Entertainment

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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These $1,200 Gucci Jeans Are Designed With Grass Stains Around The Knees And Are Not Worth The Joke

Fierce

These $1,200 Gucci Jeans Are Designed With Grass Stains Around The Knees And Are Not Worth The Joke

Gucci / Twitter

In these tough times, Gucci’s latest line proves that you might be able to get a fortune out of the jeans you use as workwear in the yard. The upscale label recently launched a new line of jeans and overalls featuring a grass stain effect on their knees. But these are not your father’s cutting the lawn jeans.

The oversized pants retail for a cool $1,400 and feature large pockets and side buttons…

Users on Twitter were quick to question whether or not the new jeans were a joke by Gucci or a reflection of just how tone-deaf the high-end label is.

“How did it take so long for this to become a thing? My entire wardrobe just became more valuable!” one user tweeted in response. A second user commented, “Yeah not a Good Look!!! Wouldn’t buy those Jeans at the Thrift Store for a Dollar!!!”

It wasn’t long ago that the designer brand received criticism for selling warn-in sneakers that were “treated for an all-over distressed effect.”

The kicks were valued at $870. The brand’s description of the shoe design boasted that it was inspired by “vintage” 70s styles.

“The Screener sneakers — named for the defensive sports move — feature the Web stripe on the side and vintage Gucci logo, treated for an allover distressed effect,” the website explained.

Takeaway? Money sure can’t buy good taste.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Response To GOP House Candidate’s ‘Dumb Blonde’ Joke Will Leave You Breathless

Things That Matter

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Response To GOP House Candidate’s ‘Dumb Blonde’ Joke Will Leave You Breathless

BRITTANY GREESON / GETTY

Dumb blonde jokes. They’re overwrought, trite, and pretty outdated. So it’s no surprise that one that came straight from the mouth of a GOP House candidate and directed at Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t go over so well.

GOP House candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene attempted a joke at Ocasio-Cortez’s expense on Twitter Monday and it failed miserably.

Greene, whose Georgia campaign is being supported by Donald Trump, attempted to hit at AOC’s intelligence on Monday in a tweet.

“As a blonde woman, I would like to take a moment to thank Congresswoman @AOC. She has single handily [sic] put an end to all ‘dumb blonde’ jokes. Blondes everywhere appreciate your service and your sacrifice!” Greene tweeted.

In response, Ocasio-Cortez retweeted Greene, writing, “Don’t worry Mrs. Greene, I completely understand why you need to swing + miss at my intellect to make yourself feel better. You seem to have some trouble spelling your own insults correctly. Next time try ‘single-handedly,’ it’ll work better.”

She signed off her tweet writing “Good luck writing legislation!”

It’s not the first time Greene has come for AOC and failed.

Greene attempted and failed to get under AOC’s skin earlier this month.

Facebook.com

In September, the candidate shared a photo of herself holding a rifle next to images of AOC and other Democratic lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to her Facebook page.

She captioned the post “Squad’s worst nightmare.” It was soon removed by Facebook who cited violations of its policies.

It didn’t take long for AOC’s supporters to strike back at Green to defend the congresswoman.

“Those who are jealous and envious of others typical attack those whom they envy because they need to feel important and try to gain some attention for themselves,” one user commented in the thread. “You are where you are @AOC because of your work and dedication. Mrs Greene knows she can’t compete so she attacks.”

According to People, “Greene has a track record of embracing false stories publicized by QAnon, a conspiracy theory-fueled group which alleges there’s a group of Democratic pedophiles operating around the country.”

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