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Yes, The Thirteenth Amendment Really Does Have A Loophole That Allows Slavery— Just Look At Our Prison System

The 13th Amendment, which was ratified in 1865, dictates that “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.” That last exception purposefully left the door open for our government to take advantage of people convicted of crimes.

And yes, ensured that racism quietly but vigorously thrived in our country.

Scholars, activists, and prisoners have long underlined the link in that portion of the amendment with the rise of a prison system that incarcerates Black people.

Today, Black people are wrangled into the prison system at more than five times the rate of white people. Whatsmore our government uses these prisoners to profit off of their underpaid or unpaid labor. Just like the days of old.

In an interview with History Channel, law professor Andrea Armstrong of Loyola University in New Orleans explained that the “13th Amendment text allows for involuntary servitude where convicted of a crime.” She also pointed out that at the same time, black codes in the sounds allowed for “new types of offenses, especially attitudinal offenses—not showing proper respect, those types of things.”

After the Civil War, new laws sent Black people to prison at higher rates than ever before resulting in what one legal scholar describes as a “prison boom.” Michelle Alexander writer of The New Jim Crow explains in her book that “after a brief period of progress during Reconstruction, African Americans found themselves, once again, virtually defenseless. The criminal justice system was strategically employed to force African Americans back into a system of extreme repression and control, a tactic that would continue to prove successful for generations to come.”

Today’s so-called prison systems are indeed just slavery of a different name.

States and private companies continue to rely on prisoners to save them money to this day. As a citizen not in incarceration, you too profit from the system because prison labor saves you tax dollars. In 2017, it was revealed that California’s government saved up to $100 million a year by using incarcerated people as “volunteer” firefighters. Today, prisoners in California clean state parks and work as underwater welders. In New Jersey prisoners are used to remove roadkill off of the roads and in Washington, the government utilizes prison labor to recycle mattresses.

Governments get away with slavery in their states by using “job” programs under the guise of teaching prisoners skills that they can go on and use to obtain jobs.

Yet, as PrisonPolicy.org points out “Most prison jobs teach incarcerated people very few skills relevant to the labor market they will rejoin upon release, so the wages they earn may be the only payoff they see. These perpetually low wages are especially frustrating when we consider the increasing expenses incarcerated people face, both inside and after release. Of course, raising wages is a tough sell politically, but policymakers and the public must acknowledge that almost everyone in prison will eventually be released. Their success and independence depends largely on financial stability, which is undermined by low wages, nickel-and-diming through “user fees,” mandatory deductions, and work that does little to prepare them for work outside of prisons.”

One user on Instagram recently shared a list of products sold by companies that use prison labor.

For many on social media, the post shared by @blackdragonbreakfastclub was pretty surprising. Especially considering that many of the brands included on the list are commonplace buys. If you’ve never bought products from Tylenol, Ocean Spray, Band-Aid, or Tampax, seriously, color us shocked. The amount of money these companies save because of prison labor is immensely eye-opening and terrible as well considering how much prisoners lose out on when it comes to setting their lives up for when they finally do get out of those walls.

So it’s not just our police that needs reform, it’s our entire criminal justice system. We need policymakers who will push for the rights of prisoners and ensure that they are earning wages while working in prison and receiving relevant job training that will help them to return to their lives and be productive citizens of our society.

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Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

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Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

New York Post

A recent video shared by a border patrol agent highlighted a shocking moment of smugglers literally dropping two little girls over a 14-foot high fence in the New Mexico desert. Right in the dead of night.

In the disturbing video, the smugglers can be seen climbing the fence and then dropping the two 5-year-old and 3-year-old sisters to the ground.

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez shared that the incident occurred “miles from the nearest residence.”

The two little girls (Yareli, 3, and Yasmina, 5) were rescued after agents spotted them during a virtual surveillance sweep. The two sisters are from Ecuador and were dumped by human smugglers at the border wall according to an official.

