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Dozens Of Texas Prisoners Are Hunger Striking Against Solitary Confinement

Above Photo: A guards escorts an inmate at prison in Huntsville, Texas. Texas has the largest prison system in the nation, with the town of Huntsville being home to the system’s headquarters and nine state prisons. Greg Smith/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images.

Prisoners say solitary confinement has been disproportionately weaponized against Latinos.

Texas currently has over 500 people who’ve been in nonstop solitary confinement for more than a decade.

Across the US, some 50,000 incarcerated people are kept under conditions of solitary confinement. Advocates and prisoners have pushed to define the practice as a form of torture, pointing to the devastating psychological and physical effects it has on victims. In Texas, dozens of prisoners are now hunger striking against the use of solitary confinement in the state’s prisons, which they say disproportionately targets Latinos. Jorge Antonio Renaud, National Criminal Justice Director of Latino Justice, joins Rattling the Bars to discuss the hunger strike and conditions of solitary confinement in Texas.

Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


Mansa Musa:  Welcome to this edition of Rattling the Bars. I’m Mansa Musa, co-hosting with Eddie Conway. And as I always do, I try to update everyone on Eddie Conway, how Eddie Conway’s doing. We ask that you continue to keep Eddie Conway in your prayers, or whatever spiritual medium that you utilize, as he goes through this process of recovery. We ask that you continue to support him and continue to support Rattling the Bars.

Today, as always, we try to bring the news, the real news about events and things going on, particularly in the criminal injustice system, the prison-industrial complex, which is the new form of slavery, mass incarceration, which are chattel. Today, we have an extraordinary story that we shouldn’t even be revisiting, but we are revisiting primarily because of the racism, fascism, and oppression that exists when it comes to people of color, poor people. Today, we have Jorge Antonio Renaud, who is a prison advocate in Texas. He’ll tell you a little bit more about himself. Introduce yourself to the Rattling the Bars audience, Jorge.

Jorge Renaud: Hey, man, so glad to be here. Yeah. My name’s Jorge Antonio Renaud. I’m the National Criminal Justice Director at a group called Latino Justice. First, I want to say the folks in Latino Justice want to send a message of solidarity to the individuals there who… Individuals who are in cages anywhere, but specifically today to the individuals who are incarcerated in solitary confinement in Texas, who have lifted up their voices and banded together into an hunger strike to try to bring attention to the fact that the conditions in solitary confinement are so terrible, they have gotten so much worse with all the money being funneled out to Operation Lone Star here in Texas, to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice being willing to give funds to the apprehension and criminalization of migrants at the border that they’ve ignored those even worse, even more so, the individuals who they deem and the public tend to believe are the worst and the worst, who are locked up in solitary confinement here in Texas.

Mansa Musa: All right. Talk a little bit before we delve into, and which we will, before we delve into the repression that the Texas prisoners are undergoing and the community in general, the suffering as a result, talk a little bit about your organization so we can get an overview [inaudible].

Jorge Renaud: Yeah, thank you. Latino Justice just celebrated its 50th year. It’s a group that specializes in class action litigation based on the model, of course, of the NAACP, that was the first one to do that and focus on ethnicity, because of historic oppression against that ethnicity. Latino Justice originally started as a Puerto Rican legal defense and education fund, and now it tries to, through the legal arena, bring mass litigation to try to lift the burden of oppression and marginalization that has been placed on the Latino community.

About four years ago, they got off into advocacy on the ground. They figured out that what they needed to do was find people who had been directly affected by the criminal legal system or detention and deportation, and they hired me. We’ve got some folks all around the country who are doing this in different states, different regions, Florida, Texas, and the Northeast. We look for people who’ve been affected, directly impacted by those systems. We have them train other individuals, find and train other formerly incarcerated or detained individuals to try to change by using their stories, their direct experiences, to change the systems that have oppressed them and incarcerated them.

Mansa Musa: Okay, now, we recognize that a story came out saying that Texas prisoners are on a hunger strike, and mainstream media really glossed over it. It was alternative media that really set the table in terms of what was going on. Now, when I was researching for this story, I’m looking at the conditions, one – And you can address them as I put them out there – One, they saying that the information that’s coming out is that the Texas prisoners went on strike, specifically the ones that’s housed in solitary confinement, and that they’re on strike primarily because they’re saying that the policies and procedures that’s being utilized to keep them confined to solitary confinement for endless years with no redress or no way to getting out is both draconian, arbitrary and capricious, if not racist.

