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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Letter to Wendy Jacobs from a Detainee in Durham County Jail

May 30, 2017

ATTN: Chairwoman Wendy Jacobs
To: The Honorable County Commissioners
Durham County, North Carolina

I write and appeal to each of you who revere and fear the Lord God Almighty, to search your hearts and consciences and hear my complaints, and do your duty in Godly fashion.  Keep in mind that as God has allowed you each to be in authority over how the Durham jail is operated, you each will be held accountable for whatever decisions you make when your every knee is bowed before Christ’s Judgement Throne to give an account of your life’s deeds.

We all can agree that jail is not a resort, and hardly anyone wants to be detained herein.  But for those of us who are here, be we guilty or innocent of the charged offense(s), we should be treated with dignity, respect and fairness.  Nevertheless, we also know that many abuses exist in jails nationwide and your office has the ability and duty to curb and put an end to such improprieties in the Durham County Jail.  If not, then such violations and abuses will continue to exist with your Board’s imprimitur.

 

VIDEO VISITATION

What is the purpose of video visitation?  The Sheriff claims it’s only an alternative – not a replacement – to face-to-face visits.  If that’s true, then it would be advantageous to those who live hundreds of miles away and out of state, provided they can utilize Skype or some other home computer video to implement such visits.

I believe most detainees’ families live in or near Durham.  If these family members are relegated to coming to the jail, only to sit before a monitor downstairs to see and communicate with us through another monitor upstairs, that would be a travesty of justice, an unnecessary invasion of privacy on our visits, and a waste of tax dollars.
Instinct and history tells me that video visitation is not going to be an alternative form of visitation.  Rather, due time, face-to-face visits will be phased out to give the Sheriff a captive audience to charge exorbitant fees for visits.  Otherwise, why try to fix what’s not broken?

For the most part, detainees in jail ahve not been convicted of any crime.  Under our system of jurisprudence, we are supposed to be deemed innocent until we are proven guilty.  But in reality, this jail treats us in opposite fashion with this Board’s seal of approval.

 

MAIL

Our mail is unlawfully censored daily, particularly by a black female officer named Snipes.  Too often she sits in the hallway outside the programs office opening and reading our incoming letters, line-by-line, on both sides of each page.  She does this to every letter her hand touches in the name of “security.”  She is just nosy as can be and knows she can get away with this abuse of authority.  She is not authorized to even touch our mail.

 

TELEPHONE CALLS

Likewise, our telephone calls are all recorded and are vetted by law enforcement to include the District Attorney’s office.  We don’t get to listen to the Sheriff’s and DA’s conversations and strategies concerning us, so why should they have this unfair advantage to hear ours?  Our most intimate conversations are violated by jail officials – telephone calls that cost us or our families an arm and a leg to utilize.  And now, the Sheriff wants to record our personal visits and charge this captive audience ridiculous prices for that too.  When will this Board put a stop to “Big Brother’s” abuses upon our privacy rights?  We are detainees – not convicted felons.

If we could afford bond, many of us would not be subjected to these privacy rights abuses.  We could talk unimpeded with absolute privacy to our attorneys and loved ones.  Simply because we cannot afford these staggeringly high and needlessly excessive bonds, the Sheriff is permitted to fleece our families and us in a myriad of senseless for-profit schemes.

 

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE ABUSES

Just a few years ago sheriffs did not outsource canteen and telephone services provided to detinees.  They provided such services themselves, just as the NC Dept of COrrection continues to do today (canteen services) at a 15% to 25% markup.

Allowing the Sheriff to outrsource canteen services, as well as our daily meals, invites abuse.  Rather than go with the vendor who offers the most reasonable products at the most savings to detainees (and our struggling families and friends who sacrifice to help support us), the Sheriff readily rejects them.  Why?  It’s all about greed and profit.  The Sheriff wants a 50% kickback off of every canteen item sold to us!  In all other entities, this practice is called illegal price gouging.  Here again, your Board is well aware of this unconscionable practice, yet turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to it.

