Re-Blog: Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chpt 4, Pt 3


(Originally posted 8/25/2017 on Read With The Gringa)

Malcolm gets a new job and fondly remembers his favorite dancing partner.

Image Credit: Wikimedia

Re-Blog: Mr. President, I Have Chosen My Side


(Originally posted 8/17/2017 on Read With The Gringa)

In response to the tragedy of an innocent American woman being murdered, live, on TV, by a neo-Nazi, our President’s response was first lukewarm, then robotic-ly obedient to a written statement crafted by others wiser than he, and then, finally, Trump’s true feelings. He declared that neo-Nazi’s are nice guys. He declared that such nice guys were only pushed to commit murder by the actions of an opposition that was doing exactly what they were doing, exercising their 1st Amendment rights. 


But, Mr. President, the existence or non-existence of a permit for a rally does not matter when it comes to culpability for murder. How do the baseball bats of the opposition compare to the guns brought by white supremacist terrorists? Surely you jest. I mean, come on, remember that old saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight?


Mr. President, there was only one side that committed murder. And, in light of information gleaned from neo-Nazi websites, murder by car was not the frantic response of a startled neo-Nazi driver. For some time these terrorists have been encouraging one another online to kill protesters en masse by vehicular homicide. Chat threads exist between white supremacist terrorists trying to figure out the best plan of action to kill the most people, yet escape apprehension. 


Mr. President, you are not just supporting terrorists who have killed a single American. You are supporting several organizations of white supremacy terrorists who are plotting mass murder on a wide scale, across the United States and aimed at exterminating their chosen victim classes: anyone of the opposition. Considering your most recent polling numbers, that seems to be about two-thirds of the American population. So it can then be argued that what you are supporting is a plan of genocide of the American people.


My analysis of the potential danger is not outrageous. The FBI has declared white supremacy ideology a serious domestic terror threat. Even more dangerous of a threat than ISIS. Sure, the FBI declares some radical left wing groups as terrorist as well. But it is only white supremacy terrorism that has killed more Americans than any other ideology. This based on the FBI’s decades of research, surveillance and data collection. And it has certainly killed millions across Europe (like more than 50 million). Yet you rejected the warnings from legislators and intelligence communities explaining this very serious terrorism threat from white supremacy terror cells.


Well, Mr. President, since you have declared that there are two sides to this problem, I have taken the initiative and chosen my “side”. I stand on the right side of history, rather than on the side of alt-right. I stand on the side of my grandfather’s legacy. What might that side be, Mr. President? Please allow me to clarify by first asking a few questions about the white supremacy terror legacy left to you by your father, a KKK klansman:


Who do white supremacist terrorists think they are taking their country back from? The descendants of American patriots willing to give the ultimate sacrifice as Nazi killers in World War II? Wasn’t the sacrifice of these patriots to save our nation from the un-American, anti-freedom ideology of white supremacy? Wasn’t the point of American patriot sacrifice to prevent this ideology from reaching our shores and EXTERMINATING Americans who were non-white, non-Christian, non-heterosexual, medically disabled and feminist?


Another little conundrum for you, Mr. President. You know your Russian friends? Yeah. It was with the help of Russian Communists that our patriotic American WWII veterans kicked the Nazis ass. Now isn’t that ironic. You now find yourself playing with two teams that were once enemies, and probably still are. And it seems that you have chosen the side of losers.


What was that thing you said about not respecting losers? Well, the racist base you are leaning on? Their ideology is the biggest loser of all. They lost WWII. They lost the Civil War. And they have lost you the rest of America. The majority. At least 60%.


Mr. President, there is nothing for your racist base to take back. This great country was never their’s to begin with. They tried once before in the mid 1800’s but America kicked the Confederacy’s ass then. And white supremacists got their asses kicked by the entire world less than a century later. And we can do it again now. You and your racist base cannot have the country my grandfather fought to protect. I plan to preserve his legacy of freedom for ALL. But go ahead and bring your fire. Try to take it from me if you think you can. 

