I am stealing that title from a Leo Tolstoy book that was printed at the turn of the 20th century. The profound logic in regards to what exactly makes a person a slave encompassed in this book still ring true today. “Slavery never goes away” says Tolstoy “it just changes forms”. The form of the modern slave is that of an inmate.
The above link details the horrific story of former Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella who is a modern slave trader. This ” judge”, along with his real estate developer pal Robert K. Mericle helped to close down the county jail in his district and replace it with a private institution that Mericle would get the contract to build. Once the new jail was finished, Ciavarella started sending kids to this jail for things like creative a negative web site and taking your mom’s car for a joy ride. Which apparently was a harsh enough offense to get a teenager two years in private prison. This insanity must end.
I do not blame the judge for this crime. I don’t think sending him to jail will prevent this from ever happening again. Human greed is the issue here. We need to take profit out of our prison system. That is the reality. How many more millions of dollars will we spend trying to affix band aids to this problem before we realize that there is no solution?
As with all the problems of our society the blame rests at the feet of our TV addicted ignorant populace. This is the other form of slavery that current has our souls in its grasp. We don’t want to hear about these problems. We just want to be able to come home, turn on the tube and forget our troubles. However these troubles don’t go away just because we don’t pay attention to them. They get worse and worse until no matter what we do, we can’t escape them.
That is the reality of our current situation. The government can’t fix these problems because they don’t want to and aren’t being told to. They aren’t told because overall people are ignorant to these problems. The news and TV shows they watch are all about good guy cops sticking it to bad guy drug dealers. What they don’t show is the human toll our justice system takes on our society.
More people are currently in jail than were slaves at the height of slavery. People convicted of a felony are not allowed to vote. That is exactly what they did to the slaves. If you don’t allow people who you repress to vote out your repressive system, then you are free to do whatever you want. As long as you keep the general voting public ignorant to what you do and why you do it.
This dire situation is totally in our control. The American people can no longer sit idly by while their fellow citizens are stripped of their rights and used as human cattle. Now is the time to act or as Frederick Douglas said Agitate, Agitate, Agitate. Call your representatives, DEMAND the end to the drug war, and once again make this a country where ALL men are created equal. Freedom is too precious a thing to send to the whorehouse to be used and then discarded. The time to act is now.