Tuesday, June 20, 2006

More Blogging on Torture

Diane over at Dees blogs on torture here:

But the concept of torture is not confined to war. Remember, during the 90s, how eager so many thousands of Americans were for the young American prisoner in Singapore to be caned? Look at American prisons: Sadistic torture is often the order of the day. Look at many American homes, where children are beaten, whipped, burned, and routinely humiliated by kneeling on rice, sometimes while holding cans of food.


It is time for Americans to take a look at our attitudes about torture. During wartime (even during fake wartime), we consider humiliation, pain, and rape "normal." Many parents consider the humiliation and pain of children to be "normal" because it reflects how they were treated by their own parents.

And millions of the biggest liberals around think nothing of dining on or wearing the products of daily, mass torture that is arguably the cruelest of all. If we are going to stop torture, we need to stop all of it.


Those are only excerpts -- there's more. I put them in because they outline my own path. I always knew torture was wrong; but I didn't always count what had been done to me as a kid as torture. I didn't count what was being done to my little brother -- what I was doing to my little brother (I helped raise him) as torture. No, that was just child-rearing. Hitting a kid with a belt, smacking him in the face, screaming at him, knocking him down, chasing him through the house shrieking you're going to keeping hitting him until he admits he has lied -- that's not abuse! That's not torture! That's, uh...

Well, you see the problem, folks, I'm sure.

I was about 22, 23, I forget exactly how old I was. Attending the University of New Orleans, studying philosophy, reading English, reading Anthropology, learning Latin. Reading all the arguments about the use of force and reading Kant and reading Plato and going to classes taught by feminist professors and scoffing at them, mostly, because, fucking shit, I wasn't oppressed, I had never been abused, not me. But it I remember it was an essay by Ellen Goodman that did it for me. She laid out in calm language how bizarre it was to reasonably believe that hitting a child would make that child act better, and how bizarre it was to classify hitting a child, for any reason, as anything other than abuse, and how, while obviously it made the parent or caretaker feel better to hit the child, made the parent or caretaker feel more empowered, it clearly did nothing for the child --

It was as if a light went off in my head. That, and the time when I was twelve and read about evolution for the first time in my mother's biology textbook, these are the clearest examples of Enlightenment I can give to you.

I am not yet as enlightenment about animal abuse as I'd like to be. I'm trying.

1 comment:

zelda1 said...

I think the most tortured group in America are children and of course animals. And sadly, they don't have a voice.