"In the American media coverage of the uproar after the release of the Abu Ghraib photos, one of the only references to race was fleeting and dismissive, midway through a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on May 3: ‘So far the alleged grotesqueries are more analogous to the nightmares that occur occasionally at American prisons, when rogue and jaded guards freelance to intimidate and humiliate inmates. The crime, then, first appears not so much a product of endemic ethnic, racial, or religious hatred, as the unfortunate cargo of penal institutions, albeit exacerbated by the conditions of war, the world over.’
That essay, by the Hoover Institution’s Victor Davis Hanson, typifies media denial of what’s happening in the hellish American cells populated so disproportionately by low-income blacks and Latinos. In the world of the Journal editorial page’s convenient fantasy, guards ‘occasionally’ choose to ‘freelance to intimidate and humiliate inmates’. In the world of prisoners’ inconvenient reality, guards frequently intimidate, humiliate — and brutalise.
Media denial lets the US military — and the US incarceration industry — off the hook."
Norman Solomon, This War and Racism (via darkjez)