The Except Clause and the Prison-Industrial System

This post speaks very specifically to the American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS), the unique contributions of ADOS, and the white-supremacist capitalist system that has exploited them 24/7 from 1619 to 2020 and counting. The most powerful racist in the world has announced the launch of the 1776 Commission, a vehicle to derail The 1619 Project, and to return American history students to the familiar whitewashed fabrications.

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The 3/5ths Compromise of 1787 was a Southern strategy designed to bestow important slaver citizens with political advantage. Of course, slavers reckoned the intrinsic value at zero — that 3/5ths gave a slaver 60% more political power in an Electoral System that views one-person one-vote as a threat to the body politic.

The Civil War from 1861-1865 was a three-sided conflagration comprised of three groups: Northern Whites, Southern Whites, and human resources stolen from Africa. The principal losers were the individuals . Upon the “end of hostilities” the Northern Whites paid reparations to the slavers and declared a level playing field for all three participating groups. The losing ethnicity received nothing but black words on white paper: The 13th Amendment to The Constitution, the 13th replaced the 3/5ths Clause with the Except Clause:

except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted

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The except clause effectively expunged the first five words of the 13th Amendment: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude

That except clause is a “get someone into jail” card that never expires. It is a lynching instrument that permits an “officer of the law” to stop black kids and to ask them for identification, then to keep that ID — a souvenir if you will. The next time a fellow “officer of the law” asks for that kid’s ID, he is authorized to take him into custody. The identification card can literally end up in a cigar box. Jim Crow never dies. The bail-bond system is another means deployed to qualify ADOS to the prison system — another deliberately designed feature.

Those “without a racist bone in their bodies” would insist that ADOS (though they never use that term) actually benefit from some quasi quota advantages that end up marginalizing white people. As if racism had suddenly gone from a full-speed ahead into a full-speed reverse.

How much have ADOS received for the multiple trillion dollar trade deals that free labor injected into the economy? How many pennies have they received so far. Where are all the indigenous peoples today?

The Klan never dies, it just wears different hoods. What do you call a police officer who lynches ADOS? A hero?

ADOS women are the most marginalized citizens of a country defined and conquered by a patriarchy that permeates the power structure. The most powerful whites in the most powerful roles of society benefit from judicial decisions that trace their birthright to consistently conservative elites who benefit from Originalism — a narrow look at the “justice” system as it existed at the time of the founding slavers. It directs the most wealth to an ever smaller number of white ultra-rich, those few are all white. They enjoy privileges written into law since the founding white slaver fathers.

The interlocking control of all three branches of the federal government keeps the boards of directors white and male. How many ADOS billionaires can you name? How many homeless ADOS does it take to float the most selfish, protected, and greedy captains of the modern economy — the same billionaires who won’t yield a dime, the white men who commit 99% of the crime, the white men who cannot be touched, the white men admired for their inability to live any other way.

Thanks for reading.

8 thoughts on “The Except Clause and the Prison-Industrial System”

    1. The Norwegian penal system is designed a pole away from the catastrophic, punitive model over here. Opposites in every possible way. Ironically enough, the US system is closer to the Viking model, or the law and order of a Third Reich in modern times. Trump would make Anders Behring Breivik a four-star general, I’m afraid.
      Thanks for the link, hedy. And for imagining a different world.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Shelby — for the reblog, and for the incisive annotations as well. My work is not always received as a “gem of absolute pure truth.” Comments really do drive content — your constructive criticism and candor as well.

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