What I am about to hip you to is perhaps one of the greatest secrets ever kept, and I humbly advise that you pay attention.Now, I will be the first to admit that I don’t know if there exists, anywhere in the world, any concrete, empirical evidence that suggests that regimentation causes a sort of emotional astigmatism where the control group empathize more fully. However, observation and experience has demonstrated, (at least to me) that regimentation and routine induce a spiritual catharsis where the oppressed slowly begin to identify with each other, slowly breaking down the walls erected to divide them. And during this formative identification stage, a bond will emerge, tentative at first, but with plenty of room for expansion and growth.
Now, let me explain what I just said. When you got motherfuckas locked up for very long periods of time, they suddenly realize just how much they have in common. When this happens, the walls of race, geography, religion, or gang-affiliation will become less dominant. What will then conclude is the consensus that since “we’re all in this boat together” that it would be infinitely more better for all of them if they worked together to save themselves.
Once convicts began to more fully identify with each other, then one group will no longer sit back and idly watch as another group gets punished, During this initial period of the identification process, convicts will be able to discern the truth that “if it can happens to them, it can happen to us.” The bonds will grow stronger.
I remember that on every bid I’ve done, there was a number of times during each bid where the guards would perform some act that was so atrocious that the entire “yard’ (population) banded together to protest it. At such times, race didn’t matter, and neither did geography or religion because all that mattered was that “WE ALL WEAR THE SAME CLOTHES!” Nothing in prison is more unifying than that realization. We All Wear The Same Clothes is so very immensely powerful that even now, on the outside, I tremble at the enormity of what that statement portends, It’s like all the convicts, standing as one, in defiance, yelling that WE ARE ONE!
And, again, I must take a second to pint out just how we got to this crossroad. Listen, it was you, America. It was never enough for this country to merely jail a man. No sir, that would have been too humane, too rehabilitative. The laws of this country required that you not merely break a man physically. He had to be broken spiritually as well. You yank him from the breast of his neighborhood, and plop his ass smack-dab in the middle of a man-made hell where everything is so homogenized and bland that he can’t tell if he’s coming or going. With no respect for his person, you incrementally strip and rob him of his humanity and dignity. You reduce him with your regimentation, and you destroy all vestiges of his individuality by taking away his name, replacing it with a number. Then you dress him up to look just like everyone else in the prison, a living, breathing, law-breaking mannequin.
Soon, even he doesn’t know who the fuck he is. So, there you go. You have just effectively erased away another human being, but one day, these soulless automatons you have invented are going to break down the last of those dividing walls. Then, they will free themselves. May God be with us.