By Deontae Burse
Here at UW-Superior that topic was addressed by Meghan Krausch, a University of Wisconsin-Superior assistant sociology professor, and two other speakers at a recent Save the Kids campus event. The Save the Kids is a community based group which put on the event in partnership with the UWS Sociology Anthropology Club on campus. The first speaker was a man named Lucas Dietsche, an ex-prisoner affiliated with Lake Superior Ex-Prisoners Organizing and Save the Kids. The second was Patricia Maddox, who has a Ph.D. and teaches on campus in the Criminal Justice program.
At the UWS Save the Kids event, they played the movie, 13th professor Meghan Krausch explained why they played this film, “We thought it was important to show the documentary 13th in our local community in order to facilitate a conversation about race, mass incarceration, and social justice not just in the U.S. but here in Superior as well since we are a group that is actively working on these issues every day and want to engage our neighbors and friends in understanding how these issues are interconnected.”
13th Amendment is neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. And this documentary had brought to light things like the difference from black and white crime and the time that they were handed, and also the drug war that started and the big thing that was showcased in the movie was the 3 strike rule that I believe was a big impact that learned about and thought was a crazy thing. The biggest thing that I personally got from this, and made you really think hard was when they said blacks were showed as animals to the world back then and they called black man super predators and then talked about how now we are bringing this kind of thing back to life, because when you turn on the TV a lot of times you don’t see the black man showed as a good thing and the bad things are always brought up and not the good things that he has done. Next thing I felt strongly about was the thought that Henry Gates said, “Black people got longer times for crimes, then when white person does the same that it was a slap on the hand for them” and for me that made me think because they showed for 1 out of 17 men there, only one white man to be locked up. Something that I learned from the law, there are black people still doing lifetime sentences from 1982 for small crimes and first crimes but still till this day because of the 3 strike rule that was showed from this event, where no matter what you did the strikes 3 they put you away for life. This was given to a lot of black man. One of the biggest eye opening things from this documentary is the Florida law the defend your self-law that left a black teen kid dead and a man out of jail time and that was the Trayvon Martin, and from the movie it showed the reason that we walk away because he said that he felt like his life was in danger even though he was in the wrong, that law let him walk away.
I thought this was a good campus event to go to learn more and to open your eyes up because a lot of things that this event brought to me seems to be coming back and one good thing someone said is that the segregation and it seem to be happening and we need to realize that we have to stay together or it can turn to a war.