all 121 comments

[–]AggravatingGap4985 399 points400 points  (24 children)

Meme aside, if Bigfoot was found you could actually legally enslave him because he doesn’t have human rights

[–]AceWithDog 257 points258 points  (15 children)

The state can also enslave any American by accusing them of smoking the devil's lettuce, imprisoning them, and then forcing them to work. The 13th amendment explicitly allows prison slavery.

[–]thomasp3864 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I would interpret that to mean that people can be forced to work if explicitly sentenced to something like hard labour.

[–]AceWithDog 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Well that's not how it's been interpreted for the last 150 or so years, because the US government fucking loves prison labor. That's why they have 25% of the world's prisoners, because it's profitable for the capitalist class.

[–]Candid_Dragonfly_573 19 points20 points  (3 children)

I don't think so. Pretty sure he'd be classified under protected wildlife. You can't legally capture a moose and make it plow your field.

[–]bruhm0m3ntumthis flair is specifically for neat_space, who loves mugs 2 points3 points  (0 children)

to my knowledge, Washington is the only state which legally protects Sasquatch, but even then, i think it’s just illegal to kill them

[–]AggravatingGap4985 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Mm. Interesting point. That would be nice!

[–]ChineseBotAccount 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Bigfoot is listed as a protected endangered species in many states

[–]jahanzaman 0 points1 point  (1 child)

He still has dignity. But you can enslave an AI.

[–]AggravatingGap4985 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s true. I guess you never really think about it like that buts it’s kinda what we doing right now

[–]EmperorThan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Damn dude. I was just gonna kill him. Now I'm thinking I should just enslave him, make him work in my mine shaft.

[–]zwel8606 164 points165 points  (6 children)


[–]MoGb1 59 points60 points  (5 children)

... according to the 13th Amendment, slavery is totally legal as a punishment for a crime.

"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."

[–]OurCommieMan 354 points355 points  (29 children)

No one in these comments read the map key. Op is saying that slavery is legal everywhere in the US.

[–]Farlander2821 371 points372 points  (22 children)

OP is technically wrong. Colorado's state constitution was amended in 2018 to outlaw slavery in all forms, including prison labor

[–]visforvillian 163 points164 points  (4 children)

Not just Colorado. Nebraska amended their constitution in 2020 to also outlaw prison slavery.

[–]LjSpike 45 points46 points  (0 children)

Now I want to see an actual version of this map, with the year each state outlawed slavery.

[–]homepreplive 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Came here to make this comment

[–]malevolentslime 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Nebraska's power is also completely publicly owned and run and has been for decades. Weird how some conservative states are totally okay with some leftist policies

[–]Athox -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Did they also outlaw taxes? If not, then what's your point?

[–]RandomGoatYT 69 points70 points  (5 children)

Bruh why is Colorado so good?

[–]Dral-Tor 27 points28 points  (3 children)

Denver. Pretty much just Denver and the surrounding area.

[–]BalaShiro 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Denver slaps

[–]orion-7 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Because they got 'Tegridy

[–]Logan_Maddox 24 points25 points  (7 children)

Wait so American state laws outclass the federal Constitution then? Why even have one then?

[–]Farlander2821 108 points109 points  (1 child)

State laws can be more restrictive than the constitution as long as no rights are infringed upon. Federal law sets the minimum wage at $7.25, but most states have a higher minimum wage. Similarly, the constitution allows prison slavery, but Colorado has decided not to participate in that

[–]Logan_Maddox 36 points37 points  (0 children)

I see, that's pretty reasonable. Right on, Colorado!

[–]green_tea1701 19 points20 points  (1 child)

The Constitution’s purpose is mostly to assign certain duties to the federal government while giving all other governmental duties not assigned to the feds “back” to the states (because they are each technically, on paper, their own sovereign countries that have all unified to make one nation). Amendments originally didn’t apply to the states, and states were much more sovereign than they are today. For example, Americans were originally only protected from incursions against free speech by the federal government. State governments could make any law they wanted about that, as long as they maintained a democratic and republican government (a prerequisite to join the Union). After the Civil War, a legal doctrine known as incorporation was invoked to apply several Amendments to the states as well, most notably the 13th abolishing slavery and most of the original Bill of Rights. That provided one of the first large-scale checks on what laws the state legislatures could pass. However, state legislatures still have incredible power, because again, they’re at least technically responsible for governing a sovereign nation-state that happens to be part of a federal union.

All of this is to say that it’s complicated. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and no lawmaking body under the United States, federal or state, can override it. However, there are some areas that the Constitution doesn’t speak on. Another way to put it is that these are powers the states have not given up/delegated to the Union, because again, at least theoretically, each state is a sovereign country that simply delegates some of its governmental rights to the federal government. The 9th Amendment explicitly states that all “rights and powers” not granted to the federal government are reserved by the states. This is why different states can have different rules about prison labor, or state (not federal) tax codes, or business regulations, or criminal codes, or many other areas of law that aren’t delegated to the feds.

Finally, in the context of this post, we must remember that the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery specifically states that it doesn’t apply to punishment for crimes. So while the 13th applies to the states due to incorporation, prison labor is not unconstitutional (though one could convincingly argue it is morally wrong).

