Why do Black Youth go to Prison?

Listen Siblings, I come in peace,

“Man must learn to increase his sense of responsibility and of the fact that everything he does will have its consequences.”  KMT Proverb

In New York City, Governors use 4th grade aptitude tests to decide whether to build new prisons: the link between schools and prison are pronounced.  It’s known nationally as “The School-to-Prison Pipeline.”  But none of this answers Why Black Youth go to Prison.  Here I investigate.  I show the importance of supporting the creation of African Blood Siblings Community Centers and encourage your inquiries.  Beyond this, take it upon yourself to organize our people intelligently with our most intelligent organization–the African Blood Siblings.  Right now some 12% of Black Men between 25-29 are in Prison*.  Doing nothing will make it 13 then 14 then 20%.  Following the ABS can drive it down to 11 then 4 then negligible.  Subscribe, share, love.

Why do Black Youth go to Prison?
By Onitaset Kumat

When I was in fourth grade, another African student asked me why I “pretended” to be smart. This was his third repetition of the fourth grade and as public schools are set up, observant students reason that Europeans are smart and Africans are dumb. Had I not experienced an early appreciation for my intelligence, it’s very likely that I would have internalized an inferiority complex too. For while today I know that Africans gave the world Knowledge, this understanding of world events had not come until much later. In those days, anyone could see that Black kids swelled the dumb classes and White kids swelled the ‘gifted’ classes. Anyone and everyone believed that Whites were intellectually superior to Blacks. It’s not only what they told us, it’s what we saw. This pattern recognition only builds upon itself and for many of us it is never reversed.

The last time I tried to revisit my high school, I was turned back by security. The ancients said “The seed includes all the possibilities of the tree.” Taken personally, within each of us is a stupid criminal (and an upstanding genius.) The ancients continued, “The seed will develop these possibilities, however, only if it receives corresponding energies from the sky.” Again personally, if you are told through your formative years that you are a stupid criminal, you will lean toward ‘stupid criminal thoughts.’ This Ancient Knowledge is at the core of African Psychology; that identity is nurtured.

This African Psychology is largely unknown though each of us has the same anecdote reflecting its truth. African people were the Original scholastic people. Yet, each of us, no matter our age or location, if we attended integrated schools, can attest that in secondary school scholastic people are categorized as “Oreos:” Black on the Outside and White on the Inside. Meaning that those jeering the scholastic for their scholarship actually believe that their personal aversion to scholarship is based on their African identity though this is the reverse of our historical legacy. This misperception is due to a nurtured aversion, an overlooked though consistent aspect of our mis-education.

Another familiar anecdote comes from Malcolm X. Malcolm X was the son of Garveyites. His Father was assassinated by the Klan. In a class filled with White students, Malcolm X claimed to want to become a Lawyer. His teacher dismissed the idea, warning Malcolm X that African people were not competent enough for Law. It’s ironic given the Legal History of Garvey and Du Bois’ respective movements–nevermind that Macon B. Allen was the first Black Lawyer in 1844, Charlotte Ray, the first Black woman lawyer, 1872, and Robert Morris, who became a lawyer in 1847, was a central figure in Roberts v. Boston which was cited in the Supreme Court decision for Plessy v. Ferguson which dealt with the segregated schools in vogue in Malcolm X’s day. Nevertheless, this falsehood affected Malcolm X’s identity. When he came to New York, despite his family’s superb political background, he succumbed to the criminal elements–the elements which nurtured the criminal within him. Later, the Nation of Islam would nurture the brilliant Orator in him and the rest is history, but this African Pscyhology, while clear and evident, is largely ignored.

For instance, Mass Media like BET, Rap Music and even Black Sitcoms nurture the stupid criminal elements within us, but we continue to patronize them despite the truth of African Psychology. We thus voluntarily poison ourselves misunderstanding our own minds. This the African Blood Siblings yearns to reverse–even if it’s the only organization to do so. Though this is but a part of Why Black Youth go to Prison.  (More on African Psychology can be read here: https://africanbloodsiblings.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/fable-the-fit-squirrel/)

Many attendants of High Schools in America today can see actual Police Officers patrolling the hallways. Police Officers whom readily handcuff these fourteen-year-olds for finally collapsing under the pressure of the environment and the above nurturing of false and negative identities.

