West: And here's the best of the response. Black church, prophetic, antiterrorist institutions, black music, prophetic, antiterrorist, anti-trauma. How do you straighten your back up? How do you tell the truth? How do you bear witness? How do you organize? How do you mobilize? How do you generate forms of resistance and resiliency in the face of some very, very ugly forms of terror and trauma and stigma?
Giroux: We celebrate violence in the name of security and violate every precept of human justice through an appeal to fear. This speaks clearly to a form of political repression and a toxic value system.
Without us the prisons, which are slave empires, cannot function. Prisons, at the same time, charge us a variety of fees, such as for our identification cards or wrist bracelets, and [impose] numerous fines, especially for possession of contraband. They charge us high phone and commissary prices. Prisons each year are taking larger and larger sums of money from the inmates and their families. The state gets from us millions of dollars in free labor and then imposes fees and fines. You have brothers that work in kitchens 12 to 15 hours a day and have done this for years and have never been paid.”
Kolhatkar: Such police responses to the burgeoning anti-brutality movement are part of a concerted campaign to maintain support for the status quo. That status quo has been in place since the end of slavery: Poor communities, especially communities of color, are expected to submit to the authority of the police state.
Hedges: “We have to shut down the system,” said Gale Muhammad, another speaker and the founder and CEO of Women Who Never Give Up. “All the companies that use prison labor have to be boycotted. And we can’t stop there. We have to boycott the vending machines in the prisons and the phone companies. We have to stop spending our money. Until we hit them in the pocket they won’t listen.”
Palast: It took six months for my investigations team, in coordination with Al-Jazeera America, to get its hands on the names of those tagged for the voting rights slaughter.
"Other Christians worked for abolition, so all this support for enslavement was not intrinsic to Christianity; it was a matter of a particular interpretation of Christianity. Slavery was widespread in the world, but Southern American plantation slavery was called the ‘peculiar institution’ for a reason– much slavery elsewhere was household slavery, as in most of the Muslim world. It was no fun to be someone’s property in a household either, but plantations (and this was true of Brazilian plantations as well) were particularly deadly, often killing the workers by age 40."
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