Ava Duvernay

*Ava DuVernay’s “13th” exposes the historical facts why America loves to jail black Men. Her new Netflix documentary sheds light on the law that allows for the continuation of slavery in modern America, and she discusses this “loophole” in the 13th Amendment in a Complex interview with rapper and activist Pusha T.

“Everybody knows the 13th Amendment of the Constitution says there shall be no slavery in the United States,” says DuVernay. “Most people don’t know that that is a lie. Right after it says there shall be no slavery, there’s a little clause, a little loophole, that says ‘except’ – the exception is, ‘except’ if we think you’re a criminal.”

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Ava DuVernay

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She goes on to explain how America’s justice system practice of “you do the crime, you do the time” has become racially bias and heavily motivated by money.

“If we’re gonna apply that adage equally across all citizens, then that would be fine, but the problem is we don’t,” says the director. “You and I do the crime,” she tells Pusha T, “and there is one penalty. Some of our friends in the room taping the interview do the crime,” referring to Complex’s White staffers, “it’s going to be something different.”

“Exorbitant amounts of time [are] put on these sentences because these prisons need to keep bodies in there in order to stay afloat,” DuVernay continues.

DuVernay hopes her enlightening documentary inspires change and judicial reform.

“If there’s anything, that is my hope with “13th;” it’s that it provides knowledge that can open up doors for compassion, that can open up to change,” she states.

Watch the full interview below. “13th” is currently streaming on Netflix.