As I watch 13th for the third time, tears roll down my face and the only thought that comes to my mind is, why.
Why have we made so many mistakes, why can’t we seem to let go of hate base on our differences and start to celebrate them, and why are so many people ok with making money off the backs of others who remain poor.
13th is a new documentary by director Ava DuVernay that asks just that.
This eye-opening and perfectly laid out masterpiece is centered around race division and racism in the United States criminal justice system. The film is named after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which was supposed to outlawed slavery. The 13th brings to the surface the fact that slavery is still perpetuated to this day, now, through mass incarceration.
2.3 million people in the US prison system , and 40 percent of the male population are black men.
The system that has been created around the American correction system is a giant entity and makes private corporations billions of dollars each year based on the facilities being full, so in 2016 the US corrections companies made big money. The more people that are locked up, the more money that can be made.
Now just based on sheer numbers we know that at least a moderate percentage of those incarcerated probably shouldn’t be. Could this be because of the all mighty dollar? I would say that a yes wouldn’t be too far-fetched.
25 percent of the world’s prisoners are in the US.
If this is the case, how did the system go from slavery out in the open, to slavery within the confines of “the law” thus causing mass incarceration? People nowadays still wonder why groups or movements like Black lives matters come around with such vigor, such passion, such determination. It’s because something major still needs to change, and the only way that can happen is if we all wake-up and stop pretending that racism is gone when in fact, it just exists in another form.
I have to admit as a white man I can only really learn by hearing more, by reading more, by asking more, and the more I learn the more I can help to support change and that goes for all of us. More often then not in life, change comes most easily when people know why it has to happen, and this film lays it all out perfectly. What’s wrong, why it happened, and what needs to change.
So with that, I want you all, yes everyone, to go home tonight, and watch 13th on Netflix.
I’ll give you the 90 minutes and you can join me again, I’ll be right here…
So now that we have started thinking about several issues that need to change, now, such as; racism, laws, and the “correctional” system, we can ALL take part in trying to move forward together.
Let start talking about what we can do now to make a change for the better, a change where people are actually treated as equals, a world, where we all get a chance at a great life regardless of our skin color.
Wouldn’t that be nice?