Address what are the reasons that they’re using for confining men, and women as well, if you are in a female prison, if you are considered a threat. What are they using to justify doing this particular practice that they’re taking these men and women to prove?

Jorge Renaud: Yeah, thanks for that question. The main reasons that TDCJ uses to put people in solitary confinement –

Mansa Musa: What’s TDCJ? What’s TDCJ?

Jorge Renaud: Yeah, I’m sorry. TDCJ is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Mansa Musa: Okay, come on.

Jorge Renaud: That is the state prison here in Texas. They use the same excuses that other states do, hyper-violent against guards or other incarcerated individuals, attempt to escape, things of that nature. But by far, the majority of people who are locked up in ad-seg, administrative segregation in TDCJ, are people who have been identified as members of a security threat crew. And, of course, a prison gang. That was policy in Texas since the mid ’80s. In the mid ’80s, they had some gang wars going on after they took the building tenders out, they were fighting for control. Well, TDCJ couldn’t control them, so they started putting them in ad-seg, and they were still using those reasons to put people in ad-seg.

So the thing is that while they may say, well, these folks are really dangerous, that they’re the worst to the worst, you can have a five-year sentence for a non-violent crime, not ever had committed a violent crime, be in the county jail, get confirmed as a member of a security threat group, you hit TDCJ and you immediately get put back in ad-seg. Of course, in Texas, the gangs that are considered the most dangerous are the Latino gangs, the Mexican Mafia, the Aztec Warriors out of El Paso, those folks. So the majority of the people you have back there are Latinos. And there are some people who’ve been there 20 or 30 years, right?

And it’s circular logic. It’s like you’re dangerous because you’re in a gang and the gang is dangerous because you’re in it, even though you may have never committed any violence anywhere. But TDCJ has decided these groups are dangerous. These people are too dangerous to be let out. We have no way to really protect ourself from them. We don’t know how to deal with that, so we’re just going to put them in ad-seg, throw these sham reviews at them, and keep them back there.

Mansa Musa: You know what? [crosstalk].

Jorge Renaud: Go ahead. Go ahead.

Mansa Musa: Go ahead.

Jorge Renaud: No, I was going to say [crosstalk].

Mansa Musa: You made a good point. You made a good point, though, on how this particular attitude is nationwide. Because when I was in, I did 48 years in the Maryland system. When they first came out with, it’s a case called Helms v Hewitt. That’s the case that they came out with that validated admin-seg. That’s the case that gave birth to admin-seg, saying that I think the case was where we used to use the mandatory language, shall, will, and the Supreme Court was saying that prisons you come through legislations and cases to find the mandatory language of, if you do this, that, and the third you will be…

So they came up with this perspective that, okay, admin-seg is legal, and they primarily came into existence because of a lot of the revolutionaries that was being locked up, white radicals, again, Puerto Ricans, and it was more designed around more of the political element. But now going back to your point, it’s designed around, really it’s racist in this intent, because as you just outlined, it’s primarily isolating Latinos and saying that you going to be tagged as soon as you come through the county jail. You going to be tagged. You going to be tagged.

If you Latino, they going to say, tell me who you with. You MS? You Mexican Mafia? They going to go down the list and if you say, I’m none of them, they going to put one on you so they can maintain their thing. But let’s talk about what’s being done in terms of trying to change these draconian policies and racist policies that’s taking place right now against specifically Latino men and women, but in general, the population in general.

Jorge Renaud: That’s a good question. What is actually being done on the ground? You mentioned policies. As you and I know, there’s a huge gulf between policy and practice when it comes to prisoners.

Mansa Musa: Come on.

Jorge Renaud: A family member will call up, and my son says that this is being done, or, my daughter said this is being done. They’ll say, well, ma’am, here’s a policy, we don’t do this by policy, but of course, you and I know Texas has 109 units and 109 prison units. I’m not sure how many of them right now have ad-seg cells, but I want to say a few dozen at the bare minimum. They have two super max units, right?

What’s being done on one, and I don’t know how it is in other states, but in Texas, the warden is God. There are fiefdoms, and what’s being done on the Estelle Unit may be totally different 12 miles down the road on the Eastham Unit.

Prison policy is meant, I hate to say it, but it’s all to the public, here’s how we do things. We do things that’s governed by whatever accredited body is said to come review us. But when they’re gone, but when they’re at the door and the warden’s at the house, the sergeants on the wing are running the unit or running ad-seg. If they don’t like one guy, and if some dude has been rattling on the bars or trying to get his mail or something, he may not go out to rec that day. He may not get to shower for a week. He may not go out to rec for two weeks.

