An office building? No, a Correctional Building News
Facility of The Month: Concentration Camps Go High Tech.
By Jane Doe
Recently: Ted Kopell reruns a series on Nightline exploring crime and punishment in the U.S. The Atlantic Monthly runs an article about the Prison Industrial Complex and the Washington Post publishes an editorial on the exorbitant incarceration rate of the U.S., pointing out that we exceed even China. The Reader does a piece on Senseless Sentencing, probing the draconinan sentences for committers of minor crimes. This article features Dan Rostenkowski, an ex Congressman powerhouse who did time. Rostenkowski states that the legislature passes tough-on-crime bills with no insights into the meaning or consequences of its actions. The Chicago Tribune runs a letter to the editor from an activist that mentions U.S. political prisoners, when 12 years ago I couldn't pay to get anyone from the Reader to The New York Times to run an ad about my political-prisoner husband. (I tried to pay for some media since no one would do a story.) And the Chicago Tribune runs an article about an inmate lawsuit against Tamms, an Illinois maximum security control unit that opened amidst great pomp and circumstance of Governor Edgar and cronies holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring balloons and buttons. (The celebration was on account of all the dollars the prison means to Tamms.) Then the Chicago Tribune launches a series of serious, investigative articles that despite a few bows to the great U.S. justice system, focuses on the crimes committed by overzeaolous prosecutors who often railroad innocent people and what usually happens to these prosecutors in their self-discipline system: promotions. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did the same type of investigative articles a couple months earlier. PBS runs a gut-wrenching special called Snitch which shows, among other atrocities, how citizens in the U.S. are in good Nazi-Germany fashion, turning on friends, family and neighbors to save their own butts or the butts of their loved ones.
Of course, the Chicago Tribune continues its usual run of warm and fuzzy articles about this particular lawyer or that particular judge. They just won't give up that old need to remind us of our greatest in the world justice system before more people wake up to the realization that it's the greatest INjustice system in the world. Media creatures say they do this for balance. Since they're so worried about balance, when are we going to get the warm, sympathetic article about a mafia mobster or a gangbanger?
What's going on here with the mainstream media? I feel like I've been getting information from the truly reliable media, the alternative press. (At least they don't give us the contradictory mushy pieces in the feature sections.) Is the mainstream media stepping on some toes? Are they trying to make us as revolutionary activists feel like we're not doing our jobs? (Our organization seeks the abolishment of the entire U.S. judicial system on the grounds it's a systemic abuse of human right standards for the judiciary.) Are we supposed to thank the media for their "revelations" of the tip of this iceberg? Are we supposed to give them Pulitzer prizes while our brothers and sisters (brothers mostly, but the sisters are increasing) continue to die and be tortured on a daily basis at the hands of legal cold-blooded thugs and murderers?
Please, Nightline, The Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post, Reader, Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Frontline and any other mainstream media outlet that deserves mention here but didn't get it, how about that item equating the rise of the criminalization of ordinary American citizens with the rise in the number of practicing attorneys? You may be at last readying to listen to many of the reforms that are being bandied about by hundreds of reformist groups. But more and more of us reformists have already moved on while you've been dragging your complacent and kiss-ass butts. We no longer care about reform. We want nothing less than revolution. The abolishment of all current laws. The abolishment of all jails and prisons and holding centers. The abolishment of all courts and court houses and police stations. The abolishment of the U.S.' biggest mafiaso and gang: the judiciary and all of its subsidiary agents of terror.
State-loving collaborators, quislings and members of the brain-snatched ask me, but what then? What will you replace it with? I'll tell you what then. Nothing. You can release every robber, every rapist, every abuser, every serial murderer and not a single one of them alone or all of them together will reap the amount of devastation committed by our legal thugs day in and day out. Don't believe me? Ask an Iraqi. Ask a U.S. ghetto dweller. Ask a Guatemalan. Ask a Panamanian. Ask a Timoran Indian. Ask a Vietnamese. Ask a Cuban. Ask a South African. Ask a Mexican. Ask an American Indian. Ask a young African-American man.
In 1782, J. Hector St. John Crevecoeur said about our legal system, "A reformation is now wanted."
That didn't happen. It's 1999. Jane Doe says about our INjustice system, "A revolution is now wanted."
An essay submitted to mainstream media and Cyberspace, January 19, 1999