Did you see rapper Kanye West's meeting with Trump at the White House? This news story is hard to miss - cable TV talking heads can't stop playing clips of his wild rant performed in front of news cameras and the President.
The Liberal media has enjoyed attacking Kanye West for his political stance - more specifically, for criticizing the 13th amendment. The 13th Amendment is the part of our Constitution that addresses slavery. It's supposed to abolish the heinous crime of forced labor, but that's not really what it does (and Kanye understands this, even if he lacks the ability to explain himself clearly). Kanye wants us to change or get rid of the 13th Amendment, and the liberal media has vilified him for his stance, but he's actually 100% right. You see, there's a clause in the 13th Amendment that actually ALLOWS SLAVERY. The Left has known this for years - USA Today even published an op-ed about it in 2014 (when Obama was still POTUS) and liberals thought it was a genius point.
Ratified at the end of the Civil War, the amendment abolished slavery, with one critical exception: Slavery and involuntary servitude actually remain lawful "as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." In other words, according to this so-called punishment clause, if you get pulled over with the wrong controlled substance in your trunk, there's nothing in the 13th Amendment to ensure you can't be considered a slave of the state.
The punishment clause was taken directly from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and reflected the belief of the time that hard work was essential to prisoners' moral rehabilitation. But the language was also ambiguous enough to be grossly abused. Soon, the clause was being used to reinstitute slavery under another guise.
That 2014 USA Today op-ed was celebrated by liberal Democrats after it was published. Today those same Democrats are mocking Kanye West for attempting to make the same points.
Here's a little history lesson for you, folks. The Civil War ended in 1865. A year later, in 1866, a black man was arrested for theft in Maryland. A local newspaper published an advert stating that the man was available for purchase (as a slave) because he had committed a crime & needed to be punished. His punishment was slavery. How could this be? Slavery was abolished by the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. However, slaves in Maryland were emancipated in a separate action when the State of Maryland voted on a new Constitution (state level) in 1864. So how could a local newspaper advertise the sale of a slave? Simply put: the punishment clause in the 13th amendment allowed them to do so, of course.
Frederick Douglas, a famous American abolitionist, criticized the "convict lease system", a policy that exploited the punishment clause of the 13th amendment. Douglas believed a large number of black men were placed behind bars because the system was trying to exploit them. Douglas disliked how convicts were leased out to railway and mining companies or large plantations. The companies essentially purchased the convicts from the state and exploited them for cheap labor.
Fortunately the 20th century brought us a handful of Supreme Court rulings that somewhat sought to stop these activities from taking place, but a lot of what Douglass was critical about still rings true today. Penal labor, a form of slavery or involuntary servitude, is explicitly allowed by the 13th Amendment of the Constitution. Increases in prison labor participation began in 1979 with the formation of the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program. Men and women of all creeds and colors have been negatively affected by this policy, but none of them as much as much as African-American men.
It's indisputable that our prison system is racially imbalanced. This is happening for a number of reasons - both cultural and systemic. Policies created through President Lyndon B Johnson's war on poverty have increased the percentage of single-parent African-American households to an alarming rate while simultaneously ensuring people in black neighborhoods remain in poverty. The lack of a male role models and monetary funds to support low-income black families is a fast track to a life of crime for young black men. The combination of a poverty stricken upbringing (passed from generation to generation), biased or misguided laws (the war on drugs, for example), the welfare system and bad personal decisions have all contributed to keeping black men behind bars. Ending this nightmare won't happen overnight, but amending the 13th Amendment is a nice start.
If you're looking for someone to blame, look no farther than the Democrats. They created the Ku Klux Klan, defended slavery for decades and, now in the 21st century, continue to support policies that keep black people poor and exploitable. This isn't a problem that affects only black people, but they're certainly the biggest part of it.
Meanwhile, the liberal media continues to mock and criticize Kanye West. They refuse to acknowledge their own shortcomings and engage in even a moderate amount of research to figure out why the 13th Amendment might be problematic.
Kanye is crazy. That's not my opinion - he actually admits it. Hell, his involvement with that clan of harpies (the Kardashians) proves it! Their fame began with a sex tape and ended with a sex change. But he's still not wrong when it comes to the 13th Amendment and this brings up an interesting question--do you have to be crazy to be a free thinker in the black community?
Is Kanye the most articulate spokesperson for this cause? No, but that doesn't mean he's wrong.
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump meets with rapper Kanye West in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, October 11, 2018. (Photo by SEBASTIAN SMITH / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEBASTIAN SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)