Surviving as a Jew in the Arizona Archipelago

Discussion in 'Civil Rights & Privacy' started by Mike, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Incredible read ...

    Business Insider: How A Jewish Inmate Survived In A Prison Filled With Neo-Nazis

    ...

    I am always the last person to eat. It's part of a compromise I worked out with the skinheads who run the western state prison complex where I am incarcerated. Under this compromise, I'm allowed to sit at the whites' tables, but only after the "heads," and then the "woods," and then the "lames" have eaten. I am lower on the totem pole than all of them, the untouchable. I should feel lucky I'm allowed to eat at the whites' tables at all.

    Not that there's anywhere else I could eat. The prison yard is broken down into five distinct racial categories and segregation is strictly enforced. There are the "woods" (short for peckerwoods) that encompass the whites, the "kinfolk" (blacks), the "Raza" (American-born people of Mexican descent), the "paisas" (Mexico-born Mexicans), and the "chiefs" (American Indians).

    Under the strict rules that govern interracial relations, different races are allowed to play on the same sports teams but not play individual games (e.g., chess) together; they may be in each others' cubicles together if the situation warrants but not sit on each others' beds or watch each others' televisions. They may go to the same church services but not pray together. But if you accidentally break one of these rules, the consequences are usually pretty mild: you might get a talking to by one of the heads (who, of course, claims exemption from this rule himself), or at worst, a "chin check."

    Eating with another race, however, is a different story. It is an inviolate rule that different races may not break bread together under any circumstances. Violating this rule leads to harsh consequences. If you eat at the same table as another race, you'll get beaten down. If you eat from the same tray as another race, you'll be put in the hospital. And if you eat from the same food item as another race, that is, after another race has already taken a bite of it, you can get killed. This is one area where even the heads don't have any play.

    This makes it difficult for me, of course, to fit into the chow hall. Jews, as we all know, are not white but imposters who don white skin and hide inside it for the purpose of polluting and taking over the white race. The skinheads simply can't allow me to eat with them: that would make them traitors of the worst kind — race traitors!

    But my milky skin and pasty complexion, characteristic of the Eastern European Ashkenazi, make it impossible for me to eat with other races who don't understand the subtleties of my treachery and take me for just another wood. So the compromise is that I may sit at certain white tables after all the whites have finished eating. In exchange, I must do free legal work as directed by the heads (Jewish lawyers, even jailhouse lawyers, are hard to come by in prison) and remit to them a portion of the legal fees I collect from everyone else I do legal work for on the yard.

    This compromise was brokered by the more "mainstream" Nazis on the yard, the Aryan Brotherhood. They became involved because when I first got here, one of the first cases I handled resulted in my getting a 21-year sentence for one of their members vacated. This gave me instant credibility: even if a "hands-off-the-Jew" policy could not be established, a "hands-off-the-Jewish-lawyer" policy could be and was. It was this factor, I think, more than any other, that has kept me safe here.

    ...

    This was all allowed to happen because the AB, notwithstanding the swastikas, lightning bolts and KKK hoods tattooed on their arms and their vile racist rhetoric, are not fundamentally ideological. Their racism derives primarily from economic considerations: by enjoining the different races from trading with each other, they enforce their share of the highly lucrative drug market.

    The price of drugs on the yards is 10 times higher than it is on the street, and the AB is the largest single supplier, with drugs smuggled in not only by would-be recruits trying to "earn their ink" by getting their girlfriends to hide them in their body cavities when they come to visit, but by guards who are in their employ (and sometimes in their membership) as well. The Raza's drugs may be cheaper and better, but because of the segregation, they are not available to the woods.

    ...

    And they expect someone serving time in such an environment to emerge as a better human being?
     
  2. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    No. Did you expect "rehabilitation" in a for-profit prison system?

    Nevertheless, he seems to have achieved it:

     
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    But that's only because as a complete loner, he didn't fit into any of the cliques in the prison. For everyone else there, it sounds though some "lifetime" (however long - or short - that might turn out to be) relationships are solidified.
     
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

  5. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    I'll never look at constants like "MAX END DATE" in quite the same way:
    ARENBERGDAVID05/29/1956
    Sentence (yyymmdd)AdmissionPrison Release DateMax End Date
    009/00/00 09/11/2007 05/11/2015
     
Tags: Arizona, prison

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