Wdw 2009 Gang Abatement Neg Prison k rafi

Download 80.1 Kb.
Size80.1 Kb.

WDW 2009 Gang Abatement Neg – Prison K

rafi /


Index 1

Shell 2

Link – Racism 4

Neoliberalism Module


Apartheid Module


Deportation Turn 9

Sensationalism Turn 11

Psychosis Turn 13

Plan Doesn’t Solve


AT Perm 16

AT FW / You’re cheating

Before I let you see Rafi’s neat foreword, One note about this file, it is NOT a K in the traditional sense, it is more a critical net benefit for the prevention counterplan. That is All ~Dan
To think about the origins of hip hop in this culture and also about homeland security is to see that there are at the very least two worlds in America.

One of the well-to-do and the struggling.

For if ever there was the absence of homeland security it is seen in the gritty roots of hip hop. For the music arises from a generation that feels with some justice that they have been betrayed by those who came before them.

That they are at best tolerated in schools, feared on the streets, and almost inevitably destined for the hell holes of prison.

They grew up hungry, hated, and unloved.

And this is the psychic fuel that seems to generate the anger that seems endemic in much of the music and poetry.

One senses very little hope above the personal goals of wealth and the climb above the pit of poverty.

In the broader society the opposite is true, for here more than any place on earth wealth is more wide spread and so bountiful. What passes for the middle class in America could pass for the upper class in most of the rest of the world. Their very opulent and relative wealth makes them insecure.

And homeland security is a governmental phrase that is as oxymoronic, as crazy as saying military intelligence, or the U.S Department of Justice.

They're just words that have very little relationship to reality.

And do you feel safer now?

Do you think you will anytime soon?

Do you think duck tape and Kleenex and color codes will make you safer?

From Death row this is Mumia Abu Jamal 


The Gang Abatement Act leads to racial targeting and cycles of violence while increasing poverty.
Muhammad and Shabazz 2004
[Federal gang bill is ‘open warfare,’ says activist By Nisa Islam Muhammad and Saeed Shabazz Staff Writers Updated Sep 10, 2004 http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_1569.shtml]
“Statistics prove that draconian laws don’t solve this problem. They don’t address the root problem of mental, physical and spiritual abuse. Gang members didn’t title themselves. They came together as a result of the effects of poverty that destroyed their nuclear families,” he told The Final Call. One of the most controversial components of the bill, S-1735, deals with prosecutors being able to treat 16-year-olds as adults if they commit murder, manslaughter, carjacking or armed robbery. Currently, only a federal judge may decide whether a juvenile should be treated as an adult in federal court. Backers of the bill say that, while the law would allow U.S. attorneys to make that decision, a judge would still have the final say. If S-1735 becomes law, gang recruitment may be punishable up to 10 years in jail; two gang street crimes may be punishable up to 30 years in prison; gang members who commit murder may be sentenced to the death penalty or life in prison; and gang members may be given separate consecutive sentences any time they are convicted of both being in a gang and committing violence as part of a gang. Critics of the bill say that it won’t have any positive impact on deterring youth gang violence or point young people in the right direction. “Obviously, this is open warfare on our children,” charged Sgt. DeLacy Davis, founder of East Orange, N.J.-based Black Cops Against Police Brutality, and the only police officer privy to “gang” meetings in Newark leading up to the peace protocols by the Bloods and Crips signed there in May this year. “Yes, we have a problem in our communities with young people who have organized themselves into so-called gangs, but this bill is not the solution,” he continued. “What is happening is that the mindset that built these private prisons has decided that our children shall guarantee the success of the prison industrial complex, which is a multi-million-dollar industry. This mandatory sentencing does not work; it causes a negative impact on city and state budgets.”
This perpetuates the mindset of targeting out the poor and disenfranchised in order to benefit the rich, leading to vicious cycles of self loathing and a death rate that exceeds nuclear war.
Mumia-Jamal, 98
[A QUIET AND DEADLY VIOLENCE By Mumia Abu-Jamal, activist and scholar, http://www.mumia.nl/TCCDMAJ/quietdv.htm]

"By `structural violence' I mean the increased rates of death and disability suffered by those who occupy the bottom rungs of society, as contrasted by those who are above them. Those excess deaths (or at least a demonstrably large proportion of them) are a function of the class structure; and that structure is itself a product of society's collective human choices, concerning how to distribute the collective wealth of the society. These are not acts of God. I am contrasting `structural' with `behavioral violence' by which I mean the non-natural deaths and injuries that are caused by specific behavioral actions of individuals against individuals, such as the deaths we attribute to homicide, suicide, soldiers in warfare, capital punishment, and so on." -- (Gilligan, J., MD, Violence: Reflections On a National Epidemic (New York: Vintage, 1996), 192.) This form of violence, not covered by any of the majoritarian, corporate, ruling-class protected media, is invisible to us and because of its invisibility, all the more insidious. How dangerous is it -- really? Gilligan notes: "[E]very fifteen years, on the average, as many people die because of relative poverty as would be killed in a nuclear war that caused 232 million deaths; and every single year, two to three times as many people die from poverty throughout the world as were killed by the Nazi genocide of the Jews over a six-year period. This is, in effect, the equivalent of an ongoing, unending, in fact accelerating, thermonuclear war, or genocide on the weak and poor every year of every decade, throughout the world." [Gilligan, p. 196] Worse still, in a thoroughly capitalist society, much of that violence became internalized, turned back on the Self, because, in a society based on the priority of wealth, those who own nothing are taught to loathe themselves, as if something is inherently wrong with themselves, instead of the social order that promotes this self-loathing. This intense self-hatred was often manifested in familial violence as when the husband beats the wife, the wife smacks the son, and the kids fight each other. This vicious, circular, and invisible violence, unacknowledged by the corporate media, uncriticized in substandard educational systems, and un-understood by the very folks who suffer in its grips, feeds on the spectacular and more common forms of violence that the system makes damn sure -- that we can recognize and must react to it. This fatal and systematic violence may be called The War on the Poor.

