Slouching toward Tyranny: Mass Incarceration, Death Sentences and Racism

Slouching toward Tyranny: Mass Incarceration, Death Sentences and Racism

Slouching toward Tyranny: Mass Incarceration, Death Sentences and Racism

Slouching toward Tyranny: Mass Incarceration, Death Sentences and Racism

Synopsis

After working with death-row inmates in the killing ground of the South, where he had lost over twenty people to the executioner since 1979, Rev. Ingle made his way to Harvard University on a Merrill Fellowship where he began a twenty-year process of reading, writing and continued work with the condemned. Here, he began to comprehend what he had been experiencing in the hallowed United States, foremost advocate of democratic government and a champion of human rights throughout the world. Despite all our talk about independence and freedom of speech, he found it difficult to even face the contradictions he perceived. and he began to ask whether, in fact, we have to consider the government of our country in terms of tyranny. Walk with him through what he has experienced, and see if what you think yourself.Joseph Ingle has been ministering to prison inmates on death row in the Southeastern United States for many years, and his observations have led him to conclusions that, in fact, incriminate society at large for the way we treat those on the losing end of life's gamble.

Excerpt

When I went to Harvard University on a Merrill Fellowship in the spring of 1991, I did so for two reasons: 1) To leave the killing ground of the South where I had lost over twenty people to the executioner since 1979, and 2) To try to begin to comprehend what I had experienced through the killing machinery in the various Southern states. the time at Harvard commenced a twenty-year process of reading, writing (The Inferno: a Southern Morality Tale, 2012) and continued work with the condemned. I wrote the present book as a result of the reflection and work begun at Harvard which continued with my return to the South.

I realize that for those of us born, reared and educated in the United States of America, it is difficult to consider the government of the country in terms of tyranny. We have been inculcated with the notion that America is a democracy, indeed, the foremost advocate of democratic government and a champion of human rights throughout the world. in a very real sense, this belief in the government of the United States is as authentic as it is profound. From our beginnings with the founders of the country and the framers of the Constitution, we have aimed for lofty democratic aspirations. the Pilgrims spoke of building “a city on a hill” that would be a beacon for all to see. in the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain ut is this very history from which I took a deep draught through my education growing up in North Carolina. I was in Boys State in high school studying how government worked at the University of North Carolina School of Government, shook John F. Kennedy’s hand when he came to Raleigh campaigning for the office of President and became a student leader in college. I helped organize . . .

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