In 1865, three-quarters of these United States ratified the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery once and for all…
… with a notable exception: “except as a punishment for crime.”
The exception was used to literally re-enslave Black men. Former Confederate states arrested them on trumped-up charges and then leased out their forced labor on the plantations of former slaveholders.
There’s a straight line from convict leasing under the 13th Amendment in the 19th century to today’s mass incarceration. Ever since slavery was outlawed, the criminal justice system has disproportionately incarcerated Black Americans — and forced them to work for other peoples’ profits.
If we’re serious about taking on systemic racism, it’s time for a Constitutional Amendment to end this racist legacy of slavery.
Sign the petition and demand Congress and the states pass a Constitutional amendment to ban slave labor in America.
Read an sign the petition here.