Author Topic: Rastafari in Virginia prisons  (Read 1821 times)

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Offline Quinault

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Rastafari in Virginia prisons
« on: May 08, 2010, 05:22:45 PM »


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100508/ap_on_re_us/us_rastafarian_segregation

Quote
Kendall Gibson would seem to be one of Virginia's most dangerous prisoners.
For more than 10 years he has lived in segregation at the Greensville Correctional Center, spending at least 23 hours every day in a cell the size of a gas station bathroom. In a temporary home for the worst of the worst — inmates too violent or disruptive to live among the rest of society's outcasts — he has been a permanent fixture.
He is there, he says, not for his crimes but for a crime he will not commit — a crime against God.
The only thing imposing about Gibson is his long black dreadlocks, resting on the front of his shoulders so they won't drag the ground as he shuffles along in his orange jumpsuit.
It is his hair — winding locks he considers a measure of his Rastafarian faith — that makes him a threat, according to Virginia Department of Corrections Operating Procedure No. 864.1.

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Re: Rastafari in Virginia prisons
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 10:04:29 PM »


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100508/ap_on_re_us/us_rastafarian_segregation

Quote
Kendall Gibson would seem to be one of Virginia's most dangerous prisoners.
For more than 10 years he has lived in segregation at the Greensville Correctional Center, spending at least 23 hours every day in a cell the size of a gas station bathroom. In a temporary home for the worst of the worst — inmates too violent or disruptive to live among the rest of society's outcasts — he has been a permanent fixture.
He is there, he says, not for his crimes but for a crime he will not commit — a crime against God.
The only thing imposing about Gibson is his long black dreadlocks, resting on the front of his shoulders so they won't drag the ground as he shuffles along in his orange jumpsuit.
It is his hair — winding locks he considers a measure of his Rastafarian faith — that makes him a threat, according to Virginia Department of Corrections Operating Procedure No. 864.1.

Thank you for posting this Quinalt!

I have been well aware of this situation for quite a while now. This is a travesty of injustice, a crime of inhumanity that must not be trivialized. People need to know that these Rastafarians are not being persecuted because of some "fashion statement" they are trying to make. For true Rastas, their dreadlocks are part of the Nazarite vow they have taken- not unlike some Orthodox monks (i.e. Father Seraphim Rose, whose beard was even dreadlocked!)   

In Virginia, Rastas who refuse to cut their hair are confined to solitary imprisonment. This is shameful! Regardless of what you may think about Rastafarians - and please do not forget that many Rastas are in fact Orthodox Christians - this is a freedom of religion issue. Imagine if you or I were incarcerated and we were told that unless we stopped making the sign of the Cross we would be placed in solitary confinement.

Please pray for these Rasta brethren who are living for God and fighting Babylon at great sacrifice to themselves. Do not pass judgment on them, but remember the words of Our Lord, Who said, "I was in prison and you came to Me... inasmuch as you did it unto the least of these My brethren, you did it unto Me." [St. Matthew 25:36; 40]

For more information about this issue, and to learn how you can help, please contact Sis Dee here: http://www.fulfilledrastafari.org/profile/SisDee  (Tell her "Ras Judah" referred you to her.)

I am involved in a prison ministry to Rastas here in Mississippi. I can tell you that they are some of the most sincere, godly, and righteous people I have ever met. Society dismisses them because of ignorance, racism, and prejudice. But the Orthodox community should be the first ambassadors of Christ to those who are unjustly suffering behind Babylon's walls.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam

 
"There are two great tragedies: one is to live a life ruled by the passions, and the other is to live a passionless life."
Selam, +GMK+

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Rastafari in Virginia prisons
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 10:04:37 PM »
One can strangle others or hang himself with long hair, especially in Prison, even when segregated.

In PA, Mumia Abu-Jamal has long dreadlocks; however, he's been on PA's Death Row for over 2 decades.

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Re: Rastafari in Virginia prisons
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2010, 10:07:21 PM »
One can strangle others or hang himself with long hair, especially in Prison, even when segregated.

In PA, Mumia Abu-Jamal has long dreadlocks; however, he's been on PA's Death Row for over 2 decades.

Mumia Abul-Jamal is not a Rasta.

One can kill themselves with Bible if they really want to. Shall we deny prisoners the right to read the Holy Scriptures?


Selam
"There are two great tragedies: one is to live a life ruled by the passions, and the other is to live a passionless life."
Selam, +GMK+

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Rastafari in Virginia prisons
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2010, 10:13:45 PM »
Mumia Abul-Jamal is not a Rasta.

He neither has a cellmate nor associates with other Death Row inmates.

One can kill themselves with Bible if they really want to. Shall we deny prisoners the right to read the Holy Scriptures?

A Bible makes noise.  Hair doesn't.

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Re: Rastafari in Virginia prisons
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2010, 10:30:54 PM »
Mumia Abul-Jamal is not a Rasta.

He neither has a cellmate nor associates with other Death Row inmates.

One can kill themselves with Bible if they really want to. Shall we deny prisoners the right to read the Holy Scriptures?

A Bible makes noise.  Hair doesn't.

A Bible makes noise? Hair doesn't?

I don't understand any of your comments.

What's your point?


Selam
« Last Edit: May 08, 2010, 10:32:25 PM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
"There are two great tragedies: one is to live a life ruled by the passions, and the other is to live a passionless life."
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Rastafari in Virginia prisons
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2010, 11:30:29 PM »
A Bible makes noise? Hair doesn't?

I don't understand any of your comments.

What I said about Mumia's status as a death row inmate was not disputed.  Instead, the claim that a Bible makes noise when used as a weapon while long hair doesn't make noise when used as a weapon is being disputed.

I don't understand how long hair, even as a component of a religious belief, trumps institutional safety and control.

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Re: Rastafari in Virginia prisons
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2010, 01:08:23 AM »
A Bible makes noise? Hair doesn't?

I don't understand any of your comments.

What I said about Mumia's status as a death row inmate was not disputed.  Instead, the claim that a Bible makes noise when used as a weapon while long hair doesn't make noise when used as a weapon is being disputed.

I don't understand how long hair, even as a component of a religious belief, trumps institutional safety and control.


You're grasping at straws and clinging to sand.

By your logic we should also amputate prisoners' hands, since strangulation is a silent form of murder.


Selam
"There are two great tragedies: one is to live a life ruled by the passions, and the other is to live a passionless life."
Selam, +GMK+

Online Salpy

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Re: Rastafari in Virginia prisons
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2010, 01:48:51 AM »
I don't understand how long hair, even as a component of a religious belief, trumps institutional safety and control.

From the above article:

Quote
Virginia is among only about a dozen states, mostly in the South, that limit the length of inmates' hair and beards, according to the American Correctional Chaplains Association. A handful of those allow religious accommodations for Rastafarians, Muslims, Sikhs, native Americans and others whose religious beliefs prohibit shaving or cutting their hair.

There is no hair policy for federal prisoners.

It seems most states, as well as the feds, don't consider long hair to be a safety issue.  Can you cite any instances where an inmate killed himself or another prisoner with his hair?  I guess it's one of those things that could be a theoretical possibility, but has anyone really done it?  I don't think it would be as easy as one would think.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Rastafari in Virginia prisons
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2010, 03:18:05 PM »
Forgive me if I offended.   :angel: