Sentiments of a Conscious Prisoner During Lockdown

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”

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Different prison, same old abuse (Part 2)

Part #2

Behavior modification- made famous by psychologists like B.F. Skinner and John B. Watson- is defined as a form of psychotherapy that is concerned with the treatment of observable behaviors rather than underlying psychological processes, and that applies principles or learning to substitute desirable responses for undesirable ones. (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition.) In other words, behavior modification broadly refers to the systematic manipulation of ones environment for the purpose of creating change in an individual’s behavior.

There are three basic types of behavior modification techniques that have been used in prisons–operant conditioning, classical conditioning, and aversion therapy. Aversion therapy was/is the most widely accepted method used on unsuspecting prisoners in order to suppress or associate an undesirable habit or behavior (as rebelliousness) by associating it with an unpleasant or punishing stimulus (as longterm solitary confinement and other forms of abuse and torture). The goal is to create a connection between the undesirable habit/behavior and the unpleasant stimulus so that a complete cessation or decrease in the undesirable habit/behavior will occur. (See Aversion Therapy and Behavior Disorders, S. Rachman and J. Teasdale)

One reason prisoners are subjected to group punishment/ behavior modification programs is so the government can document their effectiveness and then use those findings to formulate a much broader strategy to be used against people in society who are resisting oppression and fighting for liberation. These group punishment/behavior modification tactics were used during chattel slavery when rebellious slaves were lynched and hung from trees for other slaves to see in an effort to snuff out any revolutionary tendencies among the slaves fighting for liberation. It was also used during the radical 1960s and 1970s via J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI Counter-intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), and most recently during the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter and other anti-police brutality movements where protesters were/are aggressively opposed by and confronted with militarized Gestapo police and were/are unlawfully detained and subjected to police brutality in order to force compliance, obedience and acceptance of the status quo and to erase any idea and motivation for resistance among the broader populace.

“When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions…He will find his proper place and stand in it.”–Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Thought control is the sole purpose of group punishment/behavior modification–removing the ability of a person or group of persons subjected to it to think, reason, and act on their own. In other words, destroy the mind, keep the body which is then exploited by the capitalist-class for its endless source of cheap labor.

We must liberate our minds through a process of decolonization and reeducation. It takes a group commitment, group conviction, group solidarity, and most importantly, group struggle rooted in class-consciousness with the knowledge that we are a people of all races, colors, creeds, and sexuality suffering from a shared-oppression from a common enemy in order to seize power from the bourgeoisie.

To exist, collectively, we must resist!!
All Power to the People!!

#Not My President!! #Not Our President!!

By Uhuru B. Rowe
November 10, 2016
e-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

This post is dedicated to all the people who felt offended, hurt, and disrespected by the racist, sexist, xenophobic and bigoted rhetoric of Donald Trump during his presidential campaign and feel justifiably upset, angry, scarred and alienated after his election to the White House on 11/8/16; and all the women, New Afrikans (aka African-Americans), Chicanos and Chicanas, Latinos and Latinas, poor people, disabled people, LGBTQI people, discontented and disaffected white youth, high school and college students who are out in the streets raging and protesting because of Trump’s election, risking your lives and your freedom.

Trump’s ascendancy and election as president in this 21st century is a prime example of why we cannot rely on the ballot alone for our liberation. This so-called democratic system is in truth an oligarchy– a government of, for, and by a minority elite group of corrupt millionaire/billionaire politicians and avaricious capitalists who grease each others palms, line each other’s pockets, and exchange favors behind closed doors unbeknownst to struggling working-class American citizens who ceremoniously gets fucked by this system. How many developed countries can you name where a presidential candidate wins the popular vote by millions of votes and still doesn’t get elected? The electoral college is a sham!!

We can never experience true peace and freedom within an oppressive and exploitative system which isn’t naturally all-inclusive and that we have to consistently struggle and fight to be recognized by and be a part of. So if we can’t succeed via the ballot, what is to be done? Dismantle and abolish the current failed system and rebuild a new egalitarian system on the rubble of the old!! “…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men [and Women], deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….” This is quoted from The Declaration of Independence of 1776, the instrument by which we can liberate ourselves from a corrupt and oppressive government and achieve true justice and equality for ALL.

