“The Jail You Plan for Me is the One in Which You Will Rot”

I curse you, I say.
What that mean? he say.
I say, Until you do right by me, everything you touch will crumble.
He laugh. Who you think you is? he say. You can’t curse nobody. Look at you. You Black, you pore you ugly, you a woman. Goddam, he say you nothing at all.
Until you do right by me, I say, everything you even dream about will fail. I give it to him straight, just like it come to me. And it seem to come to me from the trees.
Whoever heard of such a thing, say Mr. ____. I probably didn’t whup your ass enough.
Every lick you hit me your will suffer twice, I say. Then I say, You better stop talking because all I’m telling you ain’t coming just from me. Look like when I open my mouth the are rush in and shape words.
Shit, he say. I should have lock you up. Just let you out to work.
The jail you plan for me is the one in which you will rot, I say

(from The Color Purple by Alice Walker)

Today, thanks to the Unapologetic Mexican, I’ve learned that they’ve fired a guard at Hutto for “inappropriate contact with a detainee.”

The KXAN story is disturbing, not just for what it says, but for what it hints at.

KXAN learned about this incident through confidential sources who said there is much more to this story.

KXAN has pressed the facility to release all its information and was told that could happen soon.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office was aware of the weekend incident, but KXAN was told the incident report was not available.

See how sneaky that is?  Whatever happened was serious enough that an incident report was filed with the Williamson County Sheriff; it’s just not available to the media, who are also not being allowed to tour Hutto.

There’s no excuse for this. We don’t live in a fucking dictatorship.  These folks are being detained while awaiting hearings.  They are, in effect, in the equivalent of jail.  Could you imagine if a county jail wouldn’t let the media come in and take a look around? 

Need I remind you, also, America, that there are small U.S. citizens in Hutto? U.S. citizens who keep busy playing “guard-detainee, where the guard screams in the detainee’s face as the detainee cowers and cries.” 

I keep thinking of Celie’s words, how she curses Mister.  And I keep thinking that Walker is on to something here–that she’s not calling something into being that didn’t exist before, but that, through Celie, she’s articulating a great, deep truth of the New World.

Until you do right by me, everything you touch will crumble.

We’ve got to stop this shit.  Not just because it’s wrong to treat others how we’re treating them, but because our own actions curse us.

Maybe that’s too woo-woo for you.

In that case, let’s turn to Jesus.

Jesus, we’re putting families in privately run prisons, raping mothers, and terrorizing children.  What do you have to say about that?

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Thank you, Jesus.  I would hope that your words would give this Christian nation great pause in the face of a monstrosity like Hutto.

4 thoughts on ““The Jail You Plan for Me is the One in Which You Will Rot”

  1. Conservative Christianity– the kind that claims to be at the roots of this republic– has nothing to do with the living Jesus. It fetishizes his birth and his death and ignores just about everything in between. Its canon comprises an apostasized amalgamation of violent Old Testament intolerance crossed with pole-up-the-ass holier-than-thou Apostle Paul lecturing. It is an ostentatiously pious cloak for all the racism, greed, xenophobia, and every other crippling sociopolitical ill of the republic.

    A warning from that ancient reactionary Paul:

    “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

    In other words, this gilded mosh pit of self-serving, cowardly assholes is soon to be toast. I must apologize to my daughter for the horrid mess in which she will reach adulthood.

  2. See, Church Secretary, that’s one of the reasons that I think Calvino is so beautiful and important. We are living in the inferno and the only way to fight against it is to search out the things that aren’t inferno and cherishing them.

    I think that’s such good and amazing truth.

  3. I remember turning on the TV years ago now near the start of the war and seeing a televangelist talking about foreign politics. Before I could turn the channel, I was intrigued by what he was saying.

    It all came down to this: whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

    I was startled, this is being preached in a traditional church? And I thought, wonderful but too simplistic, but hearing stories of collateral damage and soldiers interviewed saying “we’re told to put civilian lives before our own, but we have families at home, too” etc… The great wisdom of that scripture comes home more every day.

    I agree B, we’ve got to stop this shit.

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