Congratulations America-- you just passed a remarkable milestone this year. Well, actually two years ago. First time, more than one in every 100 adults in the United States is... what? Smart? Rich? Single? A heroin addict? Alcoholic? Educated? A member of the Tea Party? Mexican? Dutch? Drives a BMW? Bikes to work? Has a PHD? Works for the government? What?
That's not one of every 100 males. It's 1 of every 100 adults.
I would suggest to you that any nation that would incarcerate 1% of it's population, barring the most ridiculously extreme set of circumstances, which I can't even imagine, is collectively psychotic. This is an unsustainable circumstance, a cesspool of repression and denial, a cancer of social and political malignancy.
One in every 100 adults is in prison.
This is a society that has completely failed to deal with crime and justice in a responsible way. It is the path of a third world dictatorship, a tin pot fiefdom, a colonial outpost, a medieval manor with witches and heretics and plague.
Put it together with the empty factories and warehouses and plants in Detroit and Buffalo and the mid-western states... this is a country that needs to go back to the drawing board and redefine what it understands as the social contract between citizens and government, between workers and employers, between police and suspects.
So, America, what is the meaning of this? Bad luck? Godless atheism? Religious fanaticism? You are among the most repressive, authoritarian states in history on this issue: you love locking people up.
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© Bill Van Dyk
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