Freedom Rider: Prison Rape, America’s Torture

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Freedom Rider: Prison Rape, America’s Torture

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Movies and jokes told by stand up comics elicit bizarre interest or laughs if the subject is rape behind bars. The horror of sexual assault is usually not considered amusing, unless it takes place in America’s prison industrial complex.

Talking about prison rape means acknowledging the full horror of this nation’s reliance on the prison system to keep some groups, black American’s in particular, in a place of ultimate control and subservience. The 2 million person prison population is fully one half black, a statistic which in and of itself ought to create outrage and protest.

It is right and proper to be angry that Omar Khadr, taken into custody as a minor and threatened with rape, should still be detained at Guantanamo. It is not right to focus on the Khadr case without also acknowledging the horrors inherent in the American prison system, the largest on earth. Nations openly scorned as backward and uncivilized have but a fraction of their populace behind bars. The self-described “land of the free” is anything but, with only 5 percent of the world’s population and almost 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.

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