There is always a penalty for our actions. Though Lynndie England received a light punishment for torture (three year sentence), she has come to find that she is no longer welcome in society. I have pointed out many times that part of the reason the recidivism rate is so high is because upon leaving prison we refuse to give an ex con a chance to prove that they are capable of leading productive lives. There are however some crimes that are unforgiveable, no matter if they are performed by a privileged young white mother.
In an interview with AP she stated, “I don’t have a social life. I sit at home all day.” Oh the poor dear. Imagine being forced to sit in the safety of your own home with no one dragging you by a leash or dehumanizing you in anyway.
She complains that she is unable to find a job because her face is so recognizable. Though she attempts to hide behind weight gain, baseball caps and changing her hair color, apparently people still find her easy to identify. The one job offer that she received was quickly revoked when her potential fellow employees threatened to quit if she was hired.
England now relies on welfare and the help of her parents to achieve substance for herself and her four year old son. The saddest part of this situation is that a child is growing in poverty due to the crimes of his mother. I wish there were some way to separate his ability to have experiences and subsist from her horrible crimes.
England is not completely without hope because she has written a biography that she hopes will rehabilitate her image. Of course she feels like a patsy as the larger criminals in the whole torture debacle – George Bush, went with criminal prosecution. While I agree that there were many responsible for her actions on that faithful day, England still existed with a choice. I was just following orders is never a good enough excuse to commit crimes against humanity.
I must ask what trees have ever done to England that makes her think that they deserve to die so that she can attempt explain the unexplainable? As for the publishers, I sincerely wonder if we have real run out of stories to tell therefore making this seem appealing? By printing, promoting and selling this book the industry is participating in torture by second hand. It is producing a product that will only be used in a racist, and voyeuristic manner.
How many tales of brown bodies being devalued and dehumanized based in an imperialistic instinct do we need to read to realize that this is unacceptable? Socially we are literally consuming these prisoners. The story that needs to be told is not that of Lynndie England, but that of the men she willingly chose to violate. By once again centering white women in this event thereby creating these men as invisible and worthless, we are in fact participating in the very racism, and islamophobia that caused these crimes to be committed.