Racial Tensions in California’s Prisons

By Terrell Wright
Streetgangs.com Staff Writer | February 11, 2007

In any one of California prisons the racial tension between the blacks and Mexicans is always near the surface brimming and always awaiting to explode at the slightest of infraction. I know because I’ve called more than one of the California prisons home. A home where the under currents are alive and active and since I’m a soldier of the field I have always remained ready for the inevitable. But regardless of how small our beefs are they eventually tumble into a 10 magnitude of violence.

Everybody feels the effect of the conflict on the yard and even though most of the major race wars are limited to that of the blacks and the Mexicans, most everybody still feels the results of its happening. All lives are affected on one level or another: it’s like our own little ecological system/ becoming warped and once the ecological system of a particular environment is affected in one part, in due time it effects the entire environment.

Terrell Wright is the
author of Home
of the Body Bags

Order Book

This is where I live, a delicate environment where the ecological system is always out of sync. Everything here is based on race, where one sits, eats, sleeps, plays and hangs out. But the C.D.C. (California Department of Corrections) is being forced to meddle in the racial divide which governs our world here. The U.S. Supreme Court has come up with a real radical solution on how they feel they could solve the racial problem here. Their main radical proposal is the breaking up and integrating of all the prison cells. If you have a black cell mate and you are yourself are black, the U.S. Supreme Court now says to that black inmate that he has to have a white or Mexican roommate. This approach is scheduled to touch all races and it demands that all prisons in the golden state of California adhere to this new rule.

There are many that agree with this radical solution to end the racial tension here but most are outraged that the system would do something that most feel will back fire anyway. Already the racial divide here is river deep and at the slightest misunderstanding between two roommates of different races the fight bell can ring and the drama will commence even quicker. And in sticking to the prison protocol once any black, Mexican or white inmate bumps heads, it’s practically mandated that everybody else gets involved also. Before C.D.C. can respond, they will have a full scale blood bath on their hands in each integrated cell. There will be without doubt murders being committed, mayhem, attempted murders and all else that is associated with the racial drama which dictates how we must function in an environment where its survival of the fittest.

With the first forced mass integration of the races it is inevitable that there will be a full scale riot on their hands, but that which will be limited to the cell quarters. And as a repercussion there will be an endless amount of law suits being filed by the many victims who will be injured during the rioting all due to the forced integration policy.

By next month, March 2007, all Reception Centers in the state of California will have to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and by the year 2008, this same new policy is expected to be enforced on the regular general Population (GP). The California prison system is estimated to have some 167,000 inmates, 37% are estimated to Hispanics, 29% black and 28% white, with the remainder classified as others. In the end, once this new policy takes affects, God help us all.

But as a front line soldier, I’m already preparing for the battle, which I know is evitable. I’m a soldier of the field, and I’m always on point. I have no complaints; I’m only here to do my time. But there’s an old saying that rings true in this instance: for every action, there’s a reaction. Make it make sense.

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