as punishment for a crime” cannot be just and supports institutionalized racism simply by virtue of humans being incapable of complete impartiality, and the historic facts of race relation in this country.
or, put another way: white people are so fucking racist and it is so deeply ingrained in American culture, that even without evidence on hand, i have to just draw the rational conclusion that there are frequent cases of people of color being charged unjustly simply so white people can profit from slavery-as-punishment.
even if one were to say, oh, but it can’t happen with more than a very small minority of judges, that maybe one out of a hundred is corrupt and racist enough to do this (and really, with all the shit that goes down, you can’t imagine more corrupt, deeply biased judges than that?) then it would still follow that there are many, many instances of people of color being charged with crimes for the sole reason of enslaving them.
we need a new amendment to modify the Thirteenth. There must be no slavery, whatsoever. The very moment you set up a system where one person may be legally forced to provide profit for another, you create incentive for someone to take advantage of that.