THIS RIGHT HERE
You guys are dangerously close to realizing specifically what kinds of people they keep from voting and why.
I want to drill this into everybody’s head:
- The United States of America has the highest prison population in the world
- Black Americans and Latin people make up the majority of this population (many of whom are non-violent offenders)
- Federal Prisons in America require that their state keeps their prisons at a maximum occupancy at all times.
- The 13th amendment did not entirely abolish slavery…just one form of it. It remains legal through industrial prison system
Oh and we have privatized prisons which allow companies to actually make money off of keeping people incarcerated
Here’s what’s really perverse: prisoners, who cannot vote, still get counted in the U.S. Census. The more prisoners a county has, the more representation it gets, even though the prisoners cannot vote. See how that works? The more black and brown people they lock up, the more government resources and political representation they get. Even though those prisoners have no say and cannot vote.
If county-A has a population of 50 voters but no prisons, and county-B has a population of 50 voters and 50 prisoners, the county with the prisoners gets more government funding and more political represention. This is sometimes called “prison gerrymandering” and it is used in redistrictring.
Not so fun Fact: Southern states that reliably vote for Republicans also have the highest prison population in the United States. (source). So mass incarceration is a double whammy. It’s both a form of voter suppression and a tool to strengthen white people’s political power.
System of a Down made a song about the prison industrial complex in 2001
Tying minor offenses to POC sure is a handy way to justify keeping them locked up…
fuck the police