Through My Eyes: Racism in Prison
Today on The Feed, we hear from N.K. Woods, who discusses racism and injustice that he experiences as an incarcerated person.
By N.K. Woods
Maybe the largest occurrence of racial prejudice can be seen inside the gates and walls of a penitentiary. This is a place that a black man like myself is forced to act a certain way and be who the majority wants me to be. But then again, as a black man that’s been incarcerated for twelve long years, I have learned to try and rise above all of the nonsense. Although not actually physically involved, I have been present for two separate race riots in prison, one between the black and Mexican inmates, another between whites and blacks. Both incidents stemmed from petty altercations that could have been resolved without violence. But because of where we are and who we are and who we are forced to be, most people resort to violence because most of the prisoners are from street gangs and rough neighborhoods where “survival of the fittest” reigns.
As long as the blind leads the blind, racism will never subside
As long as the blind leads the blind, racism will never subside. The ignorance of people who have been brainwashed by the sociological expectation of what is right and wrong is the primary cause for hatred. Hatred, one of the leading ingredients in racism, is an emotion that dominates in prison, whether it’s due to outside circumstances or problems happening in prison, hatred can linger on one’s heart and in one’s mind, leading to disastrous circumstances.
Hatred, one of the leading ingredients in racism, is an emotion that dominates in prison
Racism – especially in prison – is a disease that, if treated correctly, can be solved and cured. The procedure to do this has to begin with the prison administration providing outlets for inmates to congregate in a harmonious setting. The way prisons are operated do nothing but instill anger and frustration in prisoners, leading to a domino effect. If the administrators would simply stop dehumanizing us and treating us like animals, then maybe our attitudes toward one another would also change. To put it bluntly, if the prison administration would show us respect and treat us fairly, we too will be more willing to do the same to nullify racism in prison.
That’s how I see it through my eyes.