Remove the 'Exception Clause' from the 13th Amendment of the state constitution, and finally abolish slavery of ALL forms in the state of Virginia.
Our mission at Abolish Slavery VA is to put an end to modern-day slavery, once and for all. By amending the wording in Virginia's state constitution to abolish ALL forms of slavery, and removing the fatal loophole known as the 'exception clause', we can finally begin to move away from a shameful legacy of systemic racism, oppression, and subjugation. Slavery is NEVER ACCEPTABLE, under any circumstances, NO EXCEPTIONS.
Did you know...
That slavery was never actually fully abolished? In the wording of the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution lies a loophole that would come to be known as the 'Exception Clause'. It states:
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for
crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within
the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
This exception effectively legalized slavery as long as you were convicted of a crime. Following the Civil War and the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865, Southern states quickly responded by imposing "Black Codes" - new laws that explicitly applied only to Black Americans and subjected them to criminal prosecution for petty, arbitrary "offenses". This was done specifically to facilitate their arrest, imprisonment, and re-enslavement, to continue the forced labor that the South was so heavily dependent on. The incentivized incarceration of Black Americans increased exponentially in order to meet the labor needs of former slave owners, as well as the demand for convict leasing, where prisoners were leased in bulk to work for corporations and plantation owners, who enjoyed cheap labor, while the states enjoyed a lucrative new source of revenue.
(Essentially, the criminal justice system colluded with plantation and business owners to
entrap, convict, and lease out black prisoners for hard labor.)
The exploitation and profiteering from "slaves of the state" continued to drive the over-incarceration of Black Americans throughout the Jim Crow era, and, by creating a financial incentive for mass incarceration, reinforced expanding policies such as the War on Drugs, minimum-sentencing practices, severe plea deals, and three-strike laws that continue to worsen the problem of mass incarceration today.
Slavery is NEVER acceptable, under ANY circumstances, and must be stopped. It is time to take slavery off the books, and out of our state constitution.
Abolish Slavery VA, and the Abolish Slavery National Network, are calling upon our state representatives to introduce legislation that would amend the 13th Amendment, removing the exception clause, and abolishing slavery, no matter the form, for the first time in history.
Check out how others in our national network are making headlines!