Friday, January 14, 2011

good guys in a place for bad guys

From a letter in which a friend in Maryland relates how she explained to her son why Jim Forest once spent a year in prison:

"On another note, I was giving Matthew a bath today and suddenly he asked me why our friend Jim Forest went to jail. The kid has a mind like a steel trap, forgets nothing. He specifically wanted to know why, if you are a good guy, you went to jail if that's a place for bad, we had a long conversation and I made it as simple as I could given his age. I explained that you were trying to do something good, work for peace and protect young men from having to go to war, but you broke the law doing it... I gave an example of someone breaking into a store to get food for their kids if they had no money or help. Their intent was good, to feed their hungry kids, but in breaking the law, they might have to go to jail as a consequence....I did tell him that it's usually the bad guys who continue to break the law and do things that hurt others, like killing people, that stay in jail for a long time....and I told him that there are very few of those."

* * *

Care to know more about the Milwaukee 14, the event that resulted in my prison sabbatical? See:

* * *

1 comment:

Steve Hayes said...

Many years ago I was banned in Durban and living with friends, and news came of a whole lot more people being banned and detained by the police. Their younger daughter, then aged 9, asked "Why does God allow it? Why does God let our friends be put in jail?"

Her older sister, aged 11, said "It isn't God. It's the green snake."

To which the younger replied, "But that isn't true. It's in a book. Somebody wrote it."

Yes," said the older one. "But what it means is true."