Sunday, July 8, 2012

Your Jobs Went to Prison with 2.3m Americans

"Good Enuff" is one of my 21st century slave songs, first published in MaryLovesJustice blog in April 2011. Most ex-offenders are not perceived as being "good enough" to work for the government or major corporations until they are back in prison. A million inmates work up to 72 hours a week on jobs that were removed from "free" workers. People who champion "tough on crime" bills and candidates do not seem to recognize that prison labor projects compete for jobs that are removed from the private sector. Prisons actually advertise for companies to use inmate labor rather than companies that pay minimum wage and union scale wages. Prison slavery is a thriving business, and inmates who refuse to work are punished. Thousands of Georgia inmates staged a labor strike in December 2010 to protest human rights abuses. Their nonviolent protest was met with brutality. Thirty-seven inmates perceived to be organizers of the Georgia labor strike are still "missing," and probably being held in solitary confinement. See the poem "Good Enuff" below. 


GOOD ENUFF

I work for the U.S. Government
Worked five years for the state
Now I make military uniforms
Sho miss my good friend, Jake

His idea sounded real fine to me
Worker strike for human rights
Most of us agreed to stay in our cells
Got real cold in there at night

They turned off the heat ya know
And no food came at all
Guards said “Freeze Nigga or go to work!
Oughta hang you by yo balls”

But all of us stuck together
Thousands of black men, Latinos and whites
Put aside all our rivalry
Gonna make ‘em treat us right

We expected opposition
But nothin’ like what went down
Guards went crazy beatin’ on folks
And Jake, he can’t be found

I tried to get on with the government
Back before I started gettin’ high
They said there was a hiring freeze
And now I sho see why

I applied with the State, too
But didn’t nothin’ came of that
I guess I just wasn’t good enuff
‘Til they caught me with that crack

Finally got me a government job
Problem is, I don’t get no pay
A big company got my first five years
After laying off a thousand in one day

Our labor strike changed nothin’ ‘round here
Still can’t afford phone calls
Now they expect plenty mo black workers
Heard they outlawing menthol*

We had high hopes for the labor strike
But things didn’t turn out great
All day I work ‘til my back is sore
All night I worry ‘bout Jake
(Published 4/4/11 by Mary Neal - all rights reserved)  http://marylovesjustice.blogspot.com/2011/04/good-enuff-by-mary-neal.html


If you don't care about prisoners, consider this: YOUR JOBS WENT TO PRISON along with 2.3 million people http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/business/private-businesses-fight-federal-prisons-for-contracts.html?pagewanted=all . Roughly one million prison laborers work in customer service, manufacturing, and perform many former union jobs. Private industries in America cannot compete with prisons and overseas corporations for providing cheap production costs. End mass incarceration (excerpt from "2012 Human Rights from Prisoners (relay) March" at http://freespeakblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/2012-human-rights-for-prisoners-march.html ). The Georgia prisoners' labor strike lasted from December 9 -15, 2010, but numerous inmates are now in week five of a dangerous hunger strike.
Inmates' labor strike of December 2010 was largely censored in mainstream news although it was an Internet sensation. Therefore, a day before the strike started, eleven hundred of my tweets for human rights for prisoners were unpublished at Twitter. They were reinstated months later, after people stopped browsing online as much for "human rights for prisoners." I am America's most censored writer to continue the cover-up re the secret arrest and murder of my mentally, physically disabled brother and my family's victimization for daring to ask the USDOJ for records and accountability for his death. Inmate abuse is rampant in America, just as slaves were abused or killed without censure for centuries. For instance, the Georgia inmates' nonviolent protest was met with violence and solitary confinement. Inmates count on 'free people' to care about their living conditions, just as God does (Hebrews 13:3). Georgia inmates on a hunger strike are close to death as I publish this report. See the video about the starving inmates at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTeSTRiKC6Q 
 

Some promising changes are underway regarding Georgia's high incarceration rate under Governor Deal:  "As reported in this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, headlined 'Governor to sign sweeping justice reform bill,' the 'way Georgia punishes thousands of nonviolent offenders will forever change when Gov. Nathan Deal signs landmark legislation Wednesday.  Here is more: Deal told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he will also sign an executive order continuing the work of a special council that studied the state's prison system and recommended sweeping changes to control unimpeded growth in prison spending. The reforms in House Bill 1176, to be signed at a ceremony at the Capitol, are projected to save taxpayers $264 million over the next five years....'"  http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2012/05/georgia-joins-ever-growing-red-states-enacting-sweeping-sentencing-reforms.html   

More information about the Georgia prisoners' hunger strike is available at this link to the "Black Agenda Report" http://blackagendareport.com/content/ga-prison-hunger-strike-enters-5th-week

 *The NAACP requested the U.S. Congress to outlaw menthol cigarettes, the kind that 85% of black smokers use. That would be a discriminatory law targeting blacks like powder v. crack cocaine, and it is disgusting that prison investors got the NAACP to suggest it.

Mary Neal, director of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill and the Human Rights for Prisoners March. Blessings!

2 comments:

Bob Sloan said...

In reference to your statement that the government is helping to divert private sector jobs to prisoners.
Here is a link to a "partnership" video made by the NCIA, BJA and DoJ used to recruit companies for prison labor...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUJHaELZQrc I uploaded after the DoJ and NCIA scrubbed all links to it.
Bob Sloan
Ex. Dir. VLTP, Inc.

Mary Neal said...

Thank you! I am aware that the government and private enterprises have united against people to use mass incarceration to re-establish slavery in America, and it is good to have the video to demonstrate the truth of that.

The video discusses the benefits to industry of having skilled labor who have no babysitting problems, etc., and the benefits to the prison laborers. But none of those laborers upon release are eligible for hire at the firms where they mastered their jobs behind bars. I wrote a poem about prison labor (slavery) during Georgia's prison labor strike in 2011:

GOOD ENUFF
I work for the U.S. Government
Worked five years for the state
Now I make military uniforms
Sho miss my good friend, Jake

His idea sounded real fine to me
Worker strike for human rights
Most of us agreed to stay in our cells
Got real cold in there at night

They turned off the heat ya know
And no food came at all
Guards said “Freeze Nigga or go to work!
Oughta hang you by yo balls”

But all of us stuck together
Thousands of black men, Latinos and whites
Put aside all our rivalry
Gonna make ‘em treat us right

We expected opposition
But nothin’ like what went down
Guards went crazy beatin’ on folks
And Jake, he can’t be found

I tried to get on with the government
Back before I started gettin’ high
They said there was a hiring freeze
And now I sho see why

I applied with the State, too
But didn’t nothin’ came of that
I guess I just wasn’t good enuff
‘Til they caught me with that crack

Finally got me a government job
Problem is, I don’t get no pay
A big company got my first five years
After laying off a thousand in one day

Our labor strike changed nothin’ ‘round here
Still can’t afford phone calls
Now they expect plenty mo black workers
Heard they outlawing menthol

We had high hopes for the labor strike
But things didn’t turn out great
All day I work ‘til my back is sore
All night I worry ‘bout Jake
(Published 4/4/11 by Mary Neal - all rights reserved)