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The Way I See It - By Jack Crawford

Virtual Re-enslavement

Suppose someone suggested to you that there is a conspiracy in play to place a third or more of black males in concentration camps. Many of you would react, as I'm ashamed to say I did when this question was posed to me, by saying we would oppose this threat by any means necessary. I said we would first expose the perpetrators. I felt sick when my friend said to me, "it's already happened: that many and more of our young men are in various stages of the penal system and the system is preparing to accommodate many, many more."

Of course, you'll say this ain't new and you'll be right. In fact, if you read Charshee McIntyre's book Criminalizing a Race, it is apparent that imprisonment has been a preferred control method by our oppressors since the first 19 Africans stepped off the boat in 1619 Jamestown. The idea was to enslave us. Early justification for slavery was that Africans were pagans and even their conversion to Christianity couldn't change their natural suitability for that status. But there were the free Africans and those indentured for seven to ten years, most of whom had already become good Christians. What about them? Many of them were criminalized through various means: breaking petty laws, being unable to service the most minor debt, running away, cohabitation with white women, etc. Don't be confused, similar means of indenturing (read enslaving) Irish and low-class English labor for many decades. Remember brothers and sisters, our enemy never changes his objectives; and only slightly changes his methods of achieving his objectives.

Fast forward to today. In many inner-city areas, 50-60% of the male descendants of American slavery are either in prison or in the revolving-door parole system. These men will be largely incapable of finding decent work. They lack education, skills and the opportunity to achieve either because of their status. And the system is preparing for millions more progressively younger black people to rot in jail. The so-called "three-strikes" movement and the new prisons being built are not going to help anyone, clearly not us.

Black people are being systematically excluded from the future. If you are willing to risk a major depression, listen to a speech by Dr. James Garret called "African World Power: Japan" (Eso Won books has it). He attended conferences held by the futurists, those people who are charged with planning 50 to 100 years ahead. They really don't plan for us to be around. Garrett says the only "friends" African people had among this esteemed group were Japanese who felt that Africans were good consumers and should be retained.

Don't lose sight of the possibilities. Anyone who asked in 1932 if Herr Hitler could lead Germany to murder six million Jews and 18-20 million mostly Russians and other Slavs, the answer from most any German (except Hitler) would have been a highly appalled NO! But he did. And so far we have been lulled into a deep sleep while our young are being criminalized and sentenced to a short life of hopelessness, despair, poverty and no choice but to sell our labor to the interests that serve white people for slave wages. Full circle back to slavery? It's really looks that way.

We've been hearing rumors since the sixties about "King Alfred Plans" to put us away (in concentration camps). Ever since that era's failed attempt to break out of our chains, the system has quietly implemented the objectives of this hideous plan via two distinct but complementary channels:

1.Benign neglect - By initially pumping up the welfare system and then allowing inflation to reduce the value of the benefit people should be incented to get a job, right? But they also allowed the immigrant population to skyrocket which suppressed wages at the low end. And they also exported millions of low- and medium-wage jobs to Asia and Mexico. And they eliminated many programs to assist the poor. Low-cost housing was also de-emphasized. What alternatives do poor people have? Drug dealing.

2.Drugs have ravaged the inner cities with increasing severity for decades, especially since 1967. However, while Mrs. Reagan was telling our children to wear 'Just Say NO!' badges and Lt. Col. Ollie was dealing with arms, drugs and thugs, crack flooded the cities. Automatic weapons also mysteriously found their way in too. Gangsterism was being glorified in the movies. The occupation of choice for our young became the drug industry. Except they kept getting younger. And this scourge spread to small towns wherever black people lived as organized gangs sold franchises to their cousins in the South. And the system passed harsh laws with mandatory sentences. And the children had to get used to hearing bullets fired and learn to 'hit the dirt' in the playground. The undertaker business boomed. And the media screamed with sensational drive-bys and other murders.

So the people demanded safety. Put them away and throw away the key. The image burned into everyone's mind is that of a young black male holding a gun or being dragged off to jail. And the drugs kept coming. And the drug profits made banks turned money laundries super rich. Asian and Latin "businessmen" profited and recycled their ill-gotten gains into legitimate businesses, often financing retail stores in the ghettos. And black people stayed in miserable, poverty conditions. And the prison population skyrocketed. So they built more prisons...

Now we have more blacks in jail than in college. Many of the few who do graduate high school are prepared only for minimum wage jobs. And of course, those with criminal records are disqualified for government, corporate or other decent employment. So the ex-felon goes back to crime and prison. Genocide? Maybe. The result is the same. AIDS is killing African people at an alarming rate. Why? Prison is the breeding ground and when the felons come out the disease spreads.

Who benefits? Rich folks. Investors. They benefit. They built 20 prisons in California alone since the 1980s and plan 18 more by 2000. They expect the prison population to double in the next six years. Who finances these prisons? Wall Street. Who supplies these prisons? Big business. Who gets the jobs? Since they tend to locate in white rural areas, white working class folks (many of whom used to work in defense-related industries). This is replacing the money they used to spend on the Cold War. Another waste of money but it kept people employed.

Re-enslavement? May as well be. If Malcolm was alive, he would say "ya' been had, ya' been took , for a chump... AGAIN!"

(JC -10-22-94)

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