Slavery is alive and well

Published 3:27 pm Thursday, February 4, 2016


I read the Friday, Dec. 25, issue of The Herald (“Shannon, Hurt celebrate 13th Amendment”) and had to shake my head at how so many Americans actually think the 13th Amendment abolished slavery.

The 13th Amendment only prohibits private citizens from owning slaves. The governments can own as many as they want, and they currently own about 2.3 million of them nationwide — 38,000 in Virginia.

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Of course they do not call them slaves — they call them prisoners. In the article, Obama said, “It is wrong in every sense. Stealing men, women, and children from their homelands [communities]. Tearing husband from wife, parent from child; stripped [some of us every day] and sold to the highest bidder [prison telephone and commissary companies and private prison], shackled in chains [I see it every day] and bloodied by the whip [shotguns and pepper spray now].”

This is exactly what the criminal justice industry is doing to our families and communities every day. There are better and cheaper ways of dealing with society’s problems than resorting to modern day slavery, but the politicians are first going to have to let go of the anger, hate and violence in their hearts. I am not hopeful.

Eric Grueninger