By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington on October 2, 2016
I read one letter in the USA Today published on September 14th, 2016, which read:
“By disrespecting the Flag, you are also disrespecting the majority of people who are not part of the issue you are trying to highlight.”
Now, let’s fully dissect this issue.
A lot of these men play Football for millions of dollars and have themselves seen police brutality close up. Many of these men are Black Men and whether anyone believes this or not, there is a collective hurt and pain felt when they watch people whose mandate is to protect and serve actually maim and kill human beings that look just like them.
People must start to realize that these extra-judicial killings of people of color by police is an Amerikan problem. There are millions of White Folks who don’t want to be defined as racist or a hater of Black or Brown people. So if Colin Kaepernick is disrespecting the Amerikan Flag by taking a knee, could we not say that some police disrespect the Flag when they indiscriminately murder young Black men while wearing a U.S. Flag sewn on their upper sleeve?!
So, the question that presents itself is…”what method of protest is acceptable for Black People in Amerika?” I am a Civil Rights and Human Rights Activist, and I am trapped in an Amerikan prison in Texas, and because I value human life, the murder of the police in response to the actions of a few rogue cops is unacceptable to me, killing cops is not an acceptable method of protest. However, Amerikan Society demonizes and criminalizes Black Folks simply for writing or speaking out about the murdering of our boys and men!
We keep acting like everything is alright when it’s not, and then tell the victims of this increasing madness to “shut-up and take it!” No! I am not going to shut up and be quiet as former NFL Quarterback Trent Dilfer suggested that Mr. Kaepernick do. I say this loudly and clearly without any hesitation #BLACK Lives Matter!
The State of Texas has the largest state prison system in the United States. Not only does the State refuse to pay prisoners anything for their labor, they have compounded the problem by setting up a fraudulent Good Time/ Work Time Credit scheme which does not benefit tens of thousands of prisoners and is tantamount to enslaving us. I am myself, as are numerous other male and female prisoners across the State, challenging these unfair and fraudulent practices in Federal Court. It is our right to petition the government for redress of our grievances.
We have been subjected and exposed to inhumane and toxic living and working conditions, deadly extreme heat, arsenic-laden drinking water, and hazardous factory environments with slave treatment and abuse by Texas State Employees.
After becoming fed up, I myself and another fellow prisoner Mr. Norris Hicks started a campaign which has over the course 8-9 months, transformed into a Movement to End Prison Slavery in Texas, this campaign is for real.
In retaliation for my peaceful organizing I have been placed in Long-Term Solitary Confinement. Media correspondents who seek interviews with me are refused an audience or visitation with me because I have exposed a part of Texas that State Officials don’t want exposed. We can solve our own problems together, but placing a muzzle over people’s mouths, or criminalizing the actions of those who dissent is not going to solve anything.
My name is Keith ‘Malik’ Washington, and I am the chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement. I have something relevant and meaningful to contribute to the conversation surrounding Social Justice and Mass Incarceration inside the United States. If you are a journalist or reporter, or simply a citizen who has been moved by my words, I humbly request you help amplify my voice. All Power To The People!
Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is a prisoner at the largest prison in the State of Texas, the H.H. Coffield Unit. Mr. Washington is a regular contributing writer for the San Francisco Bay View – a National Black Newspaper and can be reached directly at:
Mr. KEITH H. WASHINGTON,
H.H. Coffield Unit,
2661 F.M. 2054,
Tennessee Colony, Texas 75884
Source: Freedom Archives