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Editorial Comments

By Ed Mead

Welcome to PLN #5. Let me start this by talking about some of the articles in this issue. First, there is one on the need to get computers into prisoner hands. State Senator Phil Talmadge, who is a member of the Committee on Corrections, has requested a public hearing to inquire into why computers were taken from prisoners at the Reformatory. The request was made to the chairman of the committee, Senator Thorsness. We need letters from outside supporters to be sent to Thorsness urging him to hold the requested hearing. Write:

Senator Leo K. Thorsness, Chair.
Committee on Corrections
9640 Rainier Avenue South
Seattle, Washington 98118

Every letter will help to reinstate this no-cost-to-taxpayers program that resulted in almost no recidivism for the 10% of the WSR population that owned computers. If we win here, we win elsewhere too.

We did very well on our call for donations. Indeed, our production costs for #3 was $150; we received $130 in donations, meaning we lost only $20 on the issue. We may be self-sustaining before too long. Keep those contributions of stamps and money rolling in (checks payable to PLN are okay). Mail them to:

Prisoners Legal News
P.O. Box 1684
Lake Worth, FL 33460

You can also write to Paul or me with articles and such (but not money or stamps) at the following addresses:

Paul Wright #939783
Box 5000, HC-63
Clallam Bay, WA 99836

Ed Mead #251397
P.O. Box 777
Monroe, WA 98272

I have a disclaimer to make. In issue #4, I put Paul's name on an article titled "Struggle In Ohio" that was actually written by John Perotti. My apologies...

Also in this issue we have two articles on the subject of prisoner racism. Both articles were written by social prisoners, one white and one black. (Social prisoners are those who are not in prison as a result of a conscious political decision, rather as a result of a social system that makes so-called crime inevitable.) The white prisoner equates the racism of whites with what he calls black racism. George Jackson said what some whites confuse as black racism is actually nothing more than a healthy defense reaction on the part of victims of white racism.

I agree.

It is like men who claim women are sexists because they seek equality and want to develop a sense of self. Just as it serves the interest of capitalism to pay women only 58% of what men earn, to not pay or otherwise recognize the socially productive work women do in the home, and to keep women subservient and dependent on men, so too does racism serve the political and economic interest of the ruling class. On the outside, just as in here, racism keeps workers divided and wages down. The black prisoner's response is saying to whites, if you're sincere about unity then you should first address the question of organized racism within your own ranks. A point well made.

See you next month. Enjoy the paper. And be sure to discuss the proposed legislative initiative with people. This is our chance to start exercising democracy. Let us see what we can do.

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