How to Silence a Revolution

Black Man in prisonWhen a major change needs to be made revolution is usually the way it is accomplished.  America was founded on revolution and it is our ability to rise up against injustice that keeps the country moving forward toward a "more perfect union".  The Civil Rights movement of the 1960's was revolutionary for African Americans as the seeds of change were sown by both the non-violent methods of Dr. Martin Luther King as well as the more aggressive efforts of Malcolm X and The Black Panther Party of Self Defense. 

Unfortunately for African Americans the revolution was cut short by the killing of our revolutionary leaders.  Those who were not killed were imprisoned; locked away from society and even further, isolated from other prisoners.  This is the way to kill a revolution: kill the leaders and silence the voices of those still alive.

Today we reprinted an article from Al Jazeera "Solitary Confinement: Torture Chambers for Black Revolutionaries", which discusses the inhumane use of solitary confinement to isolate prisoners and silence their voice.  the piece focuses on Russell "Maroon" Shoats, a former member of the Black Panther Party who has been locked in solitary confinement for over 30 years.  Maroon Scott, Mumia Abu-Jamal, The Angola 3 and thousands of others are victims of the revolution; swept up by police and denied the opportunity to spread their message of change, even within prison walls.

A message from Political Prisoner Maroon Scott delivered by his daughter Theresa

If you are a leader and you want to affect change in America you must stay out of the prison system.  Once incarcerated you are a defenseless target of the prison industrial complex where you can be beaten, killed or locked away in isolation for decades at a time.  Once incarcerated:

You cannot vote

You cannot run for public office

You cannot speak at a town square

You cannot organize

Your youth and vigor is sapped by cruel and unusual punishment suffered by leaders in prison

In short, you cannot effect change with your voice or your actions

There are only a small few in this world who are true leaders who can move the masses.  There are even fewer in the black community.  Crime is rebellion, but all rebellion does not bring positive change.  A child can rebel, but only a man can lead

Return to The Afro Blog