"When I was in prison I worked 3 shifts a day, 5 days a week, starting at 5 AM and ending at 8 PM. I was paid $5.25 a month. Pay for the inmates who facilitate UNICOR workers (by making their food, washing their laundry, etc,) is even lower than the wages cited in the above graphics. The prison industry is also a slave industry, and it isn’t just corporations who benefit. All the furniture you see in federal buildings, post offices, DMVs, etc, where do you think it comes from? Prison labor. I think a lot of people know about states that use prison labor for license plates, but fewer people know that the plaques on doors at city halls, and sometimes the doors themselves, come from prison labor. The incarcerated are a hyper-exploited class unto themselves, and almost no one seems to be helping them to organize."
Given the fact that the majority of prisoners are poor people and/or people of color, and that the majority of prisoners are convicted of non-violent crimes such as drug use/sales and/or theft, etc., this is a crime against humanity.
Moreover, the for-profit private prison industry is one of the fastest growing in America. That means that already-super-rich investors and owners make millions of dollars off of super-exploited slave labor in the prisons. This is an outrage. It is the intersection of racism, capitalism, and repression and it is a blight on the U.S. and the human species.
"When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day, when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking–the first in his life. She told him that he would have to go outside himself and find a switch for her to hit him with.
The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, “Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.”
All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone.
And the mother took the boy into her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because if violence begins in the nursery one can raise children into violence.”"
— Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking, 1978 Peace Prize Acceptance Speech (via withoutawarning)
"Is that what writing amounts to? The voice your ghost would have, if it had a voice?"
— Margaret Atwood, MaddAddam (via lazersilberstein)
"And it has been
of a year.
I have worn
under my sleeves,
on my thighs,
running down my cheeks.
This is what
looks like, my dear."
"The heat inside the human body
grows, it does not know where to throw itself—for a while it knots
into will, heavy, burning, sweet, then into generosity, that longs
to take on the burdens of others, and then into mad love."
"When a trans woman dies you can read about it in the newspaper, where you see her described as a man instead of the woman she died for."