Detainees are already deprived of their freedom and lose income, held by excessive bonds.  Why would any fair-minded person want to exacerbate our hardships by imposing grossly inflated canteen prices on us for the most generic brand items, e.g. one square packaged Ramen Noodle soup costs us $0.82, yet you can buy these same soups 6 for $1.00 at any Food Lion or Dollar Tree and they still make a profit selling at such price.

There is supposed to be a service fee of $1.00 for a pre-paid GTL telephone card.  A $10.00 card plus $1.00 service fee is supposed to cost us $11.00 total, or $21.00 for the $20.00 GTL card, but we are charged a whopping $7.00 service fee (profit) for each, having to pay $17.00 for a $10.00 card and $27.00 for the $20.00 card.  This is highway robbery and this Board’s sense of propriety surely knows this.

Hebrews 13:17 states in pertinent part: Obey your leadrs and submit to their authority.  They keep watch over you as men who MUST given an account.  I implore you each to depart from politics and from doing business as usual and do what is godly and righteous.  Jesus is often quoted to say: when you have done this (whatever you do) unto the least of these, you have done it unto me, Matthew 25:35-40.

It’s easy to shun those in jail and to care more about appearances to your constituents.  But you each will pay a steep penalty if you fail to exercise the God-given authority you have been entrusted.  If your conscience has not been seared with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2) then you will do what is just and equitable.

Please put a stop to the Sheriff’s abuse of the canteen system.  The annual budget your office approves for the Sheriff’s office is more than sufficient for all of its needs; in fact, it’s excessive.  The Sheriff should not be allowed to operate any “for profit” program against his detainee charges.  Again, such practice invites abuse administratively and monetarily.

The Sheriff’s office and Jail are stacked with excess employees; it’s like a huge welfare system.  Many of the jail’s detention staff are obese, out of shape, cannot promptly respond to emergencies and are paid well over $50 and 60 thousand dollars a year, a total waste of tax payers’ money, who sit in an office all day.  A lot of Pod officers are overweight, too.

There needs to be a qualitative management program put into effect for several reason.  All overweight personnel’s names should be placed on a list requiring mandatory weight loss over a specified period of time or be terminated.

A time-in-motion study should also be conducted to get rid of excessive personnel.  Too many people are assigned to do the same job but only few do the actual work.  I say this in all sincerity: you could reduce the actual personnel in the Sheriff’s department by 33 and 1/3% and get an increase in production by 50% by requiring the remaining staff to do their jobs.  A lot of cuts need to be made at the top in administrative and longevity positions, who demand the lion’s share of salaries.  If they had comparable jobs in the private sector they would have long ago been terminated for failure to produce, and their redundant job slots would have been eliminated.

There are ample people here at the jail who could easily operate the canteens (as Wake County Jail Sheriff’s staff do) to eliminate the existing price-gouging practice.  The same applies to the kitchen.  If our military can train and provide its own cooks, why doesn’t the Sheriff’s office still provide this service?  It would certainly help reduce contraband from entering in by private vendors providing such services and would reduce costs.

Let me comment on the new ABL management group that was hired 9 months ago.  ABL promised to improve the quality of our food by leaps and bounds provided they were paid the additional money demanded.

The first two weeks ABL came on board we were provided fresh bananas for breakfast on Saturdays, and then that stopped.  We still get grits or oatmeal (without sugar) each morning – no meat – but a turkey sausage gravy on Fridays.  The only improvement we see is the cheap plastic bag of milk we get daily and the elimination of soy producets.  We get a lot of moulded apples and oranges, no fish products at all, and maybe 3 times we have received some tough-to-chew greens.  The lack of fresh vegetables causes a lot of skin disorders.  We also get lots of unpalatable cole slaw and wilted lettuce as poor substitutes for green leafy vegetables.

Had Aramark been given the same amount of money as ABL, we would be provided more wholesome meals.  Aramark did give us baked chicken for our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.  After many complaints, ABL gave us baked chicken on New Year’s only.  ABL likes to feed us patties for lunch and supper, with wilted lettuce and baked potato fries and molded fruit as a whole meal.  That might work for teens and kids but not for adults

Why is it difficult for us to get dry cereal like corn flakes, bran or rice krispies or something similar to them?  Why can’t we buy a salad tray for $2.00 as ABL sells to staff – a salad that is wholesome and contains fresh veggies and meat?  It’s punitive to deny us a mere chef’s salad.

