Another Crime Bill – An Explanation: Cold War!

Written by Dr. Mutulu Shakur from Marion Federal Prison
The New Crime Bill poses fundamental issues for Black/New Afrikans in America. We must come to terms and face what seems to be self-destruction in the behavior of our young generation, which political parties and government claim to be the basis for another Crime Bill. We must decide whether the traumatic behavior which is so self-destructive and anti-community is a direct result of our failure as a Black Nation within America to give proper guidance to our youth or is it the manifestation of the lack of power, true power (political, economic, community, etc.) which stems from the fundamental miscalculation of the anticipated benefits of integration in addition to the adoption of the philosophy of rugged individualism? Or, are we the tools and experiments of aversion behavior modification and political manipulation? From these conclusions we must determine the short and long-range goals of the manipulators and, implement counter measures. The Republican Party in the 1994 elections used the battle cry It is time for a change and down with big government, but the loudest of all cries was Crime in America! The Democratic Party used the passing of the Crime Bill as an acid test for Bill Clinton, and Clinton, according to Laura Lee of the A.C.L.U., found it politically attractive. As Governor of Arkansas, he put to death mentally retarded offenders making his position on the death penalty quite clear.

What should be of tantamount concern is the process for voting on the Crime Bill by our elected representatives under the previous Democratic Congress. The Congressional Black Caucus (C.B.C.) was quite powerful, and it appeared that it was on the road to an independent agenda focusing on the needs and interests of Blacks in America as they saw it and a philosophy of positive change and consolidation in spite of the limits of the electoral politics in a two party system. The Leadership Summit, Haiti, and South Afrika were examples of positive endeavors.

However, the passing of the Crime Bill depended upon the C.B.C. This bill added more fascist laws, constitutional violations, double standards and unjust racial components that will affect us way past the twenty-first century. Why the C.B.C. in concern with the ten Black mayors equivocated on racial justice protection and were shortsighted will be for history to determine.

I find myself agreeing totally with Jesse Jackson in dismissing this Crime Bill as a little koolaid to go along with cyanide~ bringing to mind Jim Jones who led so many Black/ New Afrikans to commit suicide in Guyana.

Even though each party quotes statistics to substantiate their position, questions as to whether crime is in fact increasing or stabilizing persist. We must keep in mind that the pollsters are contracted in the self-serving interest of a specific group, party, with a self serving agenda in mind. Remember the statistics of parole ushered out for the Willie Horton ad used by the Republicans against the Democrats?

What we do know is that 93% of the murders committed by Black are on other Blacks. Also only 27% of Blacks incarcerated are incarcerated for violent crime, and we also know that we make up 50% of the federal prison population. In view of the these facts are we to believe that the parties that

have demonstrated disrespect for our human rights and the plight we have suffered under their forefather are suddenly concerned about what we do to each other? Not likely.

The questions are why are we so divided over the methods and tactics with which to confront and resolve this phenomenon how did we get to this level of despair and self-destruction, and does it affect us all?

The reason we as a people and class are in this predicament and will remain stagnated is that we continue to retreat from the demand for real power. We must look clearly at the practicality of getting all our rights from a politically monopolized legislature, a structure that confirmed Clarence Thomas as a token Supreme Court Justice and at the same time forcing a retreat of support Lani Guinier.

It is a known fact that for years Black men have been the victims of an unjust criminal justice system. At each presidential election a new program is enacted Weed and Seed, Violence Initiative, and on and on. Right now, prior to passing this New Crime Bill, 23% of all Black Men eighteen to twenty-nine years of age are in prison, in some type of jail, on probation or parole. When Black males account for 6 percent of the U.S. population and 50% of the U.S. prison population it s quite clear that at least on this point the Congressional Black Caucus First instinct to hold out for a racial justice provision was morally and politically correct especially with respect to concerns about the potential of the genocide effect through low birth rates.

The Black mayoral pressure on the C.B.C. was treacherous. The excuse that we needed crime prevention money won t hold water. The Republicans wouldn’t support the bill if it contained the death penalty quota or racial justice provision. They cried about the pork in the budget. When the Republican Party won the 94 elections, they wanted to revisit the Crime Bill, look at the gun laws, and revisit the pork issue the same pork that the Black mayors wanted so badly to cat that they sold out their next generation. This Crime Bill did not rest solely on the death penalty provision and counter crime measures but also on the erosion of constitutional rights, putting more power in the hands of a police force and judicial system and government who have and will abuse these powers.

