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Nov-14-2013 13:56printcomments

Inside Oregon Prisons

Because he resisted the “good cop” strategy and tried to organize interracial groups and activities, Rashid lasted only about six months at OSP and less than another year at Snake River...

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

(PORTLAND, OR) - Most of us don’t get to learn much about our state’s penal system from the inside. But now, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson educates us in the March 2013 issue of Socialism and Democracy where he exposes the penology practiced in the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. 

In contrast to his previous decades of imprisonment in Virginia, Johnson observes that Oregon is a “state whose Department of Corrections emphasizes more liberal methods, which I believe is the case largely because Oregon’s prison population is largely white.”

Right from his arrival at OSP, his jailers made it clear they considered themselves to be the “good cops” in contrast to the “bad cops” who routinely practice “extreme violence” in Virginia.

The guards were “encouraged to be sociable and dare I say outright “friendly” but if the prisoner did not respond he was seen as a “threat”—arrogant and disrespectful—and then there’s trouble.” Rashid was “compacted” by Virginia to Oregon—falsely-- as a “rabid black separatist”and placed into a social structure in which white separatist groups and culture predominate. He said that boldly parading tattoos of swastikas, double lightening bolts and iron crosses was like “being dropped into a gathering of Klansmen dressed in their robes and hoods.”

He lists over a dozen such groups, ranging from the well known Aryan Brotherhood to the more obscure such as the Insane Peckerwood Society and the Fat Bitch Killer, as operating openly under the ODC. He says that Mexican gangs have “traditional rivalries” with blacks and often “ride’ with the white fascists. Because he resisted the “good cop” strategy and tried to organize interracial groups and activities, Rashid lasted only about six months at OSP and less than another year at Snake River CI, near the Idaho border and its white racist reservations. Since June, he is in a Texas prison. Read the attachment. It opens our eyes to “liberal” Oregon prisons.

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Portland Tribune photo by L.E. Baskow

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Michael Munk tries to glean important but overlooked items from the world media on the issues of the day and posts them on an irregular schedule. Although items can overlap, he also maintains separate lists for activists in Portland, Oregon and the Northwest, and special lists for: Labor, Latin America, Israel, Torture Taxis, Korea, and the Czech Republic.

Michael is a highly praised writer from an important generation whose book, the Portland Red Guide, has received high praise.

"City Commissioner Nick Fish gave me a copy. Sat down on my sofa and couldn't put it down until I finished. Fascinating!"
-- Tom Potter, Mayor of Portland 2005-2009

"Whoop! Whoop! I'm impressed by how many names from Portland's past have not made it into our official histories and public memorials. Some were good friends of mine. Local history is too often overlooked. Good work, Mike."
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Anonymous November 17, 2013 11:17 am (Pacific time)

It is true that there are more white prisoners in Oregon than any other demographic. But there are less whites in the prison system than the white percentage in Oregon's population. There is significantly more Hispanics in Oregon prisons than their total population in Oregon. Blacks are in Oregon prisons at nearly 5 times their population percentage in Oregon. More: Illegal aliens account for more than 50% of gangs in America. Together blacks and Hispanics account for approximately 90% of homicides in America. Subsequently, what's the best way to reduce our prison population in the short term? Long term?

Find somebody with non-racist figures and calculations?  You are truly convinced that being white makes you better aren't you?  I believe your thoughts are utterly insignificant to the human race, personally.

Woody November 14, 2013 9:34 pm (Pacific time)

The sad fact about the inside of Oregon Prisons is that they cost Oregonians countless millions of dollars from lawsuits because nobody wants to tackle the elephant in the closet: the racism, the drugs, sexual abuse, the outright corruption.

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