What Integration Means for White Prisoners

James R. Long, American Renaissance, May 5, 2017

“Fight, f**k, or bust a 65.”

Texas is a majority-minority state. Thirty-nine percent of residents are Hispanic, and 13 percent are black. Only 43 percent of the state is white. Demographers tell us that is the direction in which the entire country is moving. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which has incarcerated me for the last 20 years, has a majority non-white staff, and its prisoners are overwhelmingly non-white. Diversity is not our greatest strength.

No matter how many times it ends in disaster, forced integration—mandated by judges who are protected from its consequences—is the law. Every time a racial incident occurs because of forced integration, we get the some advice: “We need unity.”

Like many inmates, I wear the scars of “unity” on my fists and face. Many argue that the violence and stress of prison life are not the result of forced integration, and that all prisons are violent. This is true. Racially homogenous prisons would be violent, but race makes the problem much worse. As Arthur Schlesinger noted, “The hostility of one tribe for another is among the most instinctive of human reactions.”

Sacramento Bee/Jose M. Osorio/ZUMA Press

When you have a problem with another inmate or a guard who is the same race as you, you focus on the problem. When the same problem arises with someone of another race, you always wonder if race is the problem. You cannot help thinking this after you hear a Hispanic guard tell Hispanic inmates “I’m down for the la raza,” or when you see black disciplinary officers give harsher punishments to whites than blacks after a black-white fight, even when the black started it.

“Unity,” whether in prison or in the free world is supposed to work because race is only “skin deep” and we are all interchangeable. We are supposed to be able to mix in any proportions with every kind of people so long as (white) people practice “tolerance.”

For me, these beliefs died a bloody, violent death inside the concrete walls of two maximum-security prison units—leaving me at first bewildered, then angry, and now determined. Their death was especially painful for me because I grew up with more black friends—especially close friends—than white. Even more important, I have a biracial child with a black woman. I needed those now-dead and rotting beliefs to be true. But nature doesn’t care what we hope or believe.

The first chink in my race-is-only-skin-deep armor came within an hour of my arrival at the Connelly Unit in the deep south of Texas in the late 1990s. I walked into my cell, and before I could make my bed I heard someone ask, “Whatcha gonna do, white boy?” I had been told on the bus ride to Connelly that someone would “check” me. That means someone would try to beat me into total submission so that everything I owned would belong to him.

I stepped to my cell door. The guy on the other side was the size of an NFL linebacker. When someone asks, “Whatcha gonna do?” there are three answers: “fight,” “f**k,” or “bust a sixty-five.” If the answer is “fight,” no matter how many times he knocks you down, no matter how many teeth he knocks out of your mouth, you’re going to keep swinging. If he knocks you out, you better start swinging as soon as you wake up.

Option two: f**k. This means you’re going to be a sex slave. You will have no control over you own body any more. The guy who owns you will also pass you around to his “homies,” or to whoever pays him to rent your mouth and rectum.

Option three: Bust a sixty-five. Sixty-five dollars was the limit you could spend at the commissary at the time, and your man was going to take at least half of that in exchange for “protecting” you. This might seem better than options one and two, but it’s a ruse; paying protection makes you a “ho.” And even if you start out giving up only your money, eventually your man will make you give up your rectum as well.

I had heard all this on the bus. Twenty years ago I still believed in God, so I said a short prayer and reminded myself that my grandfather stormed a beach in Normandy with .50 caliber bullets screaming by his head. If he could live through that I could manage a fight with a guy who outweighed me by 100 pounds.

I said “fight,” and we headed for the shower on three row. That is where you go to fight because the guards on picket can’t see you. As we approached the shower, my heart pounded against my rib cage like a battering ram. I stopped . . . . What if he knocks me out and then rapes me right there?

The shower door swung open and we stepped inside. To this day I can still see the look of menace and hatred on that black face. I balled up my fists and set my feet. He swung. I dipped. His fist still caught the side of head and staggered me. I threw an overhand right that landed but didn’t do much damage. The third or fourth punch he landed buckled my knees. I saw black and dropped on all fours. I wasn’t unconscious; my body had just shut down for a split second. I started throwing punches, trying to get to my feet. I never made it all the way up. He dropped me again. This time I landed on my back. My mouth was bleeding and my head felt like there were dents in it, but I wasn’t in any pain. I’d taken his best shots and I was still alive. Now, I was just angry.

