Download America is the prison : arts and politics in prison in the by Lee Bernstein PDF

By Lee Bernstein

Within the Nineteen Seventies, whereas politicians and activists outdoors prisons debated the right kind reaction to crime, incarcerated humans assisted in shaping these debates even though a vast diversity of exceptional political and literary writings.

Lee Bernstein explores the forces that sparked a dramatic "prison artwork renaissance," laying off gentle on how incarcerated humans produced robust works of writing, functionality, and visible artwork. those incorporated every little thing from George Jackson's progressive Soledad Brother to Miguel Pinero's acclaimed off-Broadway play and Hollywood movie Short Eyes. a unprecedented variety of legal programs--fine arts, theater, secondary schooling, and prisoner-run programs--allowed the voices of prisoners to steer the Black Arts flow, the Nuyorican writers, "New Journalism," and political theater, one of the most vital aesthetic contributions of the last decade.

By the Nineteen Eighties and '90s, prisoners' academic and inventive courses have been scaled again or eradicated because the "war on crime" escalated. yet via then those prisoners' phrases had crossed over the wall, supporting many americans to reconsider the which means of the partitions themselves and, eventually, the which means of the society that produced them.

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Although Nixon did not specify in words how he would do this, images of uniformed officers arresting young thugs made clear his intentions. In his use of the idea of a “decent citizen,” Nixon could draw on a homey phrase while invoking threatening images and foreboding statistics. The images and statistics supported Nixon’s belief that the normal coercive controls that govern the behavior of most people were not in place in some parts of the United States. He pledged to restore them. The third advertisement in this series provided the most dramatic invocation of the threat that crime posed to decent citizens.

20 The ads conflated the two. In fact, while Nixon’s campaign released separate ads for each form of lawlessness, they relied on several of the same images and phrases, creating an odd equivalence of political protest and violent crime. An ad called “The First Civil Right” featured news photos of student protests (including one of a banner with the word “socialism” prominently displayed) and burning buildings. In it, Nixon’s voice avowed: “It is time for an honest look at the problem of order in the United States.

The fighting in the streets mirrored the primary battle between Humphrey and antiwar candidates like Eugene McCarthy and the recently assassinated Robert F. Kennedy. 22 By seeing the political rebellion and what amounted to a police riot in terms of “disorder,” Nixon effectively absolved the Chicago police of any responsibility for the melee and reframed the event’s meaning in time for the general election. ” In a society with free elections, Nixon argued, there was no place for protest. This understanding of “civil rights” would be unrecognizable to those advocating for racial equality.

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