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Response to the Article "Why Racism"

By Gregory "Mandela" Carey

Let me answer your article in this manner to enlighten you.

First, understand that America is a very racist country. Despite all the laws against discrimination, a person's race is of prime importance to himself and to others with whom he comes in contact with. In some situations, in some places, like prison, it can even determine your chances of staying alive.

Second, we were all created equal, but despite our personal dedication to the theory of brotherhood, in practice; racial, religious and ethnic prejudice is a definite part of our society. Racism was established in American history from the very beginning if you remember. Some form of white supremacy, both as an ideology and as an institutional arrangement, existed from the first day English immigrants, seeking religious freedom, arrived on the North American continent. From the beginning the early colonizers considered themselves culturally superior to the natives that they encountered. Also, the social arrangements which fixed unequal opportunities and treatment for African-Americans can be traced back through American history too. You need to review the historical roots of racism and examine the ideology that justified its existence before you claim that brotherhood is possible, especially, in a prison setting.

Third, in understanding how deeply racist practices are embedded in the American experience and values of American society, you can come to a fuller understanding of "black extremism" as you call it, or "black supremacy" as it is mentioned in your article. You must remember that this racism is deeply embedded in American society, of which slavery was only the earliest and most blatant practice, is still being performed in many other ways today. Political, economic, educational, religious, cultural, etc., etc., are to just name a few areas that racism is being practiced in society and in prison by your people. Remember that the freeing of the slaves and creating civil rights laws changed very little for us (African Americans). Jim Crow laws, black codes, lynchings, and public burnings were the law after emancipation and this attitude of white supremacy has carried over ever since. These laws were created to make sure that your people kept control over my people. We did not create these cruelties but we have had to defend against them.

Fourth, in regards to black extremist, I say that you have forgot all the aforementioned history of this nation. African-American people found in the ideology of black nationalism the kind of stimulation they needed to work and fight for their identity, equality, self-respect, justice and most of all, total freedom. Is justice color blind? Have you that proclaim brotherhood in the jailhouse forgotten where you are? This is America! How can you fight against the established order in prison and it is not being done on the street? Just because you have come to prison, do you now want to be my brother to fight against the same white power structure that I have been fighting against all my life? What happens when you leave the prison? Where are you coming from and is your feeling about convict unity for real? Think about what you have said for we who have been fighting injustice all our lives are not this easily fooled.

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