End Prison Slavery, In solidarity, Prison conditions

How Do We Stop the Hate?

“I observed first-hand how the Nazi Poison transformed decent, caring, reasonable men and women into fanatical racists who approved the destruction of anyone and anything that did not conform to their vision of the world.”

– Hans-Jurgen Massaquoi, former Editor-in-Chief of Ebony Magazine

Hans-Jurgen Massaquoi was one of the few Blacks in Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. He was born in 1926 in the port city of Hamburg, Germany to a white German mother, Bertha Baetz, and Al-Haj Massaquoi, a Liberian businessman and Muslim. Massaquoi found out quickly that being Black was not compatible with the “vision” that Hitler had for Germany at that moment in history. In the 1950s, Hans-Jurgen Massaquoi emigrated to the United States where he became the editor-in-chief for Ebony Magazine, one of the LEADING African-American Magazines of All Time!

It is not a stretch to compare the Nazi Poison of Adolf Hitler with the modern day white supremacist hate speech promoted by Donald J. Trump. Prior to the massacre of muslims in New Zealand the murderer praised Trump for promoting white supremacy.

It has happened again! Another Mass shooting. 50 Muslims murdered! Many kneeling in prayer – shot in the back! I recently said on comrademalik.com that I was going through something but did not elaborate.

On March 8th, 2019, a womyn who is dying of Cancer was denied one final HUG with her son who happens to be incarcerated here with me! I had been helping them and advocating on their behalf. Paulina Gracia who has an aggressive form of Leukemia was told by the prison administrators here to come on and visit, they said they would allow her to hug her son. Then at the very last moment, they canceled the visit!!! That Hurt! It hurt all of us. All you can ask is WHY? Would this one HUG damage the Prison Agencies reputation?? NO, it would not. But then, look who is leading this campaign for Humyn Rights??!!

It is I the Muslim Activist known as Comrade Malik! AND THE WHITE SUPREMACIST PRISON OFFICIALS HATE ME! So my friends Miguel and Paulina – suffered! This is not my Vision of Love! A week later on March 15th, 2019 an Australian man, a white man, who subscribes to White Nationalism and embraces White Supremacy goes into two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and he executes 50 of my Muslim brothers and sisters!! He murders them in cold blood. This senseless act of violence is as hurtful to me as the tragedy which took place at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh!!

Personally, I am really not caught up on focusing on whether the victims are Jewish, Muslim or Christians – they were all Humyn beings! No-one should be fearful in the place they worship and pray – no-one!! The shooter says he was ‘inspired’ by Dylan Roof and Andres Brevik. I believe that this spike in White Nationalism and White Supremacy is a manifestation of a mental illness that has not been diagnosed as such not yet! We must start to analyze this more closely especially when HATE AND VIOLENCE become a key part in the equation. Trump’s denial and downplaying of the problem isn’t helping anything.

Bringing this out into the OPEN and discussing it in Open Forums is a start in the right direction. I think people are uncomfortable with these issues and topics because it forces us to examine our inner feelings and beliefs – possibly we don’t want to share with the world what we really believe and feel. The election of Trump brought a lot of “closet racists” out into the OPEN! They now feel empowered and emboldened. It sounds good to say: “I’m not prejudiced, I have many Muslim friends or many Jewish friends, or many Black friends.” It sounds good! But what is the reality?

The State of Texas along with the Department of Homeland Security have labeled me a “Threat” because I speak the truth!!

Take a look at me!! Look at me with my Big Beard and Kufi prayer cap! How has the Mainstream Media in Amerika as well as the harsh rhetoric of Donald J. Trump made you feel about Muslim Humyn Beings??

Look at me!! You see the photo!! Does it make you afraid? Do you feel angry? Do you want to see me harmed? Let’s talk about it. I don’t have all the answers sisters and brothers but I think we can figure this out together if we can figure this out together if we try!! Please Stop the Hate and LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!

Dare To Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!!

 

Standard
In solidarity

WE MUST NEVER STOP CRITIQUING THE POLICE AND QUESTIONING AUTHORITY!

by Comrade Malik

Revolutionary Greetings, Comrades, Fellow Workers, and Free-World Allies!!

I got something on my mind and it has been really disturbing my peace, so I am going to share it with all of you and I’d like some feedback this time.

On January 28th, 2019 Police in Houston, TX served a no-knock warrant on a white couple who were just enjoying each other’s company when the pigs kicked their door in and SHOT AND KILLED THEIR DOG!

