Saturday, March 31, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the 21st Century

Book Review, by Kiilu Nyasha
March 19, 2012

Dorothy Roberts’ new book, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the 21st Century is a must read for all human beings desiring to witness the beginning of the end of racism.
“We have long had scientific confirmation that race is a political and not a biological category. The recreation of biological race in genomic science today, like its invention by scientists in past centuries, results from an ideological commitment to a false view of humanity,” writes Roberts.

In 2000, The Human Genome Project mapped the entire human genetic code, proving that race could not be identified in our genes, that we are not naturally divided into genetically identifiable racial groups, that there is one human race.

Roberts explains and elucidates race as a political division, not a biological one. And details how the new science and technology of racial genetics is threatening “to steer America on a course of social inhumanity that already has begun to dominate politics in this century. Government policies that have drastically slashed social services…accompanied by particularly brutal forms of regulation of [so-called] racial minorities: mass imprisonment at rates far exceeding any other place on Earth or any time in the history of the free world; roundup and deportation of undocumented immigrants, often tearing families apart; abuse of children held in juvenile detention centers or locked up in adult prisons, some for the rest of their lives;…torture in police stations and prison cells; and rampant medical neglect that kills.”

U.S. PRISONS: SLAVERY ON THE NEW PLANTATION (update March 2012 and retitled May 7,,2014) By Kiilu Nyasha

"Slavery 400 years ago, slavery today. It's the same, but with a new name. They're practicing slavery under color of law." (Ruchell Cinque Magee)

The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution retained the right to enslave within the confines of prison.  “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Dec. 6, 1865.

Even before the abolition of chattel slavery, America's history of prison labor had already begun in New York's State Prison at Auburn soon after it opened in 1817. Auburn became the first prison that contracted with a private business to operate a factory within its walls. Later, in the post Civil War period, the "contract and lease" system proliferated, allowing private companies to employ prisoners and sell their products for profit. 
Today, such prisons are referred to as “Factories with Fences.” (/ 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Slave Farms in the 21st Century: Reflections on the Socio-economic and School Pipeline to Prison

In the age of globalization, Blacks, Immigrants, and resisters are targeted for elimination and enslavement by the power brokers, fearful of losing their wealth, privilege, and whiteness. Central to this process is the school to prison pipeline, high unemployment, homelessness, and the so-called war on drugs that supply the prison system with its oppressed population. In this presentation, we explore some of the facts that characterize this system—no less insidious than past forms of slavery—and some of the narratives, policies and practices that work in the interest of the dominant corporate plutocracy.

To accompany this new video of Kiilu addressing the University of Wisconsin, she has released an updated version of her 2006 essay entitled "Slavery On The New Plantation" (Read the full article here), where Kiilu writes:

Chattel slavery was ended following prolonged guerrilla warfare between the slaves and the slave-owners and their political allies. Referred to as the “Underground Railroad,” it was led by the revolutionary General Harriet Tubman with support from her alliances with abolitionists, Black and White. It only makes sense that this new form of slavery must produce prison abolitionists.

As George Jackson noted in a KPFA interview with Karen Wald (Spring 1971), "I'm saying that it's impossible, impossible, to concentration-camp resisters....We have to prove that this thing won't work here. And the only way to prove it is resistance...and then that resistance has to be supported, of course, from the street....We can fight, but the results are...not conducive to proving our point...that this thing won't work on us. From inside, we fight and we die....the point is -- in the new face of war -- to fight and win."

Power to the people.