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Alcatraz

December 13, 2012

San_Francisco_Alcatraz_19

There’s a great article by SJ Culver on the Guernica website that uses the tourist gaze at the infamous Alcatraz prison in San Francisco Bay to make some valid arguments about contemporary American attitudes to human rights in relation to imprisonment.  As well as the usual criticisms about dark tourism (titillation and entertainment over a broad educational remit), Culver also makes some serious points about the prison population in America:

“Approximately one in three black men is estimated to spend time in prison over the course of his life. Proportionally, there are more than five times as many black men incarcerated in the United States as in South Africa under Apartheid. As Michelle Alexander writes, “mass incarceration in the United States, [has], in fact, emerged as a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control.””

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