Link – Racism

The threats of violence and security that the aff impacts construct are rooted in a fundamentally racist ideology. Let’s get this straight: we are not calling them racist, but we are saying that their arguments perpetuate racism through a hypocritical justification of using violence via the primarily white state to stop violence caused by the primarily colored gangs.

Hartnet 2008
[The Annihilating Public Policies of the Prison-Industrial Complex; or, Crime, Violence, and Punishment in an Age of Neoliberalism by Stephen John Hartnett, an Associate Professor of Speech Communication at U of Illinois http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/rhetoric_and_public_affairs/v011/11.3.hartnett.html]

Scholars hoping to track the racist “threat constructions” Stabile addresses even farther back into our national history will be grateful for Liberty’s Captives: Narratives of Confinement in the Print Culture of the Early Republic, edited by Daniel Williams and a team of his graduate students at the University of Mississippi. Liberty’s Captives is an archival achievement, an intellectual gift to those of us who study the nation’s history, for it teaches us to that Stabile’s “threat constructions” have tendrils deep in the nation’s political DNA, reaching all the way back to eighteenth-century tales of innocent settlers captured by savage Indians, brave mariners waylaid by thuggish pirates, valiant soldiers imprisoned in fetid brigs, sailors marooned on desert islands stocked with exotic others, and even good Christian women tortured at the hands of devilish Muslim polygamists. Throughout the 17 primary documents reprinted here, covering 1779 to 1818, Williams discerns one constant rhetorical thread: “liberty is extolled while a racist ideology of extermination is justified” (11). One of the many startling realizations forced upon anyone who reads these texts is that American liberty is extolled, and the extermination of Others justified, in almost every one of these texts on the grounds that some enemy—whether British or Indian or Muslim—engages in punishment practices that are inhuman. That is, whereas many contemporary Americans identify with the powers, institutions, and rhetorics of mass imprisonment, our forebears took the opposite position: what made our version of liberty preferable to others was precisely the fact that we Americans were not brutal captors, we were not wanton torturers, we were not capricious jailers.21

For example, in the 1779 “Narrative of the Capture and Treatment of John Dodge, by the English at Detroit,” the British Governor is called “a liar” (22), [End Page 508] Dodge is imprisoned in “a loathsome dungeon” (22), the troops guarding Dodge are described as “those British barbarians” (26), and the King’s spies are called “men of bad principles” (27). The topper to this list of infamy, however, concerns the fate of Dodge’s fiddle. While playing his instrument in his dungeon one day, “Governor Hamilton passed by, and enquired who was playing on the violin, to which the Corporal of the guard answered, it was me. The next day, De Jeane [one of the narrative’s arch-bad guys] waited on me with a Blacksmith, who soon clapped on a pair of hand-bolts; and now, says De Jeane, I have fixed you, you may play the violin till you are tired” (29). Dodge is wrongfully incarcerated, he is denied anything resembling a fair trial or even a hearing before a judge, his accommodations are dreadful, and now the wicked De Jeane claps irons on Dodge to make it impossible for him to play music. This treatments pales in comparison to postmodern tales of horror from the prison-industrial complex, yet here and throughout his narrative Dodge argues that the British are unfit to rule the New World because they are bullies, they are thugs, they are ungentlemanly beasts whose core values—arrogance, cruelty, even sadism—are revealed in the ways they handle prisoners.

We must resist racism at every instance or else we risk extinction

Joseph Barndt, co-director of Crossroads, a multicultural ministry, 1991, Dismantling Racism: The Continuing Challenge to White America, p. 155-6

The limitations imposed on people of color by poverty, subservience, and powerlessness are cruel, inhuman, and unjust: the effects of uncontrolled power, privilege, and greed, which are the marks of our white prison, will inevitably destroy us. But we have also seen that the walls of racism can be dismantled. We are not condemned to an inexorable fate, but are offered the vision and the possibility of freedom. Brick by brick, stone by stone, the prison of individual, institutional, and cultural racism can be destroyed. You and I are urgently called to join the efforts of those who know it is time to tear down, once and for all, the walls of racism. The danger point of self-destruction seems to be drawing even more near. The results of centuries of national and worldwide conquest and colonialism, of military buildups and violent aggression, of overconsumption and environmental destruction may be reaching a point of no return. A small and predominately white minority of the global population derives its power and privilege from the sufferings of the vast majority of peoples of color. For the sake of the world and ourselves, we dare not allow it to continue.