Image Credit: 

YouTube

Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chpt 3, Pt 4


Malcolm and his new friend Shorty had a lot in common and became fast friends.

Image Credit: Mile Parker

Is Violence Ever Justified?


Although the gringa considers herself a pacifist, I am also a realist. Do I believe in the right to react violently in self-defense? Of course. Do I believe that there are times when the pursuit of social justice requires violence? Yes, I do. Do I believe that such a strategy works? Yes, because history supports the fact that, when all else fails, when civil discourse achieves nothing, violence can, indeed, bring about a result of more peace and justice.

One such example is the passage of the Civil Rights Act. From 1776 until 1964, nearly 200 years of legalized white supremacy not only defined the nation, but also defined each individual within American society. As demands rose for equal representation, equal opportunity and equal protection, the numbers of those clamoring voices grew ever larger. Yet democracy did not prevail in a government controlled by empowered racist white men who refused to budge.

So, what happened? What changed the minds of entitled, empowered, racist white male legislators? Did the majority of them suddenly wake up one day and think to themselves, “You know, I’ve actually been wrong all my life. Non-whites truly are equal. They deserve equal protection. And who cares that by legalizing their equality my constituents will feel threatened and probably won’t re-elect me and I’ll be out of a job. I’m going to work to pass the Civil Rights Act.”

That is a fantasy. That is not what happened. And the gringa finds it very frustrating that many never stop to think about what was the catalyst for a racist, empowered, entitled, white society to suddenly flood their workplaces with non-whites they would have to compete with for employment. Why would a society enjoying all the privileges of legalized, enforced privileges in every aspect of life suddenly be willing to come down from their perches in their gilded cages, willing to sit beside those they considered to be the lower rabble? White America of 1964 did not collectively have some enlightened, social evolution epiphany. So what happened? Violence happened, that’s what happened.

April 2, 1964: 54 civil rights demonstrators from the Congress of Racial Equality picketed a Tulsa, Oklahoma restaurant and were arrested.

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April 22, 1964: A bi-racial group of young adults hold up subways and trains on the opening day of the New York World’s Fair. Many were arrested.

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May 12, 1964: Cambridge, Maryland calls in the National Guard to bring order to a riot that began when white racists responded violently to a bi-racial civil rights march and prayer vigil.

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June 26, 1964: Florida Governor orders extra police to bring to heel the race riots ripping apart the historical city of St. Augustine. Racist whites turned violent after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a peaceful civil rights march.

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June 29, 1964: FBI discovers the remains of 3 civil rights workers who disappeared June 21 in Mississippi while working in the “Freedom Summer” program. They had been abducted, murdered and buried in an earthen dam by the KKK.

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July 2, 1964: After nearly three years of civil unrest that culminated in a widely publicized recovery of those murdered by the Klan, finally the wheel of government turned. Three days after the bodies of civil rights workers were recovered who had been murdered by the KKK, President Lyndon Baines Johnson finished what assassinated President John Fitzgerald Kennedy had started and signed the Civil Rights Act into law.

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What can our nation learn from this history? It should learn that terrorists who comprise race hate groups like the KKK and the re-branded KKK, the alt-right, are dangerous. They are terrorists and murderers. Although our nation does not protect the free speech of ISIS recruiters, for some insane reason, most municipalities grant public rally permits and authorize police protection for the public recruitment and incitement rallies of white supremacist terrorists.

There is no doubt that radical right wing race hate extremists are terrorists. The FBI has been investigating and infiltrating them for decades. They have documented their thousands upon thousands acts of terror: murder, rape, arson, bank robberies, bombings, kidnappings, etc. They classify radical right wing race hate extremists as the most serious domestic terror threat confronting the US. More serious than ISIS and responsible for more dead Americans than any other ideology.

Considering, then, the heinous nature that radical right wing race ideology takes when it truly feels its empowerment threatened, who in their right mind truly believes it will not take violence to stop them? So, when critics attack the tactics of anti-fascist groups who actively resist and fight violent race hate tactics with their own violence, the gringa accepts this. I will not criticize this.

