Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Is America really the Land of the 'Free'?

The 4 images below demonstrate how ironic it is that America claims to be the land of the ‘free’, yet has the highest prison population in the world.


"I Miss My Friends and Family." Self Deprecate. Jason Parker, 29 Sept. 2013.
    Web. 12 Jan. 2015. <http://selfdeprecate.com/politics-articles/

This cartoon supports the ironic fact that America, the land of the ‘free’ has the highest prison population in the world by showing a family member/friend missing someone who has gone to prison, and a person replying that they will be together again soon. The accompanying frame includes his friends and family who have ‘joined’ him in prison implying that the American incarceration rate is on the rise. As of December 31st, 2013 there were 1.57 million inmates who sat behind bars in federal state, and county prisons. Per 100,000 people in America, 707 are incarcerated. Tone is used in this image by the illustrator to demonstrate the ridiculous increase of prisoners in America.

Arnold Abbott, head of the group Love Thy Neighbor, was back to handing out food
    to the needy Wednesday, undeterred by his arrest for feeding the homeless
    over the weekend. Washington Times. Jessica Chasmar, 6 Nov. 2014. Web. 12
    Jan. 2015.

This is an image of a 90 year named Arnold Abbott, a Florida man who was arrested for feeding the homeless. The new city’s (Florida) ordinance forbids people to feed the homeless in public. It is ironic that America, the land of the ‘free’ incarcerates people for their actions caused by good intentions. These meaningless laws are contributing to why America has the most populated prisons in the world. This image reflects conflict because Arnold needs to decide between continuing to feed the homeless or facing possible jail time.

Kwame Ajamu, right, formerly known as Ronnie Bridgeman, is comforted by attorney
    Terry Gilbert on Tuesday. Washington Post. Elahe Izadi, 9 Dec. 2014. Web.
    12 Jan. 2015.

This is an image of Kwame Ajamu, a 57 year old man who at 17 years old was convicted of murder in the killing of a Cleveland salesman. On Tuesday December 8th, Ohio man Kwame wept after a judge cleared all charges against him at age 57. This demonstrates complication because an innocent man had spent 27 years of his life in prison for a murder he did not commit while the person who did commit the crime was running free. Further proving that America is not necessarily a land of the ‘free’ if someone has to spend a great portion of their life in prison for something they did not commit.

"1 More Strike Zone." Incarcerated Voices. Jaime Stankowitz, n.d. Web. 12 Jan.

This cartoon image demonstrates the 3 strike law which is currently found in 28 states. The 3 strike law increases the prison sentences of someone who has previously been convicted of two or more felonies. A person with 2 previous, less spiteful charges, such as stealing a bike and littering can go to jail for 25 years to life if they are convicted of a third felony, no matter how severe. This clashes against the perception America has as being known as the land of the ‘free’ and contributes to the increasing  prison population. Irony is demonstrated throughout this law and image because the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Someone who has committed these lesser felonies should be sentenced to probation and rehabilitation not added to the already overpopulated prison system that America has created by enforcing these absurd laws.  


  1. I agree with you and your thesis, I really liked the idea that you were disagreeing with America's idea of a "free" country. Your ISU was argumentative and you got your point across.

  2. Lexus, you mostly selected images that were thought-provoking, although you didn't analyse any of the textual elements, as required.

  3. The topic you chose was a good one to argue about, the images you chose showed how America is not free. I agree with your arguments as well and that it is true that America is not a free country.

  4. Thanks Gabby and Kim, I thought it was a neat topic to go about because it is crazy that America has the highest populated prison and locks the most people in the WORLD behind bars, yet says they are the land of the free?