Neoliberalism Module

Tough on crime” statutes like the Gang Abatement Act drastically increase private prisons, which increase neoliberal capitalism.
Pitofsky 2002

[Profit and Stealth in the Prison-Industrial Complex Alexander H. Pitofsky, an assistant professor of English at Appalachian State University © 2002 PMC 12.2 http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/postmodern_culture/v012/12.2pitofsky.html]
Throughout Going Up the River, Hallinan (a Wall Street Journal reporter and former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University) emphasizes that the most significant recent change in America's approach to criminal justice is an increase in the size of its prison population. Mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, "three strikes" statutes, and a panoply of other "get tough on crime" initiatives, Hallinan writes, have increased the nation's total number of prisoners to an estimated 1.3 million. (This is a conservative estimate; other recent commentators have posited that the total is nearly two million.) Accordingly, even though crime rates have fallen in the last five years, the per capita incarceration rate in the United States is now second only to that in Russia. This increased reliance on imprisonment has no precedent in the history of the American criminal justice system. In the 1930s, at the height of the Prohibition/Al Capone era, the government cracked down by raising the national incarceration rate to 137 prisoners for every 100,000 citizens. This figure was considered extraordinarily high at the time, but recent developments make it seem moderate: [The 137 for every 100,000 citizens figure was] a high-water mark that stood for four decades. But in 1980 we broke that record, and we've been breaking it ever since. By 1999, the U.S. incarceration rate stood at a phenomenal 476 per 100,000--more than triple the rate of the Capone era. So common is the prison experience today that the federal government predicts that one of every eleven men will be imprisoned during his lifetime. For black men, the figure is even higher--more than one of every four. (xiii) This rapid increase in the nation's incarceration rate has, of course, necessitated the constant construction of new penal facilities; Texas alone has filled more than one hundred new prisons since 1980. Several states that have been unable to match Texas's prison-construction budget have hired the Corrections Corporation of America, Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, and other private prison firms to incarcerate convicts that the states' prisons are unable to hold. In 1983, there were no private prisons in the United States; today, Hallinan observes, the demand for private prison services is so high that states can choose from among 150 firms. The business community has worked aggressively to capitalize on the expansion of the nation's prison population. Telephone companies have found rising rates of incarceration especially lucrative. Although prisoners do not earn much income, they make a staggering number of phone calls. Hallinan notes that a single prison pay phone can earn its owner as much as $12,000 per year. According to a study commissioned by AT&T, American inmates spend $1 billion per year on long-distance calls. Instead of limiting this corporate windfall, state regulatory agencies have forged profitable business partnerships with the phone companies: AT&T and its competitors learned that the way to get inmates as customers was to give the prison a legal kickback: on a one-dollar phone call, the prison might make forty or fifty cents. In no time, corrections departments became phone-call millionaires. In 1997, New York rang up $21.2 million from phone-call commissions. California made $17.6 million. Florida earned $13.8 million. (xiv) While no other industry has matched the prison-house revenues of the phone companies, numerous firms that sell products to inmates (shampoo, soap, toothpaste) and to prison administrators (televison sets, weight-lifting equipment, security cameras) have also developed strategies to enlarge their shares of the prison "market."

This only supports the neoliberal destruction machine, inevitably causing a collective suicide.
Santos 2003

[Boaventura de Sousa Santos Issue #63, April 2003 http://bad.eserver.org/issues/2003/63/santos.html ]

Sacrificial genocide arises from a totalitarian illusion manifested in the belief that there are no alternatives to the present-day reality, and that the problems and difficulties confronting it arise from failing to take its logic of development to ultimate consequences. If there is unemployment, hunger and death in the Third World, this is not the result of market failures; instead, it is the outcome of market laws not having been fully applied. If there is terrorism, this is not due to the violence of the conditions that generate it; it is due, rather, to the fact that total violence has not been employed to physically eradicate all terrorists and potential terrorists. This political logic is based on the supposition of total power and knowledge, and on the radical rejection of alternatives; it is ultra-conservative in that it aims to reproduce infinitely the status quo. Inherent to it is the notion of the end of history. During the last hundred years, the West has experienced three versions of this logic, and, therefore, seen three versions of the end of history: Stalinism, with its logic of insuperable efficiency of the plan; Nazism, with its logic of racial superiority; and neoliberalism, with its logic of insuperable efficiency of the market. The first two periods involved the destruction of democracy. The last one trivializes democracy, disarming it in the face of social actors sufficiently powerful to be able to privatize the state and international institutions in their favor. I have described this situation as a combination of political democracy and social fascism. One current manifestation of this combination resides in the fact that intensely strong public opinion, worldwide, against the war is found to be incapable of halting the war machine set in motion by supposedly democratic rulers. At all these moments, a death drive, a catastrophic heroism, predominates, the idea of a looming collective suicide, only preventable by the massive destruction of the other. Paradoxically, the broader the definition of the other and the efficacy of its destruction, the more likely collective suicide becomes. In its sacrificial genocide version, neoliberalism is a mixture of market radicalization, neoconservatism and Christian fundamentalism. Its death drive takes a number of forms, from the idea of "discardable populations", referring to citizens of the Third World not capable of being exploited as workers and consumers, to the concept of "collateral damage", to refer to the deaths, as a result of war, of thousands of innocent civilians. The last, catastrophic heroism, is quite clear on two facts: according to reliable calculations by the Non-Governmental Organization MEDACT, in London, between 48 and 260 thousand civilians will die during the war and in the three months after (this is without there being civil war or a nuclear attack); the war will cost 100 billion dollars, enough to pay the health costs of the world's poorest countries for four years.Is it possible to fight this death drive? We must bear in mind that, historically, sacrificial destruction has always been linked to the economic pillage of natural resources and the labor force, to the imperial design of radically changing the terms of economic, social, political and cultural exchanges in the face of falling efficiency rates postulated by the maximalist logic of the totalitarian illusion in operation. It is as though hegemonic powers, both when they are on the rise and when they are in decline, repeatedly go through times of primitive accumulation, legitimizing the most shameful violence in the name of futures where, by definition, there is no room for what must be destroyed. In today's version, the period of primitive accumulation consists of combining neoliberal economic globalization with the globalization of war. The machine of democracy and liberty turns into a machine of horror and destruction.

