Hot answers tagged

110

He seems to have meant amending it (quote below) to remove the clause permitting slavery and forced labour as punishment for a crime. So let us ask this possibly dicey question: What, exactly, was Kanye trying to say? There is a fair chance he was referring to what’s called the 13th Amendment’s “exception clause,” as many speculated on Twitter. It’s the ...


62

First, slavery has literally nothing at all to do with whether or not someone is paid, nor with how much they're paid. Slavery and involuntary servitude are forced labor, not unpaid labor. If you are paying someone millions of dollars but threaten to kill them if they quit, that's involuntary servitude. If you pay them nothing but they're free to walk away, ...


41

No, on two counts First, if they were funded by reorganization of current government spending, reparations would legally be no different from any other government program that targets a group. This was established in Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, that a law burdening a group is not unconstitutional. However expansive is the prohibition against ...


40

Are prisoners considered as slaves? Prisoners are held in prison due to their breaches of laws, prisoners remain in prison for specific terms, prisoners cannot be traded, prisoners have rights (including to safety and to not be overworked), the offspring of prisoners (even if they are born when their parents are at prison) are not prisoners. No. Prisoners ...


28

West later clarified that he thinks that the 13th amendment is "slavery in disguise", so it seems fair to say that he does not want to return to race-based slavery. Given West's other recent comments and his further explanations in the linked video, it doesn't seem that he has a very clear message yet. As he puts it, it's a "work in progress" based on his ...


18

Amendment 14, Section 2 updated Article 1, Section 2 from originally reading: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a ...


14

In the United States currently any crime can and will turn a person into a slave if they are sent into confinement. Virtually every large prison and halfway house in the country has "work" programs that constitute slavery. In many cases prisoners are not paid at all, other times they are paid some trivial amount like 5 cents per hour. Either way it is ...


12

If descendants of slave owners have to compensate descendants of slaves, many people would find themselves compensating, well, themselves. For example, Barack Obama had at most one ancestor who might have been a slave, and that would be through multiple generations of slave owners. He would be a net payer under that kind of system. Donald Trump's ...


10

You're correct, the language does allow for states to create their own immigration policy. Up until around the Civil War the states largely carried out their own immigration policy, because of a lack of any federal guidance on the issue. (See New York v Miln for an example of such a policy in use - http://www.oyez.org/cases/1792-1850/1837/1837_0). Today, ...


10

After 2014, that is no longer the case (see @indigochild's answer for pre-2014 status); because ISIS practices what amounts to chattel slavery, on the continent of Asia. They buy and sell slaves and the slaves are considered property, which fits the chattel slavery definition.


9

It depends how they do it. Some legal (although there may be other challenges for these) ways: Pass a law saying that descendants of slaves could sue descendants of slave owners. Then hold a trial or trials. Would have to be carefully worded to not be ex post facto banned. Raise a general tax and make a specific payment. So all races would pay a tax ...


8

It should be noted that slavery as an institution existed throughout the world long before the American Revolution. As a result, those states whose laws did not ban slavery had the legality "grandfathered" in. While there were those who wanted to ban slavery, the slave holding states refused to accept the constitution unless it were left legal. The ...


8

There were effectively 3 reasons why a state might want to ratify the 13th Ammendment. Roughly in order of how quickly it would motivate them to take action: Its residents agreed with it and wanted it to become law. The state was a former member of the Confederacy, and wanted its own full voting rights restored. It had passed anyway, but the state wanted to ...


8

This is really four separate questions, or at least four separate parts. 1) Why didn't Mississippi ratify the 13th amendment when it was first proposed? This one is pretty simple: Not every state legislature liked the amendment, and four out of the 36 states at the time rejected it (New Jersey, Delaware, Kentucky, and Mississippi). Of those four, NJ ...


7

As others have mentioned, most Americans think slavery is terrible. If you were to suggest to a typical American that we repeal the 13th Amendment and allow people to own other people as chattel, the most likely reaction would be some kind of stunned disbelief. Most people would probably assume that you were making some sort of joke (and one in poor taste, ...


