By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare
It may be hard for many left-leaning liberals, or African-Americans to admit, but Kanye west, was kind of right about the 13th amendment.
Now, he was wasn’t right in saying the 13th amendment should be abolished, but it should be amendment or rewritten. Because contrary to popular belief the 13th amendment did not end slavery; in fact it only ended antebellum slavery, but it permitted slavery as long as it was in prison, as a form of hard labor to people convicted of a crime.
The 13th amendment states:
“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.”
Once the 13th amendment was passed, southern states began to immediately pass white supremacist laws, known as “Black Codes” and later “Jim Crow”, that were meant to disproportionately punish and incarcerate the black community, for minor infractions that most white people of that time wouldn’t get punished for. Like attempting to eat at a “Whites Only” counter or sitting in the “Whites Section” of a bus, even though whites could freely sit at any black section without fear of
persecution or prosecution.
Even today the 13th amendment is still be used in a harmful way against black people. Especially in a time of over policing in poor and economically disenfranchised, ethnic minority neighborhoods, and mass incarcerating those very same people for in most cases non-violent drug offenses that many white citizens get rehab for.
One example of this is San Francisco, a liberal city that has gentrified most of its black and many of its Latino residents out of the city, while at the same the time it has programs that give many drug addicts (most of whom are white), new, so-called clean needles to shoot up their drugs, which unfortunately they then leave where the average person could sit or step on, and possibly be infected with a harmful disease.
Now, I am not here advocating that prosecutors, jurors and judges start handing down harsh punishments for drug offenses to whites as the do to ethnic minorities to make up for past injustices in the justice system, rather I am saying people who commit drug offenses and other minor infractions, should be treated, in rehab or receive some form of therapy, rather than be sent to corporate prison somewhere to be a modern day slave.
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