Now, I don’t know about you but I’ve had a number of dogs, and when a stranger comes my dogs growl and I don’t even want to think what would have happened if somebody dared to kick in our door unannounced!

After the Police killed this couple’s dog a gunfight ensued and 5 Police were shot and the couple were killed–Murdered in Cold Blood by the Police. I believe the name of the victims were Dennis Tuttle and Regina Nicholos. However, if you want all of the specifics I highly recommend you begin to follow the work of Reporter Kari Blakinger who works for the Houston Chronicle. (Twitter @keribla) Keri has been reporting on the incident since the story broke that the Narcotics Officer who was serving the No-Knock Warrant had faked the
testimony of a Confidential Informant as well as numerous other forms of illegal and unethical acts which led not only to the death of these two humyn beings but also it led to his co-workers being SHOT!

I MEAN IF YOU KICK PEOPLE’S DOOR IN–ESPECIALLY IN THE STATE OF TEXAS
WHERE PEOPLE LOVE THEIR GUNS AND AMMO YOUR ASS IS GONNA GET SHOT!!!

What really pissed me off was this: about a day or two after the tragedy a Police Union Rep got on TV and local radio and said (and I am paraphrasing here but you can definitely find out exactly what he said): “I’M TIRED OF THIS! you people CRITICIZING THE POLICE—WHEN ALL WE ARE DOING IS TRYING TO PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES! I’M TIRED OF YOU STIRRING UP TROUBLE AND PUTTING THE POLICE IN HARMS WAY! And I WANT
YOU TO KNOW WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WE ARE GOING TO COME AFTER YOU IF YOU KEEP CRITICIZING THE POLICE!”

Don’t take my word for it Comrades– FACT CHECK THIS SHIT!! See, the Narcotics Officer who set-up this HIT IS NAMED DANIEL GOINS and now the Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened a Civil Rights Investigation focusing on this NO KNOCK WARRANT WHICH ENDED UP WITH 5 cops shot and TWO UNSUSPECTING HUMYN BEINGS—-DEAD!!

Local Alt-Right Radio Pundits went crazy when this story fights broke, scrambling to find guests who would scream that blue lives matter. BULLSHIT!! I MEAN THIS WAS A FEEDING FRENZY BEFORE ALL THE DETAILS WERE REVEALED!! And then it was revealed that this was a horrible tragedy and the POLICE WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING INNOCENT LIFE. Oh, then shit changed. All of a sudden, silence!!

Don’t Get Quiet Now GIMALDI!! And what Activists were you referencing when you said: WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE! Who was you talkin about?? Quanell-X? Krystal Muhammad? Kofi Taharka? Shaun White? or maybe Abdul Hamid Muhammad formerly known as Robert-X Muhammad of the Nation of Islam? Are those the people you were talkin about GIMALDI??

We should never stop Critiquing the Police or questioning Authority, ‘specially in Houston, Texas, because the Police have established a pattern of conduct in TAKING THE LIVES OF BLACK AND BROWN PEOPLE! THE FBI NEVER INITIATES A DAMN CIVIL RIGHTS INVESTIGATION WHEN THESE PIGS ARE DOWN HERE KILLING US LIKE IT’S GOING OUT OF STYLE!!

But you know what?? I’m not going to demean or minimize the lives of these white folks. THIS BEAUTIFUL WHITE COUPLE DESERVES JUSTICE!! Their families deserve Answers!!! You see I’m not some sick ass Racist Mo’Fo who ignores the Value of a White Life over a Black Life. When I say in my Work ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE, I MEAN ALL OF US!

Can yall hear me?? BLACK, BROWN, ASIAN, ARAB, AND WHITE MUST UNITE!!! We can’t let these Pigs intimidate us into being silent!! Comrades, please don’t ever become DOCILE, COMPLIANT, HAPPY SLAVES!! Don’t ever become SHEEP!! Don’t do it!!

Some of y’all probably thought I was going Soft on you!! HELL NAW!! But you know I’m still Locked inside the Slave Kamp and there are people’s lives at stake so sometimes I have to be Nice! (LoL). Remember Comrades—RESIST AND REBEL!!