Apartheid Module

The GAA ultimately leads to a cycle of Apartheid that damages the souls of the condemned to the point of not even being able to go about their daily lives, much less resist the neoliberal policies trapping them endlessly.
Hartnet 2008
[The Annihilating Public Policies of the Prison-Industrial Complex; or, Crime, Violence, and Punishment in an Age of Neoliberalism by Stephen John Hartnett, an Associate Professor of Speech Communication at U of Illinois http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/rhetoric_and_public_affairs/v011/11.3.hartnett.html]
Such a system enables a postmodern version of racism to flourish, as most of the benefits of access to state funds and power accrue to predominantly wealthy whites who benefit while claiming to be fighting crime, cleaning up our streets, and making our schools safer, all the while building a prison system so systematically racist that one in three black men between the ages of 20 and 29 is ensnared in either prison, parole, or probation—one in three.10 For the purposes of summarization, we can call this prison-driven postmodern apartheid. The predominantly poor people, and especially poor people of color, who lose out in this new arrangement are subjected to a cyclical pattern of life-skills incapacitation. These second-class citizens are deprived of the educational and employment opportunities that might enable them to achieve economic uplift and political power; the desperate “surplus” population therefore engages in the life-sustaining (but also damaging) illegal activities that lead to their arrest. Then the humiliating, infantilizing, and brutalizing experience of imprisonment creates subjects largely incapable of handling even the most trifling of daily tasks upon their release. Hence the recidivism rate hovers around 70 percent, ensuring the permanent political marginalization of poor black and Chicano men, the permanent devastation of nuclear families in the neighborhoods providing the prison system’s raw material, and thus a permanent supply of new young bodies for the prison system.11 As one prisoner said in an interview with Paul Wright, the situation is so glum that comparing the prison-industrial complex to slavery may be too gentle, for the conditions trapping America’s damned leaves them feeling “more like serfs . . . or domesticated animals.” 12Don’t worry, Lanark, your prison will soon be stuffed.

Meiners describes this interlocking pattern of prison-driven postmodern apartheid and life-skills incapacitation as the result of “annihilating public policies” (140), those criminal laws, budgetary arrangements, sentencing guidelines, and other political decisions that have eliminated any chance of economic or political empowerment for the poor and many people of color. Whether this annihilation is intentional or simply the functional result of overlapping political imperatives is the subject of much debate, but the results of the system are clear. Indeed, if we supplement my theory about the production of volatile new [End Page 500] forms of subjectivity with Abu-Jamal’s assessment that “prison is a second-by-second assault on the soul, a day-to-day degradation of the self” (53), then we could begin assessing the prison-industrial complex not as an institutional apparatus meant to isolate dangerous criminals, or as a network of warehouses for the damned, but as a politically useful site of production, as an interlinked network of factories spewing out damaged souls, men and women whose sense of agency is so constrained, whose sense of self is so damaged, whose hope has been so annihilated, that they will never be able to organize themselves into a viable political force. In the antebellum period, this systematic process of annihilation was called slavery; following the Civil War it was known as the separate-but-equal doctrine of Jim Crow apartheid; in this new age of neoliberalism, the continuation of these structural patterns of life-skills incapacitation occurs under the guise of law-and-order.

Deportation Turn

Gangs do not spread on their own, it is usually a result of circumstance

Papachristos 2005
[Gang World Andrew V. Papachristos Foreign Policy, No. 147 (Mar. - Apr., 2005), pp. 48-55 http://www.jstor.org/stable/30047987]

