Keen Mountain Correctional Inst. located up in the mountains of the western region of Virginia. It is a high security level four prison with aggressive k-9 patrols/escorts and armed sentries stationed on catwalks, towers and gun rails throughout the facility with an assortment of weapons, both lethal and none lethal.
On the surface the grounds could be that of a college campus or low level prison. With its immaculate lawns, two large prison yards and two weight pits. With its volleyball and soccer pens on the yard.
In fact just reading its prison handbook, with its offer of educational, vocational and treatment programs would seduce u into thinking that you were in a progressive setting.
Then you notice there are absolutely no people of color around far as staff, except one black counselor and psychologist.
Until you begin to interact with some of the guards, who admit to not having any black friends, never having had a black or brown person in there home.
Then you notice how they talk to you, aggressively, superior, and like you’re lesser. Then you notice the profiling and obvious embracing of stereotypes.
In February of 2020 the VDOC began emergency mass transfers from Sussex 1 state prison to Keen Mountain , due to the cell doors malfunctioning. Sussex 1 has a reputation for being an extremely violent prison where multiple stabbings and killings have occurred quite frequently, this would include an occasional guard or administrator. Whereas Keen Mountain very seldom have a stabbing and hasn’t had a killing since its been open and in fact was mostly used to house protective custody of homosexual inmates. So this is the mentality that the guards are used to dealing with.
It is rumored that before our arrival the staff watched hours upon hours of videos of stabbings, fights and staff assaults by Sussex prisoners and used such as training & orientation films. So upon our arrival we were already judged and profiled as Sussex inmates and for the first two months that is all we heard from the guards and administrators was “this ain’t Sussex.” “This ain’t Sussex” mantra would shape how we are being dealt with on every level.
While talking to the unit manager about issues in the pod and moving my hands to express myself, I’m told I’m being aggressive! Another prisoner for just looking at a known racist ass Sgt is whistled at and asked “what is he looking at” and when he didn’t cower, was placed in the hole.
A Muslim asking a Lt. about his food tray during Ramadan while the Lt. is standing in his personal space, pointing at him, looming over him and shouting.
This is the norm.
If you’re intelligent, can articulate or rationalize during a conversation, and challenge or disagree with what a guard, counselor, administrator is saying or even speak up, its a chance you could go to the hole.
The kulture is one of niggers stay in your place, niggers be submissive, docile. If you stand up or speak up for yourself, respectfully disagree or challenge a position, you’re being uppity and don’t know your place. You’re a threat to be made an example out of or someone to be watched.As a result you’re not allowed to get jobs or participate in certain programs because you have been profiled.
As part of this kulture they have a practice here for writing false charges or putting you in the hole for what they call ‘running your trap’, meaning you won’t shut up and let them say or talk to you any kind of way or just because you’re asking questions about something that pertains to you. As a result of this practice guards is in your face, slamming people to the ground, disappearing them to the hole, etc.
Black prisoners magazines are censored as being too “revealing”, but white prisoners are allowed to receive the same exact issues. Black prisoners are consistently being called out by unit managers or Lts. and accused of agitating , trying to cause a riot or some form of gang activity, but not so with white prisoners or the aryans.
On some levels it is that benign racism, that unconscious, good- old-boy-never-meaning-no-harm type of racism or racial fear predicated upon centuries and generations of stereotypes. Like when a so-called psychologist suggested on separate occasions that I had an ego problem, because I said staff are aggressive and don’t know how to talk to us and therefore I do not say anything to them unless necessary. Her ego assessment in actuality translates into ‘nigger you too uppity’. Because I want to be treated with respect and not an inferior being I’m uppity and don’t know my place. That is the problem at this facility.
During any type of interaction with these people, whether you have a job working for them, or anything the entire approach to you and tone used when dealing with you is that of slave master to a slave, superior to an inferior. If they could get away with slinging the ‘boy’and ‘nigger’ word like certain CO’s , openly and regularly, without it causing a riot, they would.
Female counselors and female staff members are not allowed to make rounds and/or do their jobs because white male staff fear their interaction with the black male bogey man, seriously. I’ve watched Sgt’s berate female guards for being on the pod floor without authorization. Counselors don’t make rounds to cells, and are not allowed to pick up and process outgoing legal mail.
Psychologist and mental health workers aren’t allowed to make rounds in the pod. So in essence they don’t trust their own female staff to be professional and do their jobs and so patriarchy intervenes. Again she must be protected from the ‘black other’ and here comes the great white masculine male to protect her and slay the black beast. Sounds like the King Kong movie doesn’t it?
On the surface its one thing, scratch it and all kind of confederate blood spills out to rear its ugly head and expose its true nature.
Dare to Struggle-Dare to Win