PRISON INDUSTRY BABY (Lil' Nas XXX)

Updated: Sep 14, 2021


Dr. Daniel L. Hollar Ph.D., Clinical Psychology

Going to prison is not cool, no matter how much sex or celebrity is used to sell that idea to our community. But it is BIG business.


According to naacp.org, spending on prisons and jails has increased at triple the rate of spending on K-12 public education in the last thirty years. Approximately, $80 billion taxpayer dollars are spent on the prison industrial system. The estimated annual value of prison and jail industrial output is $2 billion. The prison-industrial complex is a set of interest groups, institutions and private corporations. Hundreds of corporations benefit from penal labor, including some of the largest major corporations. The Private prison business models is contingent upon incarcerating more and more people. Marketing and normalizing prison culture to young people via celebrities and pop culture is how those involved in this industry ensure their continued prosperity; the effects of which have been devastating to our Black community and young people.

There are 3 million people in jail and prison today. According to the NAACP, between 1980 and 2015, the number of people incarcerated increased from roughly 500,000 to 2.2. million;

far outpacing population growth and crime. Of note, African American children represent 32% of children who are arrested, 42% of children who are detained, and 52% of children whose cases are judicially waived to criminal court. It has been reported in the Washington Post (2015) that 1 in 4 Black males born today will end up in jail. Polls have indicated roughly, 65% of Black adults have felt targeted because of their race. African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites. The effects of incarceration are felt by the families and communities of those individuals economically, socially and healthwise.

Economically, more than one out of every six black men who today should be between 25 and 54 years old have disappeared from daily life. This equates to a loss of billions of dollars in generated business and labor income circulating in the Black community.

Socially, children whose parents are involved in the criminal justice system suffer from: psychological strain, antisocial behavior, suspension or expulsion from school, economic hardship, and are six times more likely to be involved in criminal activity.

Regarding health, infectious diseases are highly concentrated in corrections facilities. 15% of jail inmates and 22% of prisoners – compared to 5% of the general population – are reported having tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, or other STDs. Inmates are 5 times more likely to be infected by HIV than the general population.

As the video "Industry Baby" not only illustrates but glorifies, there are a lot of Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in prison. Using data from the National Inmate Survey, 2011-2012, researchers found that 34.3% of Black men in prison were MSM, while only 8.9% of the total US population of MSM is Black. Who one chooses to sleep with is of no particular importance when viewed in and of itself. However, this becomes of particular importance to the Black community because research indicates Black MSM are at high risk for both HIV diagnosis and incarceration (Source: CDC, Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2018. HIV Surveillance Report 2020;31). So what's wrong with this glorification and "Industry Baby" is not about homosexuality per se but its weaponization against the Black community by a system that devalues Black life and hides behind a legitimate LGBTQ movement for protection of their human rights. This weaponization may not be readily apparent to those in the LGBTQ community or easy to articulate for those who practice traditional Black/African American values, unless we all take a step back to see the bigger picture.

It's really not about you or me, it's about us.

The high prevalence of HIV in the Black community and the greater likelihood of bisexuality among black men place heterosexual Black women at risk for HIV infection. Black men who have sex with men (MSM) and women but who do not identify as gay or disclose their bisexual activities to main female partners, also known as men "on the down-low," have been cited as the main reason for the increase in HIV infections in Black women. Black women continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV, accounting for nearly 60% of new HIV infections in US women, despite making up less than 15% of the female population (Source: Journal of National Medical Association. 2005 Jul; 97(7 Suppl): 52S–59S.)

If you don't see the clear and present danger in artists like the prison industry's baby, Lil'Nas XXX, being paid to use talent, sex and celebrity to market, promote and normalize prison culture to the Black youth in our community, take a closer look at the images below. It is not only disrespectful to disregard the social mores and ethics of our community for individual, financial or tribal gain, it is irresponsible and reckless to do so without understanding the potential ramifications of that disregard and how it may impact the larger community to which one belongs.


Dr. Daniel L. Hollar

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology

CEO, Daninger Solutions, Inc.

Email: Daninger@daningersolutions.com

www.daningersolutions.com

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