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View Diary: The Despicable Acceptance of Torture in Our Culture (222 comments)

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  •  We haven't. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bhishma

    Ask some of the families of black people who were lynched.  The last one in my hometown was only in the 1930s -- a 10 year old girl who stole something.  There is a commemorative plaque on the street where the hanging took place.

    2.5 trillion dollars have been "borrowed" since the [SS] system was "reformed" in the 80s and they simply don't want to pay it back. - dKos Blogger -

    by Silverbird on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 01:08:18 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Weird criticism. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      svboston

      You only support my point.  Look at the care with which we discuss race relations.  Look how quickly a racist assertion will be shouted down on the site.  Notice that no one will make a joke about lynching and live to tell about it.  Take a poll to see how Americans feel about lynching, okay sometimes or never?  You won't find these ambiguous results.  The difference, I'm contending, is that we are too far removed from the actual experience.

      Jeez.

      FDR: I welcome their hatred. Obama: I welcome their advice.

      by geomoo on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 01:11:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No geomoo -- you live in a little dailykos bubble (0+ / 0-)

        Through out this land, you can find many, many people who will joke about lynchings and whine that you're just too "PC" if you object.

        You may be too removed -- but anyone over 40 years old lived through a time where mob violence was a real possibility. Anyone over 60 probably took part, on one side or the other.

        No, we're blind to the reality of our own lives. We live in little fantasy worlds, pretending that the threat of tyranny and the reality isn't there every day.

        What, are you 17 years old?

        •  I'm sixty, and I grew up in the South. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          svboston

          When I grew up, people said n****r anytime they wanted, and the only thing worse than a n****r was a n****r lover.  Things have changed. Even if I were 17, my opinion would be more worthy of respect than you are offering.

          So, I guess your point is that people are innately horrible, the support of torture would be the same even if dumped bodies were lying about in our midst as they once were in Chile.  I wonder what is stopping people from lynching today?

          You seem to want to fight.  You seem to want to be on a high horse.  You seem to want to criticize others.  I have no idea what you hope to accomplish, what you hope to improve, by coming on strong and critical to someone who did more than his part to change the reality in the South.  Is this about you and your feelings or about something constructive?

          Never mind.  I don't want to have this weird, out-of-the-blue conversation in a diary about torture.  If you disagree with me, fine.  Perhaps you could put forward your own case about why Americans are so ready to condone torture instead of just complaining about how horrible people are.  I happen to think people's thinking would be cleared up by greater familiarity with the real thing.

          So long.

          FDR: I welcome their hatred. Obama: I welcome their advice.

          by geomoo on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 01:38:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silverbird, Bhishma

      We pretend we haven't experienced tyranny. We try to forget. But into the 50s, people were being lynched.

      Into the 60's, folks were being assassinated, and the assassins were protected by the state.

      School buses full of children were attacked into the 70's.

      In the '70s and '80s, the FBI were breaking into opposition offices and stealing and destroying paperwork.

      God knows what's happening now that most of us aren't aware of. We know that in the last decade QUAKERS were being tracked. We know that your local police department can, today, simply call up Sprint and ask your location (8 MILLION times has Sprint revealed individuals locations without court order!) We know that massive data vacuums are in operation TODAY.

      So folks can pretend that tyranny is something new in American history. That for the first 100 years of American history half the population weren't considered citizens at all -- could have ANYTHING done to them. That until the 1890's villages in the US were being burned to the ground, men, women and children murdered.

      That we weren't feeding radioactive cereal to children in the 50's. I guess that's not tyranny. That until the 1970's men were knowingly left infected with syphillis as part of a government funded program. That courts could order folks sterilized in the US until the late '70s!

      No, America hasn't known tyranny for 200 years. Thank God for the mystical protection of the Constitution, and the God-like wisdom of the founding fathers that has protected from tyranny for two centuries.

      Gah -- sometimes it's just too much.

      •  But earlier they had to keep it secret (0+ / 0-)

        or there would have been an upwelling of popular outrage.

        The radioactive cereal experiments were secret and unpublicized (we are only just learning about them).

        The Tuskegee syphilis study was secret and unpublicized.

        Nobody talked about "sterilization of the unfit", it was just done quietly and never reported on.

        For that matter, nobody talked about lobotomization - it was just done quietly and never reported on.

        Once the stories started to come out, the shit really hit the fan....

        If it's
        Not your body
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        AND it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 05:01:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some of it was, some of it wasn't (0+ / 0-)

          The "sterilization of the unfit" was quite publicly discussed in the academic and the mainstream media from 1900 'til WWII loomed on the horizon -- just like the projected "race war", the lynchings that were threatened by public newspapers in the aftermath of the Jack Johnson victories and such.

          What happened was that after WWII, our cold-war propaganda campaign came into direct conflict with the realities of American life -- just as it did in reverse in the Soviet bloc. We were both forced to behave in a more human manner -- the Soviets quit their purges and mass murders, while we were force to at least "disapprove" of the worst of our own excesses and hide them.

          It was a good thing. But now there's no Cold War, removing one of the controls -- but we still believe our own bullshit about ourselves.

          I see ugly things on the horizon if we don't face up to our history.

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