“[US Immigration officials] need to verify the identity of the parents and confirm they are the parents and make sure they are in good condition to receive the girls,” Magdalena Nunez, of the Consulate of Ecuador in Houston, explained to The New York Post on Thursday. “It’s a process … We’re working to make sure it’s an expedited process and the girls spend as minimal time as possible separated from their parents.”

“Hopefully it can happen soon, in a week or two, but  it can take up to six weeks. We are working to make sure sure it happens as quickly as possible,” she explained before noting that the two sisters are “doing very well.”

“We have been in contact with them and confirmed they are in good health,” Nunez shared. “Physically, they are perfect — emotionally, obviously, they went through a hard time, but I guarantee you right now they are in good health and they are conversing. They are very alert, very intelligent.”

In a statement about the incident, the Ecuadorian consulate confirmed that the two girls had been in touch with their parents, who live in New York City.

“The Ecuadorian Consulate in Houston had a dialogue with the minors and found that they are in good health and that they contacted their parents, who currently live in New York City,” explained the consulate.

In a statement from the girls’ parents sent to Telemundo, the girls’ parents had left their daughters behind at their home in Jaboncillo, Ecuador, to travel to the US. The parents of the two girls have been identified as Yolanda Macas Tene and Diego Vacacela Aguilar. According to the New York Post, “The girls’ grandparents have asked President Biden to reunite the children with their parents. Aguilar paid a human smuggler to take his kids to the border — though the grandparents didn’t know how much they paid.”

“[The parents] wanted to be with them, their mother suffered a lot, for that reason they decided to take them,” paternal grandfather Lauro Vacacela explained in an interview with Univision.

It is still uncertain as to whether or not the girls’ parents are in the country legally.

Photos of the girls showed them having snacks with Agent Gloria Chavez.

“When I visited with these little girls, they were so loving and so talkative, some of them were asking the names of all the agents that were there around them, and they even said they were a little hungry,” Chavez told Fox News. “So I helped them peel a banana and open a juice box and just talked to them. You know, children are just so resilient and I’m so grateful that they’re not severely injured or [have] broken limbs or anything like that.”

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Seven-Year-Old Jaslyn Adams Fatally Shot In Drive-Thru Of A Chicago McDonald’s

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Seven-Year-Old Jaslyn Adams Fatally Shot In Drive-Thru Of A Chicago McDonald’s

CBS

Jaslyn Adams was only 7 years old. Her age and innocence should have kept her shielded from the brutalities of her life and yet, even something as special as her father-daughter date to McDonald’s could not protect her.

While on a drive with her 29-year-old father, Adams was shot at and killed this past Sunday.

Adams was shot multiple times and pronounced dead.

According to reports, employees at the McDonald’s employee saw two men jump out of another car and ambush the Adams family car. The men fired into the car multiple times, striking Jaslyn multiple times in the body and her father in the torso.

A police vehicle at the scene rushed Jaslyn to a nearby hospital. She was pronounced dead at the hospital while her father is still being hospitalized and in serious condition.

No suspects have been arrested.

“It’s really emotional now for my family,”  Tawny McMullen, the victim’s aunt told WBBM. “She was just … sweet and outgoing. Really talkative, really lovable.” McMullen went onto lament how an average regular father-daughter trip to McDonald’s could end in such tragedy. “Y’all, please put the guns down,” McMullen went on to say “My 8-year-old baby says she doesn’t want to go out and play because she is scared that she is going to be shot.”

In response to the shooting, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot underlined how heartbroken she was.

“Our kids want to play. My kids can’t even go out the door because of this violence. Please put the guns down,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot commented. “This unthinkable act of violence has no place here. The epidemic of gun violence cutting our children’s lives short cannot go on.” 

Jaslyn’s death coincides with the recent murder of 13-year-old Adam Toledo who was also a child.

https://twitter.com/search?q=adam%20toledo&src=typed_query&f=image

Toledo was killed on March 29 by a Chicago police officer. Bodycam footage of Toledo’s murders shows “less than a second passed between when the boy is seen holding a handgun” and he was shot by the officer.

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