If I was to break this whole mess (prison) down into a simpler single term it would just be survival; a group of human beings attempting to survive and see another day and to breathe another breath even if it’s a painful breath.
A little larger look and we have these suicide bombers in the Middle East killing American troops. Their actions, even though they look very far from it, are about survival; right? I mean, do you think a person would blow himself and hundreds of people up, just because of hate? I don’t think so personally. There has to be some love inside their heads. Maybe love for their wives and children who’ve been killed and are being killed, because of the U.S. military occupations over there, the U.S. need for oil. No?
Survival: Simply to survive another day.
We were all born to a mother with this ingrained need to survive, To Live. We all have a mom whether that person is Iraqi or American. It all equals the same thing - human beings, homo-sapiens, surviving.
Now to look back on a past picture maybe. You have all seen the bloodthirsty media’s depiction of an “Indian” with scalps at his belt and blood on his tomahawk. The old west’s “Terrorist” depiction. But if you’ll check history you’ll find that this Indian learned scalping from the men he was fighting against for survival.
Sort of like the way that 19 year old in prison for petty joyriding charges learned rage, hopelessness and cruelty from keepers. People like Curtis Algier (* a Utah man who killed an officer on transport to the University Medical Center*) don’t just step on the scene readymade with batteries included. These Killers are created by their environments.
And please everyone these words are not apologist, justifying words to make a person’s wrongs seem right. These are just objective, reality based conclusions.
Picture if a man at your local Wal-Mart purposely placed small-pox or let’s say some sort of AIDS infection inside your Christmas purchases or bed linen for the family. Both scourges would kill your loved ones but let’s say you survived. Would you not make it your duty to make sure that the man’s blood was soon on your fist, your Tomahawk?
History has shown what men have done that to other men. The small-pox riddled blankets traded to American Indians, purposely - and survival was a factor in this. The men who gave the blankets out were attempting to survive. They were afraid for their lives and the lives of their children. These Indians were also attempting to survive and fought back against men who were killing their wives and children.
But who was the man who crossed the other man’s threshold?
In modern day parlance if you catch an intruder in your house you legally can shoot him. The first nations people (“Indians”) were and are just that, “First” Nations people.
The pox-blankets of old can be compared to the hummer-tank-underside equipped vehicles the military used today in Iraq / Afghanistan. You’ve all seen those huge sand colored armored vehicles with the V-shaped bottoms to prevent causalities and loss of limb. To prevent Death. To increase survival.
But who’s on whose threshold: Who’s in whose house to speak?
An Iraqi all suited up for war cruising the streets of downtown Salt Lake City would need more than an armored truck. An “Indian”, in days gone by, if he by some weird twist of fate landed on the European mainland and was walking downtown London with war paint and bow and arrow, would need armored truck and more.
I just question why it is that a certain man can cross other men’s threshold and socially this is okay. I wonder why certain men can assault, torture, murder, steal from, starve, sexually harass etc, etc. etc. and because he is a cop or “corrections officer” be free from mans laws. Because Phillip, Andrew, John, Donald, Travis, Spencer, Curtis, William, Paul, etc. and myself are being handed pox-riddled conditions / environments / treatments daily. They’re killing us and in some cases like Curtis Algiers “almost” killing us, poking us with a cruel stick through the bars of our cages so many times that we become snappish, and then releasing us back into society.
And why you ask would they do this? Again it is about survival. The DOC and BOP needs you to be scared of us, (the U.S. needs you to fear Iraqi’s and terrorists) so they expand. So they can justify 2.4 million of us in chains. Justify these wars on drugs and on terror. Because so many folks count on the system for livelihood. And expansion means money…
In essence the American people pay these men and women by way of their taxes to hand out pox-riddled blankets. And not to just anybody either; to your frightened sons, nephews, fathers, grandfathers and fellow man you do this, you pay for this to be done.
Sure death, an end to survival, was the climatic result of pox-blankets. To look at the statistics of these prisons, what they create one could not argue that sure death wasn’t ultimately the final outcome. But sure death comes in many forms. Look at H.I.V. and some cancers. They take time some of these.
The boy that grows up without his father because of an overzealous prison system and ends up lost on drugs, and ultimately overdoses is sure death.
The half-man half-boy who paroles all twitchy and nervous at twenty years old who is unable to find employment because of his record or lack of job skills (*PTSD* Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in Unita One parolees cases) and robs somebody just to eat is sure death, eventually.
The girl who was placed in foster care, because both parent waste away in prison
cells for drug charges and pursues an unclean lifestyle that involves AIDS and the transmission of this to hundreds is sure death for many.
War on Drugs you say?
A war on families, on survival, is more like it. A war on our lost children!?
I mean, the crime rate stays the same. It has for decades. Just look into it. But these prisons grow. Why?
And I speak all this and you might question: “If this system was so corrupt and hurting so many then why isn’t the crime rate increasing because those mind scrambled, then paroled, released, etc.” Let me just say too, the crime rate hasn’t lowered either.
But the reason again is survival. The whole in-justice system is about that. A man can survive, however dismally situated, for a quite a whole within this shady system. They know this. He will survive long enough to perpetuate the mass hysteria of a war on crime by being a paroled ‘nut-case’ and providing that ever present Ten-o-clock news high speed chase. Long enough to bring some friends and family members down with him to fill the prison bed space.
Then he’ll die. Then it starts all over again with his son, nephew or brother. By the time he’s served his purpose as the boogeyman “criminal” there should be enough beds open, because of expansion, for all three. *Hello parasitic job security*
68% recidivism rate for inmates paroled from general population. 88% from control units like Unita One. What’s the fastest growing prison type? Control Units! Why? Better odds for those that profit from this system. This system of ‘more-equals-more-money’: more job security. More harsh punishments. More War. More Oil. More ‘turning of a mass blind eye’ to a system that’s proven not to work.
Where do we go from here? More pox-blankets anyone? Please, no.
In strength (brutal reality) and hope,