Jun 23, 2018

American Prison Camps Are Built to Last, Evangelicals See Hand of God

"If you're at lunch, or if you have no appetite to hear what Germans have done, now is a good time to switch off the radio for I propose to tell you about Buchenwald."

It is on a small hill about four miles outside Weimar and it was one of the largest  concentration camps in Germany and it was built to last."
— Edward R. Murrow, April 11, 1945 broadcast from Buchenwald

For black and brown folk in the United States, child cages and concentration-camp complexes are an inviolate part of America, seemingly impervious to the political system.

It's part of who we are and democracy means no questions about who we are: a prison state erected by whites, for blacks and browns.

Whites are justified in calling down an armed police response to kill, imprison or fine you. And whites are feeling emboldened now-a-days.

See today for example, an eight-year-old, black girl sells water in early Summer in San Francisco. So, a resentful white phones the police hoping the cops come and arrest or kill someone. This idiot white has committed the moral equivalent of attempted homicide.

Not sure how Ginger Thompson and ProPublica managed to pierce the white American soul with their recordings of Trump abusing children at the internment camps, but ProPublica did just that.

Children getting abused and families being destroyed are acceptable outcomes of American society, favored outcomes in the white Evangelical mind because, you know, the authorities have deemed brutal treatment as just and necessary and we must obey as the Bible instructs.

The United States has a sordid history. This history should be understood as Trump expands the scope of the project of hurting people. [Read Amanda Schaffer's infuriating piece in The New Yorker about another eight-year-old, and then have a glass of wine and smoke-up, if you have it. (Great work, Ms. Schaffer.]

This expansion of cruelty is alarming as Evangelicals have already used the War on Drugs and post-911 police mania to inflict trauma and imprison black and brown folk, held in increasing disfavor.

Gov. Scott Walker (R) is the worst among a rouges' gallery of Republican offenders, but he had help.


Gov. Scott Walker offered something worse than deafening silence on Donald Trump’s unconscionable policy of tearing infants, toddlers, and children from their parents and placing them in 21st-century internment camps when he said he wouldn’t comment on a 'federal; issue.

Forty-eight hours later, when the governor traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with Donald Trump, he still felt no obligation to speak out against the human rights violation occurring on our border against children. Instead, he has been fundraising off of Facebook ads on the need to build the border wall and sending Wisconsin National Guard troops to the border.

Make no mistake, Walker’s cruel, political calculus on 'baby jails' is the culmination of a 25-year pattern of indifference and hostility to children of color that he has displayed during his lifetime in elected office.

Walker was an early backer of the private-prison industry, now enjoying boom times building new detention camps.

In 2013, Wisconsin led the nation in concentrating black men behind bars as Walker and Clinton's racial politics bore its rotten fruit, (Corley, NPR) (O'Hear, Marquette Law School).

From 2015:
It isn't just divide-and-conquer poor people-bashing that led the Clintons, Tommy Thompson [1987-2001], Walker and Paul Ryan to rise to positions of political power.

Clinton, as Bill Clinton has admitted, used 'anti-crime' legislation to create the largest population behind bars in world history, (Cohen, Brennen Center; Loury, Boston Review).

Clinton's federal drive to imprison minorities was matched by ALEC legislation on the state level, and in Wisconsin led by then State Rep. Scott Walker (R-Wauwatosa, (1993-2002)) and Gov. Tommy Thompson (1987-2001) to make Wisconsin into a state 'leviathan,' as Glenn Loury terms mass incarceration, stocking prisons (private and public), making the imprisoned' lives a 'living hell,' as Thompson campaigned in an infamous political TV spot. (Mal Contends) (Mal Contends) (Adelman, Valparaiso University Law Review) and (ALEC Exposed, PRWatch).
'Walker pushed dozens of proposals in the state house to lengthen criminal penalties, for everything from perjury to privacy invasion to intoxicated boating. In just the 1997–98 legislative session, Walker authored or co-sponsored twenty-seven different bills that either expanded the definition of crimes, increased mandatory minimums for offenders, or curbed the possibility of parole,' notes Scott Keyes in The Nation.

Walker openly bragged about his bill, the infamous Truth-in-Sentencing law, which limited early parole, as having come from the corporate bill mill, the American Legislative Exchange Committee.
Scott Walker is the classic 'double high authoritarian' who takes pleasure in deceiving and hurting perceived incarnations of the wrong [black] type of people, while also marked by the inclination and "willingness to submit to established authority, (and) their aggressiveness on behalf of that authority," (Dean, part one, CounterPunch and Dean, part two CounterPunch). Walker is obsequies to Donald Trump.

It's no great leap to imagine Walker, Trump and white Evangelicals accelerate the prison state, and if Americans are not already rereading Milton Mayer and Norman Cohn to understand the totalitarian mind, they should be.

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