Attica, a Preview of the Apocalypse Coming

I read an editorial in the Buffalo newsletter and saw this headline “Today’s technology might have saved lives in Attica uprising.” Reading the editorial written by Stewart Dan, it was a good report but as I read the story a little bit further I came this comment with a line that said “Forty years later, the “what ifs” continue to bother this reporter. What if we had a cellphone to communicate? What if we had videotape cassettes that ran 30 minutes and could be played back instantly? And, most importantly, what if we had a satellite truck on scene to constantly update the world on what was going on in this isolated community? “

I quickly realized that although technology would have enhanced the communication and the delivery of accurate news, facts or data, it would not have prevented Attica from exploding. The reasons are purely anecdotal in nature with no scientific evidence to support this except twenty five years inside a prison and law enforcement. Speculating if the administration, the governor or even the National Guard would have done things different is a moot point today except for the valuable lessons learned from that tragedy.

Here is where I am going to try to make my anecdotal points. You see, the problems at Attica weren’t anything that could not have been avoided. Attica was under siege of a culture and influence more deadly than the riot itself. Attica was a weapon of mass destruction waiting to happen and nobody paid attention to the signs, the internal problems, the racism, the hatred, the discriminatory practices, the code of silence, the deliberate indifference towards dignity, respect and preservation of life and civil rights. Still today, the media is missing its calling. The media is assisting the prison officials by condoning the cover ups, the lack of transparency and the lack of interest in prisons until it explodes like Attica did.

Thinking with a most perverted attitude, I am thinking they want the story of the prisons when they do explode contributing to the madness. Then, the media will report how the massacre evolved and how the state was negligent about how it took care of its prisoners and how the place was really operated, out of sight, out of mind. After all, it’s every governor’s mandate to every director that oversees the prison system to take control and handle it. They don’t want to know who prisons are operated and what methods are used. Still the problem is unresolved as prisons are still graveyards of an unusual number of “natural deaths.” The suicide rates and the homicides that occur within the walls are still not investigated with the quality and meticulous science available on the outside mimicking a CSI episode. Mentally ill prisoners are thrown in with those who have severe social behavioral problems and become easy prey. Assaults and rapes are up and staffs are being assaulted in a horrific rate with no goals to bring them down in some states.

If Attica taught us anything, it was to keep an eye on the ball [the prison system] and report accurately, timely, both the good and bad and hold the governor, the prison directors and his or her staff accountable for every mission failure so boldly printed in their strategic plan every fiscal year to operate these prisons with publicly funded money.


People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *