CHECK THE MIRROR

L.O.D. has to be a vehicle of advancement.  It must be understood by all members and soldiers in this struggle that in and of itself ignorance is our greatest enemy.  Through ignorance we are made afraid.  Through ignorance we’re impoverished.  Through ignorance we remain unskilled and unmotivated in the working world and repeatedly fall victim to the many pitfalls that ignorance provides for us.  By designs drawn up and set in motion many years ago we’ve been trained to be so ignorant that we don’t even recognize our enemy.  In ignorance we blindly follow fads, trends, and the whimsical ideals of people just as uneducated, ignorant, and afraid as we are.  To stand FOR something is to stand AGAINST something.  Many have lived and died having never come to this realization.  What is it that you stand for?  What do you love that loves you in return?  Life or death?  Living in fucked up environments of racism destroying everything against the heart.

That is what L.O.D. represents.  The struggle.  The fight.  The stand against systems of ignorance, for the advancement of that which we hold dear to our hearts.  How long will you be a faker in your own skin?  Afraid to BE cause they say you can’t BE.  Afraid to do cause they say you can’t do.

A L.O.D. soldier is unafraid of the fears that ignorance provides.  A L.O.D. soldier’s greatest weapon is education.  “Know how.”  Plain and simple.  Once you know better you should show better.  If we knew better we’d do better.  In this technological age and time where the answers are provided at a button’s touch who can keep you from knowing something?  As an L.O.D. soldier you have accepted the responsibility for not only your own personal advancement, but also for that of your brothers and sisters in the struggle because the best way to get ahead in life is to help someone do the same.  The only way to break the cycle of this crabs in a bucket syndrome we’re stuck knee deep in is to stop being the crab.  Period.  L.O.D. is not a gang and will not adopt the so called principles of such.  What it is, however, is an alliance of like-minded individuals who’ve recognized the perilous situation we’ve had thrust upon us and hunger to be active in making a difference.  L.O.D. recognizes that the Enemy (this governmental machine) does not discriminate and neither shall we.  Any race, creed, color, or sexual orientation will and shall be accepted with open arms.  L.O.D. is a movement that begs the question: is this life or is this Death?  Where a person is born into a design of debt, poverty, incarceration, and death by age 30.

In today’s America there are two species of human being: non-felons and felons.  Felons, have become the new slave, alien, outcast, reject, undesirable, etc.  The promotion of ignorance in today’s society is at an all time high and it is this very ignorance that justifies the oppressive abuses we suffer at the hands of the law.

The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, EXCEPT as punishment for a crime.  Look it up.  We claim to be adults, but we’re afraid to speak up and speak out against the ignorance in our own neighborhoods that steals our children from us.  That same ignorance that claims our children is the very same ignorance that fuels the fears and frustrations of these quick trigger cops who kill seemingly in cold blood.

Living
In
Fucked up
Environments

Of
Racism

Destroying
Everything
Against
The
Heart

I salute the men and women of I.O.A. and thank you from the core of my heart for your courage and dedication to a selfless cause.  I’d been meaning to raech out to you guys for some time now.

As for your concerns about the complaints with this jail???…

My only complaint would be the lack of educational opportunities for the long term detainees.  I’ve made several requests myself to have some character education/ethics and choices work books sent in so that I can start a class but…instead, as you can see on the back side of page one, I’ve started a creative writing class and had a helluva turnout!  Months back I’d started a mens group in 4-D but I failed the young bros up there by letting my anger and frustration get the best of me.  In life – especially behind bars – people will treat you the way you present yourself.  I cannot echo the complaints you hear in every letter because hey…this is jail.  This building has saved many people from themselves, so as novel the thought of total abolishment of jail is, it would truly do more harm than good.  In a perfect world these prisons and jails wouldn’t be necessary.  Having spent 21 1/2 years day for day with no breaks in between in prison, I can honestly say it (prison) is needed.  I have met many a man who have lost all desire to change…if they ever possessed it to begin with.  Sad, but too true.  My Lord and Savior had different plans for me and so he filled me with the will to endure and to never give up.  He filled me with compassion and the desire to help mend this broken picture of society.  To let my own life and experiences be an example to our youth of not only what not do, but also of how to turn your life around for the better.

Man, I love it.  Inspiring substantial thought in people.

You have my permission to print this letter in its entirety and to use my full name.  I stand on every word I’ve written and fear no reprisal from staff.  I can honestly say that the vast majority of the staff I’ve encountered here are genuinely good people just doing their jobs to pay the bills.