A common myth used to explain such proliferation is that gangs "migrate" in search of new members, turf, or criminal opportunities. Although that is true in the rare cases of groups like the Latin Kings and Ms-13, very little evidence suggests that gang proliferation is associated with calculated entrepreneurial ambitions. A more plausible explanation is that when people move, they take their culture with them. For example, Trey, a member of Chicago's massive Gangster Disciples, moved to a small town in Arkansas where his brother, who is not a gang member, had found a job. Although Trey tried to "go legit," he soon found that his status as a Gangster Disciple from the housing projects of Chicago gave him a formidable reputation in small-town Arkansas. Within nine months, he started a new Gangster Disciples "chapter" with 15 members. But this new gang had no formal connection with the group in Chicago. The same trend is occurring internationally, particularly in Latin America and Asia. In a recent survey of more than 1,000 gang members,the National Gang Crime Research Center found that about 50 percent of gang members believed that their gang had international connections. Analysis conducted by this author suggests the rate is considerably higher for Hispanic (66 percent) and Asian (58 percent) gang members, who are more likely to be immigrants. The movement of gang members overseasnot only spreads gang culture but also helps to establish links between gang members in different countries. When Lito, a member of Hector's Latin Kings gang, ran into trouble with the law in Chicago, his family sent him to live with an aunt in Mexico. There, he quickly became a go-between for gang members in the United States looking to avoid detection and for Mexican immigrants searching for jobs in the United States.
Lack of “legititmate” jobs in South America and Asia cause deported gang members to turn to the only marketable skill they have and recruit new gang members – exacerbating the Aff impacts.
Papachristos 2005
[Gang World Andrew V. Papachristos Foreign Policy, No. 147 (Mar. - Apr., 2005), pp. 48-55 http://www.jstor.org/stable/30047987]
The Latin Kings, in fact, turned these connections into a lucrative business by manufacturing fake ID cards. A 1999 investigation of several Latin Kings recovered 31,000 fraudulent IDs and travel documents. Of course, gang members do not always travel overseas as a matter of free will. Since the mid-1990s, U.S. immigration policy has dramatically boosted the proliferation of gangs throughout Latin America and Asia by deporting tens of thousands of immigrants with criminal records back to their home countries each year, including a growing number of gang members. In 1996, around 38,000 immigrants were deported after committing a crime; by 2003, the number had jumped to almost 80,000. Often, gang members have spent nearly their entire lives in the United States. But once they run afoul of the law, their immigrant status leaves them vulnerable to deportation. The countries that receive the flood of deportees are usually illequipped to deal with so many returning gang members. Although estimates vary, experts believe that there are now nearly 100,000 gang members spread across Central America and Mexico. In 2003, the United States deported more than 2,100 immigrants with criminal records to the Dominican Republic. The same year, nearly 2,000 were deported to El Salvador. The U.S. government does not keep track of how many of these criminal deportees are gang members, but many Latin American states see a connection and say gangs are now one of their biggest threats to national security. In 2003, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and Mexico agreed to work together to find new ways to beat the challenges gangs pose. Gang members typically face a simple choice: either find a way to return to the United States or seek protection from local gang members. In the case of Ms-13, the U.S. government has deported hundreds of members, many of whom continue to illegally migrate back and forth, often carrying goods or people with them. Those that remain in their home countries are almost sure to connect with other deported gang members, and authorities in these countries say they are responsible for a large upswing in crime and violence. In a sense, U.S. immigration policy has amounted to unintentional state-sponsored gang migration. Rather than solving the gang problem, the United States may have only spread it.

Sensationalism Turn

The sensationalist rhetoric of impending gang violence forces the popoulace into accepting police suppression.
Gunckel 2007

["Gangs Gone Wild": Low-Budget Gang Documentaries and the Aesthetics of Exploitation Colin Gunckel, is a doctoral candidate in critical studies in film, television, and digital media at UCLA
The Velvet Light Trap 60 (2007)]

Within the last two years, feature stories by Newsweek, the New York TimesForeign Affairs, and NPR's All Things Considered have adopted a rhetoric similar to that of the Los Angeles Times piece, simultaneously drawing from what Steve Macek has identified as a "discourse of savagery" by which the media vilify urban youth of color and deploying metaphors of contagion and penetration that have accompanied print coverage of immigration from Latin America (37–69; see also Santa Ana). Thus Ana Arana in Foreign Affairs warns that "the gangs are spreading, spilling into Mexico and beyond," and that "[o]nce ensconced, the gangs grow quickly," language that frames these gangs as malevolent and parasitic forces of nature (98). While often examining (at least superficially) the structural factors that have contributed to the formation of Central American gangs, these pieces all emphasize their infiltration of the United States and the likelihood of an impending crime wave, often delivering grisly details in a sensationalistic tone. A Newsweek article, for instance, describes an attack in which a victim was "repeatedly stabbed and her head nearly severed," also relating an incident in which "members armed with machetes hacked away at a member of the South Side Locos, slicing off some fingers and leaving others dangling by a shred of skin" (Campos-Flores 22).

While the text of these articles stokes fears about an international criminal conspiracy fueled by immigration, most of them also prominently feature photographs of heavily tattooed gang members throwing signs, holding firearms, or glaring defiantly at the photographer. In the case of the Los Angeles Times article, such images constitute a central element of the four-page report and its ostensible thesis. Deploying an aesthetic consistent with the image on the front page, seven photos dominate the article layout and present dramatically composed portraits mapping various points along a transnational circuit of gang activity: drug use, illicit cell phone conversations, arrest, and imprisonment. Similarly, a photo essay in the 5 July 2006 issue of Time features a series of eight images that progress from shots of Mara Salvatrucha members displaying their tattoos to photos of a police raid and an imprisoned gang member, a narrative trajectory that emphasizes closure through law enforcement. The text that accompanies the photographs further stresses the notion of an invasion and seems intended to provoke anxiety: "A violent gang follows immigrant communities out of urban centers and into small towns across America" ("The Gangs of El Salvador"). As Lainie Reisman has pointed out, this kind of sensationalistic media coverage, "often displaying [End Page 37] images of tattooed young men being arrested or bloody shots of injured victims and corpses," has "contributed to a culture of fear that encourages government suppression, with little public support for a more balanced approach" (150). This also facilitates "the use of widely publicized gang threat as a tool for political campaigning," with La Mara Salvatrucha referenced in debates on both urban crime and immigration (Reisman 150).

