“The NSBA along with talkshow host Montel Williams have partnered with New Regency, Penguin Books and the filmmakers to distribute copies of the film, the eponymous book and study guide. The initiative is modeled on one Williams previously launched to distribute the Civil War film “Glory” to public high schools, an effort that ultimately led to “The Montel Williams Show.”
While Montel Williams undoubtedly means well, any film, book or curriculum that teaches that slavery has been abolished in the United States is harmful and amounts to nothing but pro-United States propaganda promoting one of its greatest lies to the world. While the movie “12 Years A Slave” is based on one man’s real life struggle against an inhuman barbaric practice, it is just one chapter in America’s book on slavery and the final chapter has yet to be written.
While director Steve McQueen has talked about how slavery still exists, he talks about it as if slavery is only happening in other parts of the world when in fact slavery was never abolished in the United States. Yes, slavery is occurring in other parts of the world but let us not ignore the fact that it is occurring in the United States. There are no shortages of Solomon Northups in American today who have been kidnapped by racist justice system and their bodies treated as commodities to be traded on for profit.
Any person or institution that promotes that slavery was abolished and/or does not discuss it in its 21st Century form, is either ignorant of the facts and therefore not qualified to teach on the subject or they are deliberately lying in order to protect the lucrative human trafficking that occurs through out the United States every day.
It is an undeniable fact that the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution makes an exception as to when a person can be enslaved and that exception is punishment for crime. Any person who can properly comprehend the English language cannot factually say that slavery has been abolished when the US Constitution does not end the practice but transforms it to a legal punishment for crime. Immediately following the passage of the 13th Amendment, enslaver states were allowed to set up what was called the convict leasing program and then go about passing laws that were used to target the former victims of enslavement to put them right back on the plantation or use their labor in state run mines and other industries.
Today, slave ships like “Jesus” may not be docking on the shores of the United States to offload its human cargo, but make no mistake that human trafficking by private corporations is still occurring. If you don’t believe it then take a look at Wall Street traded companies like The Geo Group and Corrections Corporation of America or listen to some of their earnings call where they brag about the billions they are making on legalized human trafficking. Today mass incarceration is a popular term being used to describe what is occurring to millions of non-white victims in America but it should be called what it is, enslavement.
All curriculums on slavery in the United States must be re-examined and where warranted, re-written, so not to further this grand lie that slavery in the United States was abolished in 1865. Perhaps curriculum needs to be written about modern slavery in the United States and the 149-year-old lie about its abolishment.