Standing Up (Part 3 by Warrior)

Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.

“I’m not one to be the example. It’s a complex of mine I don’t tolerate,” I said.
“I hear ya, youngster. Sometimes you gotta pick and choose your battles wisely,” O.G. Pete said.
“Fuck this motherfucker. That cop’s a bully, and he singles out those he thinks won’t trip. Others sit back and take it. Fuck that.”
“That Hispanic-Irish blood in you is your fire, kid.” Pete knew there was no talking me down, so he gave me a little insight instead.
“You a sharp fuckin’ kid, Warrior. They don’t make ’em like you no more, no sir. You got respect, integrity in your eyes and words. You ain’t got no Kool-Aid runnin’ through your veins. Plus ya very intelligent, and to me that makes you dangerous. But you don’t see how influential of a cat you are. You have a charm about you that makes people trust you, trust your judgement. Men will follow you into the fire. That’s your gift. How you decide to use it is up to you. There isn’t any half steppin’. If you’re gonna ride, ride all the way.”
I looked at Pete, trying to make sense of what he’d said. Some of it registered, some of it didn’t until much later. “Well, I’m gonna get out of your hair. I gotta take care of a few things.”
“Alright, Warrior, have a good one. We’ll catch up later.”

Some of the prisoners were hollering for me, sending me kites [written notes passed by the inmates], wanting to know what went down. I got back to them on paper, explaining it all. The reviews were mixed. Some were upset, others felt I brought the situation on myself. The spokesman for our race, Capone, wrote giving me the green light to do whatever I felt was necessary.

I’ve never been one to think in small terms. If a statement is worth making, it should be one the world is going to hear. Capone thought I was going to make a single move,but I was thinking of action by a few of us. I didn’t know if I could pull it off due to the ongoing race war. I was determined to try, even if it meant overstepping my bounds. I was so angry, I didn’t care.

I spoke and wrote Spanish as well as English. I’d made it a point to explore the philosophies of the various prison races and gangs such as reading Hitler’s Mein Kampf, writings by Mao Tse-tung and other propagandist literature. I knew a bit of the mindsets of the other races, so I drafted three independent letters written in the terminology of each particular race. Perhaps it was the passion behind my words that led to how receptive the prisoners were. I was surprised.

I wrote about how the system had turned all the races against each other, and how at one time it had been convicts against the system. I stressed how officers feel it’s a perk to punish us sadistically with impunity, and how we were all sons, fathers, brothers and uncles to our loved ones, not numbers. I closed with the only two colors I saw: brown [guards’ clothes] and orange [inmates’ clothes]. Again, I wasn’t prepared for what came next.

Click here for Standing Up Part 2

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