In Struggle,
Comrade Malik

Standard
End Prison Slavery, In solidarity

JUNETEENTH: June 14-17 4th annual Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence and June 19 2nd annual End Prison Slavery Day

Time to turn up and turn out!

by Comrade Malik 

Originally published at SF Bay View April 6, 2019

Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons

“By anarchist spirit, I mean that deeply human sentiment which aims at the good of all, freedom and justice for all, solidarity and love among the people, which is not an exclusive characteristic only of self-declared anarchists, but inspires all people who have a generous heart and an open mind.” – Errico Malatesta, Umanita Nova, April 13, 1922

Peace and Blessings, Sisters and Brothers!

Wow, how time flies. Four years ago, I was at the Pack Unit in Navasota, Texas, when I discovered that the prison unit had high levels of arsenic in the water supply! The oppressors at the Texas Commission on Environ­mental Quality called me a liar. The fascist pigs who operate the Texas Department of Criminal Injustice retaliated. If it wasn’t for the mutual aid and solidarity of Panagioti Tsolkas and a few other dedicated free world supporters, the toxic water would have been ignored.

Sisters and brothers, people of color are disproportionately housed in prisons all across the United States of Amerika. Many of these prisons are plagued by toxic water, black mold, radiation or, as in the case of many prisons in Pennsylvania, they are located in close proximity to toxic sites, such as coal ash depositories which contaminate water and air breathed by the human beings forcibly housed at these toxic prisons! Contact fighttoxicprisones@gmail.com.

I am personally calling on PEOPLE OF COLOR in Atlanta, Georgia, and Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama; I’m calling on folks in South and North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and my home state of Texas to come on down to Gainesville, Florida, June 14 through 17, 2019, and come see what the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons is all about.

Our sisters and brothers who are incarcerated need more of our people to take an active interest in these environmentalist movements. This Convergence in Gainesville is not just for anarchists; it is for all human beings who believe that together we can save our planet from imperialist multi-national corporations who seek to destroy Planet Earth and us along with it if we allow them to do that!

Come on Down to Gainesville and learn how to FIGHT TOXIC PRISONS today!

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!

International call to action: 2nd annual day of action and solidarity with those who are fighting to end prison slavery in Amerika and throughout the world on June 19

by Comrade Malik, Chief Spokesperson, End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement

Revolutionary Greetings, Sisters and Brothers!

It’s that time again and I am sending out this call to action in order to encourage everyone who is passionate about abolishing all forms of slavery and involuntary servitude to come together in one united action of revolutionary solidarity on June 19, 2019, and protest against the enslavement, degradation and dehumanization of Amerikan prisoners and all human beings throughout the world who are subjected to any form of slavery or oppression!

As many of you know, June 19 is the day when Black people in Texas celebrate the freedom of their Ancestors, our Ancestors, who were held in SLAVERY for approximately two years after the entire nation acknowledged the Emancipation Proclamation. But the slave owners in Texas ignored this federal law.

June 19 is the day when Black people in Texas celebrate the freedom of their Ancestors, our Ancestors, who were held in SLAVERY for approximately two years after the entire nation acknowledged the Emancipation Proclamation. But the slave owners in Texas ignored this federal law.

This year’s call to action has special significance as the world’s eyes are trained on South Texas, where tens of thousands of asylum seekers from Central Amerika come to the United States seeking a safe haven but instead have found mistreatment, abuse, racism, and slavery. The legislative and criminal justice system in Texas continues to create the foundations for institutionalized racism and bigotry.

Do you realize that the U.S. Army had to ride into Galveston, Texas, in 1867 and announce that slavery had been abolished.

The state of Texas was so hell-bent on maintaining their slaves and profiting from slave labor that the U.S. Army had to show force to make Texas eliminate the practice of slavery. But it is still alive! Prison slavery is something that is being practiced and perpetuated in every state in the union and it has been codified by the most powerful legal document in the United States, the U.S. Constitution.

We must continue to call for the exception clause – or slavery – clause in the 13th Amendment to be struck down! We must finish the abolitionist work! Remember, sisters and brothers, that this is an international campaign which seeks to address the misogynistic practices of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the genocide waged against Palestinian people.

The bigots who operate Texas prisons wish to silence my voice. I refuse to remain silent! On June 19, 2019, stand with us!

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!

Keith “Malik” Washington is co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign and deputy chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. Read Malik’s work at ComradeMalik.com. Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958, McConnell Unit, 3100 S. Emily Dr., Beeville TX 78103.

Standard
End Prison Slavery, In solidarity, Prison conditions

THE FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT: USHERS IN “The year of JUSTICE!!!

