No! The 13th Amendment abolished antebellum slavery and created slavery anew via the American Criminal Justice System.
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the States, United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
The writers of the 13th Amendment, seeking to protect the power of the white ruling class, created a legal scheme for owning slaves under the Constitution of the United States. They nationalized it so that all the states had to do was put forth a plan of action to systematically marginalize, criminalize, and imprison its primary subjects—i.e., the descendants of African slaves and other unfortunate people.
Going back in history to follow the trail of actions taken right after passage of the 13th Amendment, you’ll see the persecution clearly beginning with the abandonment of Reconstruction, Black Codes, Peonage, Segregation, institutional racism, classism, the War on Drugs, the Iran and Nicaraguan Contras drugs-for-weapons-program, the War on Poverty, the FBI’s Counterintelligence Program to destabilize and defeat the 1960’s social change movements and, presto, the rise of the American Prison Empire.
“When we talk about the 13th Amendment, we’re talking about a war being systematically waged against the People. When we talk about what’s wrong with the American Criminal Justice and the State’s Department of Corrections, we’re looking at a multitude of battles that the People are immersed in on a day to day basis. Decarcerate Louisiana’s primary concern is fighting the war, and waking the people up so that they realize the trouble they’re in and fight back to win this war for their freedoms and liberties. Otherwise, if we do not recognize the war, we will end up fighting endless battles over prison conditions and the administration of justice without ever confronting our true enemy—i.e. the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
- Ikhaten, Angola Prison
How do we get our people to understand the meaning of the 13th Amendment? How the 13th Amendment is part of a plan to systematically persecute, prosecute, subjugate, and control African-Americans and continue slavery anew?
One Word: Organize!