Congress Introduces Resolution To 13th Amendment To End Slavery
U.S. lawmakers have introduced a resolution to remove language from the constitution regarding the 13th Amendment which permits involuntary servitude.
Caroline Brehman / Getty Images
“[The 13th Amendment] continued the process of a white power class gravely mistreating Black Americans, creating generations of poverty, the breakup of families and this wave of mass incarceration that we still wrestle with today,” Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley told the AP, earlier this week.
The original amendment has allowed involuntary servitude for convicted felons.
“[The resolution would] eliminate the dehumanizing and discriminatory forced labor of prisoners for profit that has been used to drive the over-incarceration of African Americans since the end of the Civil War,” Rep. William Lacy Clay, of St. Louis explained.
“These people became criminals, and it became very difficult for many abolitionists to use the same kinds of emotional messaging about the humanity of these individuals,” Michele Goodwin, a constitutional law professor at the University of California, Irvine, explained, regarding the difficulty gaining support for the resolution.
The 13th Amendment has been a controversial topic in politics for some time. Rapper and former presidential candidate Kanye west discussed the amendment on Twitter in 2020 saying, “The 13th Amendment is slavery in disguise meaning it never ended. We are the solution that heals.”
He added: “Not abolish but. let’s amend the 13th amendment We apply everyone’s opinions to our platform.”