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington Chief Spokespersyn, End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement

“There is in this world no such force as the force of a PEOPLE determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.”
–W.E.B Du Bois

Revolutionary Greetings Comrades!

It is official and you heard it here New Afrikan Freedom Fighter and Prison Abolitionist Queen Tahiyrah of Sign o’ the Times blogtalk is to be known from here on out as PROPHETESS QUEEN TAHIYRAH!!!!

Did y’all hear?? Did you listen??? The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Section VALIDATED and SUBSTANTIATED EVERYTHANG our Fearless and Courageous brothers from F.A.M. been telling us for YEARS! Gross Overcrowding, Horrendously Inhumane Living Conditions, Murders, Suicides, Inadequate Health Care, and no possible means of obtaining anything close to a rehabilitative experience!!!!

THIS IS ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS.

(Sharon Steinmann/AL.com via AP, FILE) The sign to The William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Ala., is displayed, March 16, 2016.

And if this doesn’t motivate us to throw all our support behind Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, Swift Justice, and Kinetik Justice I don’t know what will. No-one can ignore the dedication, persistence, and sacrifice exhibited by these brothers and their wonderful support team which includes our intelligent and passionate Servant of the People Sis. Nyesha Jones of Unheard Voices OTCJ.

The Department of Justice has given the State of Alabama exactly 49 days to address the issues raised in a scathing report compiled after nearly 2 years of investigation into the corrupt, inhumane, and unethical practices of the Alabama Department of CorrectionsAs I sit in my Solitary Confinement cell in Texas, I wonder what will it take to get the D.O.J. to take a long hard look at the facilities operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice??

Nevertheless, a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. With that being said, I urge all dedicated Prison Abolitionist across the U.S, Canada, and Europe to send some love and light to our comrades from the Free Alabama Movement and extend to them some material aid as well as opportunities to amplify their voices even more as we UNITE TOGETHER IN 2019 in order to END PRISON SLAVERY IN AMERIKA! I wrap this up by saying: “Well done Comrades of the Free Alabama Movement!! Know that your Comrade and Friend Bro. Malik is with you until the Casket Drops!” I ALSO AM 1619!

DARE TO STRUGGLE, DARE TO WIN, ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!

Standard
In solidarity

Why does Texas governor Gregg Abbott and the GOP in Texas want to suppress the minority vote?

By Keith “Malik” Washington

The host of Connect the Dots, a radio program which airs on KPFT 90.1 FM Houston, Texas, has a saying that I absolutely love! He says that “the people are smarter than you think!” That host being Abdul Hamid Mohammad, a long-time servant of the people who lives in Houston, Texas.

Recently, I commented on the scandal in which acting Texas Secretary of State Mr. David Whitely had conspired to purge the names of literally tens of thousands of potential voters from voting rolls in the State of Texas. Whitely claimed the voters were non-citizens. Well, we found that that isn’t exactly true.

The U.S. House of Representatives has been discussing legislation that would offer more protections to our voting rights. It seems that the Republican Party all over the United States is engaged in an ongoing conspiracy to sabotage and obstruct the voting rights of the poor and minorities as a whole.

For the past month, I have been studying an incredible book by Greg Palast entitled The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits. I believe I have found the reason why Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and other members of the GOP are so passionate about placing David Whitely in charge over the voting process in Texas, but Mr. Palast did such a wonderful job illuminating the facts, I’ll just allow him to inform you as I quote a passage from the book. Mr. Palast says:

“In just twenty years, the number of non-white voters has nearly doubled to a fourth of the electorate. And in the last election, the number of white voters actually fell by two million.”

  • Greg Palast, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, p. 24

However, that really does not answer the question as to why Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and the GOP in Texas want to suppress the minority vote – does it? No! It does not! So please allow me to show you a little more. Mr. Palast discusses in further detail the results from the last Presidential election (from Interstate Crosscheck: The Ballot Box Death Star):

“Why would Republicans do this? Why would the political party founded by Abraham Lincoln attack racial minorities? It’s simple arithmetic. Here’s the color of American voting:

71% of Hispanic Americans voted Democrat

73% of Asian Americans voted Democrat

84% of Native Americans voted Democrat

93% of African Americans voted Democrat

But only 39% of White people voted Democrat.”

Well, Governor Abbott, you have some explaining to do my friend! And what about those sneaky little Judge appointments? Remember Governor Abbott, the people are smarter than you think!

