Just Say No… And then Switch the Channel!

Good ol’ boy Jeff Sessions (does his annoy you as much as it does me?) wants to resurrect the drug-war, just as it seemed to be winding down. I don’t mean to imply that it was ending in any way. The mass-incarceration is still going strong and there’s still incredible amounts of money to be made by locking up the convicted (the tired and poor) in abhorrent conditions that seem to aim more for recidivism instead of rehabilitation. The US prison industry is in constant violation of any standard human-rights ethos, one that involves the modicum of empathy, but most people, even the very moral don’t seem to care.
Because it’s great entertainment of course! The misery of these mental cases these violent hot-boxes is great fodder for some sleazy reality TV-show. We watch these people being put in solitary confinement, watch them lose their mind and we love it. Sometimes we feel bad about them. You don’t need to be a psych-major to know that this is not a good environment for people like this. Whatever mental affliction they grew up with, its negative impacts will exacerbate when locked between four walls for hours, days, weeks without any stimulus. We are all just waiting for one of those classic psychotic rants these guys come with once they are freed from their cage.
People mock the marijuana cause but that’s because people don’t understand the big picture. It’s not just about those who want the freedom to toke up, it’s for those whose lives were ruined by busted by some overzealous cop. Many of these same shows introduce us to people who were busted for position, marijuana being a schedule 1 drug equal to heroin, get locked up for years, sometimes minimum fifteen years and even when they get out, their prospects of becoming an equal citizen is shockingly small. The world outside adores these desperate men, for one there is an opening, they can give them low-paying jobs with little to no benefits. Once they get in trouble, whether through paying some medical bills for the rest of their lives because they aren’t covered or loaning money from some shady lenders, they will suck the life out of these saps. Sometimes the American capitalistic seems like that: just waiting for someone to screw up so badly, just so they can take advantage of them and throw them away when they’ve become useless. Get them so desperate so they start doing something stupid, then lock them up and boost your profits.
Yet people just don’t want to care about them. People are more appalled by the pleasant conditions in Norwegian prisons than by the abhorrent conditions in the American prison. This is despite the fact that many prisoners in Norway become less violent and has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the entire world. To truly grasp this issue, is to delve into the reasons of why people cling onto wishing severe punishment for such offenders. In some case, it’s easier to talk when I haven’t lost a loved one by the hands of a criminal, yet if we truly believe in rehabilitation or want to grasp why people commit evils, we must give up certain concepts and start investing in others.
Perhaps notions of free will must be challenged. Psychological testing of prisoners. Communities must be build so that they have somewhere to feel welcome. Most of all; end this drug-war which has only continued the hegemony of gangs, continued profits for these criminal organizations, destroys lives and are blatant offenders of human rights. So blatant, you can see them on your TV screen.

In a world in which we wondered about the day when we would see gladiators on screen or when we would see a show like 1987’s Running Man, we didn’t pay attention to what already snaked onto our television screen. It might not involve people being hunted for entertainment, but as it is, it’s an embarrassment for any nation that says it stands for universal human rights. 

But as Richard Killian (Richard Dawson) told Ben (good ol’ Arnie): ”’we give em what they want!.. We’re number one!… That’s all that counts.”

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