Legalized Slavery Tia Hemsley

Tia Hemsley


English 11 H


An American

A picture showing the variety of or different Americans.

An American is an inhabitant of America--native or citizen--who is given natural or unalienable rights. The legalized slavery embarks challenges to Americans by targeting minorities, forcing free labor, and trapping Americans through the bail bond system.

Face the facts

United states has five percent of the world's population. Yet, holds 25% of the world's prison population. 86% of those prisoners are arrested for victim-less crimes, non-violent, or drug-related.

The Unknown loophole

A picture of the 13th Amendment.

The unknown loophole of 13th Amendment is,"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." The 13th Amendment might have freed slaves from slavery; however, a new form of slavery would form and be protected by the 13th Amendment. The new form of slavery would be known as the prison system or jails. Prisons and jails allow Americans to be detained and not have constitutional rights, due to them committing a crime. Yet, are entitled to some rights, such as, the administrative appeals and the eighth amendment;furthermore, administrative appeals can be overturned.

Black Codes

African-American men working on a railroad. As, a way of forced labor from the prison.

types of black codes

  • All freedmen were to be employed
  • Vagrancy(couldn't be homeless)
  • Loitering

The Southern Economy was based on slavery; after the Civil War, the South was in ruins. Black Codes were passed in the South during the Reconstruction era(1865-1877). The codes were to deprive or at least put a limit on to the freedoms African Americans had received. Hence, African Americans were later forced into free labor from breaking the black codes. If, an African American were to refuse signing a document for their labor contracts, they would be arrested and fined;additionally, force to do the labor. Having to do unpaid labor would help develop the Southern economy; however, this was another form of slavery. During this time, there was a prison boom on the African-American community.

Black criminality

Part of the Birth Of A Nation.

Through media productions, such as, Birth Of A Nation, it paints African Americans as animalistic, cannibalistic creatures who prey on white woman. This creates fear among the society that would homogenized African Americans with monsters. This would also construct bias against African Americans. That aids the correlation between prisons discriminating against the African Americans by unlawfully jailing. Constructing a bias based upon fear, makes no one want to stand up for Africans Americans; especially, when they are being unlawfully jailed.

War on Crime

Civil Rights Picture

Nixon's campaign was based on the fear of crime and law and order. Later, he would shift the battle-cry of "war on crime" for the "war on drugs." Both would target "criminal organizations," like; "anti-war movement, Black Panther, and Women's and Gay Rights Liberation." Where hundreds of people would be arrested and sent to jail. Some of the cases would be for a simple possession of marijuana. Nixon's main goal was to shift "American's pertinent enemy" to drugs. Yet, Nixon's adviser, John Ehrlichman, admitted to the Southern Strategy. The Southern Strategy would recruit the poor, white, southern Democrats to the Republican Party. John Ehrlichman would confess,"The Nixon Campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies; the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about drugs? Of course we did." By the 1972, this would lead into mass incarceration with a prison population of 357, 292.

The racial statistics

Racism and Sexism

To show that there is more of a bias about race in the justice system. The minorities of this country make up 30% of the population;yet, they account for 60% of crimes committed. One in three Black men will be sent to prison in their lifetime. Whereas, one in six Hispanic men would be going to prison in their lifetime. Compare this to one in 17 White men who would be imprisoned. Men of all races, one out of nine would go to prison. For women; one in 18 of blacks, one in 111 of whites, and one in 45 latinas(one in 56 women of all races would be imprisoned). Department of Justice shows that Blacks and Hispanics are three times more likely to be stopped on the road than a Whites.

Free labor

Female Prisoner making McDonald's uniforms.

In several prisons, labor is needed by big businesses that will only pay the prisoners nothing at all , 74 cents a day, or at least $2 per day. In the following examples;

  • Walmart- might talk about not accepting prison labor; however, Walmart buys their produce from the prisoners who work on farms. Also, the prisoners who work on those farms, face unhealthy conditions, such as, scarcity of water and food.
  • Victoria's Secret- female inmates would sew together the expensive garments for other women or anyone else to buy in the mall or online. Two female inmates were placed in solitary confinement for telling news agencies, back in the 1990's, about how they were ordered to replace "Made in Honduras" tags with "Made in USA."
  • Prison Farms- Which force the inmates to do farm labor. In states like Texas, the inmate does not get paid for their work. Yet, can only earn "privileges through good work habits." Farms comparison to this could be found in states; Hawaii, Alabama, Arizona, and nine other states.
  • More of the big businesses that use prison labor; AT&T, Chervon, Pfizer, and etc.

The bail bond system

He got his bail.

Amendment Eight

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Kalief Browder

Kalief Browder

Kalief Browder's story is based on the idea of him waiting for three years on a trail that never happened. He would be arrested at the age of 16 and sent to Rikers' Island to serve his unjustified time. He would be continued to be jailed, since he could not afford his $3,000 bail. Due to the treatment he had faced during those three years of police brutality, fights among other inmates, and solitary confinement, Kalief Browder would later on take his life in November 2013. This opens the eyes to the bail bond system, on how inmates are stuck in jail, simply because they can not pay their bail. Five out six inmates, to be exact, will stay in jail for not affording their bail. This is considered to unconstitutional because the in the Eighth Amendment states,"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed.."

The Conclusion

In conclusion, the prison system has its moments of failing us because it can become of unfair due to bias means. Americans will still feel the atmosphere of slavery because the labor that is forced upon them. The bail system will still give unconstitutional fees for the inmate to be let out. In which, prison reform would be the only way out of this tragedy.

Work cited

"Kalief Browder Was In Jail Because He Couldn't Pay $3,000". The Marshall Project. N.p., 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

"Black Code And Jim Crow Law Examples - Black Codes And Jim Crow". N.p., 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Gonnerman, Jennifer. "Kalief Browder, 1993–2015". The New Yorker. N.p., 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

13Th. Ava DuVernay, 2016. film.

War, Legacy. "Black Codes - Black History - HISTORY.Com". N.p., 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Burrows, Sara. "How Prison Labor Is The New American Slavery And Most Of Us Unknowingly Support It". Return to Now. N.p., 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

"The Top 10 Most Startling Facts About People Of Color And Criminal Justice In The United States - Center For American Progress". Center for American Progress. N.p., 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

"Google Images". N.p., 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

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