I could NOT understand why Albert W. Florence was kept in jail for a week and strip-searched twice, even though he had a document proving that the fine that showed up in the computer was paid. Then I saw his photo. This is a beautiful man. I believe he was jailed out of envy and to teach him a lesson and because of latent homosexuality. It was the Mandingo effect. He was lucky that he was not Chief Heavyrunner who was shot through HIS document proving he was a peace chief, also through his child daughter (killing her) and through his heart (killing him). Same dynamics. The massacre of Heavyrunner’s band, which was innocent of the crime for which they were being punished, started up a fire in the hearts of the tribe that is still not burned out. It’s like one of those coal seam fires that smoulders underground for decades. When it gets oxygen, it flares out.
This is not different from requiring every woman who wants NOT to add to the world’s oversupply of unwanted babies to have a probe stuck up her intimate parts. Mechanical rape. Remember those girls who were protesting by sitting in an office holding hands inside lengths of pipe and how the law enforcers made them let go by painting their eyelids with bear spray on Q-tips? Remember the faces of those men as they gripped the girls’ heads between their knees? I do.
This summer is going to be scary. This decision is oxygen for a smouldering fire. First there was the Supreme decision, very fishy, that put George Bush into office as president. Then there was the Supreme decision that ruled corporations are persons and may buy elections. Now this. And in the background the recession creeps along, displacing people from jobs and homes. Next up: universal health care.
Maybe Occupy will start a new sub-group: “Occupy-Nude, Strip Search Ready,” and use the Doukobor’s classic peaceful protest: preemptive disrobing. Maybe there will be people who get tattoos pointing to their points of interest: “Start search here.” We could put an arrow pointing to the belly button to fool them. (What do they do about colostomies? And do they have supplies of, um, new bags in case they’re needed?) Maybe there will be protesters lined up like military boot camp, already bent over and spread to save the searchers trouble. Of course, that gesture has other meanings. If they find lice, do they shave heads and dust with ddt?
I’m 73 this year but since I lost weight to counter my diabetes, I’m a size OneX body in a threeXXX skin. Now I have added folds in which I can hide quite a bit, actually. If I were asked to squat and cough at the same time, I would probably just tip over and have to be helped up, which would be a gesture of support and human kindness. I’m glad the strip searchers are not supposed to touch (I wonder if they resist that consistently) because what REALLY makes me flare up is having someone grip my shoulder in that supposedly friendly gesture of dominance and control. (Happened just the other day.) Maybe they could require all strip searchers to learn how to recognize early signs of melanoma. That would add a little justification.
The comments of these Supreme Court Justices show they do not understand at all the language of dominance, gestures, clothing, movement, tone of voice and so on that cause one person to attack another, esp. in a situation of adrenaline flooding. Mr. Florence showed amazing restraint. I know very few men who would stand (literally) for his treatment. Interestingly, they are all high status men of color who think their way through it. Imagine Obama being strip-searched. Now imagine Clarence Thomas being strip-searched. (They might find where he hid his voice.) We could have a lot of fun with this. I don’t think Mitt Romney COULD be strip-searched. I think his suits ARE him.
I was in one of those big box stores today and chatted with the clerk. He used to be a cop in Florida. He was wary of my questions, but we agreed that a low-status violent guy who has a record and has been subjected to physical abuse, sexual or not, is going to fight anyone who tries to lay a hand on him. The personal circle around him will be wide and electric. Reaction will be fast and violent. This legal opinion is supposed to be narrow: only applying to people arrested, processed and joining a jail or prison population.
That’s not what people hear. They hear ANYONE can be strip-searched for ANYTHING. It is a potent threat to deter demonstrators: we’ll take your fingerprints, your photo, your DNA, and we’ll scrutinize your naked body -- might make a few remarks in the process. Might not resist a poke here or there. Oh, yes, your mom, too, if she was there.
“The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure shall not be violated.” The Fourth Amendment. Why isn’t it as important as the right to bear arms? Oh, boy. Sign me up for the ACLU. I can’t resist it any longer. I need an alphabetical backup, a left-wing NRA.
Just as I am reading all this scientific research about how compassion and cooperation were evolutionary steps towards the creation of human beings, I’m hearing one example after another of callousness, self-serving, and viciousness. It seems to me that our society is making these latter qualities criteria for survival. You’ll get along a lot better if you don’t pay attention to all these mewling idiots and take care of your own people. Wall your community. Volunteer to patrol. Stock up on ammo! If people make your life miserable, go in there, line ‘em up and shoot ‘em. Worry about the consequences later. At least you’ll have the satisfaction. It’s too expensive to address the actual conditions of incarceration. The only way to separate the sheep from the goats is to look under their scrotums.
People who are devolved to nothing but their own interests don’t think at all. They react. They take. No amount of strip-searching is going to deter them from finding a way to do what they want. What WILL deter many people is the dishonor of acting like that and the higher goal of peaceful human relationships. But where will they learn that? Not from watching “The Shield” or “Justified.”
I live in a village not far from the Rockies. Our deputies are humane and intelligent. They’re on good terms with kids, women and Indians. We’re in an oil boom. I would not want our deputies to be shot at a traffic stop because some desperate floater trying to find work was terrified of strip searches. And for locals to think about, do you want your neighbor who manages the jail to strip search you?