The 13th characterize our criminal justice system and political institution as unfair and a racist system of oppression for certain color of race. This film gave me a better understanding of how the prisons were treating their prisoners. I was not aware that prisoners were forced into being treated and considered to be slaves. While watching this documentary I was able to understand that the country in which people called land of the free, it's not really the land of the freedom if this system treats prisoners as slaves. While watching the 13th I saw a particular case in which a group of African-American tennagers were arrested and accused of a crime that the system did not have concrete evidence of, but they were still arrested and spent
Many people assume that racist legislation put into place in the 1960’s and 70’s led to the mass incarceration of the minority groups. Since these acts have been put into place, the United States has been named the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world, by an astounding amount. Former president Barack Obama states, “The United States is home to 5 percent of the world population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Think about that.” Barack Obama is insisting that citizens of the United states need to
The documentary, 13th, on the history of race and incarceration in the United States has become a big part of the debate. The main opposition is against the film’s factuality and how it glosses over the painful course of black America’s history. 13th takes its title from the premise of a “loophole” in the Thirteenth Amendment. The film takes the stand that with the “loophole” came allowance of incarceration to simply re-enslave African Americans under another name. Some viewers are likely to praise the “power of Duvernay’s film” and awe at the meticulous marshaling of facts, however, for others the falsehood and the loss of the main subject make the film simply
Many people are in prison today because of unjust sentencing legislation such as mandatory sentencing laws, which “... often make no distinction between, say, armed
Many Americans, White and Black alike, think of prison as being one of the worst places on Earth. 13th further consolidates this viewpoint, but highlights the inequality within the justice system, as well as outside of it. The documentary covers the controversial topic of discrimination in the criminal justice system while emphasizing the government’s involvement in enforcing this discrimination through policies. 13th by Ava DuVernay has a strong use of the rhetoric pathos to portray the negative treatment of African-Americans in the criminal justice system; however, bias resides in the documentary, thus weakening the argument. DuVernay's use of pathos in 13th helps persuade the audience in her favor.
To dig deeper into this overrepresentation of black criminality, we have to look at the loophole in the Thirteenth Amendment, which allowed slavery as a form of punishment in the prison system. The policymakers recognized the opportunities to acquire forced labor through mass incarceration and made use of the perpetuating cycle of racial formation, where representations and the actions of the institution often reinforce each other. The structural institution, or the policymakers in this case, used overrepresentation of black criminality to racialize crime. The overrepresentation of racialized crime then validates the need of criminal laws and their unequal application across racial groups. In the end, the institution created the false representation that justifies its actions which further feed the representation. The vicious cycle introduced racial discrimination into the justice system and guided the process of mass incarceration.
Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness goes into great detail on race related issues that were specific to black males, the mass incarceration, and how that lead to the development of institutionalized racism in the United States. She compares the Jim Crow with recent phenomenon of mass incarceration and points out that the mass incarceration is a network of laws, policies, customs and institutions that have been working together to warrant the subordinating status of black males. In this paper I will go into a brief examination of the range of issues that she mentions in her book that are surrounding the mass incarceration of black male populations.
June 19th, 1865 two and a half years after president Abraham lincoln announced the abolishment of slavery and the last slaves in Texas were set free. Unfortunately slavery did not end there, the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery on land and created slavery in jails. In the 20th century the jails population was a flatline until the early 1970s the era named “war on drugs” which created a mass incarceration. In the 1970’s the U.S jail population was around 357,292 incarcerated but due to mass incarceration by the 1990’s the jail population was up to 1,179,200.