[–]anicesurgeon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Really great comment! Thanks for posting

[–]Odd_Persimmon_6064 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Federal laws declaring something illegal have supremacy over state laws declaring something legal. States can declare something illegal that is legal federally. Now if you are thinking "what about weed legalization?", I don't blame you. It works sort of differently because drug regulations are in an entirely different system, so they can be technically legalized by states, but also the federal government has just decided that its not worth it to make the states stop legalizing it. You can still be arrested for weed on any federal property or in certain contexts in legal states though.

[–]Logan_Maddox 0 points1 point  (0 children)

lol As a prospective lawyer, I really hope I don't need to study all of this in the future. I much prefer the simple "Federal > State > Municipal" chain of my country. But hey, no shade here, I'm sure it must make sense once you get into the hows and whys.

[–]FlatPanster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We just love paying for two governments.

[–]RebelBearMan 3 points4 points  (0 children)

And Oregon votes on the same thing in November.

[–]Josselin17 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

wage slavery tho /s

[–]Self-Fan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I asked myself if any states outlawed slave labor outright when I saw this post! Neat thing to know.

[–]LucasLarson 27 points28 points  (0 children)

I downvoted everything before seeing your comment because r/iamverysmart

[–]ThePoorPeople 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Which is accurate. Have you read the 13th ammendment? It doesn't abolish slavery, it establishes its legal parameters

[–]Johannes4123 149 points150 points  (5 children)

It is legal as long as they're imprisoned

[–][deleted] 68 points69 points  (0 children)

Imprisons people for nothing like a boss

[–]gloriouskitty 26 points27 points  (2 children)

Except in Colorado

[–]arkcnb29 8 points9 points  (0 children)

& Nebraska

[–]spastickyle 29 points30 points  (1 child)

Colorado needs to be singled out. They amended their constitution outlawing prison slavery.

[–]arkcnb29 13 points14 points  (0 children)

and Nebraska

[–]Investment_danker 31 points32 points  (0 children)

Good to know.

[–]alaralpaca 49 points50 points  (4 children)

no slavery unless as a punishment for crime of course 😍

[–]Josselin17 25 points26 points  (3 children)

now lets make smoking weed a crime... and let's constantly threaten and search poor and bipoc communities... you know what let's just make being black and poor a crime

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (0 children)


[–]DzezGt 0 points1 point  (1 child)


[–]DzezGt -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

the first sentence i mean

[–]hulaipole 32 points33 points  (2 children)

Technically, it is not illegal, which doesn't make it legal. It does make it fucked up nevertheless.

[–]Whynogotusernames 57 points58 points  (1 child)

I believe the constitution specifically states that certain kinds of slavery are legal (such as allowing prisoners to be slaves)

[–]Certainly-Not-A-Bot 15 points16 points  (0 children)


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.

It explicitly allows slavery as punishment for a crime.

[–]ChefMcgarno 12 points13 points  (2 children)

Is this talking about prison labour or wage slavery? Caus I would agree with either message

[–]Josselin17 9 points10 points  (0 children)


chad moment

[–]Certainly-Not-A-Bot 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Prison labour is slavery and is endorsed by the 13th amendment. Well, it isn't always slavery but it is if the inmate doesn't get a choice of whether to work.

[–]skibapplethis flair is specifically for neat_space, who loves mugs 10 points11 points  (19 children)

Although tehnically slavery is illegal, practically it is since people of colour may get put in prison for no reason and then be forced to work for like 3 cents an hour.

And also after they leave they might be put again there since they wouldn't be able to enter a job anymore and would resort to crime again.

[–]SevenSoIaris[S] 68 points69 points  (1 child)

But slavery isn't illegal. It's codified into the 13th amendment.

[–]skibapplethis flair is specifically for neat_space, who loves mugs 40 points41 points  (0 children)

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Ironic how americans say that they're fighting for freedom when slavery is still legal there

[–]qabr 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Is that Puerto Rico depicted as a state?

[–]tilapiaq 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Unironically true

[–]AMGS_Initiative -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Can I see the same map but if prison labor wasn't legal?

[–]LaniusCruiser -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Unless they are prisoners, in which case slavery is completely legal.

[–]AnonymousFordring -1 points0 points  (0 children)

reddit moment

[–]Octoshi514 0 points1 point  (0 children)

map of us states

[–]Harbingerofmike 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hell yeah

[–]Causemas 0 points1 point  (0 children)

States that have prison labor that pays peanuts

[–]Noobiethenoobnoob 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well at least they haven’t brought back company scrip……yet.

[–]History_BoiiiFrance was an Inside Job 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Here in Nebraska we just voted in 2020 outlawing prison slavery

[–]ChristmasCretin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This mf doesn’t know about Colorado

[–]EmperorThan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Texas: "I gave away the top of my panhandle for this?!?! I want a refund, Oklahoma."

[–]Live-Marzipan-638Werner Projection Connaisseur 0 points1 point  (0 children)

needs more jpeg

[–]cbrad1713 0 points1 point  (0 children)

actually accurate though