Why Is Alcatraz A Tourist Attraction?
Alcatraz is a world famous tourist attraction, and I’ve never understood why.
Yes, it’s pretty, and yes, it’s history is interesting, but why are we morbidly fascinated by a place where the criminally inclined were essentially locked away and tortured? It’s heinous. I also find it ironic that a city that prides itself on its progressive politics essentially touts a museum of human suffering as part of its local tourist attractions because at some point in history, Al Capone may have jerked off and cried himself to sleep in one of its shoebox shaped cells.
I don’t think moms from Minnesota should be allowed to take selfies in rooms where men pushed past the point of no return hung themselves as part of the “San Francisco experience.”
This is a place where multiple people have been verifiably murdered. This is a place where there were reports that prisoners would go insane while listening the bustle of San Francisco while trapped inside of their tiny cells. I don’t think moms from Minnesota should be allowed to take selfies in rooms where men pushed past the point of no return hung themselves as part of the “San Francisco experience.”
If they want to see suffering, all they have to do is walk down Market Street.
We should give Alcatraz back to the natives or build affording housing on it with daily ferry service, similar to Treasure Island minus all the toxic shit on Treasure Island.
In 1969, a decade that defined San Francisco in the cultural lexicon, Native American tribes gathered on the island because they wanted a cultural center in the San Francisco Bay Area and felt that Alcatraz Island would be a fitting location.
“We moved onto Alcatraz Island because we feel that Indian people need a cultural center of their own. For several decades, Indian people have not had enough control of training their young people. And without a cultural center of their own, we are afraid that the old Indian ways may be lost. We believe that the only way to keep them alive is for Indian people to do it themselves.” – Letter from Indians of All Tribes, December 16, 1969
I think that Alcatraz Island would be a great spot for a Native American cultural center or museum. If you’re going to take a tour filled with tales of human misery, at least let it be for something good.
Or maybe don’t make it a tourist attraction or cultural center. Maybe make it affordable housing and allow indigenous people to have priority on the list to get in. That would be a much better use of the land than a fucking prison tour.
Sometimes in order to get shit done, we have to make sacrifices. We should start by sacrificing this prison we’ve fetishized because famous murderers were there. “Wow, I can’t believe Whitey Bulger took a shit on that toilet!” No one cares. Go watch Black Mass, and jerk off to your fantasy of gangsters you would do your best to avoid in real life from the privacy of your own home. Italian Americans have been doing it forever.
Also fuck golf courses…