Since I just posted yesterday about immigration I decided that I would tie this into the blogging for anti-torture. Because everyone should know that torture is not only a monstrous act that makes us monstrous as a country for condoning it, it’s also a false act. When you torture someone you’re not getting the truth, you’re getting someone in so much pain that they’ll admit to whatever you want them to admit to. It’s an act/tool for those more interested in closing the case and mollifying the public than those who actually want to catch someone whose done something wrong.
Now I’m talking about widening our definition of torture. Everytime we (as in the global community but the West in particular) turn away a request for sanctuary because we don’t consider being female and hated persecution (America specifically) or being queer and hated persecution (the recent drama in the UK) or being Of Color and hated persecution I(America, again) we are condoning the acts of whatever nation they are trying to escape from, and we are torturers. We are forcing these human beings back to an environment where they are hated, treated horribly and everyday must deal with the fear that they will attract the wrong attention and be killed, that is torture. When we limit immigration from countries going through economic/political troubles but allow mostly white people from the affluent west as many entrants as they please we are a part of torture. Every time we see “ethnic cleansing” (a more sanitized term for the wholesale slaughter of a people) and do nothing, we are a part of torture.
Yes, the physical act of torture is horrendous and flatout evil (and we are committing it everyday in the West) but torture is more than a physical act it’s also an emotional one, it’s filling someone with fear. We in the West talk a good game but when it comes to actually sticking our necks out time and time again we show that we couldn’t care less about what is happening in any place besides our country and even here we only care for certain segments of the population. When we decide to consign someone to a horrible life somewhere else and then profit off how bad that life is (*cough*NAFTA*cough*) we are not just torturers of individual but global torturers profiting off the pain and fear in others and then blocking their attempt to escape that situation.
Realize that by actively doing this or passively accepting this that you are a part of a system that continues to profit off the suffering and pain of those we view as less than (women, People of Color, queer folks, differently abled folks, those of lower socio-economic status, etc.). Acknowledge your part in this and then do what you can to change the world. It can be something as small as writing a blog, writing a letter to your congressperson, taking a day off to participate in a local protest or the larger tasks of taking it upon yourself to organize a protest or create a group dedicated to improving conditions. Everything you do count but if you do nothing, then your just being willfully blind and at that point…well you know exactly what you are.