Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mean People

I have an ex-BF who used to say, pretty frequently, that the US is a "mean" country. Mostly in reference to our correctionals system, which in my mind has the punishment down pat, but forgets the "correct"ing part. And today I would like to provide one more tangent example from my own life- well, more accurately, the life of someone very close and therefore affecting me as well- that proves my ex was right- even though, ironically, he is a mean American. Only in his case, I think he really doesn't get that.

"You are correct, **(name witheld because I don't want this person to get some further punishment) is back in his regular cell, but then the infirmary did not send his medical chart back down, so he didn't get his heart medicine or blood sugar medicine again yesterday. I am so frustrated with the jail system. When he moved back to his cell block his old bed (read: slab) was taken, and people were sleeping on the floor, but a few people were released, and an empty bed became available. So he asked the guard, "Could I please move to bed 17? It's empty.' and the guard just looked him in the face and said 'FUCK YOU'. Can you believe that? **(Yes, actually, I can.) So he waited a little while and politely asked again, and the same guard slammed the door in his face. What an asshole, huh? I told him to wait to the 11:00 shift change and just ask someone else.

"I guess I never realized how flagrantly human rights were violated in a correctional system. I know that people who commit crimes have to have consequences, but to treat a non-violent small-time offender so poorly and in a manner which is inherently life-threatening (by refusing necessary medication) just sickens me. In my mind, keeping a human being confined against their will and refusing them the medication they need to live is nothing short of ATTEMPTED MURDER on the part of the Sheriff's Office, and they should be prosecuted as such. If funding does not allow for proper medical care for NONVIOLENT inmates as the Head Nurse explained to me, then they should be sentenced to HOUSE arrest with an electronic monitering anklet. He has a whole basket of medication sitting here that he bought and paid for. He has had three heart surgeries, has 2 stents in his heart, high blood pressure, depression/anxiety, and diabetes. He works out every day, eats properly, and does everything he can to maintain good health. He should have to pay for his crime with his time, not his physical health.

"In fact, I am so angry that I would like to address this issue on a political level, as I wonder how many people have died as a result of receiving inadequate medical care in jail. I think that if it is determined by medical proof that a NONVIOLENT offender cannot receive adequate medical care in jail, and that it could result in serious bodily injury or death to the individual, that they should be sentenced to house arrest with electronic monitering. In my mind the same would not apply to violent offenders, as this would pose a threat to the general public. Maybe you could give me some advice as to how I could go about trying to pass a bill like this. "

Well, babe, welcome to America. Sorry to say, but I don't feel terribly patriotic right now, on top of the fact that I don't feel particularly like returning as a grad student again to a university that is not in keeping with its proposed mission.

But, this jail incident gave me an opportunity to divert my attention to some other infraction of humanity, and I replied to this intimate with yet another rant, but it's someone who takes my words seriously, so I felt better, in the sense that I am now raving mad about something else, but at least know I'm being heard on some level.

"Wow, **(person I love), that has me all pissed off, and finally something to take my mind off the museum closing. **(hurtful ex) used to say that this is such a mean country. Ironically, he is a mean person and doesn't even realize it. But, anyway, that's beside the point. It's true. Look at a major case like Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, the way we treat other people we think maybe might have done something that offends us but we aren't sure but that's OK because even if we suspect it we can act with such hubris as to think those people are not human and can be held in horrible tortuous and neglectful and abusive circumstances as we like, just to get revenge- just in case- and to prove how **(for the faint of heart and the religiously and morally horrified by swear words- when in fact there are far huger misappropriations of behavior out there) f*ing great we are. Because we are just a bunch of great f*ing people who can ruin the entire economic system of the world and then insist that we still know best and the people who ruined it for the rest of us know more than the rest of us so should get a whole bunch of money from us that doesn't technically exist so they can 'fix it.'

"I want to puke. Actually, all of what's going on in the big world (GM) and the state world (the museum) was enough on my soul that I've been struggling really bad with my own depression and having anxiety attacks, which I had finally been able to get under control after having been with **(hurtful ex). So, anyway, this whole thing about **(name witheld to avoid further punishment) is just one more instance of people in power abusing it.

"Here is where I would start, and all of the research can be done online:"

In fact, this could be a difficult thing to do. I mean, in my own research for a photo of abuse in American jails, I have found mostly extremely lenthy lists of Iraqi mention. We're so stuck over there we don't have any idea, or care, it seems, about what we do to our own people in our own country. I am so checking out, right after I give you this link to a relevant report, which I did find:

(Hooray for technology, right? At least I'm not howling about my laptop these days.)

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