• balderdash
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    7 days ago

    This literally happened en masse after slavery was abolished in the South. They would just charge black people for minor offenses (e.g., “looking at a white woman”), jail them, and lease them to middle-class landowners who treated them worse than slaves. This country was built on slave labor and the legacy of slavery still continues to this day.

    • Dessalines@lemmy.ml
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      7 days ago

      Yep, slavery was largely re-instituted (in a less dominant form) during the reconstruction era.

      The US still has a significant portion of its economy based on slave-labor, including at least 54 state-run prison farms, and US-state-run companies like Federal Prison Industries which operates a multi-billion dollar industry with ~ 52 prison factories, where prisoners produce furniture, clothing, circuit boards, products for the military, computer aided design services, call center support for private companies. 1, 2, 3

      The US also has the highest incarceration rates in the world, with states like Louisiana basically being slave states. Most individual US states outrank all other countries.

      • Maeve@sh.itjust.works
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        7 days ago

        That last link…“freest country in the world” just means “most indoctrinated country in the world, and also slavers.”

      • ricecake@sh.itjust.works
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        7 days ago

        Not to diminish how messed up prison labor is, or how private prisons shouldn’t be a thing at all, to say that prison labor makes up a significant portion of the US economy is a pretty big stretch.

        FPI/UNICORE only has about a half billion in gross revenue, and the entire private prison sector is around ~$8 billion.
        The US economy is in the $25 trillion range. Arby’s is about half the size of the private prison industry, and eight times larger than FPI. ($4 billion)

        Neither should exist in the modern era, and getting rid of them would be an almost unnoticeable impact on the economy.

          • ricecake@sh.itjust.works
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            7 days ago

            I suppose I should have said “none”.
            Even though Arby’s has personally hurt me more than private prisons, I still think that privatized cruelty that somehow manages to be worse than our already pretty shitty penal system is worse that the gastrointestinal nightmare that Arby’s has given me.

          • ricecake@sh.itjust.works
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            7 days ago

            It’s not a great ruling, but it doesn’t serve to be hyperbolic. They said that fines or punishment for “camping” (existing while homeless) on a cities public lands aren’t de facto unconstitutional.

            Not forbidden to fine or evict the homeless isn’t the same as making homelessness illegal.

    • MantisTobogganMD@lemmy.world
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      5 days ago

      and they teach us in school (ohio) that it’s totally great and makes sense that slavery is legal for prisoners. they make no mention of the record our. nation has for jailing people on bullshit charges.