This type of leadership from the mayors and the C.B.C. gives our youth reason to disrespect them. My leadership not willing to stand up for the people truly earn disrespect. When our youth see leaders unwilling to fight to achieve as a people or a class in comparison to what other groups and other ethnics achieve, they pursue their own way look out for number one or rugged individualism in pursuit of economic empowerment. This analysis should not be viewed as a tolerance for the behavior of some of our youth, but we must get to the core of the problem. If you won’t fight your enemy, how can we expect you to fight for the survival of your sons and daughters?

The bankruptcy of the economy and the nihilism of popular culture are the sources of distorted values and internalized violence present in ghetto youth today. The entire society is ensnared in the worship of the material culture. Manhood is defined in terms of how much you have, not how will you care for family, community, and nation.

The figures show that Black people account for 12% of the US population yet account for 48% of the homeless in the US These are the stark realities. It is not something you can hide from our children who come face to face with survival everyday. What is the mind set of the street culture? Where are the civic lessons? Many would rather gamble with death!

I grew up when the so-called ex-con represented on some level a stabilizing force. in terms of how illegal activities were carried out in the community, the ex-con was somebody s uncle, cousin, or brother. They were a part of what we had then the extended family. He or she would be willing to act in the best interest of our community and extended family. This analysis is in no way an attempt to glorify the lumpen. But if the truth be told, coming from a single parent family myself, many of the so-called ex-cons served as my mentors and guided me into manhood. For sure it is a fact that the killing of children, rape, robbery of the elderly and the inclusion of civilians not involved in the life as targets was not the way of gangsters of the past.

Violation of these codes of conduct would have been met with swift community justice. Nor by the clergy or police, but by the prisoners behind the walls once the violators were within reach, or by the controller of the underground economy. For instance, the number bankers in our community in the 50 s, 60 s and part of the 70 s might play this role and would mete out punishment based on a sense of principle.

So we ask what happened? What happened was that a political realization took place among the underclass. Prison began to produce revolutionaries and visionaries who could articulate, analyze, and move forward to organize against that oppression. Many of our leaders and the rank and file of our various struggles have been influenced by their experience in jail or by mentors who did time. The mentors were able to articulate that rehabilitation was a myth. They understood the origin of the indeterminate sentence by which a prisoner could serve one day to life depending on his performance and the extent of his rehabilitation. Psychotherapy was the treatment and the objective of the treatment was to punish political beliefs which did not conform to popular views. Failure to respond to treatment resulted in an extension of incarceration.

Out of the bowels of prison came the likes of Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, George Jackson, Bunchy Carter, Ahmad Evans, Eldridge Cleaver, Sekou Odinga, Dhoruba bin Wahad, Lumumba Shakur, Albert Nuh Washington, H. Rap Brown and many other lesser known but just as important resisters. Many of the Civil Rights leaders and participants were protected and encouraged by their pilgrimage to prison.

So, on, two fronts the prisoner and prison were having an adverse affect on the designs of the government with respect to New Afrikans. What emerged from the depths of prison oppression was a culture of resistance and a sense of extended responsibility to the community in spite of the negative context of the underground economy and the plague of drugs.

The government understood at that point that these men and women who emerged from prison had seen through the smokescreen of reactionary propaganda and they were having a positive impact on our culture. So prisons have become the battle ground in a war of attrition designed to reduce prisoners to a state of submission essential to their ideological conversion.

That failing, the next option in a deadly sequence is to reduce the prisoner to a state of psychological incompetence sufficient to neutralize them as self-directing antagonists. That failing, the only option left is to destroy the prisoner, preferably by making them desperate enough to destroy themselves. We can now see the results of those experiments in our neighborhoods as a self-evident truth. Tactics of war behavior modification and low intensity warfare is the marriage of government and prison officials. Psychologist Amilcar Cabral noted oppression or domination of a people is only secure when the cultural life of a people is destroyed, paralyzed or at least neutralized.

Simultaneously, the distribution of drugs took on a new face and tactic. After many exhaustive analytical conversations with federal prisoners from United States Penitentiaries at Lewisburg, Lompoc, Marion, I concluded by an examination of the data that the dynamics of and more importantly the consequences of the distribution of drugs prior to the 70 s in the local communities wits generally handled in this manner organized crime distribute major quantities of drugs to known local kingpins usually indigenous to the community. Although we scorned the destruction that they represented, there clearly was a method to their madness.