Their very impacts blind us to the true cause of gang violence – rather than see a crumbling community structure, the neoliberal myth causes us to focus on the individual. This means that we will never be able to solve gang violence and also means that we dehumanize the individual found guilty because we see them as having failed the system, having broken the rules. The focus on OMGz Violence!!!!11!! causes us to ignore that it was not so much a breaking of the rules, but a game with rules that are rigged against people of color and people in poverty.
Hartnet 2008

[The Annihilating Public Policies of the Prison-Industrial Complex; or, Crime, Violence, and Punishment in an Age of Neoliberalism by Stephen John Hartnett, an Associate Professor of Speech Communication at U of Illinois http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/rhetoric_and_public_affairs/v011/11.3.hartnett.html]

Rather than inquiring about how failing schools, families, and neighborhoods decimated by mass incarceration, the norms of patriarchal violence, closed factories, biased police and courts, the legacy of slavery, and a pop culture that celebrates relentlessly stupid machismo lead to crime and violence, Americans find it easier to imagine that their neighbors who go to prison are individually damaged, that their choices reflect deviant personalities rather than crippling disadvantages. How convenient to think that Biko is damaged goods rather than a young man failed by his community. That is, many of our neighbors choose [End Page 506] to see crime and violence in moral and individual terms rather than political and collective terms, as if prisoners have simply chosen to throw their lives away because they are monstrous, morons, or just mad. But as a host of critics is beginning to argue, it is high time to realize that the panic surrounding crime is a choice, a default political position that chooses to punish individuals rather than to change the social systems that produce alienated youths. Scholars who want to track the mass media’s role in producing and reinforcing this moral panic will be grateful for Carol Stabile’s angry new book, White Victims, Black Villains: Gender, Race, and Crime News in U.S. Culture.

I describe Stabile’s book as angry because virtually every page bristles with a sense of rage—and for good reason too, as Stabile argues that “white supremacy has been built into the very bricks of the institution of commercial news” (4). Stretching from the newspapers of the 1830s up to the latest racist televisual offerings of the society of the spectacle, Stabile finds that “fictions of white terror have consistently displaced the material realities of white terrorism” (2). As part of this reversal of cause-and-effect, assailant and victim, “the dominant social order” has played a “shell game,” “pitting criminalized black male criminals against white, feminized victims,” thus “mystify[ing] the real sources of power, privilege, and oppression” (6). Whether it was fear of runaway slaves in the antebellum period, or of freed blacks in the Reconstruction era, or of super-predator youths today, Stabile argues that our mass media, and especially the media that masquerade as news, has produced “shared conventions of threat construction” (27). We know who we are, and what we stand for, because of what we hate and who we fear, yet we must be taught who to hate and who to fear by the news.

Because this process of producing loathed Others requires hurtful testimony of a kind that most of us are not willing to offer, the best evidence often comes from the dead; only they can be made to speak according to the needs of media producers. Hence our national history is littered with tales told through the mouths of dead (or at least silent) white women, including Helen Jewett in 1836, all those alleged rape victims in the Jim Crow reign of lynching, Nicole Simpson in 1994, and JonBenet Ramsey more recently. For Stabile, then, America’s deep history of racism is interlaced with morbid “necrophiliac desires”: “If live women were problems to be managed, policed, and protected, dead women were classical objects of serene contemplation and desire” that could be made to speak from the grave, telling tales in their deaths that supported a pattern of “threat construction” in which black men are dangerous, white women are potential victims, and white men are avengers-in-waiting (35–36).19

Psychosis Turn

The prison industrial complex creates a positive feedback loop – once prisons are crowded by the Aff, new prisons will be built, and in order to fill up the new prisons, even more imprisonment will occur, causing even more debilitating psychosis to the prisoners, which ultimately leads to more criminal activity.
Pitofsky 2002

[Profit and Stealth in the Prison-Industrial Complex Alexander H. Pitofsky, an assistant professor of English at Appalachian State University © 2002 PMC 12.2 http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/postmodern_culture/v012/12.2pitofsky.html]
Moreover, Going Up the River illustrates that when prisons are viewed as "for-profit factories" (143), prison officials are likely to alter their practices in profound and unsettling ways. If the nation depends on public prisons to ensure the economic well-being of hundreds of rural communities and private prisons to strengthen the portfolios of thousands of investors, for instance, that dependence will produce a powerful incentive to keep the prisons filled. Half-empty prisons--like half-empty restaurants and hotels--do not create jobs or profits. Should the government commit itself to maintaining today's unprecedented rates of incarceration, regardless of future crime rates, simply because the economy may suffer if the nation's supply of convicts becomes depleted? If wardens believe that their main responsibility is cost reduction, their highest priority will be to develop strategies to limit their prisons' expenditures. (Hallinan observes that the purpose ofCorrection$ Cost Control & Revenue Report and several other industry publications is to help wardens do just that.) Why build a wall around the prison, prison officials will reason, if you can save a great deal of money by building a fence? Why invest in a guard tower to prevent escape attempts? Guard towers are very expensive. Why provide drug rehabilitation and job training programs? They, too, are very expensive. Although the private prison industry has expanded enormously in recent years, most American prisons are still built and maintained with public funds. Do taxpayers know that the nation's prison officials are under intense pressure to cut corners? Do they know that many prison officials no longer feel obligated to prepare convicts to lead productive lives after they are released? Throughout Going Up the River, Hallinan suggests that the public should be uneasy about these modifications of the professional responsibilities of wardens and the stealthy manner in which these modifications have become part of the nation's penal system.

