Liberal Grace

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Recommended article by JR Norton

If you are as concerned about Guantanamo as I am, then don't miss J.R. Norton's article in the Christian Science Monitor.

Roots of US war prisoners' rights run deep

I agree with everything Norton says in this article but there is a small point I often point out but few people want to hear:

Americans have a creepy sadistic streak about prisoners.

"Americans think
prison rape is funny. "

During the Abu Gharib scandal, it was often said that this sadistic cruelty was antithetical to the compassionate, good-natured spirit of Americans.


I will agree with Norton when he says,
"At its root, the very idea of Guantánamo Bay runs headfirst into what it means to be an American."

...if he is speaking of traditional American values, not our contemporary American values.

Americans are a generally compassionate people but we turn that off when it comes to prisoners.

For example... Americans think prison rape is funny. Prison rape jokes are a sure-fire laught on American TV. It's not just cruel conservative humor... these jokes are common on shows like Friends. Start listening for it.

A more serious example is our hell-hole prisons. We all know that our prisons are rife with rape, stabbings, murders, extotion, gang violence and only-God-knows what else. Even the most compassionate among us remain silent about this cruel status qoe. The worse Americans actually like our prisons cruel and unusual! They think it is a deterrent to crime and, if not, they enjoy seeing our prisoners suffer.

So, when reports abuse at Abu Gharib and Guantanamo came to light, it didn't seem like a freakish anaomaly to me. It seems like the inevtiable outcome of lawless prisons run by a society that has a cruel streak towards prisoners.

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