3 of 8: DOES THE 13TH AMENDMENT APPLY TO ME?
In certain districts the educational system is so underfunded that some teacher, and most certainly not all, because most educators extend for more value to the undertaking of their duties than they can ever be compensated for, but some teachers find themselves so overwhelmed by their workload, and unappreciated by their pay that they’re unmotivated to spend the extra time needed to teach just a few students out of a crowded classroom of many, the fundamentals that they should’ve been taught a few grades back in previous years. Now instead of being brought up to speed in his/her current grade, the student is again just streamlined through to the next grade without learning the prerequisites that qualify them as eligible for the next course of studies. So for the reasons that these students aren’t able to keep up with the rest of the class in their following grade, they’re often classified as slow and placed into remedial classes. But such a classification is not the proper remedy because these students aren’t mentally challenged. It’s just that you can’t reasonably expect for them to know how to apply formulas 3 and 4 if they’ve never been properly taught how to utilize formulas 1 and 2.
So without being able to keep up with what’s going on in their age appropriate grade these students are now categorized as disruptive, and “cast”ed into detention for the duration of the class period or even sometimes for the entire day — producing feelings of inadequacy and disparagement that give way to negative self identity complexes; which manifest themselves through behavioral issues that are often the result of repeated instances of isolation and feelings of rejection. Now since the student feels that he/she doesn’t really fit into the school setting they just may, and often times do find themselves searching for acceptance and identity within crowds that engage in attention seeking activities; that’ll usually land them inside of juvenile centers followed by eventual stints in county jails and ultimately prison. What’s most devastating is that upon their first felony conviction they’re given a dept. of corrections prison identification number, even if the case that they’re convicted of didn’t land them a prison sentence. And what’s even more alarming is that this Preschool To Prison Pipeline closely parallels something more telling, and I’ll give you the background on that next.
SYNOPSIS ON SLAVERY, EMANCIPATION & RECONSTRUCTION:
During the Civil War, in the year of 1863 Pres Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation against the Confederacy. It proclaimed that all slaves within states that had committed treason against the United States are all now free. However, Lincoln’s emancipation proved ineffective because the Confederacy refused to recognize his authority.
After a 5 year long war, the United States, aka the Union, proved victorious by running off the Confederacy and reuniting the south back into the Union. However, Lincoln and the Republican party feared that the Emancipation Proclamation would be viewed as a tool of war and only effective during that period, and for that reason producing no lasting impact on the issue of slavery. So in response they attempted to create an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would free all men and women forever forward. This amendment would be known as the 13th Amendment.
However, Lincoln would never see this amendment through, because during the period of Reconstruction he was assassinated in April of 1865 by an ideology that harbored deep hatred and resistance towards the emancipation, civil rights and advancements of black people.
But as paradoxical as it may be, his successor Pres. Johnson, who set forth extremely lenient terms for Confederate members’ readmission back into the U.S. political arena, somehow got the bill ratified in December of 1865. Followed by the 14th Amendment; which he had no hand in advancing might I add — only acts of obstructing its passage to the point of being one vote away from impeachment. The reason why Pres. Johnson opposed this bill so boldly is because it was the gateway to guaranteeing all citizens born or naturalized in this country equal protection and due process under the law; something that he despised to his core — and was most eerily echoed within the: “Send her back!” chant, directed at congresswomen: Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. However, in spite of all of his disgusting rhetoric, it still passed in 1868, and was championed by the ratification of 15th Amendment succeeding his presidency — which enfranchised black men with the right to vote.
THE CIRCUMVENTION OF THE 13TH & 14TH AMENDMENTS RIGHT INTO THE AMERICAN PRISON SYSTEM:
But how does all of this talk about slavery and the 1800’s relate to today and the Preschool To Prison Pipeline you may be wondering? It relates to today because the 13th Amendment states that:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT as a punishment for a crime whereof the party SHALL have been DULY CONVICTED, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Today’s prisons systems are modern plantations except inmates are not picking cotton. Rather than laboring the land, state and federal tax payers pay for our stay to the tune of approximately $34k a year for each prisoner. This can be likened to the amount of money each slave would produce had he/she worked the land.
How does this affect the American tax payer? It affects the American tax payer because speaking for myself, I haven’t used $34k worth of anything in a year. Hell, I doubt if I’ve charged up $34k worth of anything over the entire fifteen years I’ve been incarcerated: not on health care, dental cost, food, nor clothing. So who uses this tax money? Your money is being spread amongst DOC staff hourly wages and salaries.