Today is my birthday (@improv), and Stina and I will be freewriting on today’s topic, which is something very important to me: revenge. I am vehemently anti-revenge. I don’t think justice looks like punishment. I think justice looks like: trying to help victims put their lives back together. I think an ancillary to that is: trying to help the perpetrator of the negative activity put their life back together, too. To help them learn how to be in the world in a positive way. I don’t think most people want to have a negative impact on the world. Like, I don’t think Jeff Bezos wakes up in the morning and thinks “I’m going to abuse Amazon employees.” I think he wakes up in a world that says “build a profitable business by any means necessary,” and one of the necessary means is that he pay workers as little as he can get away with while getting as much work out of them as possible. Pay them and otherwise spend money on them as little as possible. Because other things cost money, too, right? Hiring enough and installing enough bathrooms costs money. Updating protocol can have a cost-benefit analysis that shows that a lawsuit from employees who get hurt is cheaper than proactively changing the system.
I read an article recently about the trial of the ex-cop killer known as the Golden State Killer. He is really the epitome of what people are talking about when they say, “But what about serial killers?” in conversations about prison abolition. One of the relatives of one of his victims shared his revenge dream for this man, hoping that he is raped and tortured in prison every night of the rest of his life. But even he talked about how that wouldn’t be justice. Justice in a dream world would mean bringing back the victims, undoing the rapes, impossible things. Justice in this world should be what Brendan said, trying to help victims put their lives back together, trying to help the perpetrator of the negative activity put their life back together, too. For the victims in this case and other stories I’ve read of people who have been murdered, part of putting the victims’ lives back together is learning what happened to their loved ones. Knowing
Knowing is important to the process because...well, because of closure and also because it helps us learn how to prevent future atrocities.
Sorry, I need to take a break from this. I’m overwhelmed