An Explication on the Political Prisoner and the Inmate Slave

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[United Front] [Theory] [ULK Issue 85]

An Explication on the Political Prisoner and the Inmate Slave

In Under Lock & Key No. 83 (Fall 2023) there was an article authored by the Komrade General Divine Minister titled “The Enemy Within,” wherein the Komrade expressed his antipathy for the prisoners who have malleable and submissive personalities. I intend to elucidate upon why said prisoners are so complacent and have an unfortunate propensity for collaborating with their overseers. However, before doing so I find it necessary to elucidate what constitutes a political prisoner.

Major documents have been written on this subject and multiple definitions have been used to define what constitutes a political prisoner. From Komrade George Jackson’s definition:

“All Black people, wherever they are, whatever their crimes, even crimes against other Blacks, are political prisoners because the system has dealt with them differently than with Whites. Whitey gets the benefit of every law, every loophole, and the benefit of being judged by his peers – other White people. Blacks don’t get the benefit of any such jury trial by peers. Such a trial is almost a cinch to result in the conviction of a Black person, and it’s a conscious political decision that Blacks don’t have those benefits…”(1)

To the definition given by the Komrades of MIM(Prisons):

“All prisoners are political. War is politics and prisons are war. While some enter prison politicized, many more are politicized inside…”(2)

Albeit, both definitions provide some context, they ultimately fail to explicate the criterion for Political Prisoners. As explained by the New Afrikan Freedom Fighter Atiba Fakih:

“PRACTICE is that criterion. Political Prisoners are Revolutionaries; they are conscious and active servants of the people, Political Prisoners direct their energies toward the enemies of the people – they do not commit”crimes” against the people. Political Prisoners are Revolutionary Cadre; they are “fighting men and women” from among the people. Political Prisoners are the most conscious element of the people. While they are a “part of” the people, distinctions must be made between them and the colonized masses as a whole.”(3)

This definition draws a clear line of demarcation between the political prisoner and the “inmate slave”. Unlike the complacent, submissive prisoner, the political prisoner has undergone a process of social and mental growth. S/he has transformed the criminal mentality into a revolutionary mentality, further arming themselves with the discernment that is needed to combat the war of attrition that has been launched by the oppressor nation.

The distinctions between the political prisoner and the “inmate slave” are sharped by the political prisoner’s praxis. However, this doesn’t relieve the political prisoner from eir duties of doing Mobilizing, Organizing, Revolutionizing, & Educating among eir peers. With knowledge comes responsibility.

You see the “real enemy” recognizes that these prisons are reservoirs full of freedom fighters from the oppressed nations who are most receptive and responsive to the need to become conscious, active participants in the war against the chief colonizer. Which is why the overseers are adroit at dividing and conquering the “inmate slave”.

We become complicit to the war being waged against us when we further alienate the “inmate slave”. We must understand everything and everybody is a unity of opposites and everything is in motion and changing all the time. Internal contradictions are the basis for change, but external factors set the conditions and influence. If we look for the worst in people, we shall always find it, this is not so difficult, but it is better to bring out the good in them if we can. Alienating people is easy, but inspiring them takes more effort and has better results. Getting angry and fed up with our peers is also easy, it takes more effort to understand the cause of their behavior. You see when adopting an ideology that compels – at some point – one to take a confrontational stand against a stronger opponent based solely upon principle, one must have a certain mental and emotional fortitude and commitment. The majority of our peers don’t have this sort of constitution; therefore, this certain mental and emotional fortitude must be instilled in our peers and this can only be done if we assist them with breaking the psychological barriers that have stultified their will to resist.

The prisoner is the child of a domestically colonized people – a people who have been traumatized, abused, miseducated, murdered, denigrated, and perpetually subjected to economic insecurities. Under these conditions their values and sense of self have been destroyed, therefore making them susceptible to manipulation and other psychological warfare techniques.

As the Komrade Joka Heshima Jinsai points out:

“Perhaps the single most glaring proof that New Afrikan people, Our people, suffer from colonial psychosis (i.e. irrational behavior by colonial subjects) is the historic and consistent irrational responses We have had to Our collective oppression.”(4)

He goes on to say:

“The people, by and large, have been conditioned to compete, not cooperate, to revere hyper-individualism while looking skeptically upon collective work and responsibility; to be dependent on the same institutions responsible for their oppression, instead of depending on one another.”(4)

We must always remember to remember this when struggling with Our peers. The oppressors have waged some intense psychological warfare on us. Some are just not going to be receptive to progressive thinking. Nevertheless I’m firmly convinced that if we do Mobilizing, Organizing, Revolutionizing, & Education We will create conditions that promote an ethics of duty, loyalty, commitment, and responsibility.

The Struggle is Never Ending

1. George Jackson, Blood in my Eye.
2. “On Transforming The Colonial/Criminal Mentality”, New Afrikan P.O.W. Journal, Book One.
3. General Divine Minister, October 2023, “Where Your Loyalty Lies, The Enemy Within”, Under Lock & Key No. 83 Fall 2023.
4. Joka Heshima Jinsai, On Withdrawal, Part 1.