And all the complaints, Texas has no oversight. Texas has the Ombudsman, which is under the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. Texas has a grievance system that’s pretty well a joke. Also, the only oversight is the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, which is a group of usually law enforcement compliant individuals that are appointed by the governor, same thing as a parole board, right? So there is no oversight. So what’s being done is what you’re doing. What’s being done is what Brittany is doing, the woman who’s from Wisconsin and somehow has taken a deep abiding true interest in the plight of incarcerated individuals everywhere, specifically in Texas. So we try to bring attention to it, but I don’t know if legally we can do anything to change the system.

Now, 10 years ago there was 9,000 people incarcerated back in ad-seg in Texas. It has changed. It has changed. I don’t know if that’s because of the review process, if TDCJ went through and said, this person has been there two years for kicking the bars or what… I don’t know. But I do know that the 3,100 back there have been, I want to say, I forget how many hundred of them, I want to say 500 and something have been back there over a decade. Those individuals are members of a security threat group. Pardon me?

Mansa Musa: No, go ahead. Go ahead.

Jorge Renaud: Go.

Mansa Musa: I ain’t mean to cut you off, go ahead.

Jorge Renaud: I was going to say that the ones who have been there long term are almost exclusively individuals who have been back there confirmed as members of a security threat group who refuse to renounce. Because renouncing, as you and I know is going to mean, tell us everything you know about the gangs. Tell us everybody you know who is doing this. Tell us all that.

It goes not only against whatever moral code these individuals have, but it may involve incriminating other individuals, and they’re just not going to do that. But the thing is, they don’t pose a threat. That’s the thing. They don’t pose a threat.

Mansa Musa: Hey, look, and we going to talk about this right here because another good point you made, you have people locked up and secured in the admin-seg or supermax that you are saying that no matter what, if you Latino and you a prisoner, and you in the criminal injustice system, and you on the plantation, you are gang. That’s just the nature of it. I don’t care what you say. You can say whatever you want to say, if you are Latino, you are in a Texas prison, you are in California prison. When you come through the county jail, you are a gang. You’re a gang. So now you don’t have no choice but to say, well, put me with somebody.

Okay, but that aside, this is what I want to talk about. I want to talk about how when if you saying that I’m a gang member, this is what you do. You say based on your intel, I’m a gang member. All right, and that right there, that’s enough. Not that you got information that I stabbed nobody. Not that you got information that I killed nobody. Not that you got information that I’m extorting anybody. All the things that were going in to make me a threat to the disorder of your environment, you don’t have no evidence to that. Talk about why they’re so adamant about a person telling all the intricacies of a gang, when all they want to do is say, well, I’m no longer a part of that, and why is that not sufficient enough? Talk about why they’re so adamant about them divulging information that they might not even know.

Jorge Renaud: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. [crosstalk] You asking me to speak to a policy that I’m not… So what I’m going to have to do is maybe speak to my belief in the way that system operates.

Now, let’s be honest about some stuff. There are individuals in ad-seg, there are individuals in prison, there are individuals walking the street who are violent, who have committed violence, who can be a threat to themselves or others. I’m an abolitionist. I don’t think that putting people in a cage is going to improve that in any way. There are other ways to deal with that: mental health issues, family issues, providing them the dignity that should be accorded to every individual. There are other ways to deal with that other than saying, we can’t do anything with you, so we’re just going to lock you up in a cage and forget about you.

Having said that, if I’m confirmed as a member of a security threat group and they say, well, if you want to start the process to get out, you have to tell us everything you know about everyone who’s involved in that system, everything you know about this crime, that crime, this crime. It could very well be that what they’re doing is that they suspect other individuals who are also involved in this, it could be that they want to bring an indictment on someone who they believed was involved in some sort of violence against another individual or a guard. I don’t know. Or that’s just their procedure, and I think that’s the big thing.

Prisons are slave to procedure. They have a way of doing things. This is a way that maybe worked, again, 30 years ago. In the ’80s, they were locking folks up. In the ’80s, you could get a shank for a bag of coffee, a serious shank. In the ’80s, if you committed a murder or something against somebody, you might get five years if they decide to try you. Well, those were the policies that were used to say, these folks are dangerous, so we’re going to lock you up now. Well, the fact is, in TDCJ now, in 1985, they had 23, 25 people murdered in TDCJ by other encaged individuals. They had 39,000 people locked up there. They got 124,000 people locked up now, and there’s maybe three murders a year now. Security is much tighter. It’s almost impossible to get a real weapon. Things don’t happen like that anymore. But they’re still using those same policies that were put into place 30 or 40 years ago.

