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13th: How American Constitution Helped to Abolish Slavery

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The film, 13th was basically referred to the 13th amendment. The film describes the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution was meant to abolish slavery unless it was a punishment for crime. The film mainly focuses on the racial criminalization and how the America has targeted the black minorities in crime because the America want to uphold its predominantly-white authority. As I was watching the film, the one thing that came repeatedly was how the black community were portrayed as criminals. There were multiple examples from the film that shows blacks were shown as criminals. In beginning of the film, there is an example, when the documentary states, “They would say the Negros is out of control, that there threat to white women (1:36:13). There is a great piece of evidence that clearly shows how the white women see African males. The video states “And every image you see of a black person is a demeaned, animal like-image. ( 1:35) There is a famous scene the film shows, where a women throws herself off a cliff rather than being raped by a black male criminal. (1:34).

The black people are a seen as a threat to white women

The film also shows more evidence that black people are targeted more as criminals and have chance of being attacked. Angela Davis describes in the film how here father had to keep guns at home all the time because they knew they could be attacked anytime because she was black. Throughout the film, the main message that comes up over and over is that Africans are criminals.

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The film also focuses on mass incarceration. The video shows how the number of prisoners are dramatically increasing as years go on. The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world (1:39). In 1972 the prison population was 300,000. Today we have a prison population of 2.3 million. The video states these mass incarcerations are due to excessive punishment for non-violent crimes. The film states “Hundreds of thousand of people were sent to jails and prisons for simple possession of marijuana, for low level offenses. The film argues that this incarnation needs to be changed. The film talks about GPS systems, home systems, and bracelets should be used for the prisoners. So that way we won’t have the prison overcrowding. According to my research these mass incarcerations has many harmful consequences. The long amounts of sentences are also leading caused of incarceration. According to the video the three strike plays a big role in this. “When you commit a third violent crime, you will be put away and put away for good. (1:03). According to the film, the California prisoner has to release prisoners for the incoming three strike prisoners. There isn’t enough room in prisoner because they are becoming extremely full.

After reviewing the film and looking at the main ideas presented. I would say this Film is on the perceptive of African Americans. How they are just known as criminals. Kalief Brown, an African had to go to jail for 3 years for a crime he did not commit. They are also more attacked. In the video, the head of the black panthers was killed by the police and the police shot his entre house up and shot his pregnant wife as well.

I found many information in the film that was relatable to the content found in our course. One thing that was relatable to the course was Resocialization: discarding former behavior patterns and accepting new ones during transitions in one’s life. As we had covered the resocialization chapter in our course, I found reliable information in the films as well. Starting off with Xoana, the Xoana video we watched in our lecture was about how her parents abanonded her and she started living with dogs and started walk and started acting like the dogs. She even started to bark. When Kalied was in prison, for a crime he didn’t commit. He started to to get mental health issues. He started to get into fights, and later killed himself. The example of Kalied shows us how prisoners are dehumanized by the prison. Dolares Canales describes her sons experience at the Jail. She tells how these jails don’t have any windows, and she said she didn’t even know this design even existed in the country. She also talks about her son didn’t have any human contact for the past years, besides being handcuffed by the officer. Canales also talks about the prisoners start to lose sensory deprivation as they are in the Jail. This applies to resocialization because behaviors start to change when these human beings hit the prison.

Another thing that relates to the course is what we covered last week, single dominant stories. As I was watching the film, my brain kept taking me to the single dominant stories TED talk from last week. The African are seen as criminals all because of the single dominant storues. The video even gives great examples that shows the idea of single dominat stories. Baz Dreisinger, describes that these single dominate stories are from the Media. Dreisinger states “ full of these clichés basically present mostly black and brown folks who seem like animals in cages(1:12). She explains how these media influences effect the way the society thinks about blacks. She gives a great example of how the single dominant story works, “ someone can turn of the TV thinking its good thing for prison, otherwise those crazy people would be walking on my block.” (1:12).

Lastly, the Sociological perceptive, such as the companies involved in the prisons related the the information we learned. ALEC’s goal to privatize Probation and Parole, incarceration or the filling of immigration facilities, has helped give lots of money to these private companies. Holding immigrants or prisoners hostage actually does not help these people, but it does help the companies. Surveillance and prison food service corporations make more profit as the incarceration rate rises. If fact, there are now high costs just for a prisoner to talk to family by phone. It is clear that private companies who make a profit off of punishment have financial goals rather than goals to help with the incarceration system. Today, with President Trump’s tougher immigration orders, private businesses expect to see a large pay raise. Functionalism was showed a lot in the film. There are many companies working for the prison and corporations operating prisoner are profiting from punishment. The video states “there are a bunch of people out there desperately trying to make sure that the prison population does not drop by one person, because their economic model needs that” (34:40). The film shows that companies are profiting from these mass incarcetions. SECURUS technologies, which provide calls for prisoner to their families 114 million profit. The companies and prisoner are functioning together. Without these prions, the companies would not be having employment.

After reviewing the film, I think the filmmakers presented the topic in a manner that is fair to all sides. They didn’t just support the Americans and were in favor of them. They provided many historical and background events that shows how terribly the African Americans were looked upon. This was my first time looking at a criminal justice system film. I was very surprised by the large number of incarcerations we have. I was never aware of these high numbers. The idea of how African Amerian are seen as ciemnals has been overlookes for so long becuase of the events that are happening. In the video, there were many places were the African Americans were arrested for no reason and punished. These are all the cause of single dominant stories and are still continuing on.


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