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Beyond Police Reform: Why We Must Transform Pervasive Systems of Economic and Carceral Injustice

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/19/beyond-police-reform-why-we-must-transform-pervasive-systems-economic-and-carceral


The Emancipation Proclamation did not end black slavery. It applied only to slaves in the rebellious south. Slaves in the States that remained in the union remained slaves.

It was not until the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment passed that the Slaves in the North were freed and this all went for naught with the great compromise of 1877 where the Southern states were all but allowed to re-impose slavery via prison labor.

The 13th amendment specifically allowed “Involuntary servitude” when it came to Prison Labor which reveals the duplicitous nature of the Northern States as they knew that clause would be used by the Southern States to reimpose a new version of Slavery.


And then there’s the history of the draft.


Spot on.

While there is great economic inequality, we can expect racists to use it in racist ways. This goes for various other sorts of bigotry as well–age, gender, religion, national origin, political differentiation, professional affiliation, and so forth.


Apropos – a(nother) letter the SF Chronicle failed to publish:

Dear Editor:

If we really believe that black lives matter then we need to do much more than just reform a few police practices. The US legal system is brutal and biased every step of the way. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world. Our prisons are filled with people of color far out of proportion to their crimes.

Blacks have been denied paths to prosperity by racially biased policies and simple prejudice, like racial covenants, all white communities, prejudiced sellers, red-lining, and even government policy. Today, white wealth is nearly 10 times that of black. Right here in San Francisco, the Fillmore was once the Harlem of the West, a vibrant black community. San Francisco bulldozed it. This redevelopment policy is a big reason that the City’s black population dropped from 13% in 1970 to 5% today.

The white man has kept the black man down for 400 years. The life that is sweet to us is bitter for too many black people. If we really believe that black lives matter, we need to provide reparation for the crimes committed against them.


The Prison Industrial Complex and for-profit prisons requires laws to enforce, a population to victimize, and incarceration as a guarantee for those private profits feeding on the public! Campaign contributions are another obscenity and blight on our society that must be stopped!

The film “13th” explores this travesty of justice and political, official, racist corruption behind it - the oppressive/repressive laws passed to create “perps” (like cannabis laws) to create opportunities to stop and search/frisk, harass, arrest and charge (often leading to cop murders), premeditated “enforcement” by one arm/tentacle of the “enforcement” business, and coerced plea bargains" that incarcerate “perps” to create private industry profits - the entire system is a criminal enterprise that should not be tolerated by anyone!

"Private prison corporations exploit our corrupt political system by using campaign contributions and lobbying to curry favor with legislators and regulators" - this is a criminal corruption victimizing citizens (and refugees) to create private profits - a corruption and system that must be smashed!



No justice, NO Peace! Silence IS Complicity!


“American democray” has to exist before it can be said not to breathe. We still have the framework of it in place, and we still go through the motions, but it is a charade. This country has been an oligarchy for a long time and we are on the verge of becoming an outright fascist state. And it’s not as though our leaders are somehow oblivious to this. They know exactly what they are doing. They do not want a democracy, as they consider it to be “mob rule.” They honestly believe that the One Percent and the corprate tycoons know what’s best for the empire. They in fact want to run the country like a corporation and that is precisely what they are doing. And anyone thinking the Democrats truly want democracy, but somehow can’t overcome the resistance of Republicans, is a fool. Both parties worship at the altar of crony capitalism. The hatred they have for each other has only to do with how to go about serving their own best interests.


and Indians, Spanish, Mexican et al. Before this time it was Catholics, Irish, Italians, Chinese, et al. We are a brutal nation since 1492 and before that so was the whole world that was known. Has there ever been a majority of people who care about humanity?

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Did we really have a framework from our Founding Fathers or was it just words not to be followed by them, only us?

I like this Lakota Spoof on cultural identity.



It seems universal that a dominant group discriminates against minorities. We see it all over the world. The Rohingya in Burma, Muslims in India, indigenous in Latin America, aborigines in Australia, gypsies in Europe, Ainu in Japan… My wife and I have gotten hooked on Korean TV dramas and become fans of Korea. It rarely comes across in the dramas, but there’s plenty of prejudice there – in the 2010-2014 World Values Survey, 34% of Koreans said they wouldn’t want to live next to someone of a different race. This compares with only 6% in the US. Somehow, everyone needs someone to look down on…except for a few of us exceptional people…