Monday, August 08, 2005

Abuse of gay prisoners alleged in Los Angeles

Pandagon has a disturbing story about the treatment of gay inmates in the Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles.

Women, gays, and people of color have always been fair game in American prisons. One of the commenters on Jesse Taylor's blog post reminds us that in the mid-90's, Congress curtailed the rights of prisoners to sue for civil rights violations, making it easier for jailers to use humiliation and other types of verbal abuse against the incarcerated. And, as Taylor points out, now that we are in a how-dare-you-question-our-torture-of-prisoners state of mind, things can only get worse.

The ignorant among us are aghast that anyone would have any compassion ever for prisoners. There are several things wrong with their attitude:

It flies in the face of the Christianity that just about all of them profess all over the place.

There are people in prison in the U.S. who should not be there, in that they did not do anything illegal, or they did things of small conseqence. Lumping a guy with some marijuana in with a rapist and murderer is shallow thinking, to say the least.

The same people who want the lawbreakers to be put away may also be lawbreakers. How about, for instance, that 30-Oxycontin-a-day guy who screamed for all drug addicts to be hauled to prison and kept there? How about the hoardes of "Christian" law-and-order types who, as I write this, are illegally dumping trash or littering the highway, concealing unlicensed guns, letting their dogs run unleashed, driving while intoxicated, hitting their spouses or their kids' soccer coaches, smoking marijuana, chaining their dogs for hours on end, not declaring income on their tax returns, bribing judges, lying on their resumes, leaving the scene of an auto accident, beating up gay citizens, asking people like me to commit insurance fraud for them, or engaging in that old favorite--molesting children?

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