see note at bottom
I’ve been meaning to write you since I received your letter dated 3-8-14.
Man, it’s so much discrimination against white inmates going on in this jail you wouldn’t believe.
Speaking for myself these or a few things I’ve had to deal with and some of the same officers were involved that was mentioned in your issue of feedback vol 4 Feb 2014.
I was working in the kitchen on 2-15-14. When my shift was over we were being brought back to the pod by Officer Williams, who is black.
Well I was busting down dirty trays to be washed. We had jelly packs that morning, well some of the trays came back with jelly on them. So I stuck 4 or 5 in my pocket to bring back to the pd, wasn’t trying to hide them. When it came my turn to get patted down, Officer Williams ask me what was in my pocket. As he was doing this Sgt. Jones walked by and seen and heard what was going on. He Sgt. Jones stated he through, he’s through, meaning I wouldn’t be working in kitchen no more. During this same search, officer Williams caught two black inmates one with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Which he took from inmate. Another black inmate brought a cup of coffee out. Which Officer Williams let him bring back to the pod. I was fired from the kitchen and Sgt Jones had me locked in my cell for 7 or 8 hours. Guess what happened to the black inmates? NOTHING. I wrote a grievance on this. It took the grievance officer over 30 days to answer my grievance. And you know what the response was. I’ll be to talk with you when I get time. That’s been over 2 weeks and I still haven’t talked to her or him. Another thing happen that I filed in the same grievance was I was working in the laundry minding my own business and Sgt. Mims calls me in the office and asks me where white people come from. And I told him Asia or something. He then stated to my boss man Officer Ham that white people don’t know where they come from. So Officer Ham asks Sgt. Mims, ‘Well, where do white people come from?’ He, Sgt. Mims stated ‘an evil place.’ Ain’t that something?
Oh yea, the next day after Sgt. Jones had me fired from the kitchen, he was patting inmates down coming from the kitchen. He caught a black inmate with a sandwich he wasn’t supposed to have. Took the sandwich but didn’t do anything to the black inmate. Just recently a black inmate that works sanitation got caught with cigarettes and matches. Didn’t get wrote up or locked back. Took him off his job for 2 weeks and then put him right back on the same job.
We just had a white dude get caught with 3 cigs. He got wrote up and locked back. That happened yesterday. Well today the same white dude was asking the pod officer and Sgt Jones to let him see the nurse or somebody because he was having a panic attack. Well, they wouldn’t let him see nobody. So when he got a visit today, when he came back from visit he jumped over the rail on the top tier. He couldn’t take being locked in his cell all day.
Well — I’m gonna close for now. If I can help out in any way let me know. Also send me the March issue of feedback. I passed the other one around. Keep up the good work.
Note: We’re not sure how widespread the claims of discrimination or favoritism are, or of their validity, but they are not surprising. To maintain oppressive systems, dissension and division must be sown and accepted (or not), continually. If it is true, and not imagined (as it well could be), is such discrimination against white inmates worthy of our collective ire? No. These are truly ‘petty privileges’ (or, more apt, the absence of punishment) conferred on black prisoners. For those ‘wronged’ by these actions it is worth understanding them in the context of the rate of incarceration of African-Americans vis-à-vis so-called white people in this country. And, to those c.o.’s who think they are doing well by black prisoners, who maybe think they stand in the tradition of good ‘race men’, we must say, simply: Really, now?