Monday, November 21, 2011

ALEC in context...

This is the text of a flier, which can be viewed or printed, here.

What!? Politicians and private companies get together to create laws that benefit those companies? AZ Senator Russell Pearce and other legislators from around the U.S. meet in a group called ALEC*.
You never thought it would be so blatant as private prison companies** having a say in laws that can create more demand for their facilities and services.  How could people be criminalized so companies can profit from imprisoning them?!?! Not only is ALEC behind mandatory minimums and three strikes laws, they also had a hand in SB1070. When they see immigrants, they see dollar signs, and so they participate with other racists to paint immigrants as a problem--deserving of imprisonment.  This is nothing new...

The deviousness that occurs within ALEC is just an example of how people are criminalized for profit.  But it does not have to be as directly profitable as this. Colonization has of course provided settlers with land and other resources at the expense of those who are native.

Slave codes & convict leasing created crimes that made it easier to exploit the labor of people of color. Criminalizing unauthorized migration did the same thing, specifically affecting the Chinese and Mexicans for many decades.  More recently, the drug war also criminalizes people of color more disproportionately to maintain racist policies without them appearing race-based.

* American Legislative Exchange Council ** Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Geo Group are the largest private prison companies.

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