No Evacuation for Riker’s Island and Other Things Wrong With the World
August 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
On the one hand, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomburg is just a tool in the machine. On the other hand, he should step down from public office and devote the rest of his life to penance and fasting.
Bloomberg, pulling ahead in the political race to drive us into total societal decay, refuses to evacuate Riker’s Island in the face of Hurricane Irene. Riker’s Island is more vulnerable to the hurricane than are other parts of the city. Leaving the prisoners and guards there essentially plays russian roulette with an entire class of people.
It’s not like we as a country haven’t seen this in our lifetimes. Hurricane Katrina showed us what happens when people in prison are left to die. They die. That is not an accident but design – it’s institutionalized murder.
The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that just over three percent of the total U.S. population is imprisoned or jailed, on probation, or paroled. We know who these people are; they are poor people, People of Color, people deemed less than human. And we know that once it’s acceptable to categorize a class of people unfit or unworthy, that category can be expanded to include almost anyone.
And no, I really don’t think that prison is in any way a deterrent from crime, or that the justice system is anything more than a system designed to maintain and widen a permanent underclass. The way to reduce crime is to create a society where people are not deadened and desperate.
It’s not like all or most of the criminals are in prison. What is crime? Is it a crime when a New York City police officer is a serial rapist? Answer: maybe, but not an important one. Is it a crime when the head of the International Monetary Fund rapes a maid in an expensive New York City hotel?
Crime is crime when the people in power are hurt, or threatened, or looked at the wrong way. When those people commit crimes, that’s just Politics and Justice. That’s just Money.