It took American integrationists of all races working together and provoking racist American society to bring about the result of the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Yet the Civil Rights Act is not yet complete. So long as race hate terrorists are permitted to thrive in organized cells, enjoying a protection the nation does not give to other terrorist organizations, the US has not lived up to its obligation of enacting the spirit of the Civil Rights Act to its fullness. And don’t be foolish enough to think that 50 years of legalized equality has undone the work of nearly 200 years of legalized white supremacy.

As far as the gringa is concerned, Antifa is the conscience of the nation rearing its ugly head. How the nation responds will determine whether or not we will finally exterminate race hate terrorists from our population once and for all. Why should the US be exempt from such a thing? The world expected it of Germany after World War II. And the German people rose to the occasion with nobility and courage, stamping out the shame of Nazism one generation after another. Shouldn’t the US not hold itself to the same standard? Should it not also stamp out the very terror ideology that has murdered more Americans than any other?

It is the responsibility of local law enforcement to ensure that their citizenry live in an environment of safety and security. When municipalities grant public speaking permits for race hate recruiters and authorize law enforcement protection by officers who are paid by the very tax payers threatened by the ideology these officers are duty-bound and ordered to protect, what message does that send to their local communities? It sends the message that for those who live in such a community who happen to be a minority or a non-racist white, you had better beware because your local government and law enforcement provide aid and comfort to race hate terrorists.

When such a thing happens it is indeed time for a revolution. A terrorist is a terrorist regardless of skin color. And the only way to rid a community of terrorists of any kind is to give them no quarter whatsoever. And if they continue to push their terror agendas, actively recruiting from among your neighbors and children, if push comes to shove, it may take violence to excise such a cancer from among you. And such action is not terrorism or hypocrisy. It is self-preservation of your way of life. In many cases, it is justice.

When victims of decades, even centuries of oppression and organized legal terrorism can get no relief or justice, do you honestly expect nothing to happen? Remember, the Civil Rights Act only passed because enough people got so fed up and became so disruptive that it was in the interest of national security to finally give the people what they demanded regardless of the fact that white male American legislators were, for the most part, conditioned to be rabid racists since birth.

Do people really believe that law enforcement should not be held to the same standard as citizens? Are they not citizens themselves? Citizens who took an oath to serve and protect their fellow citizens? Yet they can be videotaped committing obvious acts of murder and walk away from a courtroom with their freedom, and sometimes their jobs, intact.

When this happens, American society should expect that there will be hell to pay. Especially when one considers that the FBI has already reported in 2006 that white supremacist terrorists have effectively infiltrated US law enforcement on all levels. Yet this news has been virtually swept under the nation’s proverbial rug.

As grieving mothers, fathers, spouses, children, siblings and communities become overwhelmed with grief without relief and communities realize that each and every one of them are unsafe in the presence of law enforcement, what the hell does this country honestly expect? The gringa will tell you what to expect.

Expect a response of graduated escalation for demands of justice. Expect prayer vigils that give way to peace marches. When those are unheard, expect peace marches to give way to sit-ins. When nothing happens, expect sit-ins to give way to noisy protests with bullhorns. When this is ignored, expect noisy protests to bring about clashes with race haters trying to silence the voice of the victims. When race haters are given public sympathy and support, expect, eventually, riots.

When there is no justice to be found in a nation that is responsible for thousands of non-whites lynched and tortured and raped and driven from their homes and business, do not expect minorities to stand idly and quietly by and be lynched by the barrel of a racist cop’s gun. Do not expect them to sit quietly and idly by while the murderers of their ancestors march with police protection through the streets where they live and their children go to school.

And for those who would criticize matching violence for violence, the gringa says, “Grow up.” Get out of your privileged la la land because when cries for justice are ignored long enough and loved ones are watching those they love dying and suffering because of ignored justice, then a fist, a rock or a molotav cocktail becomes justice. Respond to the soft cry for justice. For if you don’t, your nation may find itself responding to a riotous demand for justice.