Keith “Malik” Washington is co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign and deputy chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. Read Malik’s work at ComradeMalik.com and endprisonslaveryintexas.wordpress.com.
Send our brother some love and light:
Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958,
McConnell Unit,
3100 S. Emily Dr.,
Beeville TX 78103

Standard
In solidarity, Prison conditions

COMPASSION DENIED!

(Prison officials at the McConnell-RHU deny and sabotage contact visit between Miguel Flores and his mother Paulina Gracia – No final Hug!)

By Comrade Malik

See article for background: https://sfbayview.com/2019/01/one-last-hug-tell-texas-prison-officials-to-show-compassion-to-miguel-and-paulina-who-wants-a-contact-visit-with-her-son-before-cancer-takes-her-life/

Peace and Blessings Sisters and Brothers!

I have some very disturbing and heartbreaking news to report and I ask that you share this report far and wide with friends in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

On March 8th, 2019, many of us celebrated International Wimmins Day. Here on the McConnell Unit in South Texas, prisoner Miguel Flores and his mother Paulina Gracia who has an aggressive form of cancer prepared for what they thought would be their last opportunity for a Final Hug. I’m sad to report that it was never allowed to happen. Paulina was brought to the Unit for this ‘Special Visit’ by my comrade and friend Sloan Rucker who is the Free-World spokespersyn for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement.

A couple of weeks ago Miguel had been pulled out of his cell and escorted to the office of McConnell-RHU Major Juan Nunez’s office and told that he and his mother would be allowed 5 minutes to Hug and to talk to each other but the visit would have to be on a Friday. Sloan had actually taken the day off to go to Corpus Christi, Texas in order to pick up Paulina who had just been released from the local hospital. Paulina has been undergoing many blood transfusions in an effort to combat this aggressive form of Leukemia she has.

Something strange happened the night before the visit. At around 6:30PM on March 7th, 2019, Captain Skinner Sturgis had Miguel brought to his office and he told Miguel that Major Juan Nunez had cancelled the Contact he would have with his mother. However, the next morning Security Supervisor Sergeant Velero assured Flores, me, and Paulina that Miguel and Paulina would be given 5 minutes to hug at the end of their visit. You can just imagine the emotional rollercoaster all of us were on since we had been fighting for this visit for literally months and had garnered the support of hundreds maybe even thousands of well-wishers across the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

During the regular visit through the plexi-glass, Paulina began feeling ill and she requested that she be able to hug her son so she and Sloan could leave and go to the hospital.

The officer supervising the Visitation Area that day was a C.O. Everett. Paulina and Sloan asked C.O. Everett who has over 30 years in the system as a Correctional Officer if she would contact Major Juan Nunez and let him know Paulina was ready to hug her son.

We all waited 15 minutes and nothing!! We were in booths right next to each other. Sloan and I in one section and Paulina and Miguel directly next to us. I realized that something was very wrong with this entire situation.

Sloan Rucker took the initiative to request she be allowed to speak with Major Juan Nunez.

Sloan went up front to the administrative offices to speak with Nunez. When Sloan returned, her face was red and she was crying. As I watched my comrade and friend outwardly crying, I  remained calm and asked her what had happened. She said that Major Nunez and her had gotten into an argument over his decision to deny the contact visit and then Sloan said that Nunez had shut his office door and threatened her!!!

So of course I was extremely angry but I remained calm as Sloan talked to Miguel and Paulina and they were crying loudly!!

I remained calm and instructed Sloan to contact our Support Network and the office of Texas Representative Jarvis Johnson as soon as she gets somewhere quiet and can calm her nerves.

In the dark recesses of my solitary cell I did cry that evening.

I wept for Paulina and Miguel and I cried for my friend who has given so much of herself to aid in this campaign for humyn rights.

Sisters and brothers, I learned a very important and hard lesson that I needed to learn. Fascist Reactionary Pigs — are just that — and never should we mistake them for compassionate humyn beings!! I will never attempt to work with the oppressors again — I made a mistake.

But then, I made another mistake by ignoring the lessons I’ve been taught by my comrade Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson when it comes to analyzing the Historical Material Conditions of a situation. Major Juan Nunez has defined himself as a clear enemy of mine from Day #1!! Why in the hell would he show compassion, empathy, or sympathy toward MY FRIENDS?? And how foolish did I look by proclaiming to the World that TDCJ Prison Officials approved the Visit!!?? Then on the very day of the visit, all of our hopes are crushed!! Major Juan Nunez and Captain Skinner Sturgis toying with Miguel’s emotions so he would lose his temper and give them justification for their unethical and immoral acts!

