I was reminded today of a truly horrible report issued in 2001 by Human Rights Watch. It deals with the subject of rape in US prisons. It is deeply shocking.
From Hard Time:
There are probably more men than women raped in the United States every year—most of them in prison. Best estimates put the annual number of prison rapes at about 140,000, which is 50,000 more than the 90,000 or so rapes of women reported to police. Gang rape of the most brutal kind is common, and weaker prisoners often seek protection from a “daddy” who fights off other predators in exchange for total submission and sex on demand. There is an ugly racial dimension to prison rape: Blacks and Mexicans deliberately seek out white victims, and black-on-white rape is probably more common than any other kind. Prison rape is an appalling secret in a country that prides itself on human rights.
…“When a new inmate enters an open barracks prison it triggers a sort of competition among the convicts as to who will seduce and subjugate that new arrival. . . . Every new arrival is a potential victim. Unless the new arrival is strong, ugly, and efficient at violence, they are subject to get seduced, coerced, or raped … . Psychosocially, emotionally, and physically the most dangerous and traumatic place I can conceive of is the open-barracks prison when first viewed by a new inmate.”
The only sure defense against rape is the willingness to fight, and even this may be no protection against gang assault. In many prisons a small, unaggressive white is sure to be raped, probably by blacks or Hispanics. As one prison guard explains, a young white has “almost zero” chance of escaping rape “unless he’s willing to stick someone with a knife and fortunate enough to have one.” Some of the tougher inmates may even fight each other for the chance to rape an effeminate young white.
Rape is so common it has its own terminology. To rape a heterosexual man and turn him into a sexual plaything is to “turn him out,” and the victim is known as a “turnout” or “punk.” If a turnout seeks the protection of another inmate to avoid an endless series of rapes by other prisoners, he is “riding with” his protector. He becomes essentially the property of his protector and is known as his “bitch” or “ho” or “boy.”
…The racial dynamic in prisons puts whites at a tremendous disadvantage. First, whites are often outnumbered by both blacks and Hispanics. But far more important, just as they show no racial solidarity in “the free world,” whites in prison do not band together to protect each other from predators. As No Escape reports, Hispanics sometimes rape Hispanics, and blacks sometimes rape blacks, but neither group permits anyone of another race to rape its own people. If a black tried to “turn out” a Mexican, the Mexicans would riot and try to kill him. Blacks also defend each other from white or Hispanic rapists. It is only whites—unless they are known members of white racialist gangs who do stick together—who are on their own and can be raped with impunity.
Some whites must choose between being the sex slave of one man or facing repeated assault. The stories they told No Escape read like nightmares:
“I had no choice but to submit to being Inmate B’s prison wife. Out of fear for my life, I submitted to sucking his dick, being fucked in my ass, and performing other duties as a woman, such as making his bed. In all reality, I was his slave … . I determined I’d be better off to willingly have sex with one person, than I would be to face violence and rape by multiple people. The most tragic part to this is that the person I chose to ‘be with’ has AIDS.”
A Michigan inmate writes:
“[Another prisoner] claimed me as his property and I didn’t dispute it. I became obedient, telling myself at least I was surviving … . He publicly humiliated and degraded me, making sure all the inmates and guards knew that I was a queen and his property. Within a week he was pimping me out to other inmates at $3.00 a man. This state of existence continued for two months until he sold me for $25.00 to another black male who purchased me to be his wife.”
…“You will clean the house, he said, have my clothes clean, and when I’m ready to get my ‘freak’ [sex] no arguments or there will be a punishment! I will, he said, let my homeboys have you or I’ll just sale you off. Do we have an understanding? With fear, misery, and confusion inside me . . . I said yes.”
Once a man “owns” another—and it is almost always a black “owning” a white—he is property in every sense. He can be rented out, sold or auctioned, told how to dress and talk, and given a woman’s name. That this can happen is essentially unknown outside the prison world. “It would amaze you (as it did me) to see human beings bought & sold like shoes,” writes a Texan prisoner. “You can buy a kid for 20 or 30 dollars on most wings!!” writes another. “They sell them like cattle.”
…“I’ve been sentenced for a D.U.I. offense. My 3rd one. I’m a tall white male, who unfortunately has a small amount of feminine characteristics. And very shy. These characteristics have got me raped so many times I have no more feelings physically. I have been raped by up to 5 black men at a time. . . . I probably have AIDS now. I have great difficulty raising food to my mouth from shaking after nightmares or thinking so hard on all this… . I’ve laid down without a physical fight to be sodomized. To prevent so much damage in struggles, ripping and tearing. Though in not fighting, it caused my heart and spirit to be raped as well. Something I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive myself for.”
Needless to say, men will do just about anything to avoid this kind of horror. Suicide is the leading cause of death in prisons, and is the only way out for some rape victims. Some break prison rules so they will be locked up in punitive custody. One prisoner even had his family deposit money into bank accounts owned by the black Crips gang in the hope of buying protection. Of course, he was raped anyway.
…No Escape recognizes reluctantly that blacks and Hispanics often rape whites out of pure hatred, and relish the chance to degrade whites. As one inmate explains, “Gangs of black and Spanish inmates are very angry at free-world white people for a variety of reasons, and this results in an attitude of vengeance towards white people in prisons.” Blacks reportedly like to say “Y’all may run it out there, but this is our world!” or “Ain’t no fun when the rabbit’s got the gun, is it?”
One white explains that “those two races [blacks and Hispanics] have a lot of people in here and take advantage of us by making the small and weak ones ride or turn them out, and the big ones have to fight all the time.”
The video case study of 17 year suicide Rodney Hulin is heartbreaking. He begged the authorities to help him and was spurned. H ewas locked up for burning a bin and ended up being raped, beaten and humiliated to the point of suicide by inmates.
The Human Rights Watch report is here: No Escape.