From Power to Freedom – Stop Mass Incarceration – 13th Amendment

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From Power to Freedom – Stop Mass Incarceration – 13th Amendment

From Power to Freedom

There is a US based organization, The American Leadership Forum—the ALF—whose mission it is to give power to truth.

freedom from incarcerationRecently its diverse membership watched a Netflix produced film entitled simply 13th. The documentary is about the incarceration of people of color, especially those who are African-Americans. The movie was important enough to have been nominated for an Academy Award recently.

Some of the more influential members of the ALF attended a showing of the film 13th as a group. When queried about their feelings, Chike C. Nwoffiah, one of the members admitted that, “We were different than we were when we arrived.”

Could a documentary be so powerful that it could change peoples’ thinking about race and about how the various races living in America actually could get along and live in a marked level of harmony?

Could the whimpers and moans heard, the whispers and sickening pants heard during the showing of the film possibly indicate a real and permanent change of thinking?

The title of the movie brings our attention to the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution which was perhaps an effort to end compulsory bondage, slavery, oppression and servitude by white masters who from the beginning of the American Republic have practiced every kind of human harshness on darker skinned people for their economic and social benefit.

The movie concentrates on the clause of the 13th Amendment that says that slavery must end “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” Tragically most white Americans have no idea that this clause exists and is being used now to incarcerate 25% of African-American males, making the practice not only inhumane and unjust but also a form of racially inflicted genocide.

In short, the film emphasizes the fact that racism has never been quiet in America but continues its rampage into the present day with the fury and hostility of a gigantic hurricane blowing with gale strength of a terrible storm bent on destroying the very roots of the American nation.  Additionally, it is extremely hurtful and damaging to our African-American brothers and sisters.

Racism is a lesion in the American psyche that runs so deep that it will take generations for the wounds to heal, both for African-Americans and white skinned people who have perpetrated and executed a kind of behavior that is nothing short of genocide.

It is literally a form of mass murder which too many white American people silently sanction. Not only is it against the law of the land, the Constitution, but it is also hidden and a great many white people have no idea it is going on.

The immense tragedy going on before our eyes can be corrected if enough white people with heart, goodwill and conscience take a more salubrious approach to the darker skinned people among us, who over several hundred years have contributed so much to the greatness of the American nation and its people.

freedom from incarcerationYet there is still a question? What are we going to do about it? The question is both for the individual and the collective. Because we are both indisputable inheritors progenitors not only of the problem itself, but we are the solution to the problem.

If you are sufficiently conscious to see the magnitude and seriousness of the race problem in America, what action will you take–what choice will you make–to change the problem caused by the white majority, to an outcome where this blight on American history and the American nation will be eradicated?

One possible thing is to let yourself be inspired by the current racial crisis and take some kind of positive action. Take a moment and look up the American Leadership Forum—the ALF—and if you are so moved, join the organization.

Get to know global leaders who might be in a position to help you manifest an idea you have that could change the current outrage and the current American mindset from the blind acceptance of injustice, inequality, and incarceration to a movement for the benefit all the people in America—a movement of the power of goodwill, kindness and compassion for all.

This is where power is at its best!

* * *

Los Gatos Magazine, Eric Johnson, “Truth to Power”, pp. 34—36, March-April, 2017.

© All rights reserved 2017 Rebecca Field

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