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U.S. is the Worst Police State in the World – By the Numbers | Glen Ford

When U.S. corporate media operatives use the term “police state,” they invariably mean some other country. Even the so-called “liberal” media … cannot bring themselves to say “police state” and the “United States” without putting the qualifying words “like” or “becoming” in the middle. The U.S. is behaving “like” a police state, they say, or the U.S. is in danger of “becoming” a police state. But it is never a police state. Since these privileged speakers and writers are not themselves in prison – because what they write and say represents no actual danger to the state – they conclude that a U.S. police state does not, at this time, exist.

Considering the sheer size and social penetration of its police and imprisonment apparatus, the United States is not only a police state, but the biggest police state in the world, by far: the police state against whose dimensions all other police systems on Earth must be measured.

By now, even the most insulated, xenophobic resident of the Nebraska farm belt knows that the U.S. incarcerates more people than any country in the world. He might not know that 25 percent of prison inmates in the world are locked up in the U.S., or that African Americans comprise one out of every eight of the planet’s prisoners. But, that Nebraska farmer is probably aware that America is number one in the prisons business. He probably approves. God bless the police state.

For the American media, including lots of media that claim to be of the Left, it is axiomatic that China is a police state. And maybe, by some standards, it is. But, according to United Nations figures, China is 87th in the world in the proportion of its people who are imprisoned. China is a billion people bigger than the United States – more than four times the population – yet U.S. prisons house in excess of 600,000 more people than China does. The Chinese prison population is just 70 percent of the American Gulag. That’s quite interesting because, non-whites make up about 70 percent of U.S. prisons. That means, the Black, brown, yellow and red populations of U.S. prisons number roughly the same as all of China’s incarcerated persons. Let me emphasize that: The American People of Color Gulag is as large as the entire prison population of China, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people.

However, police states must be measured by conditions behind the bars, as well as raw numbers of inmates. And, by that standard, the American Gulag is even more monstrous.

Civilized people now recognize that solitary confinement is a form of torture. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, reports that solitary confinement beyond 15 days at a stretch crosses the line of torture, yet, as Al Jazeera recently reported, it is typical for hundred of thousands of U.S. prisoners to spend 30 or 60 days in solitary at a stretch. Twenty thousand are held in perpetual isolation in so-called supermax prisons – that is, they exist in a perpetual state of torture. Studies now show that, all told, 80,000 U.S. prisoners are locked up in solitary on any given day.That’s as many tortured people as the entire prison system of Germany, or of England, Scotland and Wales, combined.

If that is not a police state, then no such thing exists on planet Earth.

(Source: theamericanbear, via queer--up)

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israelfacts:

IDF Spokesman Posts Blackface Photo Of Himself As Obama
The head of the Israeli Army’s social media campaign has come under criticism for a scandalous picture on his Facebook page. The photo in question shows Sacha Dratwa wearing what appears to be blackface, alongside a caption that reads “Obama Style.”
He released a statement after his photo gained worldwide attention, not issuing an apology:

There have been attempts to make use of private photos from my Facebook profile in order to publicly misrepresent my opinions. Due to the amount of public attention I’ve garnered in recent days I have decided to restrict access to my page, in order to protect my privacy and prevent further cynical use of the information therein.
I am, and have always been, completely candid about my beliefs and have nothing to hide – as reflected by my Facebook profile, which until recently was open to everyone. The aforementioned photos do not reflect my beliefs and have no bearing whatsoever on my position in the IDF.

Related: Israel is deporting Africans and also putting tens of thousands of them into detention camps

israelfacts:

IDF Spokesman Posts Blackface Photo Of Himself As Obama

The head of the Israeli Army’s social media campaign has come under criticism for a scandalous picture on his Facebook page. The photo in question shows Sacha Dratwa wearing what appears to be blackface, alongside a caption that reads “Obama Style.”

He released a statement after his photo gained worldwide attention, not issuing an apology:

There have been attempts to make use of private photos from my Facebook profile in order to publicly misrepresent my opinions. Due to the amount of public attention I’ve garnered in recent days I have decided to restrict access to my page, in order to protect my privacy and prevent further cynical use of the information therein.

I am, and have always been, completely candid about my beliefs and have nothing to hide – as reflected by my Facebook profile, which until recently was open to everyone. The aforementioned photos do not reflect my beliefs and have no bearing whatsoever on my position in the IDF.

Related: Israel is deporting Africans and also putting tens of thousands of them into detention camps

(via anarcho-queer)

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futurejournalismproject:

Occupy Crowdsourcing Debt Forgiveness
Strike Debt, an Occupy Wall Street offshoot, launched Rolling Jubilee late last week to buy back and forgive debt. To do so, it’s collecting funds and then purchasing debt in arrears:

Banks sell debt for pennies on the dollar on a shadowy speculative market of debt buyers who then turn around and try to collect the full amount from debtors. The Rolling Jubilee intervenes by buying debt, keeping it out of the hands of collectors, and then abolishing it. We’re going into this market not to make a profit but to help each other out and highlight how the predatory debt system affects our families and communities. Think of it as a bailout of the 99% by the 99%.

As of this morning, Rolling Jubilee has raised over $350,000 with which it has purchased (and forgiven) over $7.1 million in debt.
Small change when compared to the $1 trillion in student loan debt Americans owe but important to consider. As Rolling Jubilee notes, part of the effort is to “highlight how the predatory debt system affects our families and communities.”

futurejournalismproject:

Occupy Crowdsourcing Debt Forgiveness

Strike Debt, an Occupy Wall Street offshoot, launched Rolling Jubilee late last week to buy back and forgive debt. To do so, it’s collecting funds and then purchasing debt in arrears:

Banks sell debt for pennies on the dollar on a shadowy speculative market of debt buyers who then turn around and try to collect the full amount from debtors. The Rolling Jubilee intervenes by buying debt, keeping it out of the hands of collectors, and then abolishing it. We’re going into this market not to make a profit but to help each other out and highlight how the predatory debt system affects our families and communities. Think of it as a bailout of the 99% by the 99%.

As of this morning, Rolling Jubilee has raised over $350,000 with which it has purchased (and forgiven) over $7.1 million in debt.

Small change when compared to the $1 trillion in student loan debt Americans owe but important to consider. As Rolling Jubilee notes, part of the effort is to “highlight how the predatory debt system affects our families and communities.”

(via reagan-was-a-horrible-president)