Comrade Malik Speaks: Retaliation & Repression in a South Texas Prison

“Any kind of act that’s designed to delay or deprive you and me, right now, of getting full rights, that’s the government that’s responsible. And any time you find the government involved in a conspiracy to violate the citizenship or civil rights of a people in 1964 [or 2018!–Malik] then you are wasting your time going to that government expecting redress. Instead you have to take that government to the World Court and accuse it of genocide and all of the other crimes that it is guilty of today.” –Malcolm X, excerpt from “The Ballot or the Bullet,” King Solomon Baptist Church, Detroit Michigan, April 12, 1964

Revolutionary Greetings, Sisters and Brothers!

Well, it is Black August, and the white supremacists and fascists at the FBI have collaborated with all the white supremacists and fascists inside the Texas prisons, and have tried to bury my ass in a cement slab death-trap in Beeville, Texas. Don’t be fooled or tricked — this is a well-coordinated retaliation and repression campaign.

I don’t need to be long-winded to actually describe to you what is happening and what I would like some of y’all to do inorder to aid me to overcome this.

I should be headed to general population, but the Central Texas Fusion Center which works in concert with the FBI and the DHS decided to label me a National Security Threat!! So they got slick. Made it “look like” I was getting out of Ad-Seg. Even went as far as transferring me Ramsey I Unit in Rosharon, Texas. They took all the shackles and chains off, let me walk to chow, get some hugs and some ‘dap’ from brothers who know me and love me, and then the next morning at 4:30 AM, they came and got me!!

I was re-shackled and re-chained, and then I was sent to the worst Ad-Seg unit I have ever been to — McConnell Unit Administrative Segregation located in Beeville, Texas! Now the game done got dirty, y’all — I need some legal help, ’cause this ain’t right!

The oppressors have been treating me like I am Osama bin Laden! For some reason, I can only be pulled out of my cell with a video camera on me. So the officers here use that as a reason to deny me showers and recreation! The in-cell temperatures here reach 110˚F! But it’s just this specific section — allow me to elaborate.

I’ve been placed in an Ad-Seg cell on 2-Row on F-Pod, F-Section. My cell is F-82. It is covered with black soot from a previous fire. The ventilation (HVAC system) is “broken”, so they say. One officer however said, “They had it shut off when they brought you here, Malik.” Yeah, just about everybody here, even the pigs, know me as Malik or Comrade Malik.

This entire section is exposed to deadly heat extremes — right now! On 1 Row, we have seven cells F-71 through F-77; on 2-Row, it’s F-78 through F-84. There is absolutely no ventilation inside these cells. There are tiny holes in our cell doors; they are covered with Plexi-Glass! No oxygen, folks! Just a small crevice at the bottom of the door — it is a formula for disaster.

These cells are made of concrete slabs, which absorb extreme heat during the day and then release it at night!! The senior warden here is Philip Sifuentes and the Assistant Warden over Ad-Seg is G. Miller. They know all about the inhuman conditions inside these cells, but when I try to discuss the problem with them, they say something slick like, “Tell the taxpayers; I don’t give a damn, I work with what they give me!” Pretty professional, huh?

The Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice has a multi-billion dollar budget. They have over 110 prison facilities. They don’t have to force human beings to live like this, but they do it! What is very unsettling to me in this particular section F-Pod (F-Section), the living conditions are horrible.

I’ve noticed that a disproportionate number of the prisoners in this section are Black males!! There are appearances of a type of unwritten racial profiling program which targets Blacks specifically for placement in the Hot Box — the racist oppressors did this in South during slavery!

Something illegal, unethical, and unjust is happening right here in the McConnell Unit. And what is happening is being promoted, condoned, and sanctioned by the Federal government! That’s right, the Feds!!

You see, I have become a target because I say #BlackLivesMatter! Because I say, #EndPrisonSlavery! because I say, Let Our People Go! Because I say #AbolishICE! I have become a target because I say that we are not so much facing a RACE WAR but we are engaged in a CLASS WAR!

Listen to these names: Abe Martinez (US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas). Miguel Martinez (TDCJ Region IV Director). Phillip Sifuentes (Senior Warden, McConnell Unit). These ‘sound like’ names of individuals who should be comrades in the struggle! But like so many Brown and Black people, they have sold their soul for a jelly roll, and do the bidding of the fascist imperialist oppressors! In fact, sisters and brothers, they ARE the oppressor!!

For sure, racism in Amerika is alive and well, but there is something more sinister going on. Sean Swain is a white male prisoner in Ohio who has a big ol’ beard like me; he served in the US Army just like me; he is a member of the IWW like me and he is an abolitionist just like me! Even though he’s a white man and I am Black! And like me, the US government has conspired with the Ohio Department of Corrections to place Sean in a position where perhaps death seems to be the only option. I say to Sean Swain — Stay strong, comrade! Help is on the way! We will expose this Federal repression program together!

What I really need down here in Texas is media exposure, legal aid, and I really need y’all to contact state and federal legislators! Remember, the best antiseptic for injustice is sunlight!

