Prison 101:7

STOP! This material is NOT edited for content. It is not fiction. It contains explicit language and descriptions of real situations. It is not suitable for minors, and may not be suitable for people who easily disturbed…

Gangs cut each other, and sex offenders are cut to mark them. This was a gang thing, when you are out of the gang, or have done something you shouldn’t have, they put you on the whip and cut you on the face.

Being ‘On the Whip’ means you are on the tail of the whip, and what happens when the Whip Cracks? Whatever is on the tail is thrown off. That is the analogy I was told when I asked a friend who was a Blood. I thought to say, ‘Hey, that doesn’t make a lot of sense,’ but when you are talking to a kid who has 75 to life and four bodies you sort of go, ‘Yeah, yeah, I see it.’

And of course cutting you will mark you. Now that you are cut on the face everyone for the rest of your bid (Bid is slang for prison term) is gonna want to know why. A sex offense? Something else? It’s gonna bring you trouble and that is why they do it. I suppose it’s better than the mob though. They just kill you.

Cutting has been a custom among native tribes for centuries, whether cut to be marked for a good reason or cut to be marked for a bad reason. It marks you and makes you recognizable to someone who knows what to look for. Sometimes they call it ‘Being Tagged.’ like out in the real world when they tag something with paint for a sign, or back when I was a kid and you got tagged as in you’re it in a game of tag.

In prison, at first, I was shunned by Native American groups. They would not let me in. Then one day I stopped a guy from kicking the shit out of their chief and I was in. It was stupid, but I said okay and started going to services because I wanted to know what it was about. My father, mixed African American and Native American, had always been embarrassed by his own culture so he never taught us a thing. It was a way to learn about Native America religion, customs, and all the things I had always had questions about and had not had any answers for. It was a way to find some pride inside of me, a way to like who I was, or could be. A step to rebuilding who I saw myself as.

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