Why are we not served any fish products ever by ABL?  What happened to the fish sandwich that schools and even prisons serve?  ABL is as greedy as they can be.  They put excessive salt in food items that we often cannot eat.  And when we complain, they get an attitude or claim to still be training cooks!  And why do they put nasty tasting stewed tomatoes in scrambled eggs?

Lastly, jail officials put too much emphasis on sports and entertainment on the jail’s TVs.  Every morng when TVs come on at 9 am, they are automatically placed on channel 31, ESPN, for an hour or more.  At noon they watch TMZ, a celebrity entertainment news program.

TVs are supposed to be on Univision from 5pm to 6pm for Hispanics and from 6pm till 7pm for the local and world news.  But too often staff will not turn TVs to the news, catering ot the youths’ desire to watch videos, gangsta movies, and other incorrigible programs.

The jail has all but cut out newspapers for us to stay informed – a constitutional violation.  We get one newspaper a week if we get to go to the library on our scheduled day to read it.  We should get newspapers daily, as well as get to watch local and world news.

Commissioners, why don’t y’all make surprise visits to the jail during lunch and supper time so you can see for yourselves what is being provided us to eat?  Visit the pods so you can see what is on our food trays.  The Sheriff is only going to show you the good food items ABL provides for staff to eat.

These problems will continue to fester and become more systematic until you each say “ENOUGH” and put a stop to it.  Please make some positive changes.  Give the food contract back to Aramark (with the same money you now give to ABL) until the jail takes this responsibility back.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

 

KFO

PS: your office controls the Sheriff’s budget.  You thus have a lot of influence as to what occurs in the Sheriff’s office.  So use it!

Respect and Dignity

Wow, in 4D, this guy named C.B. started a men’s group. It’s not only for the young, but the older men, too. I feel it will help take out a lot of negative energy. We all are going though our own problems. Knowing some days are worse than other days.

So let’s start with respect, cause we all must have and give respect. That’s something that should start with oneself. No matter what anyone is going through we give them their space. And at the end of the day, our unity still stands. Now that’s when we get our respect from the officers, too. They will see everybody is not here to play with them. We let them know that we all are not kids in here. Continue reading

UNITE!

Unity is a Must

“To conquer you must divide.” I believe the first time I quoted that my focus was only aimed at Afro-Americans. For that narrow-mindedness, I give my sincere apologies. Although my ideology was correct, it wasn’t socially correct. By me only focusing on the Afro-Americans, I’ve isolated my views on the mass struggle. In reality, I should have known better for the simple fact that the oppression and repression applied by this capitalist nation has no limitations. I should have grasped the full picture of oneness and of unity. My mind has taken the trip to Mecca, and I have realized and understand that the struggle knows no boundaries and by us fighting a well-organized system separately, we’ve already lost the war. Continue reading

‘Coffee is like air, and sleep the cousin of death…’

As my daily routine changes, coffee has become like air, and sleep has become the cousin of death. I’ve been operating on 3 to 6 hours of sleep, my revolutionary studies have reached an all-time high. I currently have been disregarding individuals whose presence only waste time, and I’ve been spending more time preaching my outlook/standpoint on social issues and conditions we face. In any area, my vision has been clearing up by the day, my self-discipline  been worked on also daily. Noticing my influence, I’ve also been trying to tap into the other brothers’ consciousness.
Continue reading

The Effect of the Every Man for Himself Mentality

 

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

Thoughts on Paper

The Effect of the Every Man for Himself Mentality

Separation that’s what Willie Lynch told slaveholders will control their slaves. Separation is why in the civil rights movement we only go but so far, only accomplishing integration but still not finding the solution for the Black man in America.

