As a lifelong
committed to nonviolence, I have little sympathy for a man who conspired
most heinous act of domestic rightwing terrorism in U.S. history.
For his role in the
City Bombing that killed 168 people (including kids at childcare), Terry
is serving life-without-parole sentences.
And that's a good thing,
But I don't want him
to "rot in
jail." That's why I support his hunger strike and lawsuit, and hope he
rot to death inside the federal Supermax prison in
Indeed, if Nichols
starts eating again, it may be one of his first useful contributions to
In a suit filed last
federal court, Nichols demanded 100% whole-grain foods, more fresh
and fruits, and digestive bacteria - contending that he needs a better
medical and religious reasons, and that his prison diet of "unhealthy
dead and refined foods" causes him to "sin
against God." (In Bowling for
Columbine, you may recall Michael Moore interviewing Nichols' scary
James at his certified organic tofu farm in
In a handwritten note
court Thursday, Terry Nichols told the judge that he had began a hunger
and is prepared to die rather than allow his body to be "defiled by
refined. . .[and] dead foods."
I don't want Nichols
to die - and
it's not that I give a damn about this pitiful man.
I want Nichols to win
in hopes it leads to broad dietary changes inside prisons. Because he's
that our overly processed American diet, lacking in fresh fruits and
is a sin to people - whether Christian or atheist, whether prisoner or
As shown in study
after study -
as well as the powerful Oscar-nominated documentary Food, Inc. on the corporatization of our
food supply - the deterioration of our diets contributes to premature
chronic illness, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer.
So why should we care
Nichols' diet and that of other inmates? As much for our benefit as
because a significant upgrading in the diet of any large group of
have a multiplier effect throughout society - in terms of more healthy
being produced and reducing costs.
That's why the efforts
and educators to transform the standard student lunch (highlighted in Food,
Inc.) could boost healthful food
supplies way beyond schools.
prisoners are a
huge group in our country. Indeed, no other country has as many inmates
do, over 2 million. With less than 5 percent of the world's population,
nearly a quarter of the world's prisoners - and, unlike Nichols, most
murderers or serious criminals. Many are nonviolent drug offenders -
people of color who never had a chance in life.
Terry Nichols is a
killer. Yet I hope he survives, wins his lawsuit and accomplishes
positive for others . . . in spite