A Critique of The Prison Industrial Complex
The mechanics of American Capitalism have drained economies of natural resources around the world. Karl Mark and Friedrich Engels predicted the cataclysms of Capitalism in their book The Communist Manifesto. It has been the struggle of the proletariat since the communes of Paris to gain an upper hand, and regain power in what has been brutal and shameless exploitation.
Today, the prison industry has taken the place of the bourgeoisie, and the proletariat is the exploited prisoner. “Privatized prisons are keeping inmates locked up longer in order to boost profits,” states a 2015 Mother Jones article by Gabrielle Canon.
All around the country a change is occurring with the people of the United States. African Americans are fed up with the cataclysmic numbers in which Blacks are being killed by the police. It should come as no surprise — due to prejudice, and blatant racism, that America’s prisons are full of African Americans. “African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated populations, African Americans [also] are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites.”
The Black Panther Party, founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale nearly fifty years ago, saw these injustices happen to them and other black men and women and did something. It’s no wonder, due to America’s shady past, that Newton and Seale read books pertaining to Communism, from Mao Tse Tung, Karl Marx, and Che Guevara.
Blacks make up an extremely high percentage of the prison population. Many former prisoners, once out, are denied the right to vote — until recently even in California. In other places, such as Florida, prisoners, parolees, and ex-felons, are still denied the right to vote or are forced to jump through nearly impossible hoops to do so.
Constructed in the inventions
Which extinguish the ardor
Resonating in the memories of you.
I shut my eyes, placing my head
Upon the table,
Trying to recall what was said.
No words come to mind.
Opening them once more
And hearing the electric hum of the refrigerator
The empty room admits my presents.
I listen to my breath for a while
It reminds me that there’s still life
How could one forget
The slings and arrows which our love created
There is no perfect love.
There’s a stillness
Forged within us both.
The immortal blueprint of design
Is for the god’s to interpret.
My mother carried me up
And once it was my turn to carry her
I hadn’t the strength
So I let go and we went our
Father once told
That we were all sinners
And we deserved no-
I’ll see to it death gets me first.
I saw the streets as an escape—
A freedom similar to death
But less painful.
My mother weeps for me
From time to time
While Father praises his god.
It didn’t have to be like this, if we had just carried on we could have made it to the other side, but now it’s cold, and though we are not bound by the jackboot of false idols my heart still aches, and yet I’m a sucker for a woman in mourning.
But as I write this I know your face is free
From any tears
As is mine as well
The old man carries his words beneath his arm. Nothing can afford him the happiness which he deserves. I tell him let go, and his grave eyes fall and he weeps at what he has read.
I am moved to tears.
(Featured image by Waldemar Zboralski, used under CC BY-SA 3.0)