“How to Build- Things To Build On”
By: Spencer Butler
Amendment XIII (13) passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, Ratified December 6, 1865.
“Neither slavery no involuntary solitude, except as a punishment for crimes where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
As prisoners we fall under this amendment of the United States Constitution because and only because it benefits the Prison System and the capitalist political and governmental farce that exists in this country.
There are several other amendments that are not upheld because they might bring about benefits to us prisoners. A perfect example is Amendment 1:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO PEACEFULLY ASSEMBLE and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
This amendment does not say it pertains only to a certain or specific people, race, religion, or station in life… it says PEOPLE!!!
As prisoners if we attempt to assemble in any form or fashion we are further locked away in confinement and what few privileges we have are taken away.
As prisoners if we receive any form of publication, letter, etc. that mentions a peaceful assembly concerning the slavery the constitution places on us it is confiscated and/or denied without the option to appeal. (Petition the court for a redress of greivances.)
Why is it that the government can pick and choose which amendments are to be followed and which ones do not? It’s because absolute power corrupts absolutely and the government is controlled by money, power, and greed.
The Constitution is changed and manipulated on a daily basis. Sometimes it is changed for the better because certain needed changes are voted and FOUGHT for, so maybe we as prisoners need to stand up and fight for the changes we want and need rather than waiting for them to change on their own and then complaining when they don’t!
A house isn’t build because someone needs a place to live! It’s made by building a foundation first and continuing to build on that foundation, so why don’t we build a foundation of strength, unity, hope and motivation and build a house of change, purpose, integrity and honor?