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View Diary: BP Hides Use of Mostly Black Prison Labor For Oil Gusher Cleanup (257 comments)

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  •  Well, NO SURPRISE to citizen journalists! (47+ / 0-)

    When I wrote this dairy on June 12th, it was not well-received.  Sadly, I was correct.

    Are Prisoners Cleaning BP's Crap UP? Canaries?

    by War on Error
    Sat Jun 12, 2010 at 05:36:03 PM PDT

    Prison labor in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida is famous.

    I have written about it many times.  I call it OnShore Manufacturing Cheap/Free Labor.

    Watching Anderson Cooper and others unable to get a peep out of the "beach cleaners" got me to thinking.  I concluded that it is quite possible/probable that those were inmates doing the work.  Of course they won't talk to anyone, if so.  Certainly not the inmates of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana!

    So what, you may say.  Who cares?  Well, if no one cares then this country has already gone to hell, that's what!   That BP crap is toxic and who knows how unhealthy it is mixed with the Corexit.

    Besides which, the quick way the lower income people are jailed these days, it could be you or your little sister or brother forced out in that heat to pick up that crap.

    We have to care or, sooner or later, it will be you and/or me on that beach.

    Many Valdez workers died slow, horrible deaths.  Isn't this why we are all not down there picking up tarballs?

    And here's how this diary was received:

    Slim evidence (3+ / 0-)
    You think the cleaners might be inmates because they won't talk to Anderson Cooper?  That's pretty flimsy evidence.  You didn't mention what they're wearing.  Are they wearing orange jumpsuits?  Are they wearing black & white striped outfits?  That's what prison workers here in Alabama wear - and the outfits have something stencilled on the back to identify them as inmates.
    Please give more evidence than the fact that they wouldn't talk to a reporter.

    by Augustine on Sat Jun 12, 2010 at 05:52:35 PM PDT
    [ Parent ]

    I don't (0+ / 0-)
    what is wrong with prisoners helping others instead of just lifting weights?  Plus, the question mark does not change a thing, it is a cop out, your entire diary is about "abusing" prisoners by making them work.  Certainly helping their fellow man, if it is happening is better than breaking rocks.

    by TurkeyCreek on Sat Jun 12, 2010 at 08:22:31 PM PDT
    [ Parent ]

    If so, then the prison industry's Rent-a-Slave (0+ / 0-)
    program has sunk to new levels of depravity. Let's hope people in jail for offenses (often ranging from traffic violations to larceny) are not being used as disposable toxin sponges.

    by mataliandy on Sun Jun 13, 2010 at 09:35:24 AM PDT
    [ Parent ]

    while we're at it. (1+ / 0-)
    Give them cable and a sauna and some decent food too.

    by devtrash on Sat Jun 12, 2010 at 05:44:03 PM PDT

    I don't see it (0+ / 0-)
    If there were prisoners on any scale proportional to the task and benefit to the jailers, they would be clearly labeled with identifiable (if not identified) uniform dress.  

    There would also be noticeable supervision, perhaps not on par with Cool Hand Luke, but they would look similar to cops.

    That being said, the south has freely taken advantage of the 13th Amendment: "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..."

    AIUI, this doesn't happen in northern states: inmates are  allowed the option of working (making money, getting out, getting exercise, etc.) or sitting in their cement-block box.

    by john07801 on Sat Jun 12, 2010 at 06:27:00 PM PDT
    [ Parent ]

    C'mon... (1+ / 0-)
    if BP is telling fishermen they will be let go for putting on respirators, you seriously think that a system that rents out inmates at about 40 cents an hour is going to issue proper training and equipment?

    by 8ackgr0und N015e on Sat Jun 12, 2010 at 08:43:22 PM PDT

    When will we learn that whatever treatment of others we sanction or remain ambivalent about will become treatment we will be subjected to in due time?

    •  There are people here (16+ / 0-)

      who, if they saw film of baby seals being beaten with baby penguins, would find a way to deny or justify the fact if it might possibly, even in the slimmest of ways, reflect some possible hint of a shortcoming in political leadership.

      Their mouths are full of Democratic support, but their hearts are pure Teabagger.

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 01:01:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Doesn't surprise me in the least... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Dem Beans, blueoasis, Blueslide

      That BP would "take advantage of this great money-saving opportunity" afforded them by the Louisiana prison system. It makes money for the system; makes OOODLES of bucks for the contractors harboring and transporting inmates, and saves money for BP.

      The downside, of course, is all the things you've pointed out, especially the local residents not being offered jobs at prevailing wage rates--or, given the high-risk nature of those jobs, considerably above it--to do the clean-up. And, of course, the considerable health risks to the inmates, who are not wearing appropriate protection gear, as, apparently, are virtually none of BP's other clean-up workers.

      I really don't think there's any limit to how sleazy and low BP can stoop in this, especially if officials of the states involved make it that much easier for them to do so. In taking further advantage of cash-strapped universities needing funding by signing up their marine biology departments to be their "scientific appologists", BP looks even more the villain. But those universities also compromised away a number of academic and scientific principles by doing that. Much of which, I'm sure, involved pressure from not only their administrators, but from politicians in those states, as well. If Texas A&M, LSU and Southern Miss don't win a single football game this fall, count me as not the least unhappy about it.

      "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."--Miguel De Santa Anna

      by GainesT1958 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 01:40:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  book recommendation (0+ / 0-)

        "Slavery by Another Name"
        People arrested on any trumped-up offense and farmed out to big companies in the South.  This went on for decades after Reconstruction well into the 20th century.

        Oh, for Pete's sake! -8.38, -6.77

        by sow hat on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:22:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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