High Country News
Adelanto, a town of 32,000, is home to three prisons. This was not a coincidence. With a history of agriculture, excessive water use, the Great Depression, cheap vacant land filled with a military base which closed in the 1990s, Adelanto turned to prisons. During the 1980s, under increasingly stringent drug laws and harsh sentencing policies, demand for new prisons had grown. So had the belief that prisons could nourish economic development in rural communities.
The star of the new Netflix series was reimagined as a modern black champion. The show's creative team looked to current events to ground Cage in reality from a specifically African American perspective. They wanted the show to fulfill “comic-book geek sensibilities” while also digging into subjects such as police brutality, the gentrification of Harlem (where the show takes place), and even the privatization of prisons.
Several of the officials charged with regulating Texas’s prison labor program, wherein thousands of workers behind bars are compelled to produce goods and provide services for free, are connected to some of the richest and most powerful institutions and people in the state.
In the rush to find targets and mobilize outrage, assigning too much culpability to private prisons runs the risk of ignoring bigger forces. Private prison operators are bit players in a broader drama directed by state actors. Elected officials, "tough on crime" advocates and corporate interests have used mass incarceration to advance a political agenda of criminalizing the poor and dismantliing the social safety net of the working class.
Tidbits - July 2, 2015 - Condition of Black Life - Our Real Problem with Race; Take Down Your Flag; Black Churches Being Burned; Greek Referendum; Columbia Divests From Prisons; more...
Reader Comments: The Condition of Black Life...Our Real Problem with Race; Take Down Your Flag 140+ artists post videos; Black Churches Being Burned; Greek Referendum; Columbia Divests From Prisons; Naomi Oreskes and Changing Climate; World War II Chemical Experiments Tested Troops By Race; Iran Nuclear Deal; About George Soros and the Ukraine...More Comments; Donate to Rebuild the Churches Fund; Announcement - Art Exhibit of Boycott Posters - Tacoma - July 2-16
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Tidbits - April 16, 2015 - Chicago election; Police Killings; Prisons; Jewish Anti-Zionism; Charter Schools; Cuba; Culture...more
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