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A treatise based on weak associations and academic absurdities
on March 27, 2013
I had trouble reading this because of the intellectually weak and absurd associations. Racism is a subject that evokes strong emotions, but if you want to argue a position that DIRECTLY ties imprisonment to racism, you should vigilantly examine your argument for logical flaws. This writing reaches its conclusions based on emotional appeals, "straw man" arguments, and flawed logic.
If you've seen Monty Python's Holy Grail you might be familiar with the famous "witch scene" that satirizes flawed logic. Paraphrased: Witches burn-->what else burns? Wood! therefor witches are made of wood! Wood floats. What else floats? A duck! So if a person weighs the same as a duck then they're made of *wood* and THEREFOR THEY'RE A WITCH!
So Ms. Davis observes (rightfully) that the incarcerated in the U.S. are mostly black and latino. Black people are discriminated against. Slavery was an institution of discrimination and removed the freedoms of black people. Slavery is wrong. Prisons remove freedom from the incarcerated, therefor prisons are racist and wrong. Wait, what?
Even if every statement that Ms. Davis makes about prisons is TRUE, you cannot make a valid philosophical argument on grotesquely absurd logic. Maybe prisons ARE wrong, but they're not wrong because taking the freedoms away from a black person is just like slavery no matter what the reason. Come on, Ms. Davis--the "institution" of lynching?
This book references historian Adam Jay Hirsch to make a direct link between slavery and imprisonment:
"One may perceive in the penitentiary many reflections of chattel slavery as it was practiced in the South. Both institutions subordinated their subjects to the will of others. Lite Southern slaves, prison inmates followed a daily routine specified by their superiors. Both institutions reduced their subjects to dependence on others of the supply of basic human services such as food and shelter. Both isolated their subjects from the general population by confining them to a fixed habitat. And both frequently coerced their subjects to work, often for longer hours and for less compensation than free laborers"
If you make a small jump and consider writing book reports "work" that statement applies to an American elementary school (or even a day care center) as appropriately as it applies to prisons. Is attending grammar school slavery?