Monday, December 20, 2010

Rap Star in Kansas City Speaks Up for Convicted Felons

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

While taking a nap the other day, a thought came to mind: Why aren't more hip hop artists speaking out in favor of the Georgia prison strike? I mean, some rappers spend quite a bit of time writing about their experiences in prison, they have friends and family in prison, and prison even becomes a badge of honor for some. Instead of spending so much time promoting the pride of having gone to prison, why not promote the idea of advocating for the human rights of prison inmates? Not to say that everyone in prison is sweet and innocent, but in a nation that incarcerates more of its citizens than any country in the world (a disproportionate number of whom happen to be descendants of slaves), we've got a serious problem. It's not coincidental that the 13th Amendment allows for slavery to exist in the United States, as long as the person is a convicted felon. The historical profitability of forced servitude is why so many inmates are black.


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