Do NOT tolerate your local municipality granting ANY permit for public speaking by a race hate terror group. Terrorists ARE NOT entitled to First Amendment protection. They are TERRORISTS and a danger to your community. They are a danger to your children. Your municipal government and local law enforcement are supposed to be protecting YOU from them, NOT protecting the terrorists from you as they openly and actively recruit in your neighborhood.

If your neighborhood wants to hear an inspiring speech or rally cry that will make this nation great, reject white race hate recruitment rallies. Demand, instead, that your municipality provide an open, outdoor theater screening of a speech like this:

Wake up. Resist. Revolt.

Sources:

The Atlantic

Florida History Network

CRF USA

FBI Archives

PBS

Image Credits:

The Daily Beast

The Atlantic

Video Credit: LogistiKHD

Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chpt 2, Pt 8


Malcolm notices many differences between the blacks of Boston and Michigan.

Image Credit: NY Daily News

Malcolm X (Autobio.), Chpt 1, Pt 1


We begin the incredible life story of this powerful American, as told by Malcolm X to Alex Haley. In the first part of chapter 1, “Nightmare”, we learn that the terror of the KKK is one of Malcolm’s earliest memories.

 

Let’s read history together!

Image Credit:  Shooting Parrots

The Modern Day U.S. Slave


While most Americans spent this past weekend focused on memorials of the tragedy of 9/11, the gringa found herself getting educated at a prison protest Saturday on the anniversary of the Attica Uprising 45 years ago.  I’ll give you a rundown of a bit of history and then share some details of today’s U.S. prisons that shocked the gringa when she came to a fuller understanding.

Attica Maximum Security Correctional Facility, New York, September 9, 1975

  • 1,281 prisoners take over D yard, an exercise field.
  • 39 prison employees & guards are held hostage.
  • 13 state police & prison officers launch a raid.
  • During the raid 10 hostages & 29 prisoners are killed, 89 seriously injured

Why did this happen? Frustration over deplorable living conditions:

  • Overcrowding
  • Censorship of mail
  • 1 weekly shower
  • 1 single roll of toilet paper for an entire month (the gringa goes through a single roll PER DAY)

Personal perspective of the prisoners began to change in the radicalized climate of the late 60’s and early 70’s. They began to see themselves as political prisoners rather than just convicted criminals. After all, isn’t our nation’s law enforcement, judicial and prison systems highly politicized? Aren’t convicted criminals often used as political pawns? Of course they are. And Attica’s inmates decided it was time to participate in the political system the only way a disenfranchised citizen can, through radical, attention getting protest.

Once the more than 2,000 inmates mobilized, a riot quickly ensued that included beating guards, acquiring weapons of any sort, and torching the chapel. One guard was thrown out a second-story window after a beating and died from his injuries days later. As state police struggled to regain control of the prison, D yard became the final scene of the showdown with a hostage situation that lasted four long days.

The prisoners requested U.S. Representative Herman Badillo to lead negotiations and offered their list of demands:

  • Improved living conditions.
  • Religious freedom.
  • No more censorship of personal mail.
  • More phone privileges.
  • Amnesty for prisoners in D Yard.
  • Safe passage to a non-imperialist country for any who desired to go.

Although negotiations were on-going and none of the hostages were being harmed, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller mobilized hundreds of state troopers and the National Guard which all soon descended upon the prison. Civilian observers who were present were dismayed by the Governor’s overt show of force and asked for him to personally appear as a sign of good faith. Rockefeller refused. Instead he gave the order for an act of force that resulted in a massive and tragic loss of life. The gringa thinks this was totally unnecessary and quite typical of the cowboy mentality that seems to take hold of the wrong kind of people who come into positions of power over other people.

