The phrase "political prisoner" is no longer laminated into the radical mind as it once was. Its slapdash overuse in the 60s and 70s, like the words "genocide" or "fascist pig," has rendered it neuter in today's language.
Yet, those that toil under bright sun, or spend 23 hours a day stuffed in the back of a poured-concrete cell --counting the long hours between 1-hour-pardons for exercise-- are forgotten.
George Jackson, Angela Davis, Bobby Sands, Mandela. Radicals all: Regardless of race, religion, ancestry; no doubt that they were denied their liberty because of the views they championed.
Today witnessed what must be --surely!-- the rebirth of the recognition of political prisoners, with Lindsay Lohan in jail, without bail. Because, without a doubt, Ms. Lohan is a political prisoner. And, perhaps, the most important one of the 21st century, because she will reveal two indisputable facts:
1.) Judge Fox denied bail --indeed, refused to hear arguments in opposition-- to a person charged with violating parole by allegedly committing a misdemeanor.
2.) Lohan and all drug-addicted prisoners in American jails are political prisoners in the sense that a bigoted, Straight-edged, non-drug using, white-dominated political and economic system has condemned them, in the throes of their medical emergency, to lives of crime.
To be a drug-addict in America is indeed in many ways a political and social condition. All too often it is a condemnation to political impotence. For too many addicts, a numbingly meaningless life, and the relentless pursuit of the addicts' "medicine", becomes a sluice into jail, lockups, courts, and then prisons, with all the disastrous expertise that they have to teach. The nation's judiciary, for which politicians presumably have the ultimate responsibility, is Kafkaesque.
Lohan must be treated for the physical and psychiatric ramifications of her addiction, not punished for the black-eye she's given a weak Los Angeles County prosecutors' office.
Free Lindsay Lohan!