Truly TDCJ has sank to an all time low in regard to the inhumane and unjust treatment of both prisoners and their Loved Ones.

This event has only strengthened my resolve to combat this corrupt system for the rest of my natural life! I hope you folks won’t judge me too harshly. I am humyn and fallible. THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES. Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!!

 

Standard
End Prison Slavery, In solidarity, Prison conditions

Social death in Texas

Revolutionary greetings comrades and fellow workers!

When we discuss the term “social death”, especially in the context of the Prison Abolition Movement, we are talking about the severance and cutting off of a human being from all ties to (free) society as we know it. I would like to share my experiences.

I was first incarcerated in Texas in October 2007, so I am now approaching 12 years of incarceration. As soon as I arrived at the Harris County Jail, I fell off into a deep depression. I know that my depression had a lot to do with my drug addiction. Right from the beginning, everyone I knew began severing ties and literally “throwing me away”!

I was being held on a charge of bank robbery (with a note). The first person I reached out to was my former Public Defender Peter J. Bray. Peter worked for the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Houston, TX, which was headed by Marjorie Meyers. Peter was not nasty, but he did tell me: “Mr. Washington, there is nothing I can do to help you. The U.S. Attorney said that they have no interest in picking up your case and that you will do your time in the custody of the State of Texas. Good luck, Mr. Washington.” And then he hung up!

My first court appearance, I was informed that I was looking at 25 to LIFE! I was shocked and began experiencing hallucinations and hearing voices. I had no free-world support at the time. My former fiancée and I had separated. She had become an employee with the federal government. In fact, she was at the Pentagon with the Defense Intelligence Security Agency (DISA). I had actually encouraged her to accept a scholarship from the Department of Defense, and while she was in graduate school, I supported her financially and morally. I was actually financially stable at one point in my life! My former drug habit ruined my life!

So, I am in the county jail for approximately 7 months before I sign a plea deal for a non-aggravated sentence of 20 years, I’d be eligible for parole in 2 years so I took the deal! There was a problem. I had an outstanding charge in Galveston, Texas, and I kept telling my court-appointed attorney, who was named Brett Podolosky, about it. Brett turned out to be my enemy and not a friend. He told me not to worry about it! I knew better, but there was nothing I could do. When you are an indigent prisoner in the state of Texas, you have to take what you get, and the system is not set up for you to retain quality legal representation. I’ll never forget “good ol’” Brett Podolosky!

I don’t like to admit this, but I sought psychological counseling and help while I was housed at the Harris County Jail. At the time, a new Sheriff named Adrian Garcia was in charge at the jail, and he had instituted a new mental health program which gave Sheriff’s training and education in regard to mental health issues and how they impact the prison population. The Harris County Jail had also opened a new housing wing for prisoners at the jail should they experience a crisis. I actually believe that this new program instituted by Sheriff Adrian Garcia saved my life! I am not embarrassed to say that! I am now a serious and dedicated advocate for the mentally ill and physically disabled, and if anyone studies my work, they will clearly see I spend a lot of my time focusing on these issues.

As I began to seek treatment for mental illness, I began to embrace my Islamic Faith more seriously. I grew my beard out. In fact, I wore a huge beard while living in the city of Houston, Texas, and I attended a Mosque regularly in the 3rd Ward called al-Muhayman Masjid on Cleburn Street right around the corner from the SHAPE Center. This is significant, because here we are 12 years later and my comrade and friend Lola Sloan Rucker just met death penalty abolitionist Gloria Rubac, of the SHAPE Center, and Comrade Gloria said that her daughter is a parole attorney who can help me! That is pretty amazing for a guy who was thrown away and forgotten about 12 years ago! But I digress.

The dedicated and compassionate employees with the Harris County Psychiatric Center helped me snap out of my depression, and I continued to embrace my Islamic Faith and held on to that.