So their belief system is still the same. They have not changed. And a lot of that is because the people at the top were guards in the ’80s, the ’90s, the ’70s. They worked their way up, and they have yet to update the policies and their approach toward the individuals who were incarcerated. Let’s use a humanitarian approach. Let’s go and see what the issue is, why that person joined a gang. Does that person not have a family? Let’s find some emotional, personal, societal, community support for this individual. That’s not the TDCJ way. Their thinking is still stuck in the ’80s.

Mansa Musa: I think and I want to venture an observation that, one, when you look at the prison-industrial complex in Texas, and okay, when you look at Texas, California, New York, this might be one of your larger plantations. Then you got a large plantation, you have people that are immigrants, children of immigrants, or haven’t been nationalized according to America’s standard, so you got this large prison population. I will venture to say that you’re using this as more for a control mechanism than for anything else, because the reality is that if you are saying that – And we were talked about this off camera – If you’re saying that I’m a threat, and we recognize that some people could be threats, that’s not even an issue. But if you’re saying that I’m a threat and you review me every year ’cause they got a modicum of due process in the process, in this concept that they put out, admin-seg.

They don’t give you notice, and they bring you up every year to tell you that they not going to let you off, ’cause this is how it come into existence. The concept is that I’m on admin-seg being investigated, I’ve been identified as being a threat. Once you say put me in a security threat group category, then you taking me up. Now you not taking me up to say that I’m no longer a threat, and this is the control mechanism I’m talking about, now you taking me up to say, well you can come off if you divulge information about the intricacies of this group. So therefore, you got complete control over this population, because now everybody that come in, all you gotta do is say, security threat group, you can isolate them, you can lock them down, and you can keep them locked down forever.

But talk about where the strike stands at, or what’s going on with the strike. Because I know that a lot of individuals opted out of it, but the last time I read it was maybe 40 men was holding fast to it, and continued to stay steadfast in terms of trying to get some… Having a hunger strike in order to try to get some attention to the arbitrary and capricious nature of the Texas Department of Corrections.

Jorge Renaud: Yeah. It’s real difficult to get information that you can rely on [inaudible] people who are incarcerated. This ain’t like some other states who just have eight or nine prisons, and really we have prisons scattered all over the state. And of course, they shut down the mail, they shut down visits to those folks. So there’s anywhere from a few dozen to maybe a 100, but who knows. [crosstalk] Even if there’s one, if there’s one individual out there who’s saying that, who we believe that they’re worthy of support.

And I think that what they have been protesting, I’ll go down two tracks. One is, as you said, the capricious nature of assignment to ad-seg, and then the sham nature of the review. It keeps you back there. Two is the fact that TDCJ has historically relied on the definition of a security threat group as something that is dangerous inherently in and of itself, and just being a member of that group means that you are something or somebody who is too dangerous to walk the halls of any prison in general population, and they’ve been assigned back there.

So some of the conditions are, of course, that they’re not getting recreation like a support group, that they don’t like… Most of the people who watch the show probably know prison and ad-seg, I would think. But in ad-seg, you get no contact whatsoever, no human contact with anybody. None whatsoever. Even the guards don’t touch you. Nobody touches you. You go out in the yard by yourself. You have an hour yard, supposedly, every day, or an hour of recreation. It may not be the yard, but recreation.

Mansa Musa: Right, exactly. Yard, shower and [crosstalk]

Jorge Renaud: Right. Right. You get no programming whatsoever, by programming any education or religious studies, or anything that you want to do to occupy your mind. And hopefully, I don’t use the word rehabilitation, but I use the word personal transformation of yourself, or trying to achieve some better version of yourself, as we’re all trying to do, everybody in existence, hopefully. They’re not allowed to get that and to have any personal interaction with anybody. They’re trying to say that, hey, we need that. There’s a ream of studies out there talking about how the denial of personal contact has negative effects on folks.

I hesitate to use that, ’cause I know people who’ve been in ad-seg for a while and came out and seemed to be pretty well. I’m not going to say that ad-seg in and of itself is going to destroy you and your spirit and your mind to such a degree that it affects everybody. It affects us all in different ways. We all have a different degree of resilience. But the practice in and of itself is inhumane. Treating any individual like that is inhumane, and that’s the point that they keep trying to make. So I think those are some of the goals, and they timed this to begin on the first day of the legislative session.

