Come one, come all! It was popular music, of course. My first concert was an Argentinian pop band which you most likely never heard of. But I was a fan.
Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex by Angela Davis Imprisonment has become the response of first resort to far too many of the social problems that burden people who are ensconced in poverty. These problems often are veiled by being conveniently grouped together under the category "crime" and by the automatic attribution of criminal behavior to people of color.
Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages. Prisons thus perform a feat of magic.
Or rather the people who continually vote in new prison bonds and tacitly assent to a proliferating network of prisons and jails have been tricked into believing in the magic of imprisonment. But prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings.
And the practice of disappearing vast numbers of people from poor, immigrant, and racially marginalized communities has literally become big business.
The seeming effortlessness of magic always conceals an enormous amount of behind-the-scenes work. When prisons disappear human beings in order to convey the illusion of solving social problems, penal infrastructures must be created to accommodate a rapidly swelling population of caged people.
Goods and services must be provided to keep imprisoned populations alive.
Sometimes these populations must be kept busy and at other times -- particularly in repressive super-maximum prisons and in INS detention centers -- they must be deprived of virtually all meaningful activity. Vast numbers of handcuffed and shackled people are moved across state borders as they are transferred from one state or federal prison to another.
All this work, which used to be the primary province of government, is now also performed by private corporations, whose links to government in the field of what is euphemistically called "corrections" resonate dangerously with the military industrial complex.
The dividends that accrue from investment in the punishment industry, like those that accrue from investment in weapons production, only amount to social destruction. Taking into account the structural similarities and profitability of business-government linkages in the realms of military production and public punishment, the expanding penal system can now be characterized as a "prison industrial complex.
More than 70 percent of the imprisoned population are people of color. It is rarely acknowledged that the fastest growing group of prisoners are black women and that Native American prisoners are the largest group per capita.
Approximately five million people -- including those on probation and parole -- are directly under the surveillance of the criminal justice system. Three decades ago, the imprisoned population was approximately one-eighth its current size.
While women still constitute a relatively small percentage of people behind bars, today the number of incarcerated women in California alone is almost twice what the nationwide women's prison population was in According to Elliott Currie, "[t]he prison has become a looming presence in our society to an extent unparalleled in our history -- or that of any other industrial democracy.
Short of major wars, mass incarceration has been the most thoroughly implemented government social program of our time. Colored bodies constitute the main human raw material in this vast experiment to disappear the major social problems of our time.
Once the aura of magic is stripped away from the imprisonment solution, what is revealed is racism, class bias, and the parasitic seduction of capitalist profit.
The prison industrial system materially and morally impoverishes its inhabitants and devours the social wealth needed to address the very problems that have led to spiraling numbers of prisoners. As prisons take up more and more space on the social landscape, other government programs that have previously sought to respond to social needs -- such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families -- are being squeezed out of existence.
The deterioration of public education, including prioritizing discipline and security over learning in public schools located in poor communities, is directly related to the prison "solution. And precisely because of their profit potential, prisons are becoming increasingly important to the U.
If the notion of punishment as a source of potentially stupendous profits is disturbing by itself, then the strategic dependence on racist structures and ideologies to render mass punishment palatable and profitable is even more troubling.
Prison privatization is the most obvious instance of capital's current movement toward the prison industry. While government-run prisons are often in gross violation of international human rights standards, private prisons are even less accountable.
Following the global trend of subjecting more women to public punishment, CCA recently opened a women's prison outside Melbourne.
The company recently identified California as its "new frontier. It boasts a total of 30, beds as well as contracts for prisoner health care services, transportation, and security. Unlike public correctional facilities, the vast profits of these private facilities rely on the employment of non-union labor.
The Prison Industrial Complex But private prison companies are only the most visible component of the increasing corporatization of punishment.
Government contracts to build prisons have bolstered the construction industry. The architectural community has identified prison design as a major new niche.
Technology developed for the military by companies like Westinghouse is being marketed for use in law enforcement and punishment.
Moreover, corporations that appear to be far removed from the business of punishment are intimately involved in the expansion of the prison industrial complex.
Prison construction bonds are one of the many sources of profitable investment for leading financiers such as Merrill Lynch.Because race is different.
Racism is different. It’s hard to discuss without offending people. As a result, we often choose not to discuss it at all. Racism. Every individual on earth has his completing causes; consequently an individual with perfect causes becomes perfect, and another with imperfect causes remains imperfect, as the negro who is able to receive nothing more than the human shape and speech in its least developed form.
Racism. Every individual on earth has his completing causes; consequently an individual with perfect causes becomes perfect, and another with imperfect causes remains imperfect, as the negro who is able to receive nothing more than the human shape and speech in its least developed form.
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|# The Justice League||Race historical definitions During the Age of Enlightenment an era from the s to the sconcepts of monogenism and polygenism became popular, though they would only be systematized epistemologically during the 19th century. Monogenism contends that all races have a single origin, while polygenism is the idea that each race has a separate origin.|
|An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.||References and Further Reading 1. The philosophical and political notion of recognition predominantly refers to 3and is often taken to mean that not only is recognition an important means of valuing or respecting another person, it is also fundamental to understanding ourselves.|
Come one, come all! Feminist and Social Justice blogging as performance and bloodshed. A handy list of things that you’re going to need to catch up on. Buck up, because it won’t be easy. Sep 10, · Against Empathy from Boston Review. Most people see the benefits of empathy as too obvious to require justification.