6

Since no reparations proposal requires anyone to be disenfranchised, whipped, branded, imprisoned, or executed... it's not clear in what sense, (if any), "punishment" might be construed as occurring in the event of reparations. If one of the premises of this question is the exotic notion that all taxation is "punishment", this should be clearly stated in the ...


6

What do today's Americans think about slavery? In most day-to-day interactions, I think you'd find it unlikely for someone to say that they are a proponent of slavery. Most people you speak with will say it's morally wrong. In recent politics, it has an especially negative connotation with the emergence of the "Black Lives Matter" movement (this movement ...


6

As a life-long citizen of the United States, I can tell you that the American public in general considers slavery to be a very bad thing. Slavery is Illegal according to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The chattel slavery of the 1700s to 1800s is considered to be a great national shame. There might be some people who secretly ...


6

The short answer has to be that it wasn't ratified at the time because they didn't agree with it, but once it reached the required number of states it was no longer a live issue and could be left in place as a piece of symbolic racism.


6

TL;DR Is there any crime that can cause slavery or involuntary servitude in the US? Yes. Are prisoners considered as slaves? It depends. There is a strong argument that the modern Prison-Industrial Complex is slavery since it is actively expanding and innovating new ways to imprison the U.S population and profit from it. Background to the ...


4

Involuntary servitude such as hard labor is routinely imposed in the military justice system. It is occasionally imposed in state prison systems, sometimes by statute and sometimes as a matter of prison practice, usually in the form of involuntary chain gangs. From a legal perspective, neither incarceration itself, nor participating in programs in exchange ...


4

When Kanye tweeted that, he didn't mean actually getting rid of the entire 13th amendment and returning to race-based slavery. Most prisons are privately owned. These owners are paid by the state to force their prisoners to build roads, bridges, buildings, etc., along with other back-breaking laborious tasks. The prisoners aren't provided any form of reward ...


4

You wrote: Most people think slavery is prohibited because it's "wrong". If that's true, we would have ended slavery thousands of years ago. It would be great, if that argument were sufficient and held! The same argument could be applied to many other problems, for example: Most people think war is prohibited because it's "wrong". If that's true, we ...


3

The short is answer is that there were multiple political forces of varying degrees of powers that caused the ending of slavery. A combination of both economic forces and moral forces contributed to that end. It is very easy to attempt to color this issue as good vs evil, but the truth is that slavery is a part of human society. From the very earliest ...


3

I think he's referred to what's happening inside US private prisons. Perhaps he means to get rid of private prisons? That's what we did in New Zealand at Mount Eden high sec in Auckland after someone died there. Private prisons don't make a whole lot of sense. They do encourage incarceration though! :) Update Paul's answer sounds about right: amend it to ...


3

Proving a negative is impossible, but I don't think you will find chattel slavery anywhere else. A single counter-example would prove that chattel slavery still exists somewhere outside of Africa. However, after reading through the publications of several anti-slavery organizations I could only find the two examples you mentioned (Sudan and Mauritania). ...


2

George Washington; Presidency: 1789-1797; State: VA Did he own slaves? Yes. When George Washington took over Mount Vernon at age 22 there were 18 slaves. When he married he gained control of 200 more which technically belonged to the estate of his wife’s first husband. By 1786 he owned 216 slaves. (Flexner, P.114) While George Washington was serving as ...


1

It is not clear, but I'm skeptical that the Fourteenth Amendment, in particular, would have been allowed under the Corwin Amendment, even if modified to exclude slavery. The Wikipedia article you link includes this line: The contentious debate in the House [right before they approved the amendment and sent it to the Senate] was relieved by abolitionist ...


1

Do The International Court at Hague require standing? Yes. At least in this case. For the defendants to have to pay reparations to the countries in question, they will have to show that they suffered damage or injustice. They also have to be states (which they are). Do all fourteen countries have standing as plaintiffs? That's up to the court to decide. ...


1

My question is, why would the language be so broad? The Framers of the Constitution left slavery open in order to get the Constitution ratified. James Madison argued against the possibility of legal slavery; while other delegates from southern states argued for legal protection. Eventually they ended on a compromise: states could handle their own ...


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