It is a widespread notion that the Thirteenth Amendment ended the unconstitutional enslavement of African Americans in the United States, declaring "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.” Most Americans, however, do not take note of the loophole placed in the famed Thirteenth Amendment- slavery was deemed unconstitutional with the exception of being used as a ‘punishment for crime’. Michelle Alexander examines this loophole in The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, arguing how mass incarceration has replaced slavery and Jim Crow to reduce black Americans to a second class status. Through
Although the majority of Americans preaches that the days of racism are far behind, it is clear that institutional racism still exists in this country. One way to look at this institutional racism is to examine at the United States prison system and the gap of incarceration rates among African Americans, Hispanics, and White males. According to a research by Prison Policy Initiative both African Americans and Hispanics are imprisoned at 5.1 times and 1.8 times higher than the rate of White Americans for every 100,000 incarcerations, respectively. Throughout the history of the United States, it is obvious that the reasons for the disparity of the incarceration rate are related to policies, irregularities, and implicit prejudices. Families and children of the incarcerated are adversely affected due to the discrimination. However, many white Americans don’t see how racism affects incarceration rates and they would argue that the economic situation and past arrest patterns are responsible for the sustainable increase in the incarceration rate for African Americans and Hispanics. While the economic opportunity can indeed play a role in decision making, this argument doesn’t fully explain the real reason of this occurrence. In order to fully understand the reason, there is a need to review the history of the United States. Through the review, it is clear that the past arrest patterns is more an indicator of institutional racism still exists in this country. The New Jim Crow: Mass
The author discusses the price that US minority communities pay and the mass incarceration and the ideologies that fuel them. Interestingly, the author believes that mass incarceration only affects a certain group of people. Mass incarceration targets minority groups. These minority groups are characterized as low-income people. The author believes, that action has been taken to rectify the percentage of incarceration, because their low power compared to the majority. In addition, the authors go into percentages that depict that African American and Hispanic are targeted. Furthermore, the author looks at the ideologies that pertain to mass incarceration. Due to social injustice in the low-income communities presents negative ramifications
Mass incarceration is colossal in the United States but more common in the black community. Black men are in prison than in college. Black men are locked up every day for crimes and then seem to be forgotten. They are forced to plead guilty and take plea deals for a reduced sentence, instead of the risk of taking it to trial and be given a significant sentence. Being behind the walls of a prison for a long period can have some disadvantages which may lead to suicide or suicidal thoughts. Long periods of incarceration can also affect the chances of receiving a good job which may provide good benefits. That is why in some prisons do have job training, which prepares an inmate for employment after incarceration. I plan to discuss the similarities
The documentary 13th by Ava DuVernay was a visual masterpiece. The documentary provided its viewers with an array of information that spanned throughout centuries and was eloquently executed in less than 2 hours. The central focus of the film was about how the 13th amendment shaped this country and its prison system. The 13th amendment was the building block for mass incarceration and as time has gone on, new laws and amendments strengthened the process for more people to get incarcerated. Slavery benefited the country as a whole and as the Civil War was winding down, slavery was coming to an end. As the documentary states, the South especially relied heavily on slavery for their economy to sustain. After the passing of the 13th amendment, slaves were freed and it left the South’s economy in shambles. A stipulation within the 13th amendment, that states “Neither slavery not involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been dully convicted, shall exist within the United States.” In turn, mass amounts of newly freed slaves were arrested and deemed criminals. Being criminalized reduced them back to a lower status in the United States, and unfortunately reignited slavery in a new kind of form. The film was not only educational, it also provided its viewers with knowledge about why there is such a disparity in mass incarnations amongst people of color compared to their white counterparts.
The documentary “13th” is very telling about the problems with the prison system and society's view of African-Americans. After the end of slavery, the economy too a hit because of the lack of labor needed for the industries. To solve this problem, people turned to prison workers, because it was cheap labor that weren’t protected under the 13th Amendment. This amendment abolished slavery and indentured servitude, but left the clause of criminal punishment. Because of this loophole, and because whites were very much still in control of society soon after the 13th Amendment was passed, police forces began going after African-Americans in order to fill prisons and satisfy work forces.
The Netflix documentary film 13th is about the prison system of the United States and the injustices that stem from mass incarceration, particularly those felt by African American communities. The film details the last century of ethnic discrimination and injustice faced by the African American population of the United States, and went into particular detail of the last few decades that gave rise to the systems of mass incarceration that are seen the U.S. today. The film was shot in an incredibly edgy style that I personal found distracting, there were many unconventional shots while interviewees were making statements, and interviewees with opinions at odds with the message of the film were not given an opportunity to fully express their views.