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.