In closing I’d like to ask you guys at IOA to see about sending me some materials (workbooks, etc.) to aid me in my task of creating a change.  Like I said earlier, ethics and choices, character education, anger management, stress management…anything that will bring something new and worthwhile to the boxes that these brothers and sister are unable to think outside of.  Help me help our society.

I am L.O.D.

Sincerely fearless and able,

Curtis Barnette

God bless y’all and I love you all.

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“being a freedom-fighter comes with its own particular vocabulary and diction”

Peace,

How are you?  I hope all is well.  I got your letter with a copy of the “Feedback.”  I really enjoyed this edition of Feedback (lol).

I don’t want to go off in a different world but I just want to vent a little bit.  Can anyone explain to me the reason for these “excessive bonds” Durham County is giving people?  Could it be that by law you can not deny a person a bond, unless he or she is an immediate danger to society, correct?  It looks like to me that the excessive bond has taken the place of having a no bond.  In reality, damn near everyone in jail has a no bondbecause the average Joe can’t post a hundred-thousand dollar bond and if he or she do post the bond he or she has to worry about the Feds coming to ask question about how they got the money.

Its the new way of holding people hostage in the blind-sight of the law.  The 8th amendment of the Constitution states “excessive bond not required.”  So, what’s making it be required?

Furthermore, how does a non-violent offense get a greater bond than violent offenses?  “It’s crazy.”  Lady justice sure is blind, she needs to retire or get her vision checked.  I believe we are political prisoners, we’re hostages held against our will, and are victims of law or victims of misused law.

We need to start protesting and agitating our local legislature to make them abolish all these racist and un-just laws.

The habitual felon law needs to be done away with, also prior record levels because it conflicts with the double jeopardy clause.

The state is adding more time to new offenses committed because of old offenses you did time for in the past.  So, in essence, I am being punished all over again for something I already been punish for.  “That’s crazy.”

But anyways, to move along, I believe words are powerful and very important.  Words alone can provide certain thoughts or ways of thinking.  We believe prisoners alone changes the dynamics of how society view prisoners.  Society has been shaped and molded to believe that all people that are incarcerated are crooks, liars, murderers, and con artists.  A people that can’t be trusted.  We believe prisoners says a lot, like, we believe that nobody is somebody, that’s someone’s mother, brother, uncle, wife, husband, etc.  That prisoners can be the next world leader.  Also, being a freedom-fighter comes with its own particular vocabulary and diction.  So, the choice of words is very important, especially, when it come to liberating the minds of the people.

Now, the subject about the black woman, I never meant to imply or make it seem that she was weak.  But to the contrary she was the strongest out of all.  She endure countless rapes, whippings, having her fetus cut from her body while still alive and having her children sold off and toss about from plantation to plantation and still come out the mother and cradle of civilization.  Of course, you going to have beautiful women like the ones that you named and the ones that haven’t even been born yet.

Also, you got to keep in mind that a lot of the slave that were already here were country born slaves.  So, most grew up knowing nothing but how to be a slave.  It was mostly the constant introduction of Africans from the on-going slave-trade that kept the seed of resistance in the country-born slave also.  For example, the Movie “Roots” by Alex Haley, which is a movie about slavery in America.  The African, Kunta Kintae, is brought on a slave ship to America from Africa and is forced into slavery.

On the plantation, he sees other slaves that begin to try and communicate with him and show him what is required of him, but the whole time in Kunta mind is how will he escape “bondage.”  The country born slaves is trying to get him to conform to their way of life which is slavery.  Kunta ended up running away twice and ended up caught each time.  Once he got a whipping in front of all the slaves, second time they chopped his foot off.  He was so strong minded that didn’t even stop him from wanting to be free again.  he didn’t even acknowledge his slave name “toby.”  he was so rebellious that his master had him whipped in public until he said his name was toby and even then he kept saying his name was Kunta.  The other slaves beg him to say his name is Toby, which he did in the end.  This is to show you a person who is educated that knows his God given right oppose to the ones that don’t know freedom.  Also, this tactic was used to put fear in the other slaves and naturally the mother pass this fear on to the children.  It was only self-preservation to ensure that her children don’t get beat or killed.  (Dang, I just realize I wrote a whole paragraph unrelated to the woman.  Its still information).  Even in the sixties, the parents of freedom fighters used to beg their children not to go bother the whites.  For an example, every time black folks riot, they don’t tear-up white folks stuff.  They tear up their own stuff.  Just like the jail and prisoners, the inmate will oppress and fight his fellow inmate for the simplest matter but the CO or the institution that is the real problem, he will not lift one finger to do any harm.

