A new series of videos created by the folks on Sesame Street is a propaganda program designed to help children accept the fact that daddy is in jail. It’s OK kiddies, it’s almost inevitable given that 3 percent of the American population is currently under some type of correctional supervision. Just write him a letter and you’ll feel fine.
In the first video, “What is Incarceration,” young Alex, whose father has been incarcerated, is told that laws are “grown-up rules” and if someone breaks the rules they have to go to prison or jail.
In the second video, “Alex’s Big Feelings,” Alex explains that sometimes he’s OK, but other times he gets angry. “I get really upset but I just miss him so much. I just hurts inside. Sometimes I feel like I just want to pound on a pillow and scream as loud as I can.”
Sophia, the adult human who’s schooling Alex on the acceptability of having a father who’s broken the ‘grown-up’ rules and been incarcerated, explains to Alex that it’s OK to feel angry or confused because that’s exactly how she felt when her father was incarcerated.
“When my dad was incarcerated I was really confused about all the different feelings I was having. So I talked to my mom about it. She let me know that it was OK to have lots of big feelings, and that I could always talk to her and talking made me feel better.”
According to Sophia, all you have to do is talk about your feelings, draw a few pictures, write letters to your dad, and toddle off to visit him in jail every now and then and everything will be all rainbows and lollipops.
“I like to draw so sometimes I drew pictures of the way I was feeling. That helped, too. It also helped to keep in touch with my dad. My mom would help me write letters to him. We’d send him photos and we’d visit him whenever we could. And sometimes we even got a letter back from my dad. It made me feel good to know that he was OK and that he was thinking of me, and even though we had to be apart I knew mom was here for me to help me feel better.”
In October 2012, Mitt Romney made headlines during the first presidential debate when he said one of the things he’d do to bring down the deficit was cut funding for PBS. Millions of Americans took to Twitter and thrashed Romney for threatening to kill Big Bird, but they didn’t listen to the whole statement.
What Romney really said was:
“I will eliminate all programs by this test: Is the program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to finance it? …I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS, I’m gonna stop the subsidy to other things. I Like PBS, I love Big Bird… but I’m not going to keep spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”
After Romney’s “Death to Big Bird” speech, American Thinker asked why, Elmo, Bert & Ernie, and Big Bird should continue to receive more than $7 million annually in federal subsidies when, according to the tax forms, Sesame Street was paved in gold.
“[T]he President of Sesame Workshop, Gary Knell, received in 2008 a salary of $956,513. In that sense, Big Bird and Sen. Harry Reid embody the same mystifying phenomenon: they’ve been in “public service” their entire lives and have somehow wound up as multimillionaires.”
“[T]he 990 also revealed that Sesame Workshop received $44,984,003 in royalties last year, which includes sales of Sesame Street brand merchandise like “Tickle Me Elmo” dolls. That means Big Bird made five times in merchandise sales than what he received in government grants.”
So why the need for a government subsidy for a street full of already uber-rich puppets? Because the creators of Sesame Street are doing the government’s work so they deserve a piece of the government pie.
The Sesame Street incarceration videos are designed to desensitize Americans of all ages and help us to feel comfortable with the idea that prison is an inevitability for most. But the fact is, prison is Big Business these days and we need to keep the machine well-oiled.
The daily news is splattered with reports of serial killers, child molesters, and random atrocities but in reality most of the “criminals” locked up in our jails and prisons are poor people who’ve committed small, nonviolent crimes in order to put food on the table. According to Global Research, “Violence occurs in less than 14% of all reported crime, and injuries occur in just 3%.”
Using those big crimes to create an atmosphere of fear allows lawmakers to implement legislation for tougher penalties and to criminalize even more mundane acts, like the 14-year-old who’s facing jail time for wearing a pro-NRA t-shirt.
But what it really does is allow them to push through funding for more and more prisons so they can house more and more prisoners and use them as free labor.
According to Global Research:
For private business, prison labor is like a pot of gold. No strikes. No union organizing. No unemployment insurance or workers’ compensation to pay. No language problem, as in a foreign country. New leviathan prisons are being built with thousands of eerie acres of factories inside the walls. Prisoners do data entry for Chevron, make telephone reservations for TWA, raise hogs, shovel manure, make circuit boards, limousines, waterbeds, and lingerie for Victoria’s Secret. All at a fraction of the cost of “free labor.”
Prisoners can be forced to work for pennies because they have no rights. Even the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which abolished slavery, excludes prisoners from its protections.
And, more and more, prisons are charging inmates for basic necessities from medical care, to toilet paper, to use of the law library. Many states are now charging “room and board.” Berks County prison in Pennsylvania is charging inmates $10 per day to be there. California has similar legislation pending. So, while government cannot (yet) actually require inmates to work at private industry jobs for less than minimum wage, they are forced to by necessity.
Prison industries are often directly competing with private industry. Small furniture manufacturers around the country complain that they are being driven out of business by UNICOR which pays 23 cents/hour and has the inside track on government contracts. In another case, U.S. Technologies sold its electronics plant in Austin, Texas, leaving its 150 workers unemployed. Six week later, the electronics plant reopened in a nearby prison.
Use government handouts to keep Americans poor and down-trodden, then criminalize every minute behavior such as riding a bicycle on the sidewalk or wearing a hoodie and walking in the wrong neighborhood, and of course daddy’s going to inevitably end up in jail where he can “pay” for his crimes.