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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Prisons and Terror

A couple of years ago I was amazed at how shocked and dismayed good Americans were because of the newly disclosed mistreatment of Iraqis incarcerated by the American troops at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Or were they really so shocked and dismayed? If they were, I thought they were either fools or they were even more oblivious than one might have thought to the myriad injustices that are committed in their name, and by them, at home as well as abroad. And these injustices long predate the founding of the nation.

I wasn't shocked or even particularly interested in the revelations of the misdeeds by the American jailers in Abu Ghraib. I caught only fleeting glimpses of numerous pictures of what went on there. I have a weak stomach, and it is getting weaker.

Anyone who had read the essential weblogs, in this case notably Riverbend's at "Baghdad Burning," would already have been long aware of the iniquities associated with the torture prison at Abu Ghraib, and they would have wondered what possessed the American forces to use it for exactly the same purposes as Saddam Hussein had previously. Did they not know that such a benighted place would preserve an aura that would satanically control all its subsequent occupants, maybe even after it should be levelled to the ground?

I have an extremely powerful distaste for the whole idea of prisons and the overuse of them. This distaste arose from two events.

The first was when I gradually became aware that I am that most unacceptable of beings, a male neeegger, and thus not a real human being, and that therefore I could never expect to receive equal justice under the law. And so ever since then I have been terrified by the possibility of being accused of something that I didn't do and being jailed. The nation's prisons have become a common way of subjugating Rainbows (my word for the idiotic term "black" as applied to people) and supplying a cheap labor force and a source of employment for guards and others, since slavery is no longer legal for the same purposes.

The other event was that at an early age -- it seems far too early -- I read a book about the Scottsboro Boys, and it hit excruciatingly hard, because I was their age and shared their sort of ancestry. This book was about 9 or 10 Rainbow boys -- not even youths -- who had received long jail terms in Alabama -- they had barely escaped execution -- after being accused of assaulting two euchil (my word for the equally idiotic term "white") women of doubtful reputation in a railroad freight car. The book described the horrible conditions in Alabama prisons. The absolute worst was some stuff about predation by tough guys turned homosexual called "wolves," and because of that I had long since vowed to go out of my way -- way, way out of my way -- to avoid seeing the inside of any prison -- ever!

Needless to say, however, that if you are a neegger, which you can never change, and if you believe that the law is not going to treat you fairly, an expectation that also never goes away because it becomes a survival technique, you are reduced to living forever after in a constant state of terror, and that has been, I'm sorry to say, my lot. And that's why, in comparison, the threat of terrorism from bombers, from overseas or from Idaho, means absolutely nothing to me.

Consequently the events of September 11, 2001, for instance, don't carry the significance for me that they do for most other people. On the contrary I saw -- and still see -- only two unnecessarily tall buildings that unexpectedly collapsed as if they had been made of ice cream, after they had been intentionally struck by two commandeered airliners, and it resulted in the highly lamentable deaths of what they are now saying is about 2,800 people. It also created an incredible mess in a downtown Manhattan neighborhood.

For me, however, after experiencing how the Grim Reaper had been so fond of visiting my family through the years, especially before I was born, the death of one person is fully as significant as the death of anyone else for whatever reason, and nationality and any other difference in persuasion don't matter. Far greater losses of life had occurred in other smaller countries in that same year, but for political reasons they were not similarly bemoaned.

That shows that revenge comes much more strongly to the human psyche than does justice. Prisons are really just long term instruments of reprisal, such as followed after 9/11, and meanwhile the concept of rehabilitation, which was supposed to be one of the main purposes of prisons, is today an idea mentioned usually with scorn, while torture seems to have gained silent acceptance.


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