Land of Free? Home of the Incarcerated?

Painting by Ray Baughman

One of my favorite tv shows of the 90s was Seinfeld. Jerry Seinfeld is a genius at the discipline of comedy. He gets it. The finale of the show focuses on Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer as they face jail time for violating the city’s “Good Samaritan” law that says you are guilty if you witness a crime and do not intervene. The prosecution parades a slew of character witness’s who show us the reality of the people we have grown to love over the course of the shows run. They are truly despicable people and the world is a better place because they are locked up. 

I have been thinking on the subject of how much responsibility a citizen should carry for the wrongs of its leaders. In the WW2 era of Nazi Germany should Ava Braun be held to higher standards because she was Hitlers wife. How about Hitlers butler? Or just the average German teenager? Of course not we say but if the Nazi’s had prevailed and ruled to this day that same teenager most likely grew up to become a card carrying nazi and then certainly would be guilty of propagating a policy of genocide and war mongering at the very least. 

Where am I going with this you might ask.? I am heading into shark filled waters without the benefit of a cage to protect myself.Bill Burr ignited this fire under me so your coming with me Bill. 

He spoke about American in the years following the civil war and mentioned the creation of laws that were meant to circumvent the new anti slavery laws by imprisoning the same black men that had just been freed in order to continue to have a slave labor force. Laws such as “Walking without purpose” or “Walking after Dark” were created by states to rebuild the south after the devastation of the civil war. There is a union General who should be held responsible for part of this because he had a torched earth philosophy intended to break the wills of the enemy. GEORGE ORWELL WROTE in 1945 that “the nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” 

In August 1864, supreme Union commander Ulysses S. Grant ordered Sheridan to “do all the damage to railroads and crops you can… If the war is to last another year, we want the Shenandoah Valley to remain a barren waste.” Sheridan set to the task with vehemence, declaring that “the people must be left nothing but their eyes to weep with over the war” and promised that, when he was finished, the valley “from Winchester to Staunton will have but little in it for man or beast.” (By James Bovard,https://militaryhistorynow.com/2015/02/02/sheridans-scorched-earth-campaign-the-union-armys-forgotten-war-crime/)

Making all Ohioians cringe was the remark of an Ohio major who wrote in his diary that the burning “does not seem real soldierly work. We ought to enlist a force of scoundrels for such work.”

 Indeed a force of scoundrels to do the work. How about defying the order. All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing,  It seems to me that good men have been sitting with their thumbs up their ass for a long damn time. I include myself in those ranks lest you think I am throwing rocks in glass houses. I am guilty of being asleep while evil has swept this great country in the subtle form of capitalism. All men are created equal but that certainly doesn’t mean they are born equal either in opportunities or in respect shown to them.

I will verify this stat but as of now it is just a stat I heard in reference to the United States legalized slavery. Eleven Billion dollars is the revenue generated by our prison and the main reason Joe Bidens prison reform promise have been forgotten, failed, and unmentioned by a media that is bought and paid for. I am not bought and paid for and I will speak the fucking truth until the day I die. When I put on my journalist hat there is a physical change that takes place. I am more focused, more intense, and wilting to throw all caution to the wind as far as my personal safety or without regard for how I am perceived. The truth must stand above all else when one presumes to report. A fact that has been lost by so many “Journalist” today. To all you lying sacks of shit. You should be very ashamed of yourselves. There will come a day of reckoning for misleading people and you will rue the day you thought your bullshit idealism trumps (no pun intended)  the truth,.  Im sure I just triggered some snow flake journalist by invoking the word trump. It is actually a verb in the way I used it so you can take out the pacifier and come out from your safe place. 

A word of advice to you my young snow flake. Safety is an illusion. The world is a dangerous place and your insistence that people stop behaving poorly will not be heard. The best thing you can do is stop believing what you’re told and go and experience the world for yourself. Come to some small midwest town and you will find a people that are kind and loving and want only to see you succeed. Unless you’re black and the person you meet is a cop. Then chances are you will be killed. 

Wow, I went on a tangent there. Thankfully  my beautifully crafted segue brought us back. Being black in America is not easy. Or at least that is what I infer from what I see and hear. I am white and while at one point middle class probably closer to lower class at this point much to the chagrin of my family. Money has not come easily for me but I hold only myself responsible for that. 

I can’t imagine being a black American and not blaming someone for my struggles. It certainly is understandable but it is also the single biggest thing preventing them from finding happiness and joy. It is impossible to be thankful while simultaneously being resentful. Gratitude is the number one ingredient most successful people say is the key to their success.

White America whether a slave owner or not carries the burden of guilt for how we have treated our fellow humans. Reparations aren’t the answer. The answer is Love. I know its cliche as fuck to say that. But genuine unconditional love towards each other is the only way this problem is solved. The only thing standing in the way is the great Government and Corporate Machine (an unholy union if there ever was…as is what could make big government worse? Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Corp is the answer and we have allowed this polyamory relationship from hell to not only marry but to marry in such a way that divorce is impossible.) So what is the answer? 

Viva la Revolution? Or can love alone win the day? Personally I am working on loving myself first. As I heal and grow then I can love my neighbor. Then we can love our neighborhood. Then our neighborhood can love the next neighborhood. So on and so forth until our city is covered in love and then our leadership will be likeminded or will be replaced. The days of taking bribes (calling it lobbying doesn’t change what it really is and we all fucking know it…so quit deluding yourself and stop taking bribes…we are paying attention…short are the days of those who put cash above their constiutnecy.  

This article was supposed to be about the profits being made from prisons and I will end it with the reminder that you may not be affected by it yet. But our government’s appetite is voracious and they cannot grow enough to feed themselves. They will come for your children and your grandchildren eventually. You will remember reading this and say he was right. I will take no joy in that. I only wish to wake us up and to have us halt this legalized slavery as quickly as we can.  I close with the words of Abraham Lincoln. I am including 2 graphs from vera.org as well.

Transcript of the Proclamation

January 1, 1863

A Transcription

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

“That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.”

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN

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