I managed to get to my feet and charged him, planting my shoulder in his gut. I let go and shoved him, trying to create more space. We traded more punches. His did a lot more damage than mine, and I went down again. Just as he started hollering “You gonna ride? You gonna ride?” someone shouted “South Dallas, the law man coming, my nigga.” The fight ended. My lip was split and my head was swelling, but I made it back to my cell without the guard seeing me.

That was my first—but not my last—encounter with a JBG, or jolly black giant. Jolly because they are gay, black because they are black, and giant because they are big. Soon afterwards I left the unit on a bench warrant for a motion for a new trial in my case. It was denied.

Credit Image: © Jerzy Dabrowski/ZUMAPRESS.com

When I returned I went to a different building and went through the same thing all over again with another JBG who also outweighed me by 100 pounds. I did a little better this time, busting the guy’s lip. The only blood on me was where I had sliced my knuckle on his teeth. He still dropped me once, but he couldn’t break me and force me to be gay like him.

After those two fights I was pretty sure I had established myself as a man. This was the period of bewilderment I mentioned earlier. I was watching young black first-timers arrive and never have a hand laid on them by JBGs or anyone else. I’m embarrassed to say this now, but that overt racism was beyond painful for me. I could have lost my sight, my teeth, been given a concussion, simply because I was white and refused to give up my rectum.

About this time, as my bewilderment was turning into anger, JBG number three came along. He was smaller than the first two, but still outweighed me by 50 pounds. He came up to me in the shower one morning when the dayroom was empty and tried to start a conversation. You don’t do that. I told him he better go or there would be trouble. He smiled and walked off. I was tired of proving myself by fighting guys bigger than I was, so I went to a friend in maintenance and told him I needed something.

The next morning I stood in the back of the shower with my shirt off and my boots laced tight. I had a modified welding rod gripped tightly in my right hand. I felt like JBG III didn’t deserve a fair fight. That sinking feeling I had had for 24 hours after thinking I had established myself was too much. My only fear was that in my rage I would kill that piece of garbage and have to write to my daughter from death row:

Dear Janice, Sorry we’re not going to get to know each other. I had to kill one of your mother’s people because they wouldn’t quit trying to make me be gay, and we’re forced to integrate here. Maybe you can come see me when they stick that warm juice in my veins. Love, Dad

No, that would not have been good.

JBG III put his hand on the door but stopped short. His eyes bugged as he saw the shank. Every muscle in my body was flexed. He looked in my face and said, “Aw, man. You trippin’,” and walked away.

J. Phillippe Rushton reports in Race, Evolution, and Behavior that the percentage of “men who have sex with men” is higher among blacks than the rest of the American population: 19 percent versus 12. ­I’d say it’s higher than that in prison, though neither prisoners nor those on the outside consider themselves homosexual. The book On the Down Low was written by a black author who explains that although he enjoys sex with men he’s not gay. (I suspect this contributes to very high AIDS infection rates among blacks.) Over the years I’ve heard dozens of blacks say things like “I ain’t gay, a nigga just likes f**kin’ a li’l booty,” or “the booty is magical.”

Elites probably see gay black men as helpless victims. From my experience, they are the greatest victimizers.

Not long after this last experience with a JBG, I found out that my daughter had lived in a car for a while. Her stepfather couldn’t keep a job and was beating my daughter’s mother, often right in front of her. Once it was so brutal that my daughter’s mother had to pull a knife to make him stop. Because I am in prison, my daughter’s mother and I have both endured vicious assaults by black men.

Then, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, my daughter’s mother was beaten and raped at a bus stop. Guess what color the man was? I don’t know how I didn’t go off the deep end at that time and get a swastika tattooed on my forehead. I guess that wouldn’t have looked good to my daughter, and I’m very much a K-dad, not an r-cad. But the rage I was seething with in those days is still with me. I keep it safe in a glass case I can break open when needed.

Luckily for me—and this saved my sanity—I found the work of Michael Levin, Arthur Jensen, Vincent Sarich, and J. Phillippe Rushton. They taught me that blacks were just doing what they had evolved to do, which doesn’t excuse it but does explain it. It helps you prepare for it through probabilistic reasoning.

Credit Image: © Brian Baer/Sacramento Bee/ZUMAPRESS.com

Jared Taylor’s writing showed me that unity—forced integration—wasn’t a disaster only in prison. I learned all of this after over a decade of fights, near-fights, and a riot, none of which would have happened in a segregated prison. My half-black daughter also had to fight, usually because the all-black girls were jealous of her mulatto beauty. It may sound corny, but I can honestly say that without the reading I did I would never have transcended the anger.