Separation is what brought down the conscious political movement, the Black Panther Party. Separation is the reason why today the race of my fellow African descendants are not an economical power in America after being here 300 years as slaves, 150 as freedmen. Willie Lynch said separate them, create self-hate with them, give some a little more good treatment than others (house nigga) and you’ll never have to worry about the general mass (field nigga). This separation was so deeply embedded that even today, those men who are in certain powerful positions in America with the influence to change things, look down upon those who “cause troubles,” they go out their way to show the white man “I deserve this position, and I’ll punish those who fuck up, I got it boss man!” With their fake smiles and upright posture they’re making harder on their own people while trying to get the thumbs up from the white man.

This right here is separation, the every man for himself mentality, and this mindstate is an ever-present affliction in the Afro-American culture. This mindstate is conveyed in rap lyrics, books, communities and conversations. This mindstate is the reason the Spanish (speaking people) came to America years after us and are now a more respected culture in America. This is the reason we are weak! Currently, I am an inmate in the Durham County Detention Facility, and you can see it so clearly here!

First example–in the day room there are 10 tables, majority of the pod is Afro-American, but yet tables are not joined up amongst each other, the only tables that are joined up is those that belong to a common organization, and the (Hispanics). When a new inmate comes in the pod he is first “‘ran down on” (see who you are, where you from, what you bang), then if he has fellow gang members in the pod he MAY get help, if not ,he’s left for dead. On the other hand, when the Spanish (speakers), white, or any other race, they stick together, no matter if out there in that world they’re mortal enemies. When they come in the block, they get food, shoes, hygiene, and anything else needed.

Second example–Durham County Detention Officers, now be aware I’m not sure of other facilities, but here I cannot discredit them, all but 8 of 10 d.o.s act as I’m finna tell you. They will appear to be your friend, attempt to win your favor, try to show you that they are from the struggle, too, that they are a ghetto success story. Well, if you get caught doing the smallest thing wrong they will report you, lock you back 23 and 1, and tell they supervisor “I got ’em boss. I told ya I’ma good one, No trouble on my watch, promote me boss man, I’ll take care of these disgraces!” Do you see the poison that’s been injected into our culture?! How can the village raise the child if the villagers aren’t friendly amongst themselves? This separation has become so common that they even have reality shows showing how our people are so brainwashed that instead of giving a helping hand we attempt to tear each other down on live TV. We must come together despite past issues, and rise up to become the leaders we were designed to be. First, we must get rid of our pride and ego, and realize without each other we only have those whose goal is to separate us further. Second, we must create a plan, a vision, on how we are going to break these mental chains and reform and become kings and queens again. Third, we need to change our culture, re-write what’s right and what’s wrong, put more positivity and economic, mental, physical, educational and spiritual development into the things we engage in for entertainment.

We must learn where this problem comes from, notice it in our day to day manner and kill it at the root. We must educate ourselves and find our personal niche and create businesses, which will create jobs, which will keep the money within the community, which will make the Afro-Americans an economic power. We must find our true religion, discard the one given to us by the same ones who enslaved us. We must look upon the oneness of God, discipline ourselves and set up expectations for those who follow!

Last but not least we must take care of our bodies, discard the mind-altering drugs, take up better diets, and work our bodies out to be able to overcome any physical obstacle! When we do this, and only when we do this will we break these 450 year-old chains of self-hate, self-oppression, self-doubt and separation. We speak upon change (we’ve been doing that since the reconstruction era), but yet we have yet to get rid of the old and bring in the new. Currently we are stuck, we must pull ourselves out of this hole and then lend a hand to the others below, so they may do the same, and so on and so on! If I can get help, get those who agree and believe in me to lend a hand we can be teaching others in the next new generation and we can break these chains within 15 years at the most.

“A man hasn’t truly believed until he wants for his brother what he wants for himself.”

Let’s take two steps and walk to a more better productive future for the Afro-American.

–Al-Muizz Al-Mumit El-Shabazz

Durham utilizes crime, poverty and despair to tear at the infrastructure of America

4-18-16

Hello,

This is Jason L., sorry I haven’t had the chance to write you as often as I would have liked to. I’m trying to work my time away and I am within 24 days of release from this God-forsaken hellhole I have been caged up in for the past 13.5 months! I would like to express my thanks to you and all of the people out there fighting to have voices of men and women trapped here for various insufficient reasons. Also, thank you for posting our letter in this last issue of “feedback.” Continue reading