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Pennsylvania’s political districts make changes–The underlining factor? Racism.

Yesterday, the commission in charge of drawing Pennsylvania’s political districts made a major change. State prisoners will no longer count as residents of the districts where they’re locked up. Instead, they’ll count as residents of the districts where they really live.

 

Why does that matter? Think of it this way. Each person in an area has a dollar figure over their head. The more people you have in your area, the more dollars your area gets from the federal government. So, if a prisoner really lives in Philly, but you count him like he lives in Frackville, Philly’s dollars go to Frackville.

 

That’s a scam, and because Black people are overrepresented in Pennsylvania state prisons, it’s a racist scam–one that takes money, resources and political power out of the hands of mostly Black cities, and puts it in the hands of mostly white prison towns.

 

So now, with this change to the way political districts are drawn, some of the money and power will come back to the cities where the prisoners come from. And given that there are so many innocent people in prison anyway, it’s only right.

 

But here’s what I need my brothers on the corner to understand. Those little prison towns are waiting for you. Because regardless of how the political districts are drawn, when you get locked up, they make money on you. They get healthcare and a pension on you. And while you’re calling your people trying to get them to put money on your books, the guards send their kids to college on you.

 

That’s a racist system. And while it’s great that the prisoners will now be counted like they’re supposed to be, the best way to beat the system is to stay out of it in the first place.

Photo: Maximum Security By: Brook Ward

Creative Commons License 

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