And now for the happy ending—or at least as happy an ending as you can have when you’re stuck in an integrated prison system with a life sentence. I’ll call it the Dawn of Determination. It started on the yard, about a year after I almost Swiss-cheesed JBG number three. I and some other proven whites—guys who had all been in fights and riots—were standing around, talking. I guess I’d seen one too many whites with black eyes and thick lips because of JBGs, because I said, “We don’t check them [black and Hispanics], why should we let them check us?” Everybody laughed or mumbled something like “yeah, right.” But I was serious—dead serious. The idea got kicked around some more—mostly as a joke—but one day it became reality.

Together, Jacen Brown (funny spelling, serious cat), Scotty Lynn Taylor (“Taz”), Brian Collier (“Youngster”), David Crockett (real name), Chris Arnold, Fred Girdley (“Drive-By,” though never did one), Ron Beasley (“Papa Smurf”), Mike Miller (“Batman”), Paul Cameron (“Big Body Slim”), and Holliday (sorry I forgot your first name), and I made a vow: If a black or Hispanic tries to check a new-boot white when he rolls up, one of us will step in, come what may. It wasn’t easy, and it didn’t happen overnight, but we eventually stopped the checking. If you’d like to read about how difficult it was to keep it that way, you should read my novel The Gospel According to Slim G-zuz on Amazon. It’s about the decline of America due to forced integration and reverse assimilation, told through the metaphor of a prison and its inmates.

And now, a message for you on the outside.

You are being checked, just as we were in here. Every Third-World immigrant/refugee, Ferguson hoax, or affirmative-action set-aside is a slap in your face. We stopped the checking at the Connelly Unit, while we were the minority in a black-and-brown anarchy. You are the majority in a white democracy. You have the power, through the ballot, to stop the checking. Do you have the will?

* * *

How I Got a Life Sentence

When I was 19, a black friend robbed and killed the nighttime manager at the Walgreens pharmacy where he worked. I picked him up after work, thinking I was just giving him the usual ride home. The next day I wrote a statement saying I saw the manager let him out of the store, even though I really couldn’t remember. Months later, we were both arrested and charged with capital murder. They put us in solitary and threatened us with the death penalty.

The lead detective in the case was a black man named Kirk Irvin. During one of the video interviews with my friend, Detective Irvin put his hand on my friend’s heart and told him he didn’t believe he could do something like that, implying the murder had to have been my idea. He then gave my friend a fictitious account of how the crime could’ve happened. Several days later my friend “confessed,” saying that I had planned the whole thing and that I had shot the guy. His story was identical to the one Detective Irvin had given him; my lawyer and I were shocked the District Attorney didn’t have him change it up a little. In the meantime, my friend failed every question on a lie detector test (I passed every question), and yet was still allowed to plead guilty to aggravated robbery in exchange for testifying against me.

Detective Irvin also beat and choked one of my black roommates, Raymond Phillips, in order to get him to write a statement against me saying I admitted guilt to him. Raymond testified at my trial that, during his mistreatment, detective Irvin chided him for being friends with me because I’m white: “It’s bad enough you’re friends with one, did you have to live with him too?” The prosecutor ended up not using Raymond’s coerced statement, but the judge refused to let us put Detective Irvin’s misconduct before the jury. If I had been a black defendant and there was evidence that the lead detective in the case was trying to frame blacks, I probably never would have gone to trial.

The first jury vote was seven to five. Somehow all five who voted not guilty changed their minds, and I was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison. About a month later, a man came forward and gave my lawyer an affidavit saying that my friend made a direct admission of guilt to him when he first arrived in the county jail: “Man, I killed somebody.” I brought this newly discovered evidence up at my Habeas Corpus hearing, but it didn’t matter. Even though I had that affidavit plus a 20-page dissent from Justice Ben Z. Grant on my direct appeal, in which he said the judge erroneously kept evidence from my jury that could’ve proven my innocence, my petition was denied (Long v. State, 10 SW 3d 389).

There is no DNA evidence in my case, and my rogue cop is black, so none of the innocence projects are interested in this injustice.

[Editor’s Note: American Renaissance is in no position to confirm the details of this account of the author’s arrest and conviction. Readers are welcome to consult this record of his appeal.]

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James R. Long
James R. Long is the author of the non-fiction book America Apart and, most recently, the novel The Gospel According to Slim G-zus.
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