Plan Doesn’t Solve

The plan can’t solve because the state creates the conditions for gangs to exist because the very notion of citizenship relies upon its opposite -- the prisoner.
Ramirez 2004

[Representing, Politics, and the Politics of Representation in Gang Studies Catherine S. Ramírez, an assistant professor in the American Studies department at the University of California at Santa Cruz. American Quarterly 56.4 (2004) ]

In contrast, these three books, Monica Brown's Gang Nation: Delinquent Citizens in Puerto Rican, Chicano, and Chicana Narratives, Susan A. Phillips's Wallbangin':Graffiti and Gangs in L.A., and Marie "Keta" Miranda's Homegirls in the Public Sphere, show that not all gangsters have been embraced as members of what one scholar terms "our gang" or as embodiments of American culture and identity.3 These important scholarly works expose the ways in which African American, Mexican American, and Puerto Rican gang members are relegated to the margins of U.S. society and represent the United States' constitutive other. Brown argues that "this nation's sense of itself and its citizens depends on a notion of delinquency articulated through the figure of the gang member" (xvi). Similarly, Phillips notes that, while gangs are "socially constructed entities," they are also society's "'antistructure': the antithesis of the larger system, its polar opposite and the thing that ultimately reinforces the place of each" (72). As she scrutinizes the counter and subaltern public spheres that produce and are produced by Latina gang members in Oakland, California, Miranda criticizes the ways in which these young women are denied citizenship and explores "the limits and potential of democracy" (6).
Solvency T/O – gangs exist for a reason – they provide people with things that the community and state do not. As long as the lack exists, offenders leaving prisons will likely come back into the open arms of the gang they left

Papachristos 2005

[Gang World Andrew V. Papachristos Foreign Policy, No. 147 (Mar. - Apr., 2005), pp. 48-55 http://www.jstor.org/stable/30047987]

Criminal organizations such as the Gangster Disciples, Crips, Bloods, Ms-13, and Latin Kings are dangerous entities. But these groups are an anomaly in the gang world; they represent the worst of what gangs can become, not what most gangs are. Treating all gang members like mafia kingpins or terrorist masterminds is overestimating people who, more often than not, are petty delinquents. At their core, gangs are not just a criminal justice problem; they are a social problem. One of the biggest challenges is reintroducing an offender into a community. Labels such as "ex-offender" and "gang member" follow people throughout their lives, making it next to impossible for someone to make a fresh start. Scores of gang members go through the revolving criminal justice door and return to communities that offer no viable employment opportunities. In some prisons, gang members are trained for jobs that are not available when they are released. No amount of law enforcement will rid the world of gangs. Strategies at all levels must move beyond simple arrest and incarceration to consider the economic structures of the cities and neighborhoods that breed street gangs. Otherwise, there will be nothing there to greet them but the waiting and supportive arms of the gang.

The prison industrial complex forces the neoliberal order into alienating the poor masses, which fuels the necessity of gangs to fill the gap left by the state in the areas of protection and community. Abandoned and angered, people will lash out.
Hartnet 2008
[The Annihilating Public Policies of the Prison-Industrial Complex; or, Crime, Violence, and Punishment in an Age of Neoliberalism by Stephen John Hartnett, an Associate Professor of Speech Communication at U of Illinois http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/rhetoric_and_public_affairs/v011/11.3.hartnett.html]

The most glaring problem with this combination of neoliberal economics and the prison-industrial complex was that the state was financially hamstrung: how could it pay for all those new prisons, especially with its coffers forever shrunk by Proposition 13? In a bizarre reversal of roles, Gilmore describes how the same political class that touted fiscal austerity and getting big government off the backs of individuals chose to pay by floating lease revenue bonds (LRBs), immense long-term loans that, by 1985, left California more that $5 billion in debt just for prison construction (99–101). These LRBs did not have to be approved by the people at the voting booth, however, meaning that the same voters who approved the tax-cutting Proposition 13 were simultaneously being saddled, without their consent, with expenses that would eventually cripple that state’s finances. California’s political class therefore pulled one of the most flagrant bait-and-switches in the history of the republic: tell the people you are lowering taxes, but then load the state with billions of dollars of debt; tell the people you are tough on violent crime, but then arrest tens of thousands of nonviolent criminals; tell the people you support economic growth, but then cripple a fundamental tool of all economic progress, good public schools.