In addition, there are Independent Schools, inexpensive for their state’s, which get away with intellectual murder. For example, Community Education Partners (CEP) is paid $7 million a year by Atlanta, Georgia to educate its students. It’s schools are among the most dangerous and lowest performing. Students there have no functional curriculum and spend most of their days filling out worksheets for which they receive no feedback. In 2005, CEP earned $70 million running alternative schools in Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, Richmond, Orlando and other cities. Assignment to these abusive schools are compulsory. African students suffer here. Aversion to school and proclivities to dropping out are nurtured here. The dangers foster criminality and the policing contributes to arrests and imprisonment. Read more here: http://www.aclu.org/racial-justice/harris-et-al-v-atlanta-independent-school-system

The School-to-Prison Pipeline is all the more explicit in other cases. For instance, a school in Mississippi was recently federally investigated for its clear abuse of the U.S. Constitution. There, minor infractions ranging from dress code violations, profanity, disrespect and even flatulence have landed Black Youth into Prison. Imagine “flatulence” gives some Black students Prison sentences. Read more here: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/feds-authorities-in-meridian-miss-violated-rights-of-black-children/

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has produced a one-page report covering the basics of the School-to-Prison Pipeline. It discusses the failing public schools which increases disengagement, dropping out and incentives for the school to push out failing students (No Child Left Behind–A school loses its funding if its students don’t meet a minimum requirement ergo schools strategize to lose the worse students–thanks George Bush–Vote 2012); Zero-tolerance which makes unsupervised and unwarranted expulsion and suspension much more common, making those who do return fall behind dramatically; the before mentioned police patrols which arrest students for minor infractions; the above mentioned alternative schools which are mandatory for-profit schools immune to educational accountability like curricula or classroom hours; finally outright juvenile detention which continues the trend of abuse: I would add that it also can be a training ground for criminal behavior and negative identity. Here’s the one page report: http://www.aclu.org/files/images/asset_upload_file966_35553.pdf

Of course, all of this is biased against African youth, but doesn’t answer Why We Go to Prison. Our ancients said “Judge by cause not effect.” Around 1923, before any of what we see above, Marcus Garvey pointed out the disproportionate imprisonment of African people.

“The number of Blacks in jails, prisons, and reformatories of the United States, the British West Indian and other colonies and countries, the protectorates and dominions of Great Britain and France in Africa, is shamefully in excess, proportionately, of all other race groups to the populations.”

This isn’t the full cause but read more here: https://africanbloodsiblings.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/the-blacks-imprisoned-by-marcus-garvey/

What could be the cause? In the U.S. the 13th Amendment says

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This is why corporations like McDonald’s, Dell, Burger King, Walmart and such use Prison labour, because Prison labour is legalized slave labour–focus on ‘except’ above. Though even if it’s apparent that Africans were brought here to slave for Europeans and imprisoning us is a legal form of continuing slavery in the U.S. (hence Jim Crow) it’s still not clear why Black Youth are Imprisoned. More on Prison Labour here: https://africanbloodsiblings.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/rooted-in-slavery-prison-labor-exploitation/

We can even go down to the courthouse, and see the innocent Black men, dozens of them, one after the other pleading guilty, because their plea bargain was something like a 5-year sentence to confess to a crime they didn’t commit or risking a 40-year sentence losing their case against a seasoned prosecutor with paid lawyers and stacks of fabricated evidence.  An all too common practice of intimidation into prison that stacks felonies and the related social handicaps onto young Black men who are now casualties of some of the wickedest elements on earth.

We can see the effects but what is the cause, what is the cause, what is the cause? The cause is that Black Adults allow it.  From Maroon and Build For Self (See Homepage)–“You go along with it.”

The African Blood Siblings Community Center is the greatest impediment against Black Youth Imprisonment, because not only is identity no longer nurtured negatively and infact nurtured positively, but legal disputes and local policing can be indigenous (African), meaning no more enslavement by a European people. The first step is creating the institution.

This means you.  Yes you!  You, African, lest you organize for the ABS or support the organizers of the ABS allow for the Imprisonment and Enslavement of your Youth. You.  So what’s your next step?

The ancients said, “Man must learn to increase his sense of responsibility and of the fact that everything he does will have its consequences.”

What’s your next step?

Write and Underwrite the ABS. Become good friends with the “Donate” button.

Become active in the intelligent organization of your Community. Then Black Youth won’t go to Prison.

For more Ancient Proverbs read here: https://africanbloodsiblings.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/kmt-self-knowledge-and-cosmic-wisdom-quotations/

For more on Responsibility read here: https://africanbloodsiblings.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/what-is-responsibility/

*For more on the Demographic Breakdown of  Imprisonment read here: http://www.prisonsucks.com/

You can decide now or later if 30% of Black Men in prison is too much–but those in prison now wish they had your liberty.

7 thoughts on “Why do Black Youth go to Prison?

  1. Great post brother. You made a lot of valid points. It’s true that too many of our kids think being intelligent is “acting white”. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have always been intelligent people. It’s just that now we are being taught that being ignorant and dumb is the thing to be. Not to mention,all the gangster rap that promotes the idea that acting like pimps,whores,drug dealers and hustlers is what being black is all about. We have to change the mindset of our people. I have a nephew that’s eleven years old. I looked through his history book and it didn’t mention Marcus Garvey as all. And the pictures of the Egyptians were white folks! That’s crazy! But that’s what they’re being taught. So I schooled him on ancient African civilizations that were around long before white people showed up. I also gave him some books by Dr Ben and John Henrik Clarke. I wanted to give him a different perspective on history. Since he’s being lied to everyday in school.
    It’s up to us to educate our children on the truth.. They are brainwashed with a Eurocentric education. The same people that enslaved us are the same people writing the history books. I also think this would help with their self esteem. They need to see another black man has has their brother instead of just a worthless n*gga. This way they wont be so quick to shoot and kill another black man. I love the book Black on Black Violence by Amos Wilson. He shows how whites create a self-hating black man that hates his own reflection. And of course,this is what sends more of our people to prisons. Prisons are big business in this country as I’ve said before on my blog. Here’s a video clip from the cartoon Boondocks. I think it sums it up very well.

