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Life Arts

"The House I live in:" America's Slow Motion Social Holocaust

By       Message Herbert Calhoun     Permalink
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Step 6: Eliminate the culprit from society altogether. The Nazi's "final solution" to their Jewish problem remains unchallenged as one of history's worst known human atrocities. Six million Jews were gassed and then their bodies burned in ovens. This was done in a technocratic bureaucracy of death yet to be surpassed in human history. 

On the other hand, in the U.S. war on drugs, we have a more indirect bureaucratic mechanism for effectively ending the lives of those admitted into our criminal justice system. They ener and are either never heard from againt, or they appear on our inner city streets as permanently crippled ghost, incapable of assuming the role of a viable citizen in the U.S. ever again. It is a slow-motion social death and thus the collusion of the criminal injustice system coupled with the prison industrial complex, has created a slow motion holocaust that spreads from the prisons to the families of those warehoused. The families too die a slow death. 

The wheels that turn the crank of this machinery, is America's one-sided color-coded criminal justice system, coupled with a profit-making prison industrial complex. One goes through the solemn motions of being fair and impartial, while the other goes through the motion of saving the government money as a more efficent alternative profit-making way of doing what the goevernment cannot do as well. Even though it is recognized by everyone, including those on the front line of the war on drugs that both systems are but cruel components of the same purposeful machinery, one that is purposely stacked and rigged against low-level black American drug users and pushers. It is one machine that rolls on like the trains and oven of Nazi Germany, one that until very recently, white Americans by and large were immune to and thus whites did not concern themselves with it. They ignored the slow-motion holocaust primarily because it was a system rigged against blacks and Latinos, not against whites. 

However, as this movie underscores (and it seems is always true of the evolution of American social processes), with the recent primarily white methamphidimine epidemic, the machinery once targeted only against blacks has finally jumped the color-coded tracks into the very heartland of white America. And, now, the fastest growing group of those who are imprisoned and warehoused are coming from America's white hinderlands of Nebracka, Misouri, and Iowa. It is also the small hinderland towns that have become dependent on the building of newer more sophisticated prisons that provide jobs for the "good people," so that they can continue to protect themselves from the "bad people."  Yet the very people that they scorn, also are the ones that provide them a salary -- as prison guards, prison doctors, nurses, and social workers -- and thus provide them an econmic reason for existing. It is a curious kind of human exchange: the survival of one humanity at the price of the death of another.  What a movie! Ten stars!

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Retired Foreign Service Officer and past Manager of Political and Military Affairs at the US Department of State. For a brief time an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Denver and the University of Washington at (more...)

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