Mansa Musa: Right. Right. Talk about that.

Jorge Renaud: And well, the legislative session in Texas will have it every other year for six months, January through June. There is a legislator named Terry Meza that I’m going to have a conversation with that has filed a couple of bills to amend ad-seg. Now her reasoning is that these individuals are going to get out of prison, and do you want them to be living in your neighborhood if they’ve been in ad-seg the way it is?

I disagree with that reasoning, because what it is doing is saying that if you don’t change it, those people are inherently dangerous. Instead of saying, they could be contributing members to your community if we gave them the program that they need, if we didn’t treat them in such a way, if we didn’t model these things. But it’s hard, that’s a policy arena. Sometimes you have to make alliances with folks. You have to make arguments to get an end. I tend to argue on the revolutionary edge of reform, which comes from a moral standpoint and not a transactional standpoint, which she’s doing. But it might bring about some change, I don’t know.

But that’s what they’re shooting for. I’ve seen quite a bit of media attention being given to it, and that’s driven by individuals such as you yourself, this program, again, Brittany up in Wisconsin and I thank y’all for that.

Mansa Musa: In terms of the legislative disposition, because I remember when I locked up and I was on admin-seg, and when I got on admin-seg because I knew that case that came in Helms v Hewitt, I knew it was a couple of other cases that came out that pretty much said that this is the new way of doing things. At that time, I had a life sentence. I was saying, a life sentence on admin-seg is like being on death row, because I ain’t going to never get no moves.

So I started litigating, but what I came across in the process of it, they had a parallel regulation for protective custody, and they said that admin-seg and protective custody would be treated the same in terms of the way they… Conditions. So we was able to get a lot of things done as a result of that.

But I’m interested in have anybody thought about this being a Eighth Amendment violation, or in terms of a lot of the arbitrariness that’s going on, the fact that you’re not allowed no program, the fact that you’re not allowed no type of information, no type of contact, no type of information that will allow you to even develop some type of social skills because…? Maybe you can speak on this here, because I’m of the opinion that everybody in Texas on admin-seg, on supermax, I’m of the opinion that not all of them are serving life sentences.

Or at some point in time, it might be somebody back there that got 10 years and they going to be released. It might be somebody that they didn’t identify as a security threat, being a member of a security threat group that has a sentence that’s going to ultimately allow for them to be released. So it stands to reason that you would want to try to do something in terms of putting some information out there to allow these people to develop some type of social skills. Have y’all considered filing some type of litigation against the Texas Department of Corrections?

Jorge Renaud: That’s a good question. I don’t know. I’m not an attorney. Like you, I spent a lot of time in law libraries reading stuff when I was incarcerated… So I don’t know. I would assume that individuals in ad-seg have filed every governor under every Amendment that you could think of, that they’ve probably taken every approach. But as you and I know, the courts have taken the approach that every individual during the course of their confinement is going to be faced with the possibility of being assigned to ad-seg, which is what made it an assignment and not a punishment. For those who don’t know, solitary confinement used to be the hole, that kind of stuff. They’d send you back there three days a week, 30 days if they were really cruel, but they let you out. Administrative segregation is an assignment. You are assigned to live 24 hours a day in a cell by yourself.

It’s an assignment, and the courts have said, everyone’s going to face that at some point. As long as they set up a meaningful review, all this other stuff, they can do that to you. Again, I’m not an attorney, so I don’t know if the Eighth Amendment would be a good way to go about it, I’m sure it would be, but I’m sure there’s some folks back to have already tried that. The Fifth Circuit is not going to let pretty well anything pass that. The Supreme Court we have now is not going to let much pass that. They’re very much on the side of law and order.

I think pretty well the only things that we can rely on are caring, compassionate legislators that will file stuff. Again, they have gone down from nine, 10,000 to 31. Movement such as ours that are of people who were formerly incarcerated who can use their direct experience, the lived experience, and talk to, well, you see me now, you say, oh, you’re articulate, all this, or whatever, so prison can’t be that bad. You try to explain to them about your children and your children, how you can subject them to different experiences, and they’re all going to react in different ways. They have different degrees of resiliency or whatever, but is that the humane thing that you want to do to them? Do you guide them by punishing them? Do you guide them by rewarding them and molding them and giving them examples of what you should do?

