Do you ever think about the fact that the US has created and legitimized a system of institutionalized inequality by funding schools through property taxes? That basically a child’s education is only as good as the value of the property in their neighborhood. Funny how education is so often viewed as an equalizing factor when there is nothing equal about it.
“Don’t you know that slavery was outlawed?”
“No,” the guard said, “you’re wrong. Slavery was outlawed with the exception of prisons. Slavery is legal in prisons.”
I looked it up and sure enough, she was right. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution says:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Well, that explained a lot of things. That explained why jails and prisons all over the country are filled to the brim with Black and Third World people, why so many Black people can’t find a job on the streets and are forced to survive the best way they know how. Once you’re in prison, there are plenty of jobs, and, if you don’t want to work, they beat you up and throw you in a hole. If every state had to pay workers to do the jobs prisoners are forced to do, the salaries would amount to billions… Prisons are a profitable business. They are a way of legally perpetuating slavery. In every state more and more prisons are being built and even more are on the drawing board. Who are they for? They certainly aren’t planning to put white people in them. Prisons are part of this government’s genocidal war against Black and Third World people.—
Assata (via michellehuxtable)
I tell my students this every single semester.
doubly relevant today
Michael Ellner (via waltzinginlimbo)
Social justice movements tend to spring up around issues that most people don’t get. Social justice movements tend to spring up around issues that, to most people, don’t seem to matter that much. If people understood that the issues mattered, then organized movements to promote them wouldn’t be necessary.
Until their issues are properly understood, most social justice movements, almost by definition, are going to look whiny to most people. If you can’t understand why the things people are complaining about matter, those people are going to look whiny to you. That is, they’re going to look like they’re complaining about things that don’t matter.
Something to keep in mind when you’re thinking about accusing people in a social justice movement of being whiny: every social justice movement looks whiny if you don’t understand their issues. A lot of the time, the fact that calling attention to their issues is perceived as whiny is precisely the reason why the movement is necessary in the first place.— A Thought on Social Justice and Being Whiny | Research to be Done (via brute-reason)