[Ppnews] Corcoran prisoner about changing public attitudes on prisoners & torture

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jan 19 11:53:50 EST 2012

Exerpted Letter from Zaharibu Dorrough (Corcoran)

Dec. 8, 2011

I honestly believe that there will not be a 
better time to challenge the legality of 
warehousing people in isolation than now.

As a result of the hunger strike and the 
efforts—the magnificent efforts—of people like 
you, the public is now aware of how their tax 
dollars are being wasted.  ...That has to be the 
context in which it is framed to the larger 
public. How their tax dollars are being wasted is 
the one thing that every citizen out there has in 
common with one another.  Regardless of how they 
might feel about humanity of citizens in 
prison/isolation.  Strategically that has to be 
the starting point for progressives to build around.

Historically, injustice has had a tremendous 
headstart....we are always playing catch-up, we 
must work that much harder to not let citizens 
forget. To constantly strengthen our relationships with one another.

Forging coalitions with like-minded 
progressives.  Putting faces to the stories of torture and abuse.

There are human beings dying –being driven to 
suicide—as a result of the isolation that they 
are being subjected to.  That people are being 
housed under such conditions would be shameful 
under any circumstance. That it happens in what 
is referred to as the world’s greatest 
democracy...is appalling. Conditions that are 
responsible for literally driving people crazy 
and to suicide is what isolation is intended to accomplish.

...there is still a lot of work to be done in the 
nation educating itself in a way that will allow 
us to develop the kind of strategies and tactics 
that will make it possible to effectively and 
permanently deal with the abuses and 
disrespecting of humanity that is an all too 
common part of this nation’s history.  Hate and 
indifference (and it goes by many names: racism, 
sexism, homophobia, poverty, religious bigotry, 
classism) are the tools that are used by those in 
positions of authority to maintain power....

Hate and indifference is so entrenched in our 
cultural psyche that we actually believe that, 
personally and institutionally, [we can still be] 
fair and just.  We believe this because we have 
never been taught or encouraged to consider that 
our growth and development, individually, 
collectively, and institutionally, has occurred 
within the same racist, sexist, homophobic, 
classist... hateful and indifferent circumstance 
n which we have lived. It is who and what many of us are.

... we are taught that the beauty of the free 
market economy is that everyone is given equal 
access to the market to compete for jobs and 
economic prosperity. But...we compete against one 
another for the smallest portion of the economic 
pie.  Hate and indifference is responsible for 
the fierce and extreme competition...

Torture is a form of violence that has always 
been used by totalitarian governments to 
subordinate the larger society to its will.

...In order for this to succeed, it is necessary 
for th larger society to be convinced that their 
interest and the interest of those who are in 
positions of power are one and the same.

Hate and indifference has robbed us of our 
ability to look at each other and see a 
reflection of ourselves.  We see slave, homeless, 
whore, faggot, red or blue, inmate, 
prisoner...alien!  These are a few of the objects 
that we designate for one another.  Our silence 
sends a clear message of our acceptance of this.

The protests (of which the hunger strike is a 
part) that are taking place throughout the 
country and world is a demonstration that many of 
us are determined to not only hold onto our own 
humanity, but to reclaim it collectively.

We are on a course in which hate and indifference 
will not define who we are.  ...There is a 
renewed sense of hope.  And after more than 23 
years in isolation, hope is what has kept me amongst the living.

There are things that have to do with simple 
human honor.  To resist and not surrender!


Michael (Zaharibu) Dorrough

Via -
Marilyn McMahon
Executive Director
California Prison Focus

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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