Friday, May 25, 2012

Excerpt from Angela Davis' "History Is a Weapon - Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex"


Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex


by Angela Davis


Imprisonment has become the response of first resort to far too many of the social problems that burden people who are ensconced in poverty. These problems often are veiled by being conveniently grouped together under the category "crime" and by the automatic attribution of criminal behavior to people of color. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages. 

Prisons thus perform a feat of magic. Or rather the people who continually vote in new prison bonds and tacitly assent to a proliferating network of prisons and jails have been tricked into believing in the magic of imprisonment. But prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings. And the practice of disappearing vast numbers of people from poor, immigrant, and racially marginalized communities has literally become big business. 

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Mary Neal's Google Profile - http://www.google.com/profiles/MaryLovesJustice - Follow me at Twitter @koffietime - http://twitter.com/koffietime - Current, urgent justice issues from a laywoman's viewpoint at my primary blog http://FreeSpeakBlog.blogspot.com (the name is a joke, believe me).  See also http://MaryLovesJustice.blogspot.com and Mary Neal at HubPages. Recommended articles - http://topsy.com/site/freespeakblog.blogspot.com - Address:  MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com (I am censored, but some emails reach my box)

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