Today on Black Power Talks we examine the case of two wrongfully convicted African men and the organized pushback they are waging against the system that stole almost thirty years total from them.
The US prison system plays a significant role in the colonial mode of production. Chairman Omali Yeshitela notes that “Massive prison building projects were established all over the U.S. as white communities vied and fought for prisons to be able to provide colonizer nation white workers well-paying jobs at the expense of tens of millions of colonized African people stuffed into these concentration camps.”
In the United States, Africans are more likely to be incarcerated for the same crimes that whites might never see jail time for. The United States Sentencing Commission found that African men will get about 20 percent more time than white men when they are convicted for the same crime. In states like Nevada, Black people make up 8 percent of the state and one-third of the people in prison. White people make up 54 percent of the state, are 83 percent of the people arrested but are only 44 percent of the people sent to prison.
This reveals the colonial nature of US prisons, whether they work a job or not, the incarceration of African bodies alone produces wealth for the system.
The very similar cases of our guests, two wrongfully convicted African men, evinces the measures through which the colonial state will go to maintain the status quo. Their stories also show the commitment of the formerly incarcerated to clear their names and to fight for their brothers and sisters who are still locked behind bars.
Our second guest is Omar Gent. In 2008, Omar was arrested in Colorado for a robbery he did not commit. The police broke all sorts of evidentiary procedures and the state ignored important judicial processes that could have acquitted Omar. Omar was also released in October 2022. Omar leads the "Free Our Brothers" Campaign. You can find more about his campaign at freeourbrothers.com
Black Power Talks is produced by WBPU 96.3 FM "Black Power 96" in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is hosted by Dr. Matsemela Odom and Dexter Mlimwengu, bringing an African Internationalist perspective to the important issues of our world.