The New ‘Black Codes’
by Chris Hedges
Posted January 8, 2020
The police forces in impoverished urban communities, equipped with military-grade weapons and empowered to harass and kill largely at will, along with mass incarceration, are the principal tools for the social control of the poor. There is little pretense of justice and even less of protection and safety. The corporate state and our oligarchic rulers fear a backlash from those they abandoned in deindustrialized enclaves across the country, what Malcolm X called our “internal colonies.” The daily brutality and terror keep the poor, especially poor people of color, in bondage. On average, more than 1,100 people, or one every eight hours, almost all unarmed, are killed every year by police in the United States. These killings are not accidents. They are not the results of a failed system. The system works exactly as it is designed to work. And until the system of corporate power is destroyed, nothing will change for the poor, or the rest of Americans.
Our national conversation on race and crime, which refuses to confront the economic, social and political systems of exploitation and white supremacy, has been a whitewash. The vast pools of the unemployed and underemployed, especially among people of color, are part of the design of predatory corporate capitalism. And so are the institutions, especially the police, the courts, the jails and the prisons, tasked with maintaining social control of those the system has cast aside. More…