So I have faith in our communities and our communities moving forward in that way. I don’t know how much time it’ll take, and I don’t know if the legal arena is the way to do that, because that’s so stacked against us. Again, we don’t have a Willie Wayne Justice around anymore. We don’t have people on the Supreme Court saying that there is no… What is it? That there is no law [crosstalk]

Mansa Musa: Law occurring?

Jorge Renaud: Right.

Mansa Musa: Law occurring between the Constitution –

Jorge Renaud: Yes.

Mansa Musa: …And the prisoners’ rights.

Jorge Renaud: Between people who are incarcerated and people out here, yes.

Mansa Musa: Right. Right. Thurgood Marshall –

Jorge Renaud: The Burger Court. The Burger Court. Yeah, we don’t have that anymore.

Mansa Musa: Yeah, the Burger Court.

Jorge Renaud: We got the Roberts Court.

Mansa Musa: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Jorge Renaud: Yeah.

Mansa Musa: Hey, I’m going to close on this –

Jorge Renaud: All right. All right.

Mansa Musa: …And let you have the last word. But I want to offer to the brothers and sisters, and mainly the ones that’s on the strike that seem to think that this is a way, and I’m in agreement if you take the approach that you think, I’m going to remind him of Bobby Sands. Bobby Sands was a member of the Irish Republican Army, and the Irish Republican Army was in conditions much like these, that everybody that was locked up, they say if you was in Ireland and you was Catholic, then you was considered a member of the Irish Republican Army. So they put you in the worst plantation that’s known to humanity.

Bobby Sands went on a hunger strike and ultimately perished. But in doing so, it changed the narrative over the prison. It changed the attitude of the prison population. It changed the attitude of society as they looked at Ireland and the occupation that was taking place. But you have the last word. What do you want? What do you want our listeners to know and the takeaway from this conversation that we’re having today? More importantly, where can they contact you at, or how can they get involved?

Jorge Renaud: Yeah, thank you. I would like our listeners to walk away with the idea that judging individuals by things that they may have committed in the past, or things that they did commit in the past, or judging them by those things, or denying everybody’s capacity to use insight into themselves and to the system, to the system that has enslaved them and brutalized them and find some sort of forgiveness and try to transform themselves into somebody different, as we all do. We all go through phases. And that to continue to treat people, every individual matters, not just the individual in ad-seg who’s poetic, who’s good-looking, who maybe isn’t back there for a heinous crime, but the ones that are back there for some really ugly shit, every individual, no human is disposable.

Rattling the Bars, co-hosted by former Black Panthers and political prisoners Marshall “Eddie” Conway and Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, puts the voices of the people most harmed by our system of mass incarceration at the center of our reporting on the fight to end it.

For us to continue in that fashion is a reflection on the ugliest part of ourselves. It’s not that ag-seg itself that molds people into that way, it’s us that rely on that system because of individuals that we fear or can’t somehow control. If we can get away from that idea and try to see individuals as the humans that they are, as the beautiful humans that they are, we won’t resort to that sort of stuff. And that there are people such as yourself, such as these organizations that are the face of people who have been there, and you show dignity and compassion and understanding towards people, then I think if we turn to you for guidance or whatever, then I think this would be a better place. That’s a little wordy, man. I’m sorry.

Mansa Musa: Hey, but well put, well put. How can we get in touch with you?

Jorge Renaud: Yeah. My email is jrenaud,

Mansa Musa: Okay.

Jorge Renaud: If y’all want to contact and maybe see what we’re doing or have other conversations like this, and they don’t always have to be on TV, man. They could be at a coffee shop in DC, or at a deli in New York, or in Austin. Come to Austin, man, but come holler at me.

Mansa Musa: Yeah, most definitely. All right. There you have it, the real news about Texas prison and the prison strike. More importantly, what’s behind it? This is a control issue on the part of the Texas Department of Corrections, but it should be a humane issue on the part of society. You can’t treat people like animals and expect them to come out and be human. We’re asking that all our viewers and all our listeners look into this and develop some type of conscience about what you think should take place in this situation. Jorge, thank you very much for –

Jorge Renaud: Thank you. It’s been an honor, man.

Mansa Musa: …Giving us this opportunity and this insight. We look forward to working with you at some point in time.

Jorge Renaud: Anytime. Anytime.

Mansa Musa:  We remind our listeners to continue to support Rattling the Bars and The Real News. It’s because of The Real News that you get information like this. You’re not going to get Jorge on main media talking about the conditions that’s going on in prison without him having to endorse some commercial. We are nonprofit, we’re not commercial. We are actually what we say we are. We are actually The Real News. And thank you very much.

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