By Jim Allen,Editor, NuVote Reach
Photo Credit: FourStory.org
The Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the 10 confederate states, it did not free any slaves in the Border States, nor did it abolish slavery. Because of this, President Abraham Lincoln and other supporters believed that an amendment to the Constitution was needed. Thus, the 13th Amendment was passed by Congress and later ratified by the States on December 6, 1865.
Look at the exact language of the 13th Amendment: “Neither SLAVERY nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
I guess my bold highlighting is leading the witness a bit, but the 13th Amendment does appear to allow for conditional slavery — that condition being “as a punishment for crime… [having] been duly convicted.”
The Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy yesterday (2/17/13) wrote: “Today, one in every 15 black men is incarcerated — that’s a 500 percent increase since 1986. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there have been more than 250,000 black-on-black homicides since 1976. Our “school to prison pipeline” is so huge that it would make the Keystone XL pipeline look like a soda straw.”
Which begs the question, who’s to blame for the legal enslavement of black young men — President Obama? The “Man”?
Moreover, who is in a position to help break the cycle?
I would say, anyone who supports efforts to hand each child a book when that child is months old and ensures someone continues to read to and with that child, at least until they start kindergarten, is working toward a sure remedy. I’d say that would be a program worth funding.
Overly simplistic? Perhaps — but what are we doing, waiting for the criminal justice system (and drug possession laws) to change? Are we hoping the US prison-building boom will die of natural causes? Are we still clinging to President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” dream that we can “welfare” our way out of hundreds of years of cyclical ignorance and neglect that exists in certain pockets of America, both urban and rural.
This is not just a “black” problem either, the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice says nearly one in four of all prisoners worldwide is incarcerated in America.
According to the National Institute for Early Education Research: “The case for public investment in early education has been strengthened by evidence that preschool programs can boost school readiness in the short run and, in the long run, improve graduation rates, increase adult earnings, and lower crime rates.” Read it for yourself: (Reynolds, A.J., Temple, J.A., Robertson, D.L., & Mann, E.A. (2001). Long-term effects of an early childhood intervention on educational achievement and juvenile arrest: A 15-year follow-up of low-income children in public schools,” Journal of the American Medical Association 285:2339-2346)
If an average child can’t effectively compete in the primary publicly funded arena provided for his or her advancement in America, what is the likely outcome of that child’s life? Having worked closely with Nobel-prize-winning and other noted scientists, as a director, at the American Institute of Physics, I can assure you the answer is not of rocket science, because I would be stumped.
An educable child and engaged parent, guardian or mentor, can also mitigate marginal teaching, where it might exist. A child should be reading or reading ready, before they even meet an elementary school teacher for the first time. Teachers should be held to high standards, but it’s that first teacher, the parent or guardian, who often sets the course for a child’s educational outcome.
Suppose that parent or guardian is illiterate or marginally literate? Sequestration will gut the Head Start program, perhaps permanently, and we cannot afford that lapse in leadership.
Mr. Courland Milloy’s Column can be read at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/if-president-obama-addressed-black-america-would-he-cite-a-travesty/2013/02/17/4ad8bfca-790e-11e2-9a75-dab0201670da_story.html