    1. Great work with your nephew, Brother. Try to get him to read my next post titled “Maddox on Community Cop Speaks of Nafissatou Diallo Case.” There I discuss and show Black men. It will be a learning experience.

      On the clip, not to knock that Brother’s work–though a lot of Whites are behind his production; but to me, the clip is simple but advanced, so to mean, it doesn’t cover the foundation. More, it’s deceptively superficial.

      In a sense, the most important lesson one can communicate to us is a lesson on “Nature.” “Nature” certainly expresses itself in Politics, Economics and Culture, hence the writing “The Trinity of Liberation”–see here https://africanbloodsiblings.wordpress.com/african-blood-siblings-community-centers/organize/join/the-trinity-of-liberation/ . This revelation is what we do at the ABS. Yet, in the clip, Huey claims that the Prison-Industrial-Complex is a system at the intersection of government and corporations. This confounds the issue and neglects the cultural aspect; hinting at governmental or corporative reform rather than cultural independence.

      For instance, the presentation may inspire one to look into politicians opposed to the Prison-Industrial-Complex or businesses that don’t use prison labour, though that sort of activism won’t make a dent and misses the point. At every turn we should be sharing with our Siblings that White folk hate us. We should never mask that hatred in heavy terms or try to depersonalize our oppression: White folk hate us. But the key to understand is that White folk hate themselves too. That’s what gives us a way, out, feel me?

      The commentary on the Boondocks suggests for instance that the problem is systemic and thus the struggle is against systems. But like I show you, Marcus Garvey was talking about the inflated Prison population in America and Britain. Fact is that Brazil and France have inflated Black prisoners too. It’s not systemic, it’s cultural. So to say, it’s not recent, or due any legislation, or due any small group or whatever, it’s universal because the three races are different races and we, the Originals, largely don’t know. Know what I mean?

      1. Yeah I see what you mean. I’ll check out that Maddox post. I agree as far as whites hating us. I think that’s obvious. They’ve made that clear. That’s why they oppress us and keep us in poverty. The entire system is not designed fro us to strive as a people. That’s why it’s the same situation whether in Britain,America or Brazil. I see the prison system as modern day slavery. That’s all it is.

      2. You may find it obvious, but it’s obscure, awkward, narrow-minded,’racist’ to a lot of us and that’s one of the big problems.

        Recognize that Malcolm called White folk “Devils” and he himself was demonized.

        We believe in “individualism”–the idea that certainly some Whites hate us, but “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” This leads to reading chapters, underlining sentences and cross-comparing content. This seems analytical but it actually removes us from the point as we explore more and more deeply–in other words, I have a new idea for an allegory. :)

  2. This is an excellent post Onitaset. I”ve been told I too “act white” by getting good grades in school. The funny and sad part of this is, we were the ones that introduced language and math to the world. Yet, we’re being chastised for being smart!

    When I learned of the link between the school systems and the prison systems, I was aghast. Our kids were being pushed into slavery and it was all a deliberate plot. That made me so angry that I saw stars.

    Onitaset, more people need to understand that the European education system is but a trap for our kids.

    1. I wrote a new allegory that should come in four or seven days, but it’s called “The Allegory of the Train Tracks.” Akin to one of the lessons of “The Allegory of the Headless Chicken” (seen here: https://africanbloodsiblings.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/the-allegory-of-the-headless-chicken/ ) we have to ask ourselves how should we respond if we see someone standing on train tracks.

      Metaphorically speaking, the train of incarceration is coming for our young Black men. What should we do? Make them understand as much or remove them from the train tracks.

      In the Allegory of the Headless Chicken, we can already see that no farm animal is reared to live a profitable life, but still some chickens do not suspect that they are living poor lives where death will certainly come. This is the same with us. What do we do? Go to the chickens and tell them that they are on a farm where people love eating chicken or do we break them away from the farm?

      Sometimes, we need to realize too that people do not know where the farm is and where the farm isn’t. ‘Cause farmers can steal chickens. So that’s how I see it. Whether people understand or not–we need to get them to where the train won’t hit them. That’s why we create African Blood Siblings Community Centers; because “Knowledge of Train Tracks” won’t get a person off of the tracks. Cooperating with one another to build a Prosperous, Independent African Community will.

      Thanks for commenting,

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