13th

Brilliant and haunting Netflix documentary on the mass incarceration of black people in the USA since decades, privatization of the prison system, the nexus between corporations and law makers, the corruption in the system, and the deliberate otherisation of black people that has been going on for ages and ages.

It is both haunting and disturbing at the same time, the extent to which racism existed in America and still exists today and the systematic manner in which black and Hispanic and Latino people are put down in their society. When slavery ended with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution (hence the name 13th), it was mandated that nobody be kept as a slave or in detention unless he or she has committed a crime.

And that’s where the industrious police, of course backed up by the administration, started putting thousands and thousands of people of colour in jails for pretty offences which should have been thrown out at the first instance by the magistrate. Then they had this plea bargain system, where you could accept the crime and be put away for a shorter time or go trial and be put away for something like 30 years.

US has this CCA which is a private prison industrial complex with its own set of bureacracy and rules and rules and sponsors and multi million dollar contracts for everything from prison uniforms, to food to health services to sophisticated surveillance system. All to keep more people inside jails.

Very scary and it seems that everybody has just bought into this system until the Black Lives Matter which is now supposedly making a huge difference. India also has got its own racism (multi racism in fact) where people of one or two religion and people of lower caste are frowned up, beaten, killed, put into jail, denied facilities, and everything that blacks and coloured people undergo in the US.

Brilliant documentary this one – it is in the form of comments from important people interspersed with images and videos from the past.

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