“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, and fulfill it or betray it.”–Frantz Fanon

To the younger generation who’ve been politicized and mobilized by high tuition rates and student debt which is detrimental to your current dreams and future aspirations, unjustified police killings of unarmed people of color and the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movements, mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex, and the “election” of this charlatan Donald Trump, you have a historical obligation and the power to radically change this system which has repeatedly failed you/us over and over again. I have seen you on the news. I have seen how organized you are in large numbers, chanting with one voice, in one spirit. I have witnessed your anger and discontent at being let down by a system that purports to work in your best interests and that is dependent on your obedience, consent and allegiance to it in order to maintain its legitimacy, power and control. I have witnessed you courageously stare down militarized police, defiantly march through the smoke of tear gas and flash bang grenades, and selflessly put your bodies and freedom on the line by walking onto highways and freeways and blocking traffic as if to say to the world, “Look at me! I am here! I will not be quiet! And I will not be ignored and denied any longer!”

Because of you young rebels and revolutionaries- marching, protesting, demonstrating, shouting, chanting, picketing, etc.- there’s a lot of electricity in the air, and your electricity is so strong and magnetic, those of us on the inside can feel it through the walls of our prison cells. There is no doubt in my mind that your courageous defiance and resistance struggles against American fascism is partly responsible for the recent wave of resistance taking place in prison plantations all across America. You have come from out of the shadows; from out of the ghettos, barrios, and privileged communities; from out of the classrooms, dorms, halls, sororities and fraternities; from out of the clubs and house parties; from out in front of PlayStations and Xboxes; and have stood up on your feet, raised your collective fists and your voices, in order to fulfill your mission, which is to wage the revolution.

As you resist, please know that you are acting on the right side of history. An oppressed and downtrodden class of people which does not endeavor to wage the revolutionary struggle deserves to be treated as slaves. Revolution is not only necessary because there is no other way of overthrowing the power of the corrupt ruling class, but also because only in the process of revolution is the oppressed class able to purge itself of the scum of the old society and become capable of building a new society. This is YOUR mission. This is OUR mission. Let us not betray it. THE OPPRESSED PEOPLE OF THE WORLD ARE WITH US!!

All Power to the People!

The Big Four-Zero

By Uhuru B. Rowe
November 4, 2016
uhururowe76@yahoo.com

On the October 15, 1976, I was born at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA to Claretha and Robert Rowe. I was the last of seven children. We represented the typical working-class Black family trying to survive and thrive under racist, capitalist system. My mother and father both worked long, hard hours to keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. So, when we came home from school we were often home alone and had to take care of ourselves, and each other. Being the baby in the family, naturally I was the most spoiled and devious. I could do no wrong in my mother’s eyes. So, I used to get away with a lot which drove my siblings nuts. We were all raised to be Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we didn’t celebrate any holiday’s (including birthdays) which bothered me, especially during Christmas. I would sit in my window and watch all the neighborhood kids play with their new toys and wished to God that I was one of them.

Continue reading “The Big Four-Zero”

IN SOLIDARITY WITH WOMEN ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.

By Uhuru B. Rowe★
March 9, 2016

March is Women’s History Month and March 8th was International Women’s Day. During this annual day, groups of organizations and individuals hold street marches and other demonstrations to express solidarity with all women and educate the public about issues affecting women all over the world as a result of global patriarchy. It is also a time for us men to reflect on how we contribute to and benefit from global patriarchy. Continue reading “IN SOLIDARITY WITH WOMEN ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.”

