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In early March of this year I received a T-shirt that said "official WWI souvenir, brought to you by ITT Rockwell, General Electric, et al." With a small U.S. flag with a skull and crossbones on it.
Property guard L. Marts denied the T-shirt saying it "depicted violence."
I appealed the denial to Superintendent Neal Brown who weaseled around the censorship question and told me to appeal it to Larry Kincheloe, the Director of Prisons.
After appealing it to Kincheloe he replied by stating he was rubberstamping Brown's decision to deny me the shirt because "it is reasonably believed it will cause or incite violence." As the reason changes from the initial denial to the appeal and the buck is passed.
While anti-war T-shirts and messages are deemed conducive to "violence," prison employees are running around with U.S. flags, yellow ribbons, etc., on their shirts saying "We Support Our Troops" and the hearings officer has a poster on his office window with helicopter gunships saying "We Support Our Troops and God Bless America." So apparently the warden and director of prisons find pro-war sloganeering to be fine but anyone that disagrees with
their jingoistic views is "inciting violence."
When I was in the army I was told that it was to protect rights like that of free speech that the United States has over a half million troops overseas. Yet the reality is free speech exists only as long as what you have to say agrees with those who control the guns or in this case, the prison property room.
Next thing you know those darn white peace doves will be starting riots according to Brown and Kincheloe.
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