Monday, December 11, 2017
Prison Notoriety: Terror of Society
By Dr. Firpo W. Carr (Columnist)
Published May 7, 2009

(Part 1 of 3)

Your first thought may be that you’ve done nothing to cause any ex-con to hate you. Well, ironically, that’s exactly why they hate you: you’ve done nothing. You may be saying to yourself, “I don’t even know any ex-cons!” Well, they know you, and as long as you’re a part of society at large, they blame you. I’ll explain in a moment, but, before I do, let me give you a little background on Ronald Hubbard. You don’t know Ronald, but we met as classmates around age twelve at Gompers Junior High School as it was called then. We became good friends, and went on to attend Locke High together.

Although there were rumblings of a new gang called the Crips, we paid little attention to them initially. Sure, gang leaders reportedly went around taking people’s leather coats and confiscating—by threat of violence—even death—the coveted white leather Adidas or Converse (Chuck Taylors) basketball shoes, but life was relatively good for us. We were proud of what came to be known as the Locke High School Class of ’72. After all, we had our nationally famous band that had the distinction of becoming the first Black high school band to be entered into the Rose Parade in Pasadena. They called us Baby Grambling!

But, though most of us were not gang affiliated back then, a culture of violence was still on the rise and was beginning to permeate some of our neighborhoods—especially after what was then called the Watts Riot of 1965. No doubt about it, you had to be tough. The environment did not coddle the week-kneed or fainthearted. So, in the process of transitioning from junior high to high school, some of us sensed that our innocence was slowly seeping from our souls. As we began to understand life better, a panoply of emotions would gradually overtake us: anger, bitterness, and frustration welled up because of systemic racism, discrimination, and other social injustices that were linked to the color of our skin. A composite of these harsh realities, coupled with the evolution into manhood and womanhood and the interplay between the sexes, and you have a potentially volatile situation brewing for a new generation of Black adults. Enter Ronald Hubbard.

Although too many of our classmates have died from a drug overdose; been incarcerated; or murdered, several males and females in our class of ’72 became outstanding citizens or notable members of society. Hubbard commanded my respect because he redirected his toughness—flipped any tendencies to respond violently when confronted with certain situations—into a worthwhile business. What business was that? Self-employed bodyguard. I remember him wearing a long trench coat, being strapped, and driving a fast car. I called him the Black James Bond.

Aside from guarding several Fortune 500 CEOs Ronald guarded Sheikh Mohammed Al-Fasi, Prince Seif Saud-Bin, Seikh Mishael Adham, Bre Walker, Larry Flint, and yes, even Dr. Dre and Stevie Wonder. But, if you were to speak to his former in-laws, they would probably say his ex-wife, the mother of his children, needed a bodyguard. Why? Well, he shot her to death. It made the news. He’s doing 15 years to life for second degree murder; 10 years for gun enhancement; 9 years for attempting to murder her boyfriend, and another 10 years for gun enhancement his case; a grand total of 44 years to life to be served consecutively. He’s since converted to Islam and is now Tshaka Ali. But what does any of this have to do with ex-cons out to get you?

Well, I’m not going to try and impress you with throwing around the word recidivism;
or parroting the well worn paradigm that says petty thieves go to prison only to be educated by hardened criminals and thereafter graduate to more serious crimes upon release. Neither am I going to point to the lack of gainful employment as the sole cause of ex-con resentment. Perhaps the main reason ex-cons hate you—whether they’re guilty or not—is because when they cry out for justice after being subjected to inhuman treatment by prison guards or other prison personnel, nobody listens. After all, they’re PRISONERS, right? I’ll let Tshaka Ali tell you himself in a letter he recently wrote me.

“In the nineties, Corcoran State Prison was ‘The Prison’ where sworn personnel committed multitudinous crimes and civil rights violations to the degree that federal intervention was imperative. Today, it is Salinas Valley State Prison. As a matter of fact, Salinas Valley Prison leads the nation in civil rights violations. Outside agencies (Inspector General’s Office, etc.) are investigating the daily operations of the said prison, however, much goes undocumented. This is due to apathy, fear, and in many cases, Stockholm Syndrome.” What is “Stockholm Syndrome”?

In 1973 there was a hostage drama at a bank in Stockholm, Sweden. “On that occasion,” says one source, “some of the hostages developed a particular friendship with their captors. Such interaction has served as a protection to the kidnapped, as the book Criminal Behavior
explains: ‘The more the victim and the captor get to know one another, the more they tend to like one another. This phenomenon indicates that after a period of time the offender is less likely to harm the hostage.’” Remember Patty Hearst? Apparently, some prisoners feel that if they don’t report wayward guards or employees who violate the law, these same perpetrators will go easy on them. They’d be less likely to continue to harm them.

However, other abused prisoners feel society has neglected them, leaving them to the devices of culpable guards whom they’ve reported. So, upon release, ex-cons lash out against you
—society. They’ve become heartless, not just because they may have learned such behavior from other prisoners, but because society turned a blind eye to the ill treatment perpetrated by criminals wearing law-enforcement uniforms. Stay tuned for Part 2, “Societal Sin: Prisoner Revenge.” 

Categories: Dr. Firpo W. Carr

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