GOOD reporting on a sad reality

If you haven’t heard of GOOD, you should check it out at www.good.is. Here’s how the website explains what it’s about:

GOOD is a collaboration of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits pushing the world forward. Since 2006 we’ve been making a magazine, videos, and events for people who give a damn.

You can get a subscription to their magazine at any price you set, AND they donate that amount to a nonprofit of your choice (currently among 12 that they offer). It’s an interesting business model and, as the site claims, “an experiment.”

Because GOOD is independent, they can provide interesting, investigative reporting (of the variety that has virtually disappeared from traditional news media). One example of this is a current article “Death by Detention” (full disclosure: this article was written by my cousin Bill Wheeler), which tells the disturbing stories of people dying unnecessarily in immigrant detention in the U.S. Here’s an excerpt:

In September, 2006, a 50-year-old mechanic named Abdoulai Sall showed up for a green card interview in Fairfax, Virginia. Born in Guinea, Sall had spent the past 17 years working at Washington, D.C., taxi company, and his boss had agreed to sponsor his application. When he showed up at the interview, he was arrested on an outstanding deportation order and was transferred to the Piedmont Regional jail in Farmville.

Sall’s attorney, Paul S. Allen, wrote numerous letters to authorities warning them his client suffered a kidney disorder, that he was not getting the appropriate medication, and that his feet had begun to swell. “I don’t make assumptions that the government is going to do the right thing,” he said recently.

In December of that year, Allen learned his client was dead. Tom Jawetz, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, wrote to detainees at the Piedmont jail for information about Sall’s death and learned he had indeed been sick for a prolonged period and, in his final days, was seen shivering under a heater for warmth. “Everyone knew that he was requesting care,” said Jawetz. When Sall collapsed, the detainees took it upon themselves to call 911.

If we can’t even provide adequate health care and safety for those in our prisons, what does that say about our society? Check out the article and the website; they’re good.

Published by Bill

Social justice advocate and collaborative leader

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