Many would argue that strong leadership means being forceful and making a powerful display of strength and authority when challenged. The gringa disagrees. When in a role of managing the care of fellow human beings, even if they are convicted criminals, a strong leader must be a wise and humble benefactor. Human beings are complicated creatures with complex needs. Rockefeller was wrong to do what he did. Going in with guns blazing is absolutely the wrong approach to solve any crisis where human lives are at stake.

Rather than continue negotiations Rockefeller demanded the inmates’ surrender. They responded to his challenge by holding knives to the throats of their hostages. In short order 3,000 rounds of bullets tore through clouds of tear gas and killed not only inmates, but one fourth of the hostages. Emergency medical responders testified that some of the prisoners were shot and killed as they lie on the ground after surrendering or being wounded.

In light of this disastrous plan implemented by New York’s governor, Rockefeller tried to deflect blame with false stories fed to the press that the inmates had slit the throats of the hostages and even castrated one. Rockefeller was either extremely ignorant or extremely arrogant if he thought autopsy reports would not expose his lies. There was an eventual Congressional investigation into this cover-up and frame job of the inmates as brutal executioners.

The final aftermath of the Attica riot has reserved its place in history as the worst prison riot the United States has ever seen:

  • 43 people killed.
  • Weeks of reprisals against prisoners with torturous treatment involving nightsticks, broken glass and other measures.
  • Substandard medical treatment if it was administered at all.
  • $2.8 billion class-action lawsuit filed by 1,281 prisoners against Attica & state officials.
  • $8 million awarded to prisoners in 2000 & divided among 500 inmates.
  • By accepting death benefit checks or paychecks, prison officers & their survivors unknowingly forfeited their right to sue the state for its debacle of a rescue plan.

Today’s Prisons

The gringa can’t speak on behalf of prisons in every state, but will share two distinct and troubling characteristics of prisons in her home state of Texas:

  • Prisoners are expected to work for zero pay & can expect retribution if they refuse, often being placed in solitary confinement.
  • Prisoners must pay a $100 co-pay in order to receive medical treatment.

The gringa is struck by many shocking conclusions upon becoming aware of these facts:

  • A for-profit prison system benefitting from productivity from enslaved Americans creates a society where there are incentives in place for the justice system to generate as many arrests and convictions as possible.
  • The common thread among prisoners is financial status. Whereas the slaves of America’s past were defined by race, today’s slaves are defined by lacking the funds to launch an aggressive legal defense, which still results in minorities being over-represented in U.S. prison populations.
  • By targeting the poor as easy to imprison & profit from, a capitalist society is further growing the impoverished slave class by fracturing families and extracting breadwinners. The fractured family is further burdened by creating a single parent who needs to provide for herself, her children and her imprisoned loved one who, because enslaved and performing prison labor without pay, cannot provide for his commissary needs. The loved one on the outside must also pay for their imprisoned loved one’s toothpaste, socks, toilet paper, medical care, etc.
  • The ugly laws of the 1920s, designed by America’s elite class to rid public streets of the unsightliness of undesirables by criminalizing behaviors typical to impoverished people, have simply been reinstated through various other laws that target the poor American.

The gringa has no solutions. I have only just now had my eyes opened to the complexity of this disturbing issue. Like a good, little patriot I have been conditioned by my society to believe it is acceptable that prisoners should have, at the very least, an uncomfortable time of it. I have also been conditioned to believe that complaints by prisoners are always a con job, they are simply not to be trusted. However, by conditioning Americans to ignore the plight of prisoners, capitalists have been empowered to pursue policies that have targeted the weakest among us in order to create a slave class they can profit from.

The gringa heard the story of one mother who was visiting her 19 year-old son on the one day weekly he is able to see his loved ones. I listened in horror as she told me a tale that could have happened to my own son. A tale of a teenager arranging to purchase some expensive sneakers he had seen online. However, when he met the individuals to exchange his money for the shoes, they took his money and basically ran. It was a scam. Incensed, he tracked down the individuals and gave them a beat down to get the shoes he had paid for. He was charged not just with assault, but also with robbery. Being high end sneakers, the sale price constituted a felony. This young man was facing 8-25 years of hard time and having to place his trust in a court appointed attorney. Unlike many others like her son, this mother was very fortunate to work out a deal with a youth program yet he will still serve 6 months in prison that will certainly be a harrowing experience that will change him forever. Because he beat up a con artist and took back his shoes.

