Our culture veers even closer to ‘Running Man’ self-parody upon the news that Florida Atlantic University will name its stadium after a private prison conglomerate, the GEO Group.
GEO Group is the mom-and-pop shop with reported revenues in excess of $1.6 billion in 2011 — income generated mostly from state and federal prisons and detention centers for illegal immigrants.
“ ‘It’s startling to see a stadium will be named after them,’ one critic said. ‘It’s like calling something Blackwater Stadium. This is a company whose record is marred by human rights abuses, by lawsuits, by unnecessary deaths of people in their custody and a whole series of incidents that really draw into question their ability to successfully manage a prison facility.’”
What the?! Honestly, how shameful is it that we ostensible lovers of freedom — mainly on account of our ridiculous incarceration rates — not only have a private, for-profit prison industry flourishing in our country — one that routinely maintains substandard prisons and undercuts wages by employing their captive labor force — but that we’re sufficiently unembarrassed about it to start naming stadiums after them?
H/t to Ghost in the Machine.