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View Diary: Feed me! Private prisons demanding human "product" (121 comments)

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  •  and here I should also mention... (25+ / 0-)

    ... originally I used the term "slavery" for this, but some black activists here corrected me on that point, because original slavery did involve being bred like cattle and having one's babies ripped from one's arms to be sold at auction.   One of the folks in that exchange suggested the term "neo-slavery" which I've been using since.  

    But either way, involuntary servitude for private profit is unadulterated evil.  At some point we have to draw a line in the sand and say, loud and clear, this far and no further, or else!

    "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

    by G2geek on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 03:12:04 PM PDT

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    •  American chattel slavery (18+ / 0-)

      was far from the original form of slavery. There have been many forms, most of which (including the Greco-Roman form from which we derive the word) did not include those elements you mention.

      Chattel slavery in the Americas was one of the worst, most abusive forms ever devised (topped only by Jewish slavery in German labor camps during the Holocaust) but it was far from the original, and other systems of slavery are no less deserving of the name.

      (And by the way, there's plenty of baby-ripping going on in the women's prisons.)

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:53:29 PM PDT

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      •  Ironically.... (18+ / 0-)

        ....American-style chattel slavery was a perverse child of the discovery of human rights.

        In Greece and Rome, slavery wasn't attached to race. It was a social status. A very poor one to be sure, but something that could happen to anyone. And if an African merchant on a trip to Rome had popped down to the slave market to buy himself a red-headed Gaul or two, no one would have blinked an eye.

        However, the idea that "all men are free and equal" created a major economic problem. How were they going to keep all those black laborers down on the farm growing sugar and the like if they were to be recognized as free human beings? The unfortunate solution, dictated by economics, was to note that the color of their skin was different and to decide that they weren't human at all. Very convenient for the bottom line, but not at all what slavery had meant before.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 07:42:01 PM PDT

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      •  not "the original" atrocity, but "our" atrocity. (3+ / 0-)

        Understood that slavery goes back to forever-ago.

        Understood that a wide range of cultures throughout history, including in Africa, and including in the First Nations of North America, also had various forms of slavery.

        Thing is, as Americans we have to own the historic responsibility for our own atrocities, of which the genocide of the First Nations and the enslavement of African and Caribbean peoples are the most outrageous examples.  

        Baby-ripping in womens' prisons:  

        Literally, as in, a woman goes into prison pregnant and then gets transferred to hospital and as soon as the baby pops out it's taken from her?  Zero chance for neo-natal maternal bonding?  And then the kid gets "put" where exactly?

        Yeah that goes way past the limit of decency and there should probably be an enormous class-action lawsuit with two classes: the women themselves, and their children, each on the grounds that infant/mother bonding is a fundamental human right.  

        But here we have a truly nasty question to deal with:

        Let's say Mom and Dad were both serial killers who worked as a team, and they both get caught and sentenced to life w/o parole (as a humane alternative to the death penalty)

        OK, so on their last night before the cops pounced them, they forked like weasels and she got pregnant.  By the time the trial is over she's 7 - 8 months pregnant and so off she goes to state prison, and a month later gets transferred to hospital to have the kid.  What now?  

        Clearly that kid is never going to have any kind of relationship with its parents, except possibly in the most abstract way once the kid is old enough to visit them in prison.  

        Clearly that kid is going to get screwed up bigtime by being shunted around foster homes 'til the proverbial cows come.  

        So the best thing for the kid is to be adopted by a new set of parents, preferably ones without felony records (all other factors equal, heh).  

        Yet there are also cases where Mom or Dad is going to be out of prison in a few years.  What then?  Maybe place the kid with an uncle or aunt until Mom or Dad comes home?  That situation is already screwed up from the get-go, and it's not exactly a smart bet to let a released convict raise a kid: the risk of child abuse or neglect is too high, and arguably that parent is going to be a bad influence unless the prison system is substantially reformed into a rehabilitation system rather than a vengeance machine with a neo-slavery payoff.

        I don't have an answer for this one.  

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:12:05 AM PDT

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    •  Michelle Alexander has an excellent (12+ / 0-)

      book called the New Jim Crow - about how our current pursuit of mass incarceration is a systemic way of creating a caste of second class citizens of color.

      •  It's a pretty good book. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4Freedom, DarkLadyNyara

        She wrote it to appeal to white liberals, so it's got a lot of padding around her arguments, but the basic thrust of the book is correct, I think.

        Throughout our post-Civil War history, whenever black people have advocated strongly for their liberty and freedom, the government has responded by criminalizing black life and space. There's always been a boatload of money to be made in oppression, and it continues right up to the present.

        Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

        by cruz on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 05:58:52 AM PDT

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