[Pnews] Pattern of practice: Centuries of racist oppression culminating in mass incarceration

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 27 11:01:14 EST 2015

    Pattern of practice: Centuries of racist oppression culminating in
    mass incarceration

January 26, 2015

/*by Mutope Duguma*/

In 1619, the first Africans were brought to North America by force to be 
slaves. From 1619 to 1776, this brutal chattel slave system was able to 
flourish in the 13 British colonies. From 1776, the United States 
government would take over the reins of this land, including its brutal 
slave system. From 1776 to 1865, while declaring its independence from 
its mother country, Great Britain, on July 4, 1776, the U.S. 
nevertheless held onto all of its evil practices.

The so-called Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 would end slavery as we 
know it. At the end of the Civil War in 1865, these so-called freed 
slaves would be subjugated by a new system of exclusion and exploitation 
under the Black Codes. Instituted by the slave states as slave codes, 
the Black Codes effectively re-enslaved Black people identified as 
vagrants, replacing their freedom with forced labor.

After the brief period of Black involvement in government known as 
Reconstruction, from 1865 to 1877, Black freedom was also denied for 
almost 100 more years by legalized racial segregation under the Jim Crow 
laws. After winning their freedom in the bloodiest conflict in U.S. 
history, Blacks were in many cases and places denied basic human, civil 
and political rights: the right to vote, the right to employment, the 
right to freely move about, the right to own land, the right to 
education, the right to decent housing, the right to adequate food and 
clothing, the right to a fair and just judicial system and much more, 
literally forcing New Afrikans back into slavery by denying them a right 
to life. Jim Crow segregation in one form or another was practiced 

      *Pattern of practice*

Our Afrikan ancestors were forced to make their own way, while being 
denied everything and subjected to vicious racist attacks by local, 
state and federal government officials. The state would use vagrancy 
laws in order to criminalize New Afrikans because they did not have a 
job. Unemployment was considered a violation of state law, although the 
same system shut them out of the job market.

Once they were convicted under the vagrancy laws, they would be off to 
the penitentiary, where they would be forced back into slavery, legally, 
under the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. So the government was 
able to use its judicial proceedings in order to incarcerate thousands 
of New Afrikans under these vagrancy and Jim Crow laws in order to force 
them back into free slave labor, which was the government’s objective.

      *Pattern of practice*

The struggle for civil rights in this country can easily define what I 
mean by pattern of practice. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was vetoed by 
President Andrew Johnson, but the law still passed. It was supposed to 
give New Afrikans citizenship and extensive civil rights for all men 
born in the United States, except “Native Indians.” The Enforcement Act 
of 1870 was passed to re-enact the Civil Rights Act of 1866 once the 
14^th Amendment made its enforcement unquestionably constitutional.

Much of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 was codified into federal law as 
Section 1983, but its influence waned as Reconstruction ended. Then the 
Civil Rights Act of 1875 was passed to outlaw discrimination in public 
places because of race or previous servitude. But in 1883, the act was 
declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, which stated that 
the 14th Amendment, the constitutional basis of the act, protected 
individual rights against infringement by the states, not by other 

      *Pattern of practice*

The Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, 1964 and 1968 were basically 
testaments to the consistency of a resistance struggle for civil rights 
in this country by New Afrikans and the countless human beings who would 
join in this Civil and Human Rights Movement, yet the system would 
continue to interfere with and obstruct the human and civil rights of 
New Afrikans every step of the way for over 100 years. And today we are 
right back where we started, fighting for our human and civil rights.

      *Pattern of practice*

We very well could be fighting for our human and civil rights in this 
country as long as the Congress – the Senate and the House of 
Representatives – the legislative branch of the United States 
government, continues to deny New Afrikans our human and civil rights 
indefinitely. Government intransigence forces New Afrikans to address 
this issue every 20 years or so. This is where the real injustices 
occur, speaking to the real racist application of such pattern of 
practice. Throughout our struggle, the Civil Rights Movement was and is 
of astronomical value in our Resistance Movement.