Erica Meiners’s Right to Be Hostile continues this narrative by tracking how the combination of neoliberalism and correctional Keynesianism has lead to a new world of privatized rights and privileges. For example, she notes that in 1998, “4,013,655 households (or 3.4% of the U.S. population) lived in communities that require entry codes, keys, cards, or security guard approvals. By 2001, 16 million lived in gated communities where rights are based on property ownership, not on citizenship” (69). Thus sheltered behind the walls of wealthy enclaves with names like Thrush Hollow and Deer Run, America’s wealthy white citizens have retreated into a neoliberal world where many activities and services (trash pickup, neighborhood governance, security, parks, schools, recreation centers, and so on) are private rather than public. This privatization of life’s daily activities means that those citizens unable to pay for them are left with virtually no sense of the public good, little sense of social support, and a diminishing sense of enmeshment in democratic practices.

This abandoned “surplus population” understandably feels angry about their plight, but as Meiners observes, “it is dangerous” for some people to “be angry in public spaces” (28). Those of us trained in the means of political performance can march, send letters to the editor, go on the radio or the TV, make speeches, write essays and books, facilitate meetings, participate in blogs, construct public art, petition Congress, lobby the city council or county board, and channel our anger into dozens of other forms of socially acceptable and politically productive action. But when your mother has lost her job, your dad is in prison, your school is a den of surveillance, your neighbors are struggling, your belly is empty, and you have to walk each day past the security guards monitoring the [End Page 498] rosebush-lined entrance to Sunset Estates, well, what are you going to do then? What forms will your anger take? Meiners’s Right to Be Hostile does not excuse violent and/or criminal behaviors that follow from this situation, but it powerfully lays bare the deep social structures, what she calls the “annihilating public policies” (140), fueling this dangerous cycle of enrichment for the few, alienation for the many, and imprisonment for the damned.9

AT Perm

a focus on prisons directly trades off with a focus on education because privatized prisons only incentivize maximum production, not maximum rehabilitation.
Pitofsky 2002
[Profit and Stealth in the Prison-Industrial Complex Alexander H. Pitofsky, an assistant professor of English at Appalachian State University © 2002 PMC 12.2 http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/postmodern_culture/v012/12.2pitofsky.html]

The new emphasis on prison economics is especially conspicuous in the attitudes and practices of prison officials. Throughout the United States, Hallinan points out, wardens are canceling educational, job training, and drug treatment programs and cultivating a corporate CFO's eye for cost reduction: "Warden after warden would recite to me not the recidivism rates of the men who had left their prisons (this was seldom measured), nor the educational levels of the men still there (most are high-school dropouts), nor any other indicator of 'rehabilitation.' But every warden I met could tell me his average daily inmate cost" (xvi). Today's prison officials do not concentrate on bottom-line calculations because they fear that they may be wasting taxpayers' money. They are committed to managing prisons "like a business" because that commitment can make them rich. Before the advent of the prison-industrial complex, successful prison officials often began as guards, earned promotions into a series of administrative jobs, and then--if they reached the top of their prisons' hierarchies--occupied their positions as wardens or prison superintendents for many years. That career trajectory became obsolete when the private prison industry began to flourish in the 1980s. The six-figure salaries and stock options of private prison officials marked the first time that prison employment in the United States was associated with considerable financial rewards: Private prisons... created a new, previously unimaginable category of individual: the prison millionaire. These men were almost always former wardens or superintendents who had jumped ship to work in the private sector. The ranks of big companies like the Corrections Corporation of America are peppered with them.... The staffs of public prisons have become, in effect, farm teams for private prisons. Public prisons are now places where the ambitious can hone their financial skills before moving on to the really big money in the private sector. (173-74)

AT FW / You’re cheating

As a communication-based activity, it is important for us to discuss the most important Human Rights issue facing the impoverished today. We need to focus on the Prison Industrial Complex
Hartnet 2008

[The Annihilating Public Policies of the Prison-Industrial Complex; or, Crime, Violence, and Punishment in an Age of Neoliberalism by Stephen John Hartnett, an Associate Professor of Speech Communication at U of Illinois http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/rhetoric_and_public_affairs/v011/11.3.hartnett.html]

As Mumia Abu-Jamal argues in Live From Death Row, a government that supports the brutality of the prison-industrial complex teaches its citizens to be “more cynical, colder, and more calculating” (64), and hence less likely to participate in the daily mechanisms of governance and cultural renewal that keep democracy alive. At the same time, however, the stunning failures of the democratic process—including our collective inability to think compassionately about schools, health care, immigration, and human services—also fuel the desperation, cynicism, and drop-out mentality that lead to crime and violence. This desperate dance of violence and failing democracy has reached such catastrophic proportions that activists and scholars alike have begun to wonder if it isn’t too late, if perhaps we have passed the tipping point beyond which any talk of democracy and justice is just the stuff of fantasy.3

If we hope to avoid that terrible scenario, then America will need a national mobilization based on the understanding that abolishing the prison-industrial complex should be at the head of a new human rights agenda. To participate in that historic movement, we as communication scholars can begin teaching, contributing to, and acting upon a growing body of critical literature that asks, What are the communicative dimensions to this crisis? How do our rhetorical habits regarding race, class, gender, and nationality contribute to this situation? And why do so many observers appear to doubt the ability of democracy to correct it?

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page