LA Progressive, September 16 2020, Racists Make Bank
The oppression economy is the vicious cycle of the profitability of racism. To end this cycle and create the Liberation Economy, the government must end the criminalization of people of color, end political suppression and toss corporate power.
This cycle plays out in every aspect of our economy and is particularly apparent in mass incarceration.The criminalization of people of color is a multibillion-dollar industry: In 2017 alone, mass incarceration cost $182 billion; trapping mostly low-income Black and Latinx people in a cycle of economic and political disenfranchisement.
If we follow the money, we find that some of America’s largest banks, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase, have all extended millions of dollars in credit lines to for-profit prison operators like GEO Group and CoreCivic.
The unregulated operations of prisons has increasingly mandated cheap service for maximum profit. For example, bail bonds companies, telecommunications, food, and commissary companies gouge both those incarcerated and their families.The exploitation doesn’t stop upon release from prison.
The suppression of economic vitality of people of color is just beginning. Because of discrimination, formerly incarcerated people face an unemployment rate of 27 percent — higher than the total U.S. unemployment rate during any historical period, including during this pandemic and the Great Depression.