by Jabari Daudi Muenda, s/n Aaron Ray Scott
I want to first personally thank all my brothers and sisters (of all races) for their tireless and ceaseless devotion and pounding efforts pushed forward in getting us to this point in our protracted struggle. You all truly showed us what solidarity is and what can be accomplished through SOLIDARITY.
It truly is a beautiful thing seeing you all from outside of the real belly of the beast, enjoying the natural rays of the sun, long walks around a sizable track, embracing the many new faces that have been waiting decades for this opportunity. I can see you all as we speak and I smile because I can feel what you feel. With that I truly look forward to the next phase in our struggle, because there’s still a lot of work to do.
Pushing forward I want to send out a special thanks and my deepest gratitude to my brotha and sista in the struggle, Mr. Raymond “Chavo” Perez and Ms. Kendra Perez, and to my Sista Annabelle Parker for the gifts that continue to inspire that creative energy in me and keep my toes-a-tappin, fingers-a-poppin to my favorite old school oldies. Thank you tremendously.
I also want to thank my many supporters, lawyers, law firms and the newspapers out there that are driven by a deeply rooted humanism that continues to power their ceaseless fight for justice and a new society built by the people and for the people. We could not have done this without all of you. No words can adequately express how thankful we all are for your support.
After reading my brotha Mutope Duguma’s well written words of January 2016 in the Bay View, I was compelled to add my own thoughts on this very important subject that I’m quite sure we all have made the topic of our discussions. I’d like to formulate and find different ways in our immediate environment to address, resolve and repair the many contradictions in the unbalanced development of some of the younger generation. I agree with my brotha – our younger brothas have been compromised.
By no means is it my intention to disrespect anyone out there with my analysis, but I think that in order to take a scientifically correct approach, one must have a scientifically correct analysis. In other words, how one deals with one’s situation and conditions must be in accordance with a good analysis, which can be more or less scientific and more or less effective.
After reading my brotha Mutope Duguma’s well written words of January 2016 in the Bay View, I was compelled to add my own thoughts on this very important subject.
After my arrival on the 3A general population yard here at Corcoran State Prison, I began to ask many questions of the younger brothas – as well as the older ones – who have been out here on these mainlines. I can clearly see that the compromise of our youth runs way deeper than just the effects of the prison system that hit my brothas head on. One will be totally remiss if he didn’t apply dialectical materialism in analyzing all the material facts of these concrete conditions both historic and current.
Not long ago one of my big brothas instilled in me some very valuable wisdom that I find myself applying to everything in my life. I’m sure many of you have heard this statement formulated or articulated in many different ways, but its meaning remains the same: “We must learn from what history has taught us – and have no pity on those who refuse to do the same.”
When one truly understands the value and deep import of this statement and begins to apply its tenets in his or her daily life, then and only then will he or she begin to reap the rewards of struggle and truly understand the working out of contradictions in life. In other words, history always repeats itself.
Knowing the inner workings of this concept allows one to understand that you are dealing with the past – history – working itself out again in the present. You’re dealing with the actual origin of a thing, and if you know the origin you know the cause, and if you don’t know the cause you will never know the reasons for what you see or experience today.
“We must learn from what history has taught us – and have no pity on those who refuse to do the same.”
Knowing this and learning from what history teaches puts you in a better position to create a stronger outcome. Those who ignore it deserve no pity and are doomed to continually draw the same incorrect conclusions from the past.
Keeping this concept in mind while analyzing the development of the younger generation leads to some powerful observations. If we look at their history we will find that most youth are raised by a sensationalism that is strategically and tactically spoon fed to them through the media – TV, the video games they play, the music they listen to, and everything they see in their own communities and other communities around the world.
They are fed chemicals and steroids in the food they eat and digest in their bodies, and they are left to their own underdeveloped thinking, trying to prioritize and articulate the sensations they feel. The strength of a fully functional family structure is no longer there to help – it takes a village to raise a child is so truly spoken – and, sadly, many of our youth are born addicts (inherited through the blood they share with their addicted parents) or into broken households where one or both parents are in prison, consumed by drug or alcohol addiction, or have passed away.
Many are raised by grandparents or other family members who have to be mothers and fathers to a child they no longer have the energy to raise or to understand psychologically, nor do they have the community resources to obtain psychological help. And children are thrown into a system at a young age that really cares nothing about them aside from the small paycheck they might collect and that adds to the mental and physical abuse they have already experienced. They are pointed directly towards the inevitable pipeline to prison.
This strategy predates any individual conceived into this system, and the tactics have been in motion ever since. It continues today in a prison system that breeds and thrives on creating the violence, anger, hate and chaos that we see today.
From my present questioning, I have found that this new generation is under the misguided perception that the prison system has always been this way, and that, therefore, this is how it should be. But if you look back at the system historically, you will see history is not static, but repeats itself.
In the ‘50s, ‘60s and early ‘70s, prisoners had very little. They rose up and fought, and many died to gain the amenities we all enjoyed though the later ‘70s, ‘80s and mid-‘90s. In the mid-‘90s, CDC put in motion an operation to strategically take back those hard-won amenities piece by piece until today when we look at these yards we see the past of very little.
No more weights. No more boom boxes – or anything with speakers. No family-prepared packages. None of the different kinds of fruits we were served daily. The days of Christmas boxes and big holiday meals have long gone.
We could go on and on about all the things taken away from us, but now is the time to seize the moment to come together with the new generation and to show them step-by-step how to join forces with other races to form a solid fighting force based on solidarity. We have a teaching moment to show them how much has been and can be accomplished.
With that I implore all the youngsters on these mainlines to take full advantage of the intellect of these very wise elders being released from SHUs. Don’t just settle for a handshake. Sit down with these brothas – of all races – and ask to hear their stories and the history of the prison system.
Knowledge is right there in front of you, my young brothas. Take advantage of it and learn all you can. Never stop asking questions because their very valuable knowledge is what’s going to help you bear the torch that’s passed on.
Now is the time to seize the moment to come together with the new generation and to show them step-by-step how to join forces with other races to form a solid fighting force based on solidarity.
Have the courageous honor of accepting other cultures, because our new communities are made up of many different colors and races that are enduring the exact same struggle as we are as a people. It is time for us to join forces to forge a new path forward – creating our own history and new communities.
Paul Robeson once said, “Each generation makes its own history, and each generation is judged and defined by the history it makes.” Therefore, my young brothas, make a history you can be proud of!
I implore the people or our communities who are eligible voters to use that power to change your – and our – conditions. Change our communities – know that every voice counts. Be heard – make it count and go out to vote.
As we speak, CHOOSE1 has put together a new initiative to repeal portions of the Three Strikes law. If placed on the ballot and passed by the voters, prosecutors will no longer be allowed to use felony convictions committed before the enactment of the Three Strikes law on March 7, 1994.
My young brothas, make a history you can be proud of!
We need all your help to change this law, of which I was a victim and because of which I have been incarcerated since 1994 (22 years). To sign up to help gather the 500,000 signatures needed to get this initiative on November’s ballot, go to http://choose1.org and encourage at least five family and friends to sign up.
Please also pass this message along to do your part in solidarity. Together we can change this law.
In closing, I am a 50-year-old brotha in search of a beautiful heart with the courage to assist me in breaking down these walls of dissolution that separate our physical bodies and that is attempting to stamp out our spiritual beings. Send a brother some love.
Send our brother some love and light: Aaron Jabari Scott, H-30536. Corcoran SP 3A-02-143, P.O. Box 3461, Corcoran CA 93212.