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People of Color' are All One? Latino Inmates in L.A. Don't Think So

Commentary: ˜People of Color' are All One? Latino Inmates in L.A. Don't Think So

Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
By: Gregory Kane,

Black Americans are engaged in a race war, but it's not the one you think it is.

And you can bet our traditional "misleaders" -- the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, the Congressional Black Caucus and Julian Bond and Bruce Gordon of the NAACP -- won't ever talk about this race war.

If you've been reading certain news reports for the past two weeks, you'll know this particular race war is going on in California. And it involves, in the words of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, "daily ˜brown on black' violence," according to a recent article in The Washington Post.

Yes, the so-called Third World unity, where "people of color" are supposed to have some kind of solidarity simply because they aren't white, is officially dead. And it should be. Who but silly Negroes ever believed this stuff anyway?

In early February, about 170 Latino inmates at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic -- which is part of the jail system in Los Angeles County -- attacked 35 black inmates. One black inmate, 45-year-old Wayne Tiznor, was beaten to death.

And that wasn't the first incident of "brown on black" violence in the Los Angeles County jail. The Los Angeles Times listed several others.

Six years ago, Latinos attacked black inmates and injured 80, leaving one man in a coma.

Black and Latino inmates clashed on Jan. 13 of this year.

Six inmates required treatment after 62 black and Latino prisoners fought it out on Dec. 27 of last year.

On Dec. 4 of last year, 22 more inmates were injured after a fight between 162 blacks and Latinos. Three days later, 12 more were injured after a fight involving 117 inmates.

See a pattern here? Are you starting to wonder why our misleaders are always talking about the unity of "people of color" or why they always refer to blacks and Hispanics as if we're one and the same race?

Clearly, the Mexican Mafia doesn't think that way.

The Mexican Mafia has been around a while, since the days of George Jackson, the Black Panther prison activist who was killed in 1971 during an escape attempt from San Quentin penitentiary. Jackson was given a one year-to-life sentence in 1960 for robbing a gas station of $70.

In his famous book of prison letters, "Soledad Brother," Jackson said that when blacks and whites clashed in California's prisons, Mexican-Americans regularly sided with the whites. So we shouldn't be surprised by the following line from a Los Angeles Times story of Feb. 10:

"Investigators said they traced (the) riot to Mexican Mafia gang leaders, who they said ˜greenlighted' Latino jail inmates to attack blacks."

Now, you probably know where I'm going to go with this, but it needs to be said. Suppose that news story had read "investigators said they traced the riot to Aryan Brotherhood gang leaders, who they said ˜greenlighted' white jail inmates to attack blacks." Do you think we'd have heard from Jesse, Al, Julian, Bruce and our illustrious CBC then?

Of course we would have. They'd have screamed bloody murder, charged that white racism was rampant and, no doubt, found a way to blame President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, the Supreme Court and Jefferson Davis' mama. But when it comes to "brown on black" violence, we don't get so much as a grunt from our misleaders.

So far, only two prominent blacks have had the backs of the black inmates in the Los Angeles County jail system, who are outnumbered by Latino inmates by two to one. These brothers must be getting that sinking George Armstrong Custer feeling along about now.

One of those blacks is author, columnist and activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable. According to a Feb. 10 edition of the Los Angeles Times, Hutchinson "called upon political leaders, particularly Latino elected officials, to speak out against the jail attacks. ˜We have got to stop the code of violence,' he said. ˜The silence by every major Latino leader in the city is troubling.'"

The other prominent black is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Last year, Thomas voted with a minority of two other justices who said that California could indeed segregate inmates by race for security reasons.

Had the five other justices who ruled on the case voted likewise, Wayne Tiznor might still be alive.
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