The private prison system has grown into a multimillion-dollar industry, which can be partially attributed to strict immigration laws that use racial profiling as a means of mass incarcerating immigrant populations. As corporate officials utilize these laws, such as Arizona’s S.B. 1070, to gain more inmates in their private prisons, they continue to perpetuate the racism that plagues the entire prison industrial complex.
The theories of structuralism and post-structuralism seek to analyze constructions such as language in different ways. Structuralism, founded by Ferdinand de Saussure, makes sense of language through identifying the signifier, a physical tool such as a word, and its connection to the signified, the visual object that comes to mind. This structure of language contrasts with the poststructuralist view of language as a failure to represent the essentialism, or reality, of an object in the external world. Therefore, people can abuse language by projecting limited definitions on the object. This process forces people to disregard the true nature of an object and adopt the projected view, a poststructuralist’s fear realized. Examples of signifiers include words such as “freedom” and “democracy”. People adopt and believe in the positive nature of these concepts enforced by the United States’ political ideologies. However, in practice the concepts’ true nature consists of many negative effects. The cartoon above drawn by Malcolm Mayes illustrates one of the realities of freedom and democracy and its negative consequence of the United States invading other countries.