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4 Reasons Why the US Police Force Is an Extension of Slavery and White Supremacy
By Vanessa Rochelle Lewis
If you spent your entire life experiencing extensive marginalization, watching your family members being kidnapped and murdered by police forces, and having an embodied and intellectual awareness of the fact that this sort of violence and oppression has been the plight of your people since they were first captured from their homeland, shackled to each other on death boats across the Atlantic Ocean, and forced into slavery for hundreds of years, wouldn’t you be angry?
The more we understand the violent, oppressive, anti-Black racist legacy of this country – the one that we perpetually create and vote for new laws to sustain and then hire new police officers to enforce – the more we will all question, disrupt, protest, and do everything we possibly can to eradicate every single violent and murderous component of its system.
1.) Black folks are arrested for breaking bullshit laws, and then sold by governments to private prisons used as labor for corporate America.
2.) The war on drugs.
In its initial incarnation, drug criminalization became a tool of systemic oppression to validate extremely racialized, xenophobic violence. They used opium-fear to promote anti-Chinese hostility, eventually leading to the Chinese Exclusion Act – which happened a few years before the dawn of the Great Depression. Note: This is yet another correlation between loss of white American dollars and the vilification of racially marginalized people.
It was police officers that worked to locate, arrest, and support the deportation of Chinese and other Asian peoples.
Also during the Great Depression, police officers from Texas to California began reporting on something called the Mexican Menace – also known as marijuana.
Supposedly, and to the surprise of every pothead who has ever existed, marijuana causes people to commit violent crimes, like shooting the police. What a perfect excuse to incite mass fear and hatred of Chicanx and Latinx people – and to validate the horrific police and military violence targeting that group during that time (and still today).
And as if that wasn't bad enough, Richard Nixon formally initiated the War On Drugs.
And under the leadership of Ronald Reagan, that war took our non-violent/drug related prison population from about 50,000 people in 1980 to 400,000 in 1997.
By 2013, 37% of men in prison were Black – the highest percentage by ethnicity. That same year, blacks were only 13.2% of the nations population.
This led to the development of the prison industrial complex, growing revenue for private corporations and state governments, while relying on America’s pre-established and irrational terror of Black people and of non-dangerous drugs (like marijuana) to validate arresting an unprecedented amount of people.
But further, politicians were also able to lie and blame economic woes on feeding and housing “drug addicted, Black criminals,” and victim-blame Black people who were murdered in the crossfire.
And FYI, marijuana, the same drug that validated so many arrests and murders of Black and Brown people (as in, 80% of the increase in drug-related arrests from the 1990s were due to marijuana possession), is now, literally, recognized as a medicine and prescribed in 23 states.
The War on Drugs was purely contrived to get more rich white people in office and more people of color in prison captivity.
And America’s white supremacist legacy continues.
3.) In 2013, New York City had a population of 19,746,227 people – 17.5% were Black, and 57.2% of them were white. But of the 191,558 people stopped and frisked, 56% of them were Black and only 11% were white.
Literally, the determining factor in who gets stopped is whether someone looks criminal – and in this case, criminal is clearly Black. (FYI, 89% of the people they stopped were innocent.)
The police are not just murdering individuals; they are not just arresting criminals.
They are perpetuating a legacy of genocidal slaughter, racial hierarchy, scapegoating, victim-blaming, and systemic oppression.
4.) So people are targeted for mass incarceration in this country like no other country in the world. One in 99 people are in prison, one in 46 people will do prison time, and if you add in race, one in three black men will do prison time.
So the economy is targeting people by race, by class and by place. What they need, humanely: educational resources, work and jobs.
According to Grasswire, a collection of prison labor statistics listed on Prison Policy Initiative show that the lowest daily wage for a prisoner working in the private industry is $0.16, while other states do not pay their inmates at all. The statistics also show that county facilities do not offer paid work, but they offer work to inmates awaiting trial.
As many as 870,000 prisoners are employed nationwide, some in manufacturing jobs for which they are paid a few cents an hour, if they are paid at all. It is a long list of companies that use prison labor including McDonald’s, Starbucks, AT&T, Verizon, Victoria Secret, United Airlines.
Read more- 'This is slavery': U.S. inmates strike in what activists call one of the biggest prison protests in modern history http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-prison-strike-snap-story.html
The American government publicly declares that the USSR or Communism or terrorism or extremism is the country’s main enemy.
Of course, the regime incessantly lectures its people about the ideology they’ve chosen for North America. Their top priority is to brainwash people to worship money. But Washington doesn’t forget to take a significant amount of time and effort to teach people to hate China, Iran, Venezuela, immigrants, homeless people and the blacks.
