Blog my ass- This one will be more of an epic. People on the streets will be interested in this one. Bet.
First thing's first: Prison is racial. Fuck yeah. It's always been racial. Every riot is racial to one degree or another. Might have our first black President. Changes nothing in here other than EVERYDAY is now Martin Luther King Day.
Conversations With A Texan Guard:
Katfish: So how 'bout that? Think your new president can fix the economy?
Guard: My new president? Ruck that N*****! He's not MY President. I didn't vote for his black ass.
K: That's very interesting. You're saying that he's NOT your president because you never voted for him?
G: Damned right! (much anger) I'll never bow down to a N***** as my chief! NEVER!
K: Sooo, along that same line of logic and reasoning, I can say the Gun Laws and Meth Laws are NOT my laws. I never voted for them, or agreed to obey them. You did. They're yours, not mine. Yet here I sit, in prison for breaking YOUR laws, not mine.
G: (stares at me) The hell you want anyway, yuh goddamned Yankee? Get out of my office.
I used that conversation to illustrate my point: Everything and everyone in prison is racial. Period. The whites kick it with whites. Blacks with blacks. Mexicans....Christ! There are so many different splinter groups of those that they get their street numbers or area codes tattooed on the back of their heads and necks just so they can tell one another apart. The Hispanics love killing on another. I see it all the time.
So then, as has been the way of the human race forever and EVER, amen, whenever a clique, a tribe, a race, or whatever you want to call it, accumulates, a leader either naturally rises to the top, or is selected. This, then, is your “shotcaller”. No need to define the term because you get it's meaning loud and clear. Each race has a shotcaller. Their job is peace with in the prison. I mentioned the splinter sects. They each also have a shotcaller.
Check this shit out: The Hispanics will NOT ever allow even one lone Hispanic to walk the yard unless he declares which prison gang he is with. If he's brand new to the system, then a group of representatives (up to 10 gang bangers) can often be seen surrounding the Kat as they “persuade” him that it's in his best intrest to decide with them. It's grease-ball politicking to be sure. Nor is it really any concern of mine other than a passing sense because I have eyes. I see things everyday.
There was an incident in December of 2007 where one of the more dominant prison gangs in FCI Big Spring (dominant because they outnumbered every other clique) coordinated, rose up at 3:30am, and attacked every child molestor in the dorms. They beat the hell out of a couple hundred sex offenders and ran them off the yard. I chose not to participate because my thoughts RE doing time do not include acts of stupidity. These bangers really believed they were going to be able to dictate policy to the new Warden, new Captain, and BOP in general RE who runs this prison. They had a big goddamn surprise coming after the riot (“riot” being a subjective term applied by the BOP- I viewed it more as a purging), the Captain immediately retaliated by rounding up every shotcaller and (with the exception of the black shotcaller) locking everyone of them down in the bucket, 5 per cell, sex offenders together with shotcallers! How the black shotcallers avoided this is beyond me, nor do I care to speculate.
Well man- within two weeks the shotcallers and suspected shotcallers were shipped in mass to Oakdale, Louisiana, and locked in the punitive 18 month special management unit. I'm not sure what they have to do to get out of SMU. Curiosity killed the kat, you know.
This Captain has/had a real problem with shotcallers, never once realizing that shotcallers are the natural order of things. For example: Suppose a riot breaks out. You know, fuck that supposition shit. Let's take the Paisa/Black riot of August 2006. For our purposes, , the “what's, where's and whys” are irrelevant. What matters is that once the police got all the blacks off the yard and up to the gym, and then locked down the prison, they began to implement the first stages of peaceful compromises and co-exsistance by talking with each respective race's shotcaller. It worked too because the black shotcaller as well as the Paisa shotcaller made certain that their people knew the issue (which started the conflict in the first damn place) was no longer relevant and that each side, each shotcaller, had pledged his people peace. The shotcallers kept their words. The blacks were let back into the dorms, and that particular episode was ended; NOT because the police waned it over (they did), and not because the convicts wanted it over (many of them, in fact, did NOT believe it had been adequately settled), it ended because the shotcallers ended it. Bang.
After the purging of December 2007, the new Captain sent all the shotcallers he selected to Oakdale, as I said. I suspect a lot of this had to do with personal Vendetta because rather than work with the existing shotcallers during this tenure here in Big Spring, he instead bumped heads and tried to order existing shotcallers during his tenure here at Big Spring, he insisted on bumping heads and tried to order the shotcallers about like they were submissive school kids cowed by authority. No matter what the issues might have been RE this Captain's requirements, most shotcallers would simply laugh in his face, or mutter something like, “I can't guarantee that.” This frustrated the shit out of that Captain. Thus not only did he take advantage of the opportunity to ship them all when it presented itself, he IN FACT transferred to Oakdale himself. It's my opinion he went there to continue his vendetta. I've no proof of this, is only my opinion, but I'm entitled to it. Yet consider it- only a coincidence he transferred himself to Oakdale? Be serious, man.
Shocallers are still here, they're just undercover now. The new Captain (a black fella) now has to call some 20 to 30 people into his office in order to investigate racial tensions because it would be folly for anyone to admit to being a shotcaller. Fuck man- I know if I was one, I'd never admit to it. I'm old school. I've always handled my shit one on one. My prison record clearly reveals I'm not now, nor have I ever been associated with any prison gang, white or otherwise. I guess I'm what's known as an “Independent”.
Are shotcallers really necessary? From a convict's point of view: yeah, probably. Let me put it to you like this: You come to prison (state or federal) for the first time. You have a sudden altercation with some member of another race for whatever reason (cutting in line in front of you at the chow hall; taking your seat in the TV room; bumping you on the stairs; ANYTING one might view as disrespectful), words are exchanged. You're mad enough to fight. Your “disputant” (is too a real word) on the other hand, suddenly had several other members of his race pushing up on you with him. If your race has no shotcaller, nor someone to represent you to their “gang”, you'd be in a hell of a wreck. Most times the shotcallers can ease these squabbles because from the shotcallers point of view, one or two Kats crying over some minor slight, whether real or imagined, is far easier to handle than 100 convicts of one race posted up on 100 convicts of another race, both sides numbers growing by the minute while the shocallers try to hammer out a compromise.
Naturally the police want convicts to come to them to avoid crisis or riots. As if we'd really do that. As if...
In summary, we continue to have shotcallers. The police definitely know who they are because rats are a never-ending resource in Big Sprung. But the shotcallers are who they are because their race selected them to be so, thus they know better than to admit to being such. Let the police believe what they will RE shotcallers. They are still here. They still handle convict business. Sometimes a shotcaller will fuck up an already fucked up situation even more and a riot will happen. They've happened before and they'll damn well happen again. Nevertheless, it's convict business and nobody else's....