With around 2.4 million
incarcerated, America has by far the world's largest prison system.
Two-thirds in it are Black or Latino.
Most held are non-violent. Over half are for drug related charges. Around
75% are Blacks or Latinos. On all charges, many are persecuted political
In her book titled, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age
of Colorblindness," Michelle Alexander called today's Jim Crow a modern-day
elitist-designed racial caste system. Believing poor Blacks (and Latinos)
are dangerous and economically superfluous, America's gulag became an
instrument of social control. According to Alexander:
"Any movement to end mass incarceration must deal with (it) as a racial
caste system, not (a method) of crime control. We need an effective
system of crime prevention and control in our communities, but that
is not what the current system is. (It's) better designed to create
crime, and a perpetual class of people labeled criminals, rather than
to eliminate crime or reduce the number of criminals."
America's most vulnerable are victimized by racism, poverty, judicial
unfairness, get tough on crime policies, a guilty unless proved innocent
mentality, three strikes and you're out, bigoted drug laws, and advocacy
for social justice issues challenging repressive state policies.
An earlier article called America's gulag the shame of the nation. It
reflects mercilessly persecuting its own. At the same time, it wages
imperial wars, lets banks commit grand theft, frees other corporate
predators to operate extrajudicially, and punishes society's most vulnerable
for resisting. It also targets Muslims to facilitate America’s global
war on terror.
Russell Maroon Shoats
A self-designated "New African Political Prisoner of War," he's serving
life/plus for alleged 1970 involvement in a policeman's death and wounding
Incarcerated in 1972, he's spent 40 years in over a dozen federal, state,
and local prisons and jails, including over 21 years in solitary confinement
locked down 23 or more hours daily. More on that below.
In 1979, he was in maximum security confinement, during which time he
was "forcibly drugged and on one occasion hospitalized from a hospital
In the 1960s, he became politically active. He joined the African liberation
movement, and was a Philadelphia-based Black Unity Council founding
member. In 1969, it merged with Black Panther Party's Philadelphia chapter.
Compromised of prisoners' families, former inmates, and supporters,
the Human Rights Coalition (HRC) calls America's prison system exploitive,
punitive and corrupt. It says:
Most people "in prisons are poor, (black or) brown, urban, functionally
illiterate, unemployed or under-employed before they were locked down,
and are there for (alleged) non-violent crimes. The prison system reflects
all inequalities in our society...."
As a result, it wants the current system abolished. It's racist and
unjust. Shoats co-founded HRC.
Together with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), National Lawyers
Guild and others, HRC's campaigning to free Shoats from isolation and
return him to the general prison population.
On his behalf, a letter-writing/petition campaign was launched. Support
him by signing the petition for humane treatment. Now 68, he's held
State Correctional Institution (SCI) Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370
Prison authorities call him a security threat because of past attempted
and successful escapes. In fact, he's kept isolated based on false allegations
about planning a 1980 prison takeover. He's also persecuted for his
activism, leadership, and human rights support.
America's Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. It's
prison system commits it ruthlessly with impunity. Shoats is one of
many victims. Locked up, they're out of sight and mind.
Everyone deserves justice. America's most vulnerable get none, especially
those in the maw of a racist, brutalizing, dehumanizing prison system.
Comments on Two Other Prisoners
On February 16, the FBI Detroit Division announced "underwear bomber"
Uman Farouk Abdulmutallab's life sentence for conviction on charges
conspiracy to commit terrorism;
willfully placing a destructive device on an aircraft;
attempting to use "a weapon of mass destruction;"
attempting to destroy a civil aircraft; and
three counts of "possession of a destructive device in furtherance of
a crime of violence."
Attorney General Eric Holder called Abdulmutallab "a remorseless terrorist
who believes it is his duty to kill Americans." Holder's only skills
include hyperbole, making false allegations, and sending innocent victims
Abdulmutallab was set up. On December 25, 2009, he was aboard an Amsterdam
- Detroit bound flight. US officials claimed he was trained in Yemen
by Al Qaeda, obtained explosive chemicals (PETN), and tried detonating
them on board.
In fact, he was a protected CIA patsy, set up as a provocation to facilitate
America's Yemen's civil war involvement.
Earlier denied a UK entrance visa, he wasn't on a no fly list. He paid
cash for a one-way Detroit ticket, checked no luggage, had a US visa
but no passport, and was helped on board by a "well-dressed Indian"
to facilitate a false flag scheme, using him as a convenient dupe.
CIA/Mossad/Indian Research Analysis Wing (RAW) planned it. Abdulmutallab's
PETN was weak, technically deficient, didn't go off properly, and had
fire cracker strength at most.
No matter. Railroaded by Justice Department prosecutors, he'll spend
the rest of his life doing hard time in prison.
On February 17, New York Times writer Charlie Savage headlined, "FBI
Arrests Man in a Suspected Terrorist Plot Near the US Capitol," saying:
Amine El Khalifi, a Moroccan national, was arrested "carrying a MAC-10
gun and a vest packed with nails and what he thought (were) explosives
in what (federal agents) said was a plan to carry out a suicide bombing
at the United States Capitol."
Based on numerous past false flags, be very suspicious about all Justice
Department charges. Against El Khalifi, they look very much like entrapping
an innocent/naive dupe into involvement in what he had no prior intent,
desire, or willingness to do.
Holder, however, defends entrapment. He calls it an "essential law enforcement
tool in uncovering and preventing terror attacks."
In fact, they're maliciously manufactured to manipulate fear and justify
America's global war on terrorism. Nearly always, Muslims are charged.
It's part of America's war on Islam.
Innocent victims are charged, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned.
Justice is malevolently denied. Imperial wars are facilitated. Vital
social benefits are lost to fund them.
The Times article said El Khalifi posed no threat. An undercover sting
operation gave him "inoperative weapons." He was set up to entrap another
victim. He's like numerous others foiled in the nick of time. Ask why
alleged home-grown terrorists don't succeed.
Perhaps it's because they don't exist except in bogus Justice Department
charges and major media scoundrels regurgitating them without challenge.
Assistant attorney general Lisa Monaco lied, saying:
"Today's case underscores the continuing threat we face from home-grown
violent extremists. Thanks to a coordinated law enforcement effort,
El Khalifi's alleged plot was thwarted before anyone was harmed."
In fact, the only extremist home-grown threats are federal, state and
local officials, as well as corporate ones they serve.
As a result, innocent victims wrongfully suffer. Many rot unjustly in
federal and state gulags while government and corporate criminals do
what they please with impunity. It's high time public rage challenged
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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