Slavery: Made in America
Military spending has already bankrupted the country in the sense that even future generations will not be able to make good on the outstanding debt according to Professor Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University speaking for the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, a leading constituent of the US Federal Reserve.
The USA has greatly increased its per capita spending to cover the costs of the war in Afghanistan, the Iraq war and the costs of the homeland security bureaucracy. And Trump is sending more troops to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
The USA has military bases in almost every country on earth. They are obviously not for defending the homeland, but for defending America’s economic interests abroad.
This military empire is to support a lavish consuming lifestyle at the expense of the third world. The American military’s job is to pressure foreign governments to give American businesses what they want. How else could it be that Americans manage, with under 6% of the world population, to consume about a 40-60% of the planet’s resources? How is it possible that people in other parts of the world accept a $0.06 a hour wage to produce goods for Americans. That is less than slave wages. Slaves, like livestock, at least had their food and medical bills covered and even a form of retirement.
Like a French aristocrat of old, the modern American believes he fully deserves his privileged position as a right of birth. He deserves it for being American, one of God’s chosen people. He vaguely imagines that his industriousness or other innate virtue fully explains the economic disparity. He labors under the delusion that those in the rest of the world are happy to work in American sweat shops. It never enters his head that such extreme inequality can only be maintained by global military oppression and state-sponsored political corruption to bribe and threaten world leaders to act in the interests of American business rather than the interests of their own countries.
The main difference in the outcome of WWII (World War II) was the language we speak. The economic neocolonialism is the same as had the Nazis won. Just as Nazis saw themselves as innately superior and deserving of special privilege, so do Americans. They don’t recognize that their superiority complex is just as odious to others and leads them to just as evil deeds.
There is an incredible extra burden we are putting on the earth’s carrying capacity, especially in Asia and the Pacific. There are ever more people fighting for a dwindling supply of resources.
Call your Senators and Congress members and tell them no more war. Bring the troops home and put America first or they will be voted out.
1.) No more war
2.) Bring the troops home
3.) Protect the borders
4.) Put America first
Since its post-WWII inception, the CIA has been allowed to operate as the elite’s private mafia around the world with virtually total impunity, no oversight and an unlimited black budget engaging in genocidal purges, countless assassinations, coups, economic hitmen extortion, handlers of state-sponsored terrorism, Empire divide and conquerors, mass mind and media control, and the principle crime syndicate running the illegal international drug smuggling operation and money laundering to augment its already off the books blacker budget.
Human Trafficking and the US Military
In the 1980s, the U.S. Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines was the largest U.S. military base outside of the U.S. with an estimated 500 million USD generated by the brothels surrounding it. Local traffickers and brothel owners engaged in the business of buying and selling women and girls to meet the demands of the servicemen stationed there. Alma, who had dreams of becoming an accountant, was one of the women sold in the local sex industry. After three years, she was able to escape this life and subsequently co-founded Buklod ng Kababaihan, a group that helps other exploited women. Though the U.S. bases in the Philippines officially closed in the 1990s, the problem persists today as U.S. sex tourists travel there to take advantage of the commercial sex industry entrenched by the once-large U.S. military presence. Thousands of U.S. servicemen are still deployed in the Philippines where they continue to seek out local women in prostitution despite laws against it. Alma and Buklod continue to fight the exploitation of the estimated 300,000 to 400,000 women and up to 100,000 children in the Philippines commercial sex industry.
It is widely acknowledged that where there is a large military presence, there will be a significant and concurrent growth of the commercial sex industry and trafficking of women and girls into the industry. As former U.S. anti-trafficking Ambassador John Miller stated in 2004, “human trafficking, especially for women and girls forced into prostitution, has followed demand where a multitude of U.S. and foreign aid workers, humanitarian workers, civilian contractors, and yes, U.S. uniformed personnel, operate.” For example, in 2012 The Korea Times reported that women are trafficked to and exploited in brothels around U.S. military bases in South Korea “despite the military’s ‘zero tolerance policy.’” According to one estimate, more than one million Korean women have been used in prostitution by U.S. troops since 1945.
Older people who experienced the Korean war tell me they called the Koreans "gooks" and bragged about committing horrible war crimes. The elderly people in my hometown claimed that when they were US soldiers they tore off the limbs of innocent Koreans and cut off eyes, noses and lips and hung them on trees. And that this was called counter-insurgency to scare the enemy into surrendering.
American soldiers adored Korean children and showered them with chocolate in exchange for sexual favors.