Dare to Struggle — dare to win!

All Power to the People!

Keith “Comrade Malik” Washington

Malik is a leader of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter) and he has founded the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement.

This was published earlier on the IWOC-blog, August 15th, 2018.

Advertisements

Comrade Malik of NABPP (PC) Responds to article by Michael Novick regarding T.A.C.O. and BRLP

Comrade Malik of NABPP (PC) Responds to article by Michael Novick regarding T.A.C.O. and BRLP

By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington, 5 February 2018
Published earlier in the SF Bayview, and reposted here at Malik’s request.

“Our point of departure is to serve the people wholeheartedly and never for a moment divorce ourselves from the masses, to proceed in all cases from the interests of the people.”

–Mao Tze Tung, “On Coalition Government”

Revolutionary Greetings, Comrades!

I am responding to an article penned by Comrade Michael Novick which appeared in the Jan-March 2018 edition of Turning the Tide (Vol. 30 No. 1). Michael’s article was entitled “Self-Criticism: Regarding My Relationship with T.A.C.O. and the Black Riders Liberation Party.”

In Comrade Michael’s article he referenced a statement released by the NABPP (PC) concerning T.A.C.O. and the BRLP. For the record, I can state that I am intimately familiar with all of the circumstances which led to the NABPP (PC) statement. Self-criticism and criticism are integral parts of revolutionary practice. We (revolutionaries) engage in this practice in order to address problems and to resolve contradictions which expose themselves while we are engaged in this protracted struggle against Imperialism and White Supremacy.

Comrade Michael states in his article that he is not a Maoist. In fact, I am a Socialist and I also spend a huge portion of my time studying Marxism and Anarchism. Many of my close friends and comrades are Maoist, Anarchists, Marxists, and most importantly to me, Abolitionists! Prison abolitionists to be exact. Now allow me to give you a little history on our Party.

The New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter) was founded in April, 2005, as a pre-vanguard organization that pushes the “Theory of Revolutionary Intercommunalism” and “Science of Revolution,” as theorized and practiced by Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties around the world. Our co-founders are Kevin “Rashid” Johnson and Shaka Sankofa Zulu.

Our job/mission as Black Panthers fall under two categories:

  1. To situate the original Black Panther Party as an aggressive proletarian organization committed to the ultimate remedy of “revolution” as the resolution to the immiseration of New Afrikan (Black) people everywhere. Our co-founders and respected elder and mentor Tom Big Warrior felt this Party was necessary to create because the original BPP was being subjected to the revisionist knife of petty bourgeois intellectuals who wanted to portray the party as reformist, with a social democrat bent; we reject that history. That was our first mission and that ideological struggle against the party’s detractors remain alive and kicking.

  2. To engage and mobilize the energy of those in the lumpen-proletariat class who are fed up with existing on the margins of the nationalist capitalist economy and who have encountered mass incarceration as an instrument of counter-insurgency as a result. The drug dealers, pimps and gangsters who prey on the people have found themselves struggling with a whole new reality when confronted with the viciousness of mass incarceration, which has posed several problems that necessitate immediate solutions.

Why was I given 50 years for a petty coat robbery; why was I placed in solitary confinement torture chambers for refusing to work; why does it seem as if the police, prosecutor, public defender and judge are working in cahoots to jail my black body?!

We the NABPP (PC) are not advancing a non-materialist view here when we say that the New Afrikan youth’s first thought of “something here is wrong” starts right there in kindergarten, when the filthy, gunslinging pig places plastic handcuffs on her for “talking back.” The encounter between the New Afrikan youth and the enemy pig consists of state repression and state oppression; of a despised people who continue to be the floor-mat for the ruling capitalist class to walk on!

Most of these words are those of our Chairman Shaka Zulu who is currently in the transition stage from slave pen to free society. Eventually, our goal is to see our Party constituted as a free-world political party that can provide an alternative to the current corrupt Imperialism two-party system in Amerika.

The NABPP (PC) is an above-ground, legal movement. We do not advocate or support any illegal activities. Our party stands for the liberation of Black people and all oppressed people everywhere!

Enter the Black Riders

Now that I have given you a little background and insight into the political philosophy of the NABPP (PC), allow me to state for the record that from a Revolutionary’s standpoint, I love General T.A.C.O. and I love the Black Riders Liberation Party.

However, in Black Skin, White Masks, Fanon said: “Today I believe in the possibility of love; that is why I endeavor to trace its imperfections, its perversions.”

Comrades, what happens when an individual you love and an organization you love begin to engage in actions and behaviors you despise or even hate? What happens when you refuse to acknowledge those mistakes and you remain silent?

Well, obviously a contradiction arises!

I was appointed to the position of Deputy Chairman by the Central Committee of the NABPP (PC), and when the information about General T.A.C.O. surfaced I was privy to all information as well as all of the recommendations made by the African People’s Liberation Tribunal which was initiated by the Committee to look into the matter. The members of the Tribunal and the Committee were made up of the respected elders and veterans of the Black Liberation Movement; their credentials were and are impeccable.

