by Abdul Olugbala Shakur
As imprisoned activists we’ve often asked society: What have your eyes seen to wish to see no more? And what have your ears heard to wish to hear no more? Your self-imposed silence has only fueled the government’s thirst for fascist repression, and this repression has manifested on every level of society, causing humanity to hemorrhage, while debris from this hemorrhaging stains the dissipating remnants of a deteriorating society.
People, I don’t intend to be poetic, but it is imperative that this indictment tap into the depths of your rhythmic soul, with the hope that we are able to reawaken your true sense of humanity and restore your hearing and sight, so you can hear our voices and see a society that is trapped within its own sins!
Some may even find the above paragraphs contextually out of place at first glance, but it is a prerequisite, necessitated by a society that for the most part has lost its moral vision as well as its capacity of humane discernment, compelling us to ponder over the possibility that our words will fall upon deaf ears. What was once morally reprehensible is now immorally acceptable and justified under particular situations or circumstances, thus leaving humanity and justice at the dictate of a subjective scrutiny.
We can no longer assume that we are speaking to a society that is firmly rooted in the tenets of an ethical constitution, especially when the evidence of an impaired moral fortitude appears to permeate every level of social stratification. So our question to ourselves as imprisoned activists and embedded reporters for the people:
How do we articulate a moral indictment on the subject of torture that is capable of penetrating the exterior periphery of a post 9/11 culture, where torture for the most part is no longer considered a crime or an act against humanity, but rather a tool to extract information – intelligence – or a weapon designed to censor, persecute, punish and ideologically subdue the imprisoned activists and embedded reporters? Or a governmental strategy designed to suppress the poor communities, the New Afrikan community in particular?
As imprisoned activists we’ve often asked society: What have your eyes seen to wish to see no more? And what have your ears heard to wish to hear no more?
Articulating the diabolical anatomy of torture for a post 9/11 society is no doubt a task that must be diligently executed, for it is too important an issue to allow subjective sentiments to cause us to neglect our responsibility as imprisoned activists. We are still obligated to serve. Even a morally decadent society is deserving of saving – yes, even if those doing the saving are imprisoned activists!
When we speak about the anatomy of torture, this inherently encompasses its socio-political, socio-cultural and spiritual ramifications. The government deliberately omits this aspect of torture, which is the most pertinent and significant element. But the government also understands it is this very element that has the potential to ignite societal and spiritual expostulation, impeding their ability to use torture as a political tool, both domestically and globally.
Most people, including the so-called experts, tend to perpetuate a fundamental and erroneous interpretation of torture. People often perceive physical and psychological torture as two separate entities. Their hypothesis implies physical torture is exclusively physical, and psychological torture is exclusively psychological.
Contrary to this popular myth, their practical applications and execution explicitly imply that both physical and psychological torture is one and the same, though with two distinguishable components. But in practice, they are constantly interchanging, morphing into one another, where the physical becomes the psychological or vice versa!
Psychological torture has a physical characteristic. Those under the subjugation of psychological torture also experience physical torture – pain. Psychological torture unquestionably produces an intense stress that eventually wreaks havoc on the body, turning the body on itself. Physical torture also possesses a psychological characteristic.
Psychological torture has a physical characteristic. Those under the subjugation of psychological torture also experience physical torture – pain.
Before we discuss the subject of torture, let’s first be clear on what it is. Many people within the poor community look at torture one dimensionally, not even realizing that they are constantly under the subjugation of government-sponsored torture.
For example: When the pigs murder an unarmed Black male or murder a 12-year-old Black manchild, this is a form of torture – using government-sponsored violence as a tool of both psychological and physical torture. These acts of blatant terrorism are designed to instill fear into our community. Every time we step outside of our homes, the threat of government-sponsored violence is always present, producing stress, which affects our physical health.
Post-9/11 made torture an acceptable evil, not only in the U.S. government’s so-called war on terrorism, but also the government’s domestic deployment of torture. Not that this is a new phenomenon, but its social acceptance among some segments of society is new, and this radical change unfortunately became the catalyst for the Prison Industrial Slave Complex (PISC) to rapidly increase its torture program with impunity!
It is not even a question that both physical and psychological torture is a constant reality throughout the Prison Industrial Slave Complex; the issue that presently confronts us is the widespread acceptance of our torture. Are we not even considering the moral and social ramifications of a society that has lost its humanity?
And then you wonder how could a police officer murder a 12-year-old Black manchild? Or a 70-year-old sista? Or a 6-year-old womanchild? The social acceptance of torture domestically or globally should serve as an indictment of the absence of our collective sense of humanity – a society that is slowly dying and doesn’t even know it.
Do you think that God accepts or tolerates our daily torture in his name? Do you not know that you as a member of this society will one day have to answer for turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to the cry of human suffering at the hands of government-SPONSORED TORTURE?
I ask you to pray on this, if you are a true believer, for your humanity is under indictment. Put your hands up! Your humanity has no right to remain silent. Speak out against torture!
Put your hands up! Your humanity has no right to remain silent. Speak out against torture!
Send our brother some love and light: Abdul Olugbala Shakur, s/n J. Harvey, C-48884, CSP Corcoran SHU 4B-1L-19, P.O. Box 3481, Corcoran CA 93212. After decades in the infamous Pelican Bay Short Corridor, Abdul has been transferred twice in little more than a month – first to Tehachapi and recently to Corcoran. He is still in the SHU, in solitary confinement, which is defined as torture by the United Nations. Abdul was one of about 45 California prisoners who starved themselves for the full 60 days of the 2013 statewide hunger strike that involved 30,000 prisoners at its peak, the largest hunger strike in prison history.