In March 2008, I was transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and arrived at Garza West, which is located in the Kennedy and Beeville area. As soon as I got off the bus, a TDCJ employee said in a loud voice: “Does anyone have a problem with shaving their beard or cutting their hair?” I raised my hand. I was the only one to do so. The officer approached me, and mind you I’m not a little guy, I was about 6’4” and 260lb at the time, with a huge-ass beard! The officer asked, “What’s your story?” I said, “I am a Muslim, we are instructed by our Prophet to grow our beards and trim our mustaches.” The TDCJ employee said, “Well, I will tell you that if you don’t shave that beard, we are going to put you in a cell and about 4 or 5 of my buddies are going to beat your ass and force you to shave, so what do you want to do?” At the time I chose to shave!

It is important that I tell you this part of my story, because not only was my incarceration taking me literally out of society, it was attempting to destroy my identity! Destroying my Muslim identity! At that reception center at Garza West in South Texas, hundreds of us were stripped naked, showered, fingerprinted, photographed and shaved bald. Then we were given identical prison uniforms and a number! From that point up to right now, I have been treated like an animal and not a human being! Texas reminds you everyday that you are a subhuman. “Your lives mean nothing to us, we don’t care if you live or die, you are a slave and are treated as such!”

So here I was, 12 years ago. No family or community support. No clergy. No money. And very little hope.

Twenty years is not a life sentence, and I have always been an extremely optimistic person – I am not a quitter! So I began to fight in my own way! At first, I assimilated. I was a “happy slave” and a person who hustled to stay alive. I got a job in the kitchen and sold sandwiches. I was good at hustlin’. But, I was also a Muslim, and as I got more and more involved, some of my brothers told me that, during the Holy Month of Ramadan, they wanted me to suspend my thievery from the kitchen. I complied because I love being a Muslim and I love Allah!

I began to become very interested in the law, because I received a letter from the City of Galveston, Texas. The letter was from the District Attorney, and it said that I had an outstanding charge for aggravated robbery! Remember Attorney Brett Podolosky? He said don’t worry! Brett Podolosky still practices law in Houston, and he gave me very bad advice! Boycott him!

The good news is that I went to the Unit Law Library, and filed a motion for a speedy trial. In 2010 I finally adjudicated those charges, and I did not receive a charge for aggravated robbery! I received the exact same sentence I received in Harris County, and the Prosecutor counted most of my back time and she ran my time concurrent and not consecutive. That means they did not stack the sentence! Judge David Garner in Galveston gave me a second chance. If it wasn’t for Judge Garner I’d be doing 40 years instead of 20! So I do have many things to be thankful for.

There are many people who know me now because of my activism and my journalism inside Texas prisons. You will notice that I wear a large beard now. I fought for this beard! I fought to regain my identity!

The State of Texas promotes social death no matter what they may lie about and say. In reality, the prison agency TDCJ does not want our families and friends looking too closely at what is happening inside these slave kamps and gulags, because the agency can’t really stand intense scrutiny. There are psychologists employed by the state that come up with strategies and plans to break down the resistance of their charges. That is what ad-seg is all about! That is why you hear many of us use the term Control Units. This is part of the program of mass incarceration! Anarchy and anarchists are completely and wholeheartedly opposed to this authoritarian strategy used to break humans! Prisons are not making big money on a grand scale! No, this is something else, this is about social control!

After I regained my Muslim identity, I had to fight to regain my social identity and my rightful place in society! Anyone can go back to society and fall back into the same old pattern of drug use and crime, but how many go back to their communities as human and civil rights activists, organizers, freedom fighters and, most importantly, servants of the people?

Some of you may have heard about Kevin “Rashid” Johnson’s book, entitled Defying the Tomb. Defying the tomb isn’t just about surviving prison and solitary confinement, it is about thriving in this atmosphere, and completely changing the conditions inside and outside these prisons, with our final goal being abolition!

You see, I began talking about social death, but the end-game is social life! I am becoming successful because I chose social life over social death! Even though the deck continues to be stacked against me, it is my determination and the compassion and dedication of a growing number of free-world folks who are collectively saying with their actions: No! No, State of Texas, we will not let you take Malik! We are re-claiming him as one of our own!

You have to understand that once society wants you back, no-one and no entity can hold you! The people will eventually free you! And once you are free, you have responsibilities to fulfill. Your freedom comes with a price. Don’t betray the movement! Choose social life over death! Abolish prisons now!

Dare to struggle, dare to win! All power to the people!

Keith “Malik” Washington is co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign and deputy chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. Read Malik’s work at ComradeMalik.com and hendprisonslaveryintexas.wordpress.com/. Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958, McConnell Unit, 3100 S. Emily Dr., Beeville TX 78103.

Standard