Yesterday I spoke up in support of the Judge who ordered SRS for the murderer.
Since then I have seen a number of posts written by sisters who sound like they have a framed picture of Sheriff Joe Arpiao on the wall over their bed.
All the talk about law and order and getting tough on criminals.
I’ve been on the receiving end of the nightstick.
I’ve been arrested on trumped up charges, charged with possession of drugs which the police brought with them.
I’m white and supposedly have white skin privilege, although a lot of that privilege vanishes when one is working class or poverty class, when one is a hippie or a trans-person.
It is hard for me to cheer the police/prison industrial complex when at times in my life I have come way too close to being devoured by it.
Sometimes when I hear those who talk so freely about making the criminals really pay and how simple imprisonment is way too cushy I understand how the German people formed the mob that supported the genocide of six million Jews and as many millions of various other groups they were told to hate.
It is easy to go along with the mob.
I was bullied as a child, I still live with what is now called PTSD from that abuse. It destroyed my education and erased opportunities from my life. The scars are still there.
Along the way I discovered people who provided me with moral models of thought and behavior.
One of those people is Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
I was still drinking when the apartheid state in South Africa fell, I couldn’t appreciate their Council of Reconciliation, where participants in the apartheid regime confessed their crimes and were forgiven.
The expected blood bath never happened.
Since I quit drinking I’ve come to understand the power of letting go and forgiving others the way I too would wish for forgiveness.
It isn’t about religion. It is about taking a role in creating the sort of world I wish to live in.
I dream of living in a world where people do not go to bed hungry, or want for a place to live. A world where people’s medical needs are met.
I do not believe in condoning the abuse of animals including human beings.
If we incarcerate people for committing crimes, isn’t simply separating them from their freedom punishment enough. While giving them an environment to learn the error of their ways and encouragement to change and be come the sort of person who belongs in society would be a better form of treatment than abusing them..
I watch a television show, The Dog Whisper, with Cesar Millan. He doesn’t beat or abuse dogs to end their viciousness he shows them how to get along.
Why do we treat people with abuse and then expect them to become better people. It doesn’t work for dogs, why would anyone think it would work with people?
Today one of my Facebook friends wrote of being in a restaurant and listening to people make racist comments about the President.
He called them on it and publicly rebuked them.
Too often, as a white person I have listened to other white people make viciously racist comments about people of color. Sometimes I have spoken up, sometimes I have said, “I do not share your feelings.” But sometimes I’ve said nothing.
By not speaking out I am giving tacit approval to those racist sentiments.
The same goes with homophobia and transphobia.
There was an old Black Panther Party slogan that arose when the party shifted from its revolutionary stance to its, “Serve the People” position.
You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem.
We have seven billion people on this not so big blue marble, soon we will have ten. We face extinction or at least a massive die off as a species unless we make major changes and stop living in the barbarism of the Dark Ages.
We have to find ways to end the wars and brutality, the exploitation of people and nature alike. But people won’t change as long as we continue with racism and all the other isms of abuse. We won’t change until we embrace the change within ourselves, until we start taking moral stands against bullying and abuse.