A question I have been asking myself repeatedly since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won an upset victory as a write-in candidate in New York’s 15th congressional district is “How?” At some point voters must have seen her open her mouth and the words that came out. Were her messages during the primary radically different from the views she has since articulated on a national stage? Did she not share with prospective voters her idea of occupying airports? Did they miss out on her mathematically challenged claim that unemployment is low currently because everyone has two jobs.
Whatever the explanation, Ocasio-Cortez continues to dazzle on a regular basis. Her latest gem, shared yesterday in a tweet, is her support for the nationwide prisoners’ strike that began yesterday.
Inmates are complaining about — and this is for real — the lousy pay. Currently prisoners are paid $2 a day, plus $1 an hour. According to their list of ten demands, they are seeking what they call an “end to prison slavery,” partly by paying prisoners a fair wage.
All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.
They also seek to put an end to the Truth in Sentencing program, under which anyone convicted of a violent crime must serve at least 85% of the sentence handed down before becoming eligible for parole.
The whole notion of prisoners making demands should sound ludicrous to any sentient being. But not Ocasio-Cortez.
Today begins a nationwide prison strike demanding humane conditions & end to prison slavery.
The US incarcerates more than any other nation in the world.
To change, we must acknowledge the direct lineage that mass incarceration has to slavery & Jim Crow.https://t.co/IvIXyU8XGp
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 21, 2018
As to her claim of a “direct lineage” between “mass incarceration” and “slavery & Jim Crow,” how does she explain the fact that people have been locked up en masse for committing crimes as far back at least as Hammurabi in the second millennium B.C.?