Monday, August 11, 2014

The real purpose of state torture

My partner Rebecca Gordon and I had a quizzical conversation this morning after she read an advance text of an upcoming review of her book Mainstreaming Torture. (It is not yet published; I'll undoubtedly link when it goes up.)

"Why do they say I am 'brave'," she asked. This reviewer is not the only one who has said that. People who know I am the author's partner often tell me she is courageous after she speaks.

That's not hard for me to answer. Having attended about a dozen talks based on the book Mainstreaming Torture, I know why readers describe her with that adjective. When someone, Rebecca, chooses to stare unflinchingly without blinders at what states consider allowable do to designated enemies, the vision hurts. It hurts even if you can be pretty confident you are not, personally, a member of the class of persons a regime considers "torture-able." It should hurt.

Here's a video clip from the Mainstreaming Torture Youtube channel. Yes, the book has such a thing. I think the clip shows why we need courage.

1 comment:

Hattie said...

Yes. This is very strong. Above all, she explains the purpose of torture in a very clear way. A lot to think about here.

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