by D’juan Barrow
In regards to the prison censorship issue, I am just chiming in to let it be known that it isn’t a “nudity” thing (the California Department of Corrections’ new censorship regulations are disguised under the title “Obscene Material” – ed.); it’s a Black-Latino thing, period!
I’m not in prison, I’m in County Jail 5 in San Francisco, and it has even trickled down this far. Here we are not allowed to receive magazines that are most favored by Blacks or Latinos, such as XXL magazine, The Source, Vibe, Lowrider or Murder Dog, to name just a few that are on the list displayed in each pod here. Yet Caucasian favored magazines such as Maxim, Rolling Stone and Tattoo, which boldly promote Aryan Neo-Nazism, are fully allowed without any scrutiny from the supervisors or watch commanders in this facility.
Hip Hop News and Latino Car Culture have been deemed “gang material.” What’s next: Muslim or Islamic subjects being labeled as “terrorist propaganda”? The sad thing about it is that I’m probably the only one who has ever raised a fuss about it in here! This new generation never stands up for nothing anymore. That’s why they continue to take this and take that from us and I mean universally, county jails to state prisons. Young people, start fighting back!
Let me tell you what is going on in the supposedly “most progressive jail facility in this nation” in whatever dimension that might be possible. Here in San Francisco Sheriff’s Department County Jail 5, we have a deputy who opens sealed outgoing mail – a federal offense – to read the contents of letters addressed to higher ranking deputized staff such as Lt. Charles Flewellen of the Investigative Service Unit (internal affairs) or Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi himself.
This deputy also specifically chooses BLACK INMATES to constantly write up, searching our cells and doing anything else to create conflict. It’s not just him either. This entire swing shift (3-11 p.m.) staff participate in the unwarranted abuse of Black and Latino inmates by dragging and at times punching inmates while they’re handcuffed and already down.
I have seen seven people the last two weeks done like this – beaten and pepper-sprayed for small things such as ringing the “medical emergency” button in the “bathrooms” we live in asking for a roll of toilet paper, giving out the wrong mail addressed to someone in a whole other pod. Another practice is the unlawful use of the “safety cell” – or “rubber room” – for disciplinary problems.
Here we are not allowed to receive magazines that are most favored by Blacks or Latinos, such as XXL magazine, The Source, Vibe, Lowrider or Murder Dog. Yet Caucasian favored magazines such as Maxim, Rolling Stone and Tattoo, which boldly promote Aryan Neo-Nazism, are fully allowed without any scrutiny from the supervisors or watch commanders in this facility.
On days I have visits I have had these “tricks” tell my son’s mother that she didn’t need a “loser” like me and could the depute give her his number. They tried it with my sister and she flashed and called and emailed Sheriff Mirkarimi to no avail.
In addition to the magazine censorship, the last straw is that the company Aramark that provides the commissary screws up orders, lets people sign for bags that are not even theirs and basically takes people’s money, like “F___ you.”
It’s like this: I’m not a crybaby, nor am I innocent. I did the crime and I’m man enough to sit here and do my time. I have nothing to lose but my physical body. I have three strikes and am about to receive life. The way it’s looking right now is like a pot of boiling water about to boil over.
I’m not the only one who wants to speak out. I’m just the one who is unafraid to speak out against this madness that they call “rehabilitation.” An officer told me the other week, “Your son’s grandkids will be here way after you’re dead and gone.” I wanted to kill him right there on the spot but I was behind the door.
So with all that being said, I hope that this is printed so as to expose the injustice, the racist and downright criminality of these cowards. Expose some of the worst right here in your backyard, Bay View. And with that I’m out. Free my cousin Kev Kelley. Free my bruh Lar Locs.
Send our brother some love and light: D’juan Barrow, 552985, CJ5 2B-17, P.O. Box 67, San Bruno, CA 94066. Find him on Facebook.com/Djuanbarrow, Instagram.com/wannimo or Myspace.com/mobbboy12; email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.