But anyways, Harriet Tubman said something back then that is relevant today: “I freed a thousand slaves; I could have freed ten thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”  That quote is so damn powerful.  That’s what we are faced with today.  The people is so damn blinded that they can’t see the enemy.  Instead of racism being in plain view they hide it because, remember, power is mostly felt, in other words, I don’t got to call you a nigger, I can just treat you like one, this goes for nigger-lovers too! (lol)

I believe we have lost sight of our common enemy, and if racism isn’t knocking at our front door, then it simply doesn’t exist.

As far as jails and prisons goes, most of the people behind the walls do not know they are slaves and are being handled unjustly because it has become normal.  it, also, stems from a lack of proper education in our homse and schools.  Frederick Douglass in his narrative didn’t have a burning desire to secure his freedom until he became “educated.”  The prison industrial complex limited information to inmates  behind their walls.  They even got a ban on certain books that they want to allow in the prison.  They reason being is to keep the people asleep!!

Therefore, education is a very important key to liberation.  And not just any education, it got to be proper education.  Information that will open the eyes of the people to see the condition that they are in and the tools to change those conditions.

As for visitation, they already installed the monitors and will start the video-visitation the beginning of next month.  I heard a few say that they were going to break the monitors but that remains to be seen.  In reality, nobody is trying to stand up for anything.  To many people are for self and don’t want to sacrifice for the collective.  I told everyone all they got to do is refuse visitation, don’t work the kitchen, don’t work in the PODS, make the CO do everything and I promise they will take that stuff out.  Nobody is trying to buck, so we will see what happens after the first visit, which probably nothing will happen.

You stand for nothing, you fall for anything.

Sincerely,

Black Holocaust

“the smack of the whip has been replaced with the slap of the gavel”

Peace,

How are you doing?  I hope all is well with you and your team.  Also, I am sorry to hear that y’all been sucked into the “system” and now all have court-dates.  As always, standing up for what’s right or disrupting the system come with a negative price.  Hopefully, nothing over bearing will come out of y’all court situation.  Also, I seen I.O.A. protesting against video-visitation.  I want to say GOOD JOB and keep up the good work.

I received “Mama’s Baby Papa’s Maybe” and WEB DuBois “Darkwater.”  I have read both of them and found the Mama’s Baby Papa’s Maybe to be the most interesting.  The Author really gives it up to let you see how America “thinks.”  She really hits home when she explain the misnaming factor which I think is so true.  I look at it this way.  We have been stereotyped so much with negative notions that whenever we are view by the public that’s all that comes to mind is that we are a people without a culture, a bunch of thugs, as Hillary way “super predators,” etc.  So, when society is fed these negative images, they really don’t care that we are being incarcerated at an alarming rate.  They don’t care that we are being mistreated inside the prison all, because by popular thinking we are not fit for society anyways.

Furthermore, America was built off white supremacy and free labor (slavery).  America has hid the ugly face of racism and slavery within the legal system.  So, instead of a black man being “lynched” by a lynch mob and tree wise he is being lynched legally in the decency of a court room, and the smack of the whip has been replaced with the slap of the gavel.  As a result, discrimination against race and class has forced the black woman to be the head of the family, this, too, being by design, because children coming out of a single parent home are more likely to travel on a road leading to prison.

On one note, the author quotes Goodell’s reading of the partus sequitur ventrem: the condition of the slave mother is “forever entailed on all her remotest posterity.”  You have to ask yourself what is the condition of the slave mother or, conditions of the slave mother and why it’s forever entailed on all her remotest posterity.  She’s born a female but she’s conditioned to act and perform as a slave just like the women before her and so on.  So, its safe to say that a slave like mentality would be passed on from generation to generation.  Furthermore, you can see the residue of slavery left in the modern day negro because we still choose to call ourselves “nigga” (the black community version of nigger) and the self-hate that we so adamantly express toward each other.  Also, as this is passed down, the fact that you are going to prison one day is passed down also, subliminally.  It’s to the point that prison is seen as a part of life now.

With this being said, I agree on the fact that we need to break apart, to rupture violently the laws of American behavior that make such syntax possible.  We need to empower people with the education necessary to seek out and destroy injustice anywhere.

Peace until next time.

– The Black Holocaust

PS: I read the WEB DuBois not so much to go off of, I need more information.  Also, if possible can you send me anything by Dr. Cornel West – books, internet, etc. – or Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow.

