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Discussing Systemic and Institutional White Supremacy

June 29, 2020

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Review of the Documentary "13th"...

 

My first observation is the fact that this documentary operates on the presupposition that the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution exists in a vacuum, it willfully ignores that amendment in context with the 14th and 15th amendments. Here are my other observations.

 

1st, The film ignores the protections under the law granted by the subsequent 14th and 15th amendments.

 

2nd, The film puts forward a narrative that admits incarceration rates for everyone, even Blacks, was low and in proportional context with the rest of the world until after the Civil Rights Movement.

 

3rd. The film rightly points at all kinds of policies from the heroin epidemic, the crack epidemic, the war on drugs, three strikes laws to stop and frisk, etc. Yet glosses over if not ignores the causal agitating factors of human agency and personal choice that modern Blacks have that were non existent during slavery and the Jim crow era.

 

This causes the writers of this film to strive to make a direct line from slavery to modern socioeconomic, sociopolitical and cultural issues in the African American community that satisfies an emotional argument but not a historical one. Discussing the modern problems, specifically mass incarceration, within this limited lens, obscures actually solutions.

 

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