If you are like most people in the world, you probably believe that the United States fought a civil war to end slavery. The problem with beliefs are they are not based on facts or evidence. The evidence suggests that the United States did not fight a civil war to end slavery but to keep the Union together as stated by President Abraham Lincoln who expressed on more than one occasion that he had no intention to end the institution of slavery in the South. However, the Confederate states did not believe Lincoln who was elected President by the abolitionist party of that day.
As the Union army was losing to the Confederate army, Lincoln finally relented and allowed free blacks and formerly enslaved men and women to join the Union army and it was only then that ending slavery became the official policy of Union. These brave souls fighting for the noblest of causes turned the tide of the war in the Union’s favor and it was not long before the Confederacy was put down.
However, for some unexplained reason, the Lincoln administration allowed former Confederate politicians to rejoin Congress and help write the 13th Amendment which allows for slavery as punishment for “crime” thereby allowing all the states to practice slavery through the criminal justice system. Laws known as Black Codes were passed by State legislatures which were used to criminalized the formerly enslaved and the free black people who helped to end the Confederacy.
While prison slavery isn’t just limited to corporate owned and privately owned prisons, private jails, prisons and detention centers have a long history in the U.S., as far back as 1852 when San Quentin was the first for-profit prison in the U.S. (it is currently state-owned). A more recent resurgence in private prisons came in the wake of wide-spread privatization that took place during the 1980s during the Reagan administration . Private prisons did take a big hit in the last few months of the Obama administration but because President Obama waited too long to announce the federal government was phasing out its contracts with private prisons, the private prison industry was allowed to rebound and have seen their stock rise with the election of President Donald J. Trump.
While Afro descendant people in the United States make up the largest percentage of modern slaves and victims of human trafficking, they are no longer the only group being enslaved on prison plantations. Hispanics, Hawaiians, Native Americans, Asians, Samoans, Arabs and Whites are also counted among the new slaves of the day.
The simple answer to why is slavery and human trafficking still legal in the USA, is that slavery is still profitable and remains a pillar of the American economy. On August 19,2017, a march for the human rights of prisoners will take place in Washington, DC that will seek to enlighten the world to the fact that slavery was never abolished in 1865 and there are more people enslaved on prison plantations than those enslaved at any given time prior to 1865. Find out how you can support the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March.