By Uhuru B. Rowe
November 6, 2017, Day 1 of Lockdown
It is 3:35 AM and we were just abruptly jolted from our sleep by the screams of a Sergeant making his rounds for count. “I need to see movement,” he screams, “so that I’ll know that you are alive.” Since arriving at Sussex 2 State Prison a little over a year ago, there have been a series of overdose deaths here and at other prions and correctional facilities across the state. The current opioid crisis affects, not just people in rural white communities, but also people in prisons. So during this count, on this particular day, we were instructed to move to show that we weren’t dead.
Continue reading “Sentiments of a Conscious Prisoner During Lockdown”
With the recent rash of unjustified killings of Afrikan men, women and children at the hands of racist, trigger-happy cops, we continue to march, protest and demonstrate while screaming “No justice, No Peace!”; “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!”; “I Can’t Breathe!”; “Black Lives Matter!”; and now “16 Shots!” in regards to 17-year-old Laquan McDonald who was shot a total of sixteen times by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke on October 20, 2014- many of the bullets piercing his body after he fell to the ground.
The lynching of Afrikans in America is not a new phenomenon. As the wise King Solomon once famously lamented, “There is nothing new under the sun.” The soil upon which this country was founded is saturated with the blood of Indigenous Natives (so-called Indians) and our enslaved Afrikan ancestors. Yes, it is true; Afrikans in America have been dying for over 400 years!
We died during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
We died during plantation slavery.
We died during slave rebellions.
We died during Reconstruction.
We died during the Black Codes.
We died during Jim Crow.
We died because of Willie Lynch.
We died in church bombings.
We died from ku klux klan terror.
We died from legal lynchings.
We died from the Fugitive Slave Act.
We died during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements.
We died from COINTELPRO.
We died from eugenics and forced sterilizations.
We died from the rape of our minds, bodies and culture.
And we continue to die!
We die from divide-and-conquer.
We die from systemic racism.
We die from system oppression.
We die from monoply capitalism.
We die from fascism.
We die from colonialism.
We die from imperialism.
We die from liberalism.
We die from neo-conservatism.
We die from genocide.
We die from patriarchy.
We die from gerrymandering.
We die from redistricting.
We die from racial profiling.
We die from the criminalization of our communities.
We die from disenfranchisement.
We die from poverty.
We die from joblessness.
We die from gentrification.
We die from landlessness.
We die from homelessness.
We die from powerlessness.
We die from medical neglect.
We die from preventable diseases.
We die from food insecurity.
We die from undiagnosed and untreated mental illnesses.
We die from hopelessness.
We die from suicides.
We die from miseducation.
We die from low self-esteem.
We die from ignorance.
We die from the lack of a vision.
We die from disunity.
We die from rugged-individualism.
We die from hyper-consumerism.
We die from serving in the military to defend a racist government that does not value and respect us.
We die from mandatory minimums.
We die from Three Strikes.
We die from the abolition of parole.
We die from the war on drugs.
We die from zero-tolerance.
We died from red tape.
We die from redlining.
We die from self-contempt.
We die from black-on-black violence.
We die from police brutality.
Our children die while playing with toy guns.
We die with our hands up.
We die while walking home with a bag of skittles.
We die because we’re wearing a hoodie.
We die because the music in our car is too loud.
We die because we’re standing on the street selling cigarettes to make money to feed our family.
We die during traffic stops.
We die in our jail cells under suspicious circumstances.
Everywhere we go we die.
Everywhere we are we’re dying.
We’ve been dying so often for so long we have nightmares about dying.
We fantasize about dying.
We talk about dying.
We rap about dying.
We sing about dying.
We expect to suffer the unfortunate fate of a premature death while trying to survive in a decadent American society.
Afrikans (Blacks) in America are just DYING TO LIVE!
Yes, it has happened again. Another unarmed Black male murdered by the police. The location: this time in the racially divided town of Ferguson, Missouri.
On Aug. 9, 2014, 18-year-old Michael Brown and a friend were walking down a street in their own community when they were confronted by an officer for allegedly interfering with traffic. Translation: They were confronted by the officer for the crime of “walking while Black.” The end result of this racial profiling was Brown succumbing to a hail of bullets and his friend literally running for his life. Continue reading “Hands up! Don’t shoot: The genocidal killing of Michael Brown”