Reparations versus Incarceration
When I think of the word incarceration historically, why does my mind slip to the injustice applied to African Americans in this nation? Is it because our ancestors were unjustly incarcerated on the slave ships passing throughout the middle passage on the way to this nation? Is because our ancestors were incarcerated while waiting to be auctioned off at the slave marketplaces? Slave marketplaces that even existed in the capital city of this nation. Is it because our ancestors were incarcerated at the many plantations and mansions while a legalized inhumane slavery existed? Is it because after slavery supposedly ended the incarceration of our ancestors continued with peonage, sharecropping, vagrancy laws, and convict leasing? Is it because our ancestors were incarcerated for attempting to fulfill citizenship rights supposedly bestowed on them with constitutional guarantees? Is because our ancestors were incarcerated attempting to feed their families because employment opportunities were denied to them? Is because all levels of government municipal, federal and state created laws and policies that created an atmosphere that developed the era of mass incarceration of African American men and women? When I think of the word incarceration, why do I think a special meaning is specially dedicated to the application of unjust slavery to primarily African Americans in this nation? If this nation would’ve spent more time repairing rather than denying African Americans rights. Why do I believe the word incarceration wouldn’t mean policies directed to suppress African Americans? Because, I truly believe the dollars spent incarcerating African Americans should’ve been spent on repairing the ills of unjust incarcerations.