#BLACK LIVES HAVE NEVER MATTERED TO WHITE AMERICA

#BLACK LIVES HAVE NEVER MATTERED TO WHITE AMERICA

By Uhuru B. Rowe
July 10, 2016

From Texas to Minnesota to Louisiana to Tennessee…the power keg is bursting as it had done in the 1960s and 1970s at the height of the Black liberation and anti-war movements. As expected, the killing of five policeman in Texas was quickly labeled a “tragedy” by corporate news media, but they never label it a tragedy when unarmed Black or Brown people are blatantly assassinated on camera by the boys in blue, AND the assassins STILL are acquitted during a “show” trial in court of “law”, IF they are indicted at all. And that’s because -since 1619- Black and Brown Lives has never mattered to white America. Continue reading “#BLACK LIVES HAVE NEVER MATTERED TO WHITE AMERICA”

From General Population to Solitary Confinement

By Uhuru B. Rowe
April 14th, 2016

On the 10th of April, 2016, at approximately 11:50pm, I was awaken to the sounds of a correctional officer banging on my door who commanded in a loud voice for my cell parter and I to stand up and approach the cell door. In my efforts to regain my senses after being startled from a deep sleep and amidst the commotion, I nearly fell off my top bunk in order to comply with the guard’s demand.

Upon approaching the cell door, my cell partner and I were forced to strip naked and forced to bend over, squat and cough as the guard and his cohorts examined our bodies.

Continue reading “From General Population to Solitary Confinement”

Dying to live


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!

RACIST ISRAELI VIGILANTISM AND THE SUBJUGATION OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE.

By Uhuru B. Rowe
October 20, 2015

On the 18th of October, 2015, an early twenty-something Eritrean migrant by the name of Habton Zerhom, was unjustly shot by an Israeli security guard and then beaten by a mob of Israeli vigilantes in the town of Beersheba . He later died from his wounds. Zerhom’s murder resulted from an earlier event where an Arab-Israeli citizen with a gun and knife allegedly killed an Israeli soldier, stole his weapon and opened fire on a crowd injuring nine. In the mayhem that followed, a video shows Zerhom crawling for cover when a security guard walks up and shoots him at close range. As Zerhom laid in a pool of his own blood, he is cursed, kicked and hit with a rack of chairs by a racist mob of Israeli Jews. It was later reported that the security guard mistook Zerhom for an attacker. Continue reading “RACIST ISRAELI VIGILANTISM AND THE SUBJUGATION OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE.”

RACIST POLICE BRUTALITY AND MASS INCARCERATION SPARES NEITHER ELDERLY BLACK WOMEN NOR YOUNG BLACK GIRLS

By Uhuru B. Rowe
November 5, 2015

By now, most of us have seen the viral video of the young black Columbus, South Carolina high school student who was viciously assaulted on October 26, 2015 by a senior deputy who was moonlighting as a school resource officer. The video sparked national outrage. The deputy, later identified as Ben Fields, is seen yanking the 16-year-old girl out of her seat, slamming her to the floor, and tossing her across the classroom like a rag doll after she refused to acknowledge Fields’ authority. Prior to being assaulted by Fields, the girl was asked by school officials to leave the class because she was using her cellphone in class. When she refused, then enters Fields who, according to students, is known as “officer slam”, apparently because of his penchant for using excessive force against students. Because of the violent nature in which the young girl was assaulted, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott suspended Fields without pay and called for an investigation by the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Fields was later fired, probably to stave off future protest and acts of civil disobedience that were sure to come.

This incident should awaken us to the problem of criminalizing the behavior of students via zero-tolerance policies which disproportunately affects students of color, which inevitable facilitates the school-to-prison pipeline. This incident should also remind us that domestic imperialism via state police terror spares neither the young or the elderly.

Remember Marlene Pinnock? Pinnock, a then-51-year-old African-American great-grandmother was savagely beaten in the face while laying on the ground of a Santa Monica, California Highway. The perpetrator: A highway patrolman; or should I say just another racist pig. The video of Pinnock’s July 1, 2014 beating went viral on YouTube.

What about the young black girl that was man-handled and thrown to the ground at a pool party earlier this year in Texas.

These cases exemplifies the decadence of America’s criminal justice system and police state terrorism which spares neither our women.

The population of women in America’s prisons has grown by nearly 800% since 1980. Approximately 70% of incarcerated women are mothers and the majority were the primary caretakers of their children before they were sent to prison. Approximately 80% of women in prison experienced physical abuse either as children or as adults. Consider too that Black women and trans women of color are the fastest growing sector in America’s prison.

These are reasons why patriarchy needs to be abolished.