Might an affluent teenager with a hotshot lawyer have gotten off with a fine and probation or perhaps even an aquittal? It’s highly likely. However,  a low-income, minority teen is advised by a court appointed attorney to work out a plea deal, securing, at the very least, 6 months of free labor for a capitalist prison system model to profit from. And the young and strong are who the for-profit systems want for slave labor. Even a minimal sentence is a good thing for prison profiteers. It increases the chances that a 6 month slave will return for a longer stint of labor in the future. The system is ensuring that as much of the poverty rabble as possible is kept off of America’s streets and enslaved for the profit of corporations. This is outrageous.

What is the interest of a court appointed attorney who takes on a case for free? His interest is to get the case over with as soon as possible so he can get back to jobs that pay. This is not justice. Consider just a few very telling statistics and see if the gringa is right when she says that the United States should be very ashamed:

  • U.S. population of nearly 320 million.
  • In 2014 more than 2 million Americans were in prison & nearly 5 million were on probation or parole.
  • 1 in 5 prisoners are convicted of a drug related offense.
  • The underprivileged are disproportionately imprisoned, marked by the following factors: income status, race, & level of education.

The gringa does not believe any of this is an accident. Re-designing prisons as modern day plantations is purposeful. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed. This had an incredible economic impact for bad or good depending on where a person stood. For minorities it was an economic boon, finally having their right to equal job opportunity and equal pay protected. For businesses that had enjoyed the freedom to pay as little as they pleased to minorities, they suffered. Imbittered, it did not take long for American businesses to devise a work around.

Within 7 years President Nixon announced the U.S. War on Drugs. Within another 7 years America’s prison systems were privatized to deal with exploding prison populations as a result of the War on Drugs. A war that has been effectively proven to disproportionately incarcerate poor, non-violent, drug offenders that are more of a threat to themselves than society, and most are capable of complete rehabilitation. American business preserved their slave class despite the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act. And it continues today.

Although the average citizen is conditioned to point the finger at inmates for their less than humane living conditions, what of the creators and enforcers who have the power and resources to implement change that would be decidedly better? What about other first world countries who are successful with humane, rehabilitative prison systems that are minimally populated and experience extremely low rates of returning inmates?

The gringa believes this is all by design as well. By creating and enforcing conditions that dehumanize even a non-violent drug offender who originally was no real threat to the public at large, for-profit prisons can damage a human so badly that person is incapable of living successfully and independently as a free man or woman. They ensure their slave workforce by intentionally designing living conditions that psychologically ruin a human being’s ability to ever have healthy emotional and working relationships. In the gringa’s opinion, this places every prison official in the category of guilt of crimes against humanity. And it seems that the United Nations agrees with the gringa, making it very clear that the United States is not living up to UN standards of humane treatment of incarcerated peoples.

I urge my dear readers who are as alarmed and as concerned as the gringa to use whatever is your gift or talent to help bring about awareness and change. The U.S. model of how criminals are dealt with is barbaric. No other civilized, first world nation operates in such a way. Human beings that are poor, or of the wrong ethnicity, are considered disposable in the United States. You only get one chance and if you make a mistake and end up in the prison system, there is no rehabilitation, only living conditions that reduce human beings to their basest instincts for survival. U.S. imprisonment is modern day slavery that creates a social stigma that prevents any success once free, only recidivism just to survive, where a person is then guaranteed a return to the plantation.

The gringa has provided below some video and photos from the rally.

Chants of the protestors:

Judy Kotun who told me the story of her 19 year-old son:

Samsung
Samsung

 

Sources:

www.history.com

www.prisonpolicy.org

Incarceration on Wikipedia

www.bloomberg.com

stanford.edu

www.un.org

Image Credit: tse1.mm.bing.net