Tags Structures of oppression
Tag: structures of oppression
It is said that Mark Twain once quipped that “history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” One cannot escape comparisons with 1968, and with widespread civil unrest, troops in the streets, warring abroad and a rabidly reactionary Republican president seeking re-election while executing his own Southern Strategy replete with dog-whistle appeals to “law and order,” such comparisons are not without merit.
Ava DuVernay undertook the documentary “13th” in order to explore and bring attention to the Prison Industrial Complex. The film’s title refers to the 1865 amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in which slavery was abolished “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” The story told by “13th” thus goes back to the early chain-gangs of Black prisoners – men arrested for petty offenses under the post-Civil War Black Codes who were then contracted out to perform labor that they had previously performed as privately-owned slaves.