Random Questions From a Prisoner in Solitary Confinement

1. Why does the United States embrace people and corporations that willingly and knowingly profited from Adolph Hitler’s killing of six million Jews during World War II? General Motors, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Standard Oil (now Exxon) all supported Hitler’s war machine by providing industrial support to Germany in exchange for millions of dollars. And they did this while also providing industrial support to the United States. How is it that the United States still supports these corporations while pledging support for Israel? I’ve never owned a car, but when I get out and buy my first vehicle, it’s probably going to be a Tesla! General Motors and Ford have way too much blood on their hands to get any of my money.

2. Why does the United States support Israel’s expanding, unjust occupation of Palestinian land? Isn’t it hypocritical to support the sovereignty of the more recently established country of Israel and not support the sovereignty of Palestine, which was established earlier? If the United States is willing to denounce communist Russia for taking the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, then why accept the seizure of Palestinian land? Such blatant acts of hypocrisy do nothing but create more division in the world.

3. Why does the United States cast its founding fathers as noble proponents of freedom when they were profiteers of oppression? Criticizing the legacies of the founding fathers is frowned upon, but is it sane to glorify proponents of slavery, murder, and the cultural destruction of Native Americans? If Adolph Hitler were a founding father of Germany, would Germans glorify and commemorate Hitler by placing his face on its currency? Or name institutions of higher education after him? What sane person would willingly attend Adolph Hitler University or The College of the Third Reich? Why, then, are Americans expected to ignore the character of their founding fathers? Do they have to be granted permission to acknowledge the truth about their founding?

4. Why do people in the United States allow adolescents to be recruited by the military to go and fight and kill and die in wars fought against impoverished countries and on behalf of billion-dollar corporations? Why can adult recruiters be allowed to convince an adolescent to consider becoming a soldier with a license to kill? Without an unending conveyor belt of impressionable adolescents to be manipulated, the dark agenda of war profiteering could not be achieved.

5. Why didn’t Barack Obama use his presidency to reform or dismantle the United States’ unjust, racist criminal justice system? In 2010 then-President Barack Obama was praised for decreasing the crack cocaine/powder cocaine sentencing disparity from a ratio of 100-to-one to a ratio of 18-to-one. I am no Harvard scholar like Obama, but how can it ever be considered just for a person convicted of possessing crack cocaine (often Blacks) to be sentenced EIGHTEEN times more severely than a person convicted of possessing powder cocaine (often Whites)? Beyond signing into law this unjust and wildly misnamed sentencing bill, “The Fair Sentencing Act,” Obama did nothing to reform or dismantle the nation’s criminal justice system. How did this happen? During his presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012, Obama used the color of his skin to win support from African Americans, but after each election we were hung out to dry, just as Cornel West was uninvited to the 2009 Inauguration in spite of being a key grass roots organizer for Obama’s campaign. Martin Luther King must have been rolling his grave.

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