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."