Jack wrote this in October, 2006:
anne c’s blog, ugly Americans, about anti-homosexual bigotry got me thinking on the subject. As I considered the matter it dawned on me, maybe the reason people aren’t horrified about sending our youngsters off to the penal institions for victimless crimes to be gang-raped for a few years is partly the result of changes in our attitudes about homosexuality.
Send a 20 year old middle class Anglo kid off to the pen and it’s a done deal. Any problem with that?
I suppose the answer would be, “He’s lucky. Lots of sex to be had in prison these days. No need for women.”
That’s the only rationale I can put together that would explain Americans condoning what’s happening.
A few years ago early ’90s I was working in a NM State office in Santa Fe. We had prisoners from the NM State Correctional Institute cleaning up the offices daytimes.
One was a kid, maybe 20, 21, Anglo, two years into a 5 year sentence for possession with intent to sell a pound of jade. A courteous young man, but pained and bitter.
One day I was standing outside on break and he came and stood beside me… smokers exchanging small talk. “You ought to be coming up for parole before long. You must be behaving yourself to be able to work away outside this way.”
“I don’t want parole.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
“I can’t go home. I can’t face anyone anymore.”
“Listen man. I wasn’t in that hole a week before I’d been raped by every prick in the place who was bigger than me. I came in there as a man and I’ll be leaving as something else.
“You think I can go home? You think I can ever go anywhere and look people in the eye? If I live to get out of there I’m going to kill myself.”
Not much I could think of to say to that kid. Tough gig, sexual preference, sometimes. Tough gig, life and learning to live with the consequences of lousy judgements.