When the 13th amendment was ratified in 1865, its drafters left themselves a large and very exploitable loophole in the guise of an easily missed clause in its definition. That clause, which converts slavery from a legal business model to an equally legal method of punishment for punishment for criminals is the subject of the very thought-provoking Netflix documentary “13th”. Not only has this documentary learned me that how colored people are treated by authorities, but also that corporations earn money on inmates and therefor want as many as they can to be locked up at all times.
As some of the statistics states in the documentary, 1/3 black men are likely to receive life sentence when 1/17 white men receive the same punishment. As a black, you could get arrested on the basis that you were a suspect, or seemed suspicious.
The documentary shares the story of the 17-year-old boy, Trayvon Martin. He was walking from the store and on his way back home after purchasing a bag of skittles and an Arizona iced tea, when a man saw Martin with his hands in his pockets and thought he looked suspicious. This man then ended up calling the police and was told not to confront Martin, but he did anyways. Moments later, an altercation between the two individuals took place and the man fatally shot Martin in the chest. By Florida’s stand your ground law, the man was not charged with anything and could walk free because he claimed it was self-defense.
In conclusion, the documentary had a bigger impact on me then I would have thought. The film was very powerful and inspiring. It is a black insight to the American prison industry, and explores the impact of mass incarceration. It really made me understand both the history of slavery and how it still happens today in a very secretly way. After watching I had a lot of questions. I wonder if the stand your ground law is going to be done something with as it is very easily to get away with murder, and if it is only the blacks that get beaten up in jail or whites too. I also wonder if the prison conditions have changed or if they are planning on to change them.
I would recommend all adults of all ages to watch the film.