by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
Peace and blessings, sister and brothers!
Well, October is here and it is most certainly time for a few October surprises!
I’d like to send out a clenched fist salute to Amani Sawari of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak. I have studied the transcript of Amani’s appearance on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. Amani did an excellent job articulating the reasons for our actions. Amani also had the presence of mind to highlight and accentuate the fact that we, the prisoners across Amerika, seek to be treated as human beings and given meaningful opportunities toward our rehabilitation.
The “warehouse method” and model of incarceration is not working. Host Amy Goodman raised an excellent point which needs to be explored more thoroughly. Amy said to Amani:
“Why don’t you begin there and take us across the country, what you understand is happening behind the bars? It’s getting so little coverage in corporate media!”
Sisters and brothers, as we analyze the slavery era and look hard at Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676 all the way to now, October 2018, one key point is prominent. Racism in Amerika was created by the system of capitalism and has been maintained by capitalists because the subjugation of one race over the other makes dollars and sense to the oppressors.
Can you hear me?
The athletic tennis shoe giant Nike offers Colin Kaepernick a multi-million dollar endorsement deal. Trump and his racist cronies balk and complain loudly. Why? Has not the Nike corporation made billions of dollars off of low-income urban and inner city kids? Their parents continue to scrape and scuffle in order that their Black and Brown children can wear the latest over-priced shoe from Nike!
While young Black males are murdered on Amerika’s streets by police, security guards and vigilantes, why should we not support Colin Kaepernick? This Black man, this fearless and courageous brother, sacrificed millions because HE PASSIONATELY believes that #BlackLivesMatter!
With his silent and peaceful protest, Colin told the world that this Amerikan flag, these stars and stripes, are not living up to the image or the promise they’re supposed to represent: “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.”
Something has gone terribly wrong, sisters and brothers! I represent 2.5 million incarcerated people who are collectively screaming, “End Prison Slavery!” I support Colin Kaepernick.
Love for profit by any means necessary as well as accumulation of material wealth has replaced love for our fellow human beings or respect for our ailing Planet Earth. Some believe a “massive blue wave” during midterm elections is the solution but, until capitalism is replaced by socialism, we will only be exchanging one capitalist oppressor with another capitalist oppressor. That’s no change at all!
An overwhelming amount of love and support has been coming in to me via cards and letters from concerned citizens and numerous activists from all over the U.S. and Europe. I am so very thankful. A law firm based in Austin, Texas, has shown interest in representing me. When we have ironed out all the formalities, we will make an official announcement.
Without a doubt, what the state of Texas and their prison agency has done to me is wrong on many levels. If not for the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper and dedicated comrades at IWOC (Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee), ABC (Anarchist Black Cross), The Final Straw Radio Show and my close comrades at RAM-NYC (Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, New York City), nobody would have even heard of some guy in Texas named Comrade Malik.
I am still amazed and honored by the mutual aid and solidarity thrown my way by Amani Sawari and our comrades at Jailhouse Lawyers Speak. And if not for the behind the scenes work of PAPS (Prison Abolition Prisoner Support) co-founder Azzurra Crispino, I may not have found a lawyer. Azzurra stepped it up big time when I really needed a boost.
Lastly, I leave you all with some words from a man named Dan who lives in Chicago, Illinois: “Malik, you are on the side of the righteous. Despite the threats against you and the repression they’ve inflicted, you have created a groundswell of support and are helping to reshape the national consciousness around the treatment and dignity of incarcerated people, guilty or not.”
Sisters and brothers, abolition is our goal, but you must begin by viewing us as being human! Dare to struggle, Dare to win!
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
Keith “Malik” Washington is co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign and deputy chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. Read Malik’s work at ComradeMalik.com and a story about him on PAPS Blog. Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958, McConnell Unit, 3100 S. Emily Dr., Beeville TX 78103.