It’s been a couple years since I first saw the allegations against T.A.C.O. and the BRLP. There were intense inner-party conversations pertaining to this subject. I am not at liberty to reveal the contents of our inner-party conversations, but I can reveal my thoughts and input.

When I first reviewed the documents which included T.A.C.O.’s response to the allegations of commandism and inappropriate behavior, I scoffed at them, thinking to myself and sharing with my comrades that this was an FBI, COINTEL-PRO move to attack one of our “shining stars” in the revolutionary Black Liberation Movement.

You should know that to many of us prison Panthers and politicized freedom fighters, General T.A.C.O. had become our hero! For real! But it gets deeper than that. The BRLP does real work in the hood!! They love New Afrikan people!! When Black and Brown people needed clean water to drink in Flint, MI, the Black Riders were there! When Hurricane Harvey hit the city of Houston, TX and devastated neighborhoods and communities of color, the Black Riders teamed up with the National Black United Front in order to provide survival supplies to the people!!

When Comrade Michael first told me a couple months ago that he was planning to embark on this self-criticism path, I backed him 100%! It hurts, you know? However, a lot was happening in regards to my education as an activist and humyn being and Michael had the courage to do that which I did not!

Sisters and brothers, the NABPP (PC) does not promote, condone, or sanction commandism, patriarchy, male chauvinism, misogynistic behavior or actions, and we damn sure don’t condone the sexual abuse or assault of our fellow sisters in the struggle: hell no!

I want y’all to think about something for a minute: if I will confront the President of the United $tates in regards to his bigoted and sexist behavior and remarks, do you think I am going to allow T.A.C.O. to “make it”??

I can’t tell the Black Riders what to do, but I can offer a few suggestions in reference towards a program of restorative justice and accountability. I don’t know about you, but I believe we need the Black Riders Liberation Party to survive this.

Restoration and Accountability

Comrades, in the fall semester of 2017 a fairly well-known LGBTQ activist, scholar and freedom fighter/abolitionist professor named Dean Spade reached out to me and asked me if I would be interested in participating in a course he was teaching entitled “Policing, Imprisonment and Justice.” His teacher’s assistant Danny sent me the syllabus and professor Spade purchased all the required textbooks and sent me all the required reading and more!

A key topic in our class was violence against Black wimmin and wimmin of color! I was introduced to a who’s-who of Black feminist scholars, activists and survivors!! I was introduced to transgender folks who are confronted by abuse daily. But most importantly, I was taught about methods and programs which can be used to heal the victims of abuse and violence and also the abuser!

In retrospect, especially after finishing this course taught by Professor Spade, I firmly believe that the African People’s Liberation Tribunal was trying to give T.A.C.O. and the Black Riders the opportunity to engage in something called transformative justice and community accountability.

Sister Mariame Kaba of Project NIA says that the goals of transformative justice are:

  • Safety, healing and agency for survivors

  • Accountability and transformation for people who harm

  • Community action, healing and accountability

  • Transformation of the social conditions that perpetuate violence (systems of oppression and exploitation, domination and state violence)

During the college course, I learned that community accountability is not just a reaction we have when someone behaves violently; it is also a pro-active, ongoing thing negotiated among everyone in the community.

You see, sisters and brothers, we the members of the NABPP (PC) are fallible; we make mistakes in our analysis of conditions sometimes, but we are not afraid of facing our critics or admitting wrong and fixing these mistakes.

I am positive that our Minister of Defense, Rashid, as well as our Chairman Shaka Zulu will weigh in on this topic. I am going to end my statement with some words concerning accountability directed directly toward T.A.C.O.:

Comrade T.A.C.O., I have been one of your most avid supporters within my organization. But I can no longer associate with you or remain silent. I am asking that you embrace accountability for the good of the Black Riders.

To me, accountability means being responsible to myself for my choices and for the consequences of my choices. For me, accountability is an internal skill, not an external process. T.A.C.O., nobody can force you to be accountable. And lastly, I will tell you that accountability is a rigorous and difficult process.

May Allah (SWT) direct your path and may Allah (SWT) protect all the Black Riders from the shaitan and snares of this corrupt-ass white supremacist in the White House!! I could say more but I’ll end there.

Dare to struggle; dare to WIN! All power to the people!
Aretha Franklin – Respect
Whitney Houston – I’m Every Woman
(Patti) LaBelle – Lady Marmalade


Photo of Keith Malik Washington, January 2018
Keith ‘Malik’ Washington, January 2018

Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is a humyn rights activist currently incarcerated in Texas. He is a co-founder and chief spokespersyn for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement. Malik is a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) and he is the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter). Malik has been instrumental in calling for the abolition of legalized slavery in Amerika and is very active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign.
You can view his work also at comrademalik.com or write him directly at:

Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington
TDC #1487958
Eastham Unit
2665 Prison Rd. #1
Lovelady, Texas 75851