“The prison system is a modern-day slave ship”

To whomever it may concern:

I am a P.O.W. (Prisoner of War) that’s being held at Durham County Jail (for a ransom). I just want to share my thought with the public about our criminal justice system and the Corporation of North Carolina and the Corporation of the U.S.A. in general.

First off, we got to understand that all crimes are commercial and profits is being made from it. The ones who benefit are the lawyers, state attorneys (DA), judges, etc. Also, the prisons which is a Business Industrial Complex, and you also have a lot of private factors that are also fattening their pockets. So, I would think that it’s fair to say that it’s going to be a lot of systems put into place so that crime will continue to grow, and more prisons will be built, because so many have sacrificed 8 years of their life in the study of law to make dollars.

Now, let’s deal with facts and statistics. America’s power structure is built off of racism and white supremacy, “correct”? Alright. It’s a known fact that we (Blacks) are the majority of the governed body of the prison population in the United States. In a 2010 census we were at a 67 percentile. (I might be off a little bit but not much if memory serves me correctly.) Latinos somewhere in the 30% and whites 5% or 10%. Something is very wrong with that picture!!!! And this was 2010. It’s more than likely higher or the same now.

So if we make the majority of the prison populace, then to the American power structure there’s nothing wrong with the system because it’s putting Blacks, “Black men at that,” back where they supposed to be — in slavery. The prison system is a modern-day slave ship that sits on land, not water. Also, to prove what I said earlier, back in 1865 the powers that be made vagrancy laws or the infamous Black Code where they made petty offenses major felonies and this was set up for Black people just like the 1994 Crime Bill that was put in place by the Clinton administration that targeted the Black communities with the 100 to 1 ratio for selling crack, also the mandatory minimums and the gun law and a year for each bullet. Them laws created the mass incarceration you see today. How in the world a person can get 7 years 10 and 15 years for drug offense crimes that’s non-violent.

As a people we must wake up.

Peace for now.

Sincerely,

The Black Holocaust

‘Fight the real enemy!’

What up,

How ya’ll doing? Shit still fucked up. Tell me this: why the fuck is the A/C on full blast during the winter? Plz answer that for me. It’s freezing in the cells. And when we tell the c.o.’s, they say ‘what can we do about it?’ It’s four days later and the A/C still blowing on full blast.  Continue reading

‘We stand for something that we don’t even practice’

November 10, 2016

IOA

It’s been a long time coming but I know change gone come. We just have to come together as one. What’s up IOA. I haven’t been avoiding you guys or nothing. I wrote under a friend’s name as I didn’t have any stamps and I’d already sent three free letters out. Tears of an Inmate in volume 23 is my poem, but that really doesn’t matter. I’m doing fine, still stuck behind these walls. The question about the national anthem protest really made me think and before I give my opinion on the matter I want to point out I am not a racist. I have a loving Caucasian family that I love and adore, but honestly I stand strongly behind Kaepernick (and others who follow). Why stand together for a national anthem when we’re not a nation. We’re divided—if it’s not blacks against whites, it’s the government/politicians vs. the civilians. They’re a bunch of hypocrites. We stand for something that we don’t even practice. And, YES, black lives do matter. The government / law enforcement shouldn’t be able to just shoot down our black youth and get away with it because they run things but expect the country to feel remorse and sorrow when someone strikes back and kills a police officer. Don’t get me wrong—violence doesn’t solve everything, but those victims have families, too. The officers that are committing these murders should be treated the same way as a civilian, not a minor slap on the wrist—make them sit in jail two and three years. And to the young black men today: stand up for more than a color or a hood. Stand up and be somebody. Chase your dreams, because a lot of the stuff we choose to do only leads down a road to hell. Why continue to let a system that doesn’t like us continue to run our life when we can make an easy change. It’s there, we have to want it. I’m not above anybody. I’ve been sitting in DCJ for going on 3 years now and it’s been a living hell not being able to come and go as I want, being away from my family and friends and being told what to do by another man. If I learned two things, it’s: 1. I’m not built for a life in jail behind bars. I know I’m way better than that. 2. I now know there is change in me. I want better for myself, how about you? Continue reading

‘I HATE DCDF and everything it stands for’

10/13/16

What’s up?

I’m ok. I could be better but I’m hanging in there. Thanks for writing back…You’re right about the mail, my wife sent me mail on the 6th of October and I received it on the 11th, how crazy is that? I’m also very ecstatic about the change in the food, it’s way more appetizing than Aramark. But anyway, they do all they can to try to make us seem irrelevant, but they can’t stop the mail services. So, with that being said I would like to see them try to stop us from writing you guys. Continue reading