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Guest Lecture - Colonial and Penal Politics

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University of Ottawa
Justin Piche

Colonial and Penal Politics: Racialized Populations Changes Since the Penitentiary:  Not too much has changed  Penitentiary ahs been around for years and we still use it to discipline people and control people  Prison system has no correlative with rates of crime, then why are we implementing more prisons when crime is on the low?  Start to see that the prison system serves more than an apparatus for crime and punishment, but it is actually a way to control the masses International Incarceration Rates:  US incarcerate far more than anyone else in the world o Who fills those prisons: lower class individuals, racialized groups  World prison population o US and Russia incarcerate the most o Africa has some of the lowest rates of incarcerations o We talk about communist countries as being these repressive regimes, but how is that a country we called the land of the free (USA), incarcerate higher than their repressive counterparts (it is a paradox) o Some countries may not have the resources the US has to incarcerate, however, even the US cannot keep up, they are lacking resources o Crime rates tell us what the states/countries are doing, not what people are doing Colonial Context:  Cannot look at overrepresentation of certain races without looking at colonialisms  CJS is a system that is developed with other system (economic etc), and it is developed with a colonial context  Just because we change the institutions and change the language around colonialism, doesn’t mean colonialism just stops. So we have to look at colonialism to understand overrepresentation of racial groups  Colonialism: an enduring relationship of domination and mode of disposition, usually between an indigenous majority and a minority (colonizers), who are convinced of their own superiority, pursue their own interests and exercise power through mixture of coercion, persuasion, conflict, and collaborations  European colonizers were highly dependant on the indigenous people. In Canada they did not want to wipe them out completely, so they want to culturalize them slowly. Done this by saying that people of color were inferior, and we started to produce a knowledge that people of color and inferior, and that way we could legitimatize the extermination and segregation of these people, they needed to be civilized, they needed to be more like us. SO, any type of knowledge produced about people of color was to illegitimize their culture and their way of life. Amendment to Abolition Slavery:  Context of the US  They would go to African soil, and steel Black bodies, in the context that they were inferior, and bring them back to the USA and be sold to land owners, and they had to work on the land  Because they were deemed inferior this legitimized their slavery, this informed a
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