THE UGLY FACE OF AMERICA'S SOCIAL PATHOLOGY -AN OPEN LETTER TO PRO-DP
THE UGLY FACE OF AMERICA'S SOCIAL
PATHOLOGY- AN OPEN LETTER TO PRO-DP
They are attempting to kill another human being today. Let me say this again: They are attempting to kill, murder, and slaughter another human being today, specifically Lonnie “Big-J” Johnson. What does it matter to you? Does it not matter because he is not of blood relation to you? Those of you who want this man to be paralyzed and then suffocated (yes, read that again “suffocated”---read about the chemical used in lethal injection in the section “TDCJ Documents”) and then he’ll be finished off with a chemically induced heart attack, please share with me your rationale for such a position. Am I worth at least that much? After all, there has to be some reason you why you came to the site. Are you merely entertaining yourself? If so, what does that say about you entertaining yourself with someone else’s pain, struggle, death? Because it’s “someone else”. Hence the ugly face of America’s social pathology resulting from the diminution of human worth by the continual worship of self-centered, anti-communal, anti-family, alienating, capitalistic system.
Today Jasiri, our new comrade, just engaged in direct action (sit-in) refusing to walk back to his cage. As he was carried back he recited a spoken word poem. I believe it was a powerful piece called “Let my brother live”. Please check this brother out. He reminds me of a young, post Malcolm X. Yes, I said “post”—the X without the reverse racism.
After the riot team dropped Jasiri on his chest inside his cage, and the sgt. Running the use of force had the camera cut off, Maj. Nelson (remember her?) walked to Jasiri’s cage door and called him a “coward” and for him to wipe his “wet pussy” among other things. As she walked away from his cage I called her name, “Maj. Nelson, Maj Nelson, this is Blanton, can I have a moment of your time?” I said it in such a way to let her know “yeah I saw what you did and I want to confront you about it” She just mumbled something as she walked down the stairs and off the section.
Her vituperation may (or should) be a shock to you but it is generally the way ranking officials think. I will not say her behavior was dispositional (that she lives in a vacuum)—as those that sent us and wish us here wrongly believe about us—but situational, a culminating result of her adopting to the prominent historical attitude of TDCJ throughout her years working up through the ranks of their system; the culture cultivated within these prison walls, a culture conveyed to you by the writings on our site, a culture of conflicting norms.
The tactics Maj. Nelson utilized are common. They have nothing to do with prisoners’ so called criminal inclinations nor do the administrations desire to maintain the safety and security of their establishment. It’s about the emasculation of the prisoner and the conversion of it into their power, reinforcing and thus exacerbating their sadism. Maj. Nelson was strategically attacking what she thought was Jasiri’s sense of Manhood (since most prisoners will agree that “pussy” is the worst thing to be called especially by a prison guard) while attempting to demonstrate omnipotence and thus futility of resistance as most prisoners will also perceive Maj. Nelson’s antic’s as revelatory of the probability that she would allow her underlings to carry out violent repressions against prisoners attempting to follow Jasiri’s example. While some prisoner’s will avoid similar protest to avoid these type of attacks upon their “sacred” sense of manhood, many wish to avoid what they perceive as unnecessarily added oppression (repression added on top of their already oppressive effect of facing systematized murder).
What do you think about Maj. Nelson’s behavior? Should Jasiri just have followed the rules? After all, Maj. Nelson is only human and could have merely allowed anger with a disruptive convicted “murderer” to temporarily cloud her sense of professionalism.
Either way I went to recreation next and refused to walk back to my sensory depriving cage. When Maj. Nelson made her appearance, I begged her to talk to me when she walked over. “Maj. Nelson, I want you to do something for me..” She acted as if she wanted to say something smart about my—a prisoner—“wanting” a major to do something, but she held her tongue realizing that I’ve already taken a position on what she thought would alienate Jasiri and discourage his budding activism. “I want you to call me a ‘coward’. Please call me a ‘pussy’ like you did Mr. Young. Tell ME to wipe my ‘wet pussy’ like you told Mr. Young.”
“You said that, I didn’t” Maj Nelson said.
“Nah, you said it…to Christopher Young—“
“You’re a coward!”
“What else Maj Nelson? That’s not everything.”
“I’m human just like you are.” She said.
Though her response was somewhat the effect I was looking for (by emphasizing her vituperation I was hoping to force catharsis), I was unsure if she was being sincere or unctuous because she knew I was going to document her behavior. This is the downside to documenting these things. You might think otherwise if officers censor themselves to avoid having their filthy behavior exposed, however we are not merely looking for censorship. We are looking for meaningful change, one that would remain even if our movement didn’t exist. Further, if she saw even the slightest relation between us and herself, she wouldn’t have treated our movement as she has for almost the past 2 years.
“Maj. Nelson, Maj Nelson,” and I pause before adding “you’ve been doing this for a long time—“
“You have too!” She interrupted.
“Well, why won’t you act like it then?”
“Maj. Nelson you don’t believe that. You read all my mail—“
“That’s right!” she snapped proudly; never mind how she’s violating my (and my comrades) federal postal rights in how she’s delaying our mail.
“Then you know I’m quite intelligent.” I said matter of factly.
Maj. Nelson nodded her head, then seeing an opportunity to divide and conquer us, she said, “he (Jasiri) won’t come close to yall—he’s stupid.”
“Nah,” I said in contemplation, “he is very intelligent.”
“He’s yalls lil crash dummy—“
“Well, why don’t you make him crash then Maj Nelson. Make him crash!” I was implying that we would respond accordingly should she decide to hurt our comrade.
Maj Nelson backed out from the outside rec-yard where I was seated, holding up 2 fingers. “This is number 2,” she said to the floor officers standing around me, indirectly telling me she intended to lock us down if we had one more use of force. Then Maj. Nelson walked off.
Every time I hear an officer use profanity to another prisoner I can’t help but think how prosecutors at my trial used an incident in which I, out of ignorance, used profanity toward a woman, to aid them in painting a picture to the jury of a monster deserving of death.
When we first began our protesting almost 2-years ago, I remember how one comrade protesting Tony Ford’s murder date, taped protest flyers to the dayroom wall before he was coated with chemical warfare as he laid on the floor, refusing to leave the dayroom. Several of us were surprised when, after the use of force, Lt Ritchie walked into the dayroom and gently peeled the flyers from the wall, placed them in a neat stack, then solemnly walked out of the dayroom.
Lt Richie had been the type we would have thought would yank the flyers from the wall, balling them up, and aggressively throw them into a nearby trash can, slamming the lid, making it fall to the floor. Had our activism shattered some of his layers that had been blinding him to our humanity?
It didn’t matter our humanity was crying out against the systematized murder of one of our brothers. The feelings didn’t matter. All that mattered to Maj. Nelson was power. She could care less about how a sentence of death affects us; how these sensory depriving conditions affect us; how losing fellow death row prisoners affect us. Then too, being prison is only a microcosm of the sectors of society its populace comes from, perhaps her attitude merely reflects that of most Americans. After all, Warden Hirch always reminds us how tax payers could give a “shit less” about our conditions. Is that true taxpayers?
To all our supporters, please tell you friends about our movement. Request copies of those pieces on our site that have had the most impact on you and pass them to people. Most of all, we need to build momentum here in America, specifically ground zero—Texas. Our movement is no more than a shout in the wilderness without all of you. People are dying mentally, spiritually and physically…for what? For the misappropriation of tax dollars? Because we are poor? Because we are so mentally deranged that the only viable medication is a lethal concoction?
“…only with the power of the people are we able to achieve justice…It is not because of the justice of the court.” Huey P Newton
Comrade and brother,