      *Brief historical perspective*

It would be counterproductive not to mention Denmark Vesey, Martin 
Delaney and especially Marcus Garvey and the contributions he and the 
United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) made toward our struggle for 
independence, which nationalized us as a people, because that 
organization would be the catalyst for many freedom movements to come.

The civil and human rights organizations were all instrumental in laying 
a foundation for more progressive struggles that would take center stage 
in our struggle to be liberated, starting with the Nation of Islam 
(NOI), the Black Liberation Movement (BLM), which would give life to the 
Black Panther Party (BPP), Republic of New Afrika (RNA), Black 
Liberation Army (BLA) and countless other revolutionary formations that 
would become the face of the struggle for Black liberation, i.e., 
freedom in Amerika.

We must begin to see these Sistas and Bruthas as our honorable men and 
women who have made sacrifices and continue to stand in struggle, while 
always remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM) would be established and 
our struggle continue for self-determination, enabling us to govern 
ourselves as a New Afrikan independent nation within the borders of 
Amerika. New Afrikans would attempt to mobilize our people around 
socio-cultural, political and economic principles that speak to our 
humanity as a people, bringing into focus an ideology that represents 
the core of our identity, life style and beliefs that’s inclusive of all 

      The civil and human rights organizations were all instrumental in
      laying a foundation for more progressive struggles that would take
      center stage in our struggle to be liberated.

These movements would progress until the mid-1970s , when state and 
federal governments made a concerted effort to stamp out all New Afrikan 
movements. Whether they were peaceful or radical, the government would 
conduct a vicious campaign, where the local, state and federal law 
enforcement agencies would work in conjunction to murder and incarcerate 
any New Afrikans who dared to fight for their basic humanity and right 
to self-determination.

These repressive attacks by the government jeopardized our political and 
ideological development as a people. The brutal suppression programs 
waged against our people put fear in many, and the struggle for freedom 
had to take a back seat. To some extent, fear took the fight out of the 

      *Pattern of practice: Lost communities*

This would open up the floodgates to the many street vices that would be 
introduced and unleashed on the New Afrikan communities: extreme 
poverty, drugs, alcohol, police, guns, etc., etc. – all weapons of mass 

At the same time, New Afrikans would move toward re-assimilation into 
the fabric of Amerikan society, especially the professional New 
Afrikans, who could provide a service that could be exploited for the 
interests of corporate Amerika, not the people, and many abandoned their 
old neighborhoods. The more economically deprived the New Afrikan 
community was, the more desperate it became, and it is here where all 
sense of community would begin to be lost – where each individual would 
be trying to survive at the expense of everyone else, by any means 

The generations to come, from 1975 to the present, would be left to 
their own devices, causing many to be compromised by the very vices just 
spoken to.

      *Pattern of practice: Weapons of mass destruction*

In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, PCP pills and heroin were heavily pumped 
into our communities; in the 1980s and 1990s, it was PCP and crack 
cocaine; in the mid-1980s and 1990s, guns saturated our communities – 
every inner city ghetto and all the other residential areas largely 
populated by New Afrikans. Drive-by fast-food joints saturated the 
community, causing mass obesity; liquor stores saturated the community, 
causing addiction to a legal substance; toxic chemical plants saturated 
the community, causing all kinds of ailments. Militarized police 
departments saturated – and occupied – the community, murdering our 
children and people with impunity.

Over the years, the government declared and waged war on the New Afrikan 
communities: In the 1800s, it was a war on unemployed “vagrants,” where 
countless so-called newly freed slaves were incarcerated in order to 
re-enslave them under the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; in 
the 1970s and 1980s, it was a war on crime, and thousands of New 
Afrikans would be criminalized; in the 1980s and 1990s the war on drugs 
would be used to imprison New Afrikans at alarming rates, until 40-50 
percent of the population of the prison industrial slave complex (PISC) 
would be New Afrikans; in the mid-1980s, 1990s and 2000s the war on 
gangs would be used to terrorize the New Afrikan communities, with 
battering rams, SWAT teams, gang injunctions, gentrification, illegal 
evictions and mass incarceration.