The Iran/Contra scandal exposed the agenda to trade drugs for guns and allowed alien immigrants from Colombian, Cuban and Middle Eastern cartels through the local businesses that they had set up in our communities to establish a distribution strategy which circumvented the indigenous kingpins and the existing territorial boundaries that had been established neighborhood by neighborhood. So battle lines were drawn, not by communities but by alien distributors who had no interest at any level in the established codes of conduct or reinvestment in the community encouraging our younger generation to choose a path of self-destruction for material gains.

In the prison and on the street the designed manipulated behavior took hold. The Iran/Contra is not about guns for hostages but about guns for drugs and drugs for genocide. Military industrial complexes work hand and hand with the prison administration and the behavior sciences.

In prison violators of fundamental codes of conduct once not tolerated were given leeway. Individual materialism came before every aspect of community or the extended family. Natural leaders were shunned as well as thinkers by other prisoners for fear of retribution by the prison administration. With COINTELPRO in the streets of the larger community the people began to reject any connection with resistance. In prison leaders were isolated and put in the hole, but more importantly, there was less and less connection between the community, organizations and family.

It s no mystery. The objective of this New Crime Bill is in conjunction with low-intensity warfare and behavior modification. The goals are to establish slavery of New Afrikans in the twenty-first century.

The financial conspiracy to establish prison labor for private investment (preceded this Crime Bill in a trajectory strategy. The accumulation of hysteria and media manipulation set the stage for mandatory sentencing, crack law, Rico, the federalization of gang activities and three strikes you re out.

It doesn’t take a Wall Street broker to see that investments are not made for short term objectives. The idea is long range projection. They must be able to predict a steady labor force to make their investors interested. On May 12, 1994, the Wall Street Journal featured an article entitled, Making Crime Pay Triangle of Interests Creates Infrastructure To Fight Lawlessness Cities See Jobs. The article presents an ominous plan to increase the number of people being sent to prison. They are talking about how Big Businesses like Goldman Sachs & Co., Prudential Insurance Co., Smith Barney Shearson, Inc. and Merrill Lynch and Co.. Inc. are among those competing to underwrite prison construction with private tax-exempt bonds where no voter approval is required. In essence. Big Business is investing in the prison system. It was clear to them that the new Crime Bill was going to pass no matter what. The New Crime Bill was never on the ropes!

On May 19, 1994, a week after the Wail Street article was published, the Director of the Federal Prisons, Kathleen M. Hawk, and Representative Frank Wolf gave testimony to Congressional Committee, House Judiciary/Intellectual Property and Judicial Administration pleading to have inmate labor used in the private sector. The legislative proposal H.R. 703 and 4092 Amendment would authorize Federal Prison Industries (F.P.L) to produce and sell goods in the private sector/market where these goods would otherwise be produced by foreign labor.

All of our people must take stock of what the long range effects of this Crime Bill are. The Bill it self is 1,000 pages long and all most of us hear about is the Death Penalty and the Pork. The devastating sections inherent in this Bill include making the parent pay for the crime of the child and the authorization of government to investigate individuals or groups who engage in First Amendment activities in support of political goals of organizations deemed terrorist. One person s terrorist is another person s Freedom Fighter. Allah knows we need some Freedom Fighters! By supporting political prisoners and prisoners of war in America, you are fighting for the reconstruction of your community.

It is very important for our community to go to the prisons and force interaction investigate the many cases of prisoners in the hole for no other reason than their political ideologies or their charisma as leaders and teachers. Why are all the prisoners housed in prisons in the rural white areas? Don t Blacks know how to turn keys? Truly we can see the writing on the wall. Let us not be made fools of any longer through our own cowardice and self-destructiveness.

Across the country Brothers and Sisters need to petition the Congressional Black Caucus and demand that they hold hearings concerning the critical issues, to stand up and confront the Beast that wishes to devour, our people so that posterity will not curse their names for all time.

Brothers and Sisters we need each other. Political prisoners in America will continue fighting for our human rights. However, we must understand that we are all in this together. What comes around goes around. A nation of people that won’t stand for something will fall for anything.

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