*The more I thought of what Kanye was saying, the more sympathetic I became with his stance. Having awaken to an ideal that love cures all, and instituting it as a self Constitution in an effort to fill (his) the void disconnecting (him from) Humanity, as he sees it, he looked at what has become of the most divisive issues of the day, crime and punishment: prison reform, seen its origins and thought to change it. For some they feel it naive. “Why would you want to get rid of the 13th amendment; do you want to be a slave?” Certainly not. However, the constitution doesn’t forbid slavery. Infact, it clarified its application.
: Article xiii, section 1. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, ‘except’ as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
Webster defines “abolish” : v.t. to do away with; put an end to; annual; make void: to abolish slavery… to destroy, efface, put an end to; change to conjugation perh.
—- Syn. (check these:) ….annihilate, obliterate, extinguish; exterminate, extirpate, eliminate”. Does that sound like there is room for an “except”?
Now, all sorts of arguments can be made about what is or isn’t slavery insofar as it relates to the lives of those imprisoned. I’ll leave that up to those who care to take on the argument. I’m simply presenting the information, and I’ll cop to characterising it a bit. However, as the reader, you do with it what you like.
I’ll conclude with this:
When you make exception, you make room for acceptance. Kanye is simply challenging us to seek moral exceptionalism over exception(s) that breeds acceptance of what has become debilitating norms like imprisonment, socially, societally or physically, over reform. It won’t be easy work, but then neither was the building of America and here were are; for better or worst. Those not willing to take up that challenge should question their motivations for why. And me… I’m challenging us to ask, “why?” x3 , with an empathic ear, before concluding we have the correct answer. I’m certain Kanye doesn’t feel he has the answer. Yet, he is resolute that imprisonment, disenfranchisement and economic subjugation, is not the answer. To that I’m in agreement.
: “…We are wedded to one another, it may be to our death, it may be to our living. We cannot escape one another, however hard we try. … we shall take with us what is in our hearts, and if it be not pure, we shall slaughter one another where’er we meet. …
This is the human condition— we cannot flee from one another. For good, or ill, we await ourselves behind every door, down every street, at the end of every passageway. We try to remain apart: we fail. We try to hide: we are exposed. Behind every issue here, behind the myriad quarrels that make up the angry world, we await, always and forever, our own discovery. And nothing makes us better than we are.”
— Hal Fry’s Book, by Allen Drury
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Categories: Melvin Monroe