In the mid-1990s, the war on domestic terrorism would seal the fate of 
thousands of prisoners serving life sentences, when the then so-called 
first Black president, Bill Clinton, signed off on the Antiterrorism and 
Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) that would subject thousands of poor 
New Afrikans to civil death.

These are all coded declarations of war on the New Afrikan people.

      *Pattern of practice: Economic deprivation*

Government and corporate Amerika have been active participants in making 
sure that New Afrikans and their communities are economically deprived 
by refusing to keep up the property they own and control. The people who 
were born and raised in these communities have to watch their property 
values drop while they are not allowed to maintain or utilize those 
facilities for the interests of the community.

And when the people offer to purchase such desolate property, then the 
true intentions of the government and corporate owners are exposed. They 
attempt to hide behind some state or federal policy to explain why the 
property cannot be sold or given to the people to improve, or the 
corporate owners will attempt to place some huge, out-of-the-ordinary 
price on such desolate property that they have no use for, other than as 
an instrument to devalue the already struggling, economically deprived 

This is nothing but a scheme that’s been used for over a century to 
create poverty-stricken environments all over Amerika, especially in the 
New Afrikan communities.

      *Pattern of practice: Political prisoners*

State and federal prisons hold the many New Afrikan political prisoners 
all over this country in solitary confinement units, where they are 
tortured by state and federal government workers for their political 
beliefs. We’re talking about the most educated of our people, kept in 
isolation for decades, with no end in sight for release from these state 
and federal torture chambers.

Many have dedicated their lives to helping improve our living conditions 
and empowering the people to control the socio-cultural, political and 
economic systems that ultimately dictate their lives. We must, as fellow 
humans, reach back to these men and women who have sacrificed so much.

      *Pattern of practice: Modern day slavery*

The government deliberately calculated that building its prison 
industrial slave complex (PISC), which is humongous, throughout the 
United States in strategic areas would not only provide a surplus of 
modern day slaves. The new system of plantations would be welcomed into 
many dilapidated, economically deprived white, rural communities with 
its promise to create jobs – at the expense of other impoverished human 
beings – which has been a very clever way of laundering taxpayers’ money 
back into white communities. We’re talking about billions of dollars, if 
not trillions, over a period of time.

      *Pattern of practice: Main culprits*

Corporate Amerika works hand in hand with the United States government 
against the New Afrkican community by using its institutions to carry 
out race and class warfare, by glamorizing on the television and in 
movies a malignant sub-culture that was to dehumanize, devalue, degrade 
and desensitize New Afrikans to the rest of the world, as well as 
ourselves – a marketing campaign toward our genocide. There has always 
been an indictment against New Afrikans in the U.S. by local, state and 
federal goverments that is implemented through policies and laws that 
can be tracked easily from 1619 to today.

The politicians who are the power brokers of this nation use the Black 
establishment, the Asian establishment, the Latino establishment etc. as 
willing participants in carrying out institutionalized racist policies 
that have been genocidal toward humanity.

      *Pattern of practice: Conclusion*

There seems to be one thing that the Democrats, Republicans and 
Independent politicians can agree on unanimously, and that is the 
declaration of war against New Afrikan and other oppressed people, while 
depriving those humans of basic necessities, such as adequate 
educational institutions, adequate jobs, adequate housing, adequate food 
and clean water etc.

We, the people, have to address corporate and institutionalized racism 
if we are truly about social justice. It is the only way we can attempt 
to achieve something in respect to ending the prevalent injustices that 
plague us as humans.

One love, one struggle!

/Mutope Duguma/

/Send our brother some love and light: Mutope Duguma, s/n James 
Crawford, D-05996, PBSP SHU D2-107, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532./

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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