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Prison censors don’t like Uncle Du: Creators Ruben and Mandu respond

May 1, 2017

by Emmanuel ‘Mandu Ra’ Johnson

This strip will appear in the May Bay View.

First and foremost, I want to send my highest and utmost respects to the Bay View for going so hard for those of us who are extremely oppressed by the racist policies and institutions within this hateful nation we were forced to live in. These pilgrims dragged our ancestors out of the womb of our motherland and did them dirty.

They’ve been doing us dirty since first contact with these devils. Now they trying to censor Bay View and the truthful contents in its printed pages. It kills me how hypocritical these paleface devils are. They stay poppin’ off at the mouth about how great their Constitution is and how they want to exercise the rights within it. But those rights only apply to White Amerikkka and not Colored America.

I want to send my highest and utmost respects to the Bay View for going so hard for those of us who are extremely oppressed by the racist policies and institutions within this hateful nation we were forced to live in.

When the forefathers of this hellhound nation got together and wrote that bogus ass document, they wrote it for themselves and their race. They damn sure ain’t write it with people of color in mind, because at the time, all the men involved with writing the Constitution were slave owners, so they damn sure wasn’t thinking about the Black race nor the Red face either because they were running around this entire continent performing mass genocide on the Indigenous people.

When people of color try to exercise those same rights within the so-called Constitution that White Amerikkka had the privilege of using, all of a sudden it’s a problem. “Uncle Du” comic strips and the articles within Bay View are all about people of color speaking and expressing our truths and realities under the protection of the rights to have freedom of speech and expression. How come these clowns got an issue when people of color exercise our so-called Constitutional rights, and it ain’t when some paleface devil does it?

This nation just elected a cheeto-dust covered white supremacist, racist, nationalist, fascist into the White House – a man who spewed racist, sexist insults under the color of being “politically incorrect.” The reason why these rednecks want to censor “Uncle Du” is because they all Trump supporters. All of the prisons in New York State are in Republican counties, and the losers who work up in these prison houses live in these counties.

Plus they know the “real” Uncle Du in the flesh and they had face-to-face, fist-to-face encounters with me. They know how I feel about them and that I’m fearless with how I speak truths about them and their entire institutions built on racism and oppression of people of color.

“Uncle Du” comic strips and the articles within Bay View are all about people of color speaking and expressing our truths and realities under the protection of the rights to have freedom of speech and expression.

I’ve been living in prison slavery for 30 years of my life and trust and believe when I tell you I have first hand experiences with the brutality of slavery. I know exactly how our enslaved ancestors felt during slavery. I live in it, daily!

I’m 6-foot-4, 320 pounds, rock solid. I’m the “Big Buck” on the prison plantation to these rednecks. But I’m also the “Kunta Kinte” and “Nat Turner” too, because I refuse to be broken or censored by a bunch of stupid, ignorant hillbillies who are too dumb to read with comprehension.

I just hope Bay View sticks to their guns and stand y’all’s ground and don’t let these busters punk you. I hope y’all continue publishing “Uncle Du” and don’t allow these rednecks to “pump fake” y’all or have y’all compromise your standards of giving the truth to those of us who need it in our lives as a guide for how to identify the wickedness of those who are hell bent on oppressing people of color through their weapons of white supremacy.

“Uncle Du” ain’t folding. In fact, we gonna go even harder on these clowns. This Black man wasn’t raised to be indoctrinated by “white supremacy” and the fear it’s supposed to induce into people of color. That “Willie Lynch” making of a slave crap ain’t work on me – “Uncle Du” – so it’s on and poppin’.

Prison censors in several states seized on this comic strip to ban the February Bay View, where it appeared, appropriately, during Black History Month. New York says it “incites violence (or) disobedience towards law enforcement.” What do you think?

Mandu and I are still smiling

by Ruben Beltran

It is unfortunate that some people can’t see beyond their myopic perspective, and can’t find the deeper meaning in what they’re looking at. The “By Any Means” strip [which drew the wrath of prison censors in several states] was not about advocating violence or the killing of anyone based on their race, religion or sex. It was about protecting your family.

Jerome expressed concern for what some white kids said to him in the street – it really happened to a lot of minority kids after Trump’s election – and Uncle Du did and said what any concerned adult would do for a child in their family: “I will protect you, by any means necessary.” I challenge any parent – from any race – not to be willing to do the same for their children.

The “By Any Means” strip [which drew the wrath of prison censors in several states] was not about advocating violence or the killing of anyone based on their race, religion or sex. It was about protecting your family.

The main message I want to get across with “Banned Uncle Who?” is that although we understand the concerns of those that do not comprehend what Uncle Du is all about – which is not violence – we are not “watering down” the message. We will keep striving to use humor and truth to help expose the injustices that still plague this country.

If that offends some sensibilities, too bad. Our sensibilities are constantly offended by the racist policies of our so-called political leaders. Our sensibilities are constantly offended every time we see a person of color beaten or killed because he or she didn’t submit to authority fast enough.

Our sensibilities are constantly offended by the continual support of prison slavery in this country. Our sensibilities are constantly offended by the erosion of our constitutional and human rights.

We will keep striving to use humor and truth to help expose the injustices that still plague this country.

As an innocent man in prison, my sensibilities are constantly offended every day that I wake up in this hell –  brought about by a lie and supported by the so-called justice system.

Now, if they went “apoplectic” because of “By Any Means,” they will simply drop dead when they see “Killer DNA.” I actually came up with that one about a month ago, while joking with Mandu about how black he is.

Uncle Du is so black that even his black ancestors’ DNA is killing his white ancestors’ DNA – which the real Uncle Du would be willing to do if such a technology existed. So the strip is not advocating for killing white people, but we understand that it will be perceived that way.

So we leave it up to you if you want to publish it; you are the boss and our intention is not to get Bay View permanently banned from prisons. That is your baby, and it would defeat the purpose of keeping Bay View from reaching the hands of those who need it the most if Uncle Du gets it banned. If you don’t want to take the chance, we totally understand. Just put it on the website.

Mandu and I are actually still smiling about the whole thing. I know, as an artist, that when something you did gets banned, you are doing the right thing. You’re stirring emotions and bringing to light your message. The best artists and cartoonists in the world have been banned, so I’m in good company. Besides, now I can add to my resume: “Controversial cartoonist, banned in two states!” How ‘bout that!

Mandu and I are actually still smiling about the whole thing. I know, as an artist, that when something you did gets banned, you are doing the right thing. You’re stirring emotions and bringing to light your message.

Take care, Mrs. Ratcliff, and again THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for giving us this opportunity and a voice. Anything we can help you with, from our confined lives, let us know.

Send our brothers some love and light: Emmanuel Johnson, 98A-1900, Sullivan CF, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg NY 12733, and Ruben Beltran, 10A-3301, at the same address.

More Uncle Du comic strips published in the Bay View print edition – enjoy and share

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