Letters to the Editors

Letters to the Editors

Dear Editors,

Today I begin this thesis with the title of “Unconscious vs. Conscious” in hopes of abstracting in your mind from the concepts and theories that many of us hold dear.

Unconscious: Merriam Webster’s dictionary and thesaurus has defined as “1. not knowing or perceiving, not aware; 2. not done consciously or on purpose.” I will stop there momentarily to ask you to ask yourself: have you been in the realm of this description in the past or present?

The dictionary gives a further meaning that we can all ponder as synonyms “1. ignorant, oblivious, unaware, uninformed, unknowing, unwitting.” However, we see the acts of unconsciousness daily. These acts come in the form of oppression, corruption, scandal, and atrocities on humanity. If you answered yes to the question above, it only means you are human. Welcome to planet earth.

This description does not just effect hundreds, thousands or even millions. This effects billions around the world. No matter what radio station you play, no matter what television station you watch, no matter what city you reside in, the level of unconsciousness exists.

You may even ask why did brother Khabir write this article. He sits in one of the many prison camps that hold millions of people. Your next question may be: Why should he care? He is fed three meals a day, his cell is sometimes warm, his sink has running water and the toilet flushes.

My answer would be in retort: because I care, because I was raised different. Because I am conscious. Because I am Muslim, and one of the greatest men Allah sent to humanity forbade oppression. I’m speaking about the prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him. This beautiful man, the son of Abdullah, the son of Abdul Muttalib, and as this lineage goes back it will be found to reach Abraham (see Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad by Ibn Kathir.) These men faced the worst of these conditions. This helps us know unconsciousness didn’t just start now. But it can end with us.

Furthermore, it was combatted with truth and righteousness that gave rights to women, and all of humanity. In our society I had a chance to meet some men of consciousness who wore the same uniform I did. I met Albert Nuh Washington, who was a freedom fighter, and many of his comrades such as Bashir Hamid, who died of cancer strangely, Abdul Majid, who the prison administration claimed had a kidney infection after we were taken out of solitary confinement. We were put in there for educating the masses. Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom), who taught me to stay sharp and not harm your brother regardless of the color. Herman Bell, who expressed the importance of education. Both of his codefendants had already served 50 years. Herman was released earlier last year from where they had us both housed in the CSU (Close Supervision Unit) in Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Wallkill, New York. I had the privilege to study and learn from Dawud Rahman, who was recently released after serving 49 years while Salih Abdullah, their other co-defendant still sits in the cement walls of silence.

These men and so many countless others have helped bring me to that level of consciousness as Merriam-Webster dictionary and thesaurus defines as “1. perceiving, apprehending or noticing with a degree of controlled thought or observation; 2. known or felt by one’s inner self; 3. mentally awake or alert.”

I must be aware when seeing thousands of children at the border. I must feel the pain the fathers and mothers are feeling who are being sent out of the country they helped build. I have to feel the pain and morbid disgust while I watch our innocent women punched in the face, and little children robbed of their cell phones. Young children shot on the basketball court in the land of the free, or young girls killed by drive-by shootings that do not add up. This is not to mention the men and women as well as children who have been sentenced to numbers that some have yet to learn how to count. And schools being shot up as though this is the new range for target practice by the ignorant when the school is supposed to be a place of education for the next generation, not a place of annihilation or assassination.

Wake up conscious people! Our work is not over in the neighborhoods. The community centers in the projects need to be open to have these talks. The masjids need to be open for the community at large. The temples have to be open to make clarification whether you are an Imam, a rabbi, a minister, a sheik, a student, a gang member, mother, father, soldier, etc. Bring awareness to your community to cease fire; to stop the unconscious acts that are occurring from sheer ignorance and blatant disrespect.

Those who are already trying, cannot do it alone. Go and support the marches to stop the death penalty. Don’t wait ’til somebody dies that should not have. Support Corey Booker, Maxine Waters, the men and women in Congress who will make a change. Support Jay Z and Meek Mills’ movement for prison reform and Warren Buffett’s college programs and Governor Cuomo and Phil Murphy’s plan to combat opioid addiction. The New Jersey bill that effects those serving 85 percent of their time under the NERA Law (No Early Release Act). Go online in your state to see what bill effects human lives and how it will have an impact on you. This is the deed of conscious people. Our society will then change. Support the members of Copwatch on B.E.T.

I realize now why they have not released me. Instead of lying down, I have chosen to stand. (See my story “Lost in the System” by Mahmud Al-Matin.) I was given a hearing date for October 11, 2019 to receive my time back which is two years, nine months, and two weeks plus the time since June—a total of 35 months which, as it stands, my earliest parole appearance is 2023. That’s what 35 months adds up to.

Then there is from 1991 November to 1994 October, owed to me under state of New Jersey v. Delarosa, 332 N.J. Super. 426, in which I received a reversal and re-sentencing. See also State v. Beatty, 128 N.J. Super. 488 and State v. Hernandez, 208 N.J. 24, 37 (2011).

Conscious people need to contact Kandace Clarke, attorney-at-law at (908) 820-3070 and let her know you support my release and ask what you can do to help Mahmud Al-Matin, or send an email to the Union County Public Defenders office on behalf of Mahmud Al-Matin requesting Kandace Clarke to write or call you telling you how you can help.

The quicker the court gets this motion re-filed the quicker I will be taken to a parole board and released, or the judgement will be concurrent and I will be released immediately. At least I will be put immediately in a halfway house. I am presently medium security with a minimum status that I can’t get due to this motion not yet being re-filed. If you would like to continue this discussion or help with my campaign for freedom after 31 years you may contact me by going on-line to to my Mahmud Al-Matin SBI number 000521787B and purchase stamps to send me an email. I will reply right back, I promise. Or you can write me direct at Mahmud Khabir Al-Matin # 550844 (4 up 7 tier 20 cell) East Jersey State prison, Lock Bag “R,” Rahway, NJ 07065.

Till then remain conscious.

—Mahmud Khabir Al-Matin

Dear Socialist Viewpoint,

Systemic racism is much deeper than simply how we relate to each other on a daily basis.

To eradicate white supremacy, we need to first understand the capitalist system. Capitalism is an economic and political system in which industry and trade are controlled by private owners for profit.

These private owners also control which laws get passed by lobbying to individual government faux-officials (Senators and Congressmen) who sign the laws to protect the profit interests of major companies instead of providing for the interests of the public.

To have true equality we need to have production for the common good of the people of the world who create the surplus value (the excess value produced by the labor of workers over the wages they’re paid—the profit—from the product sold.)

Production for the common good would create a truer version of democracy and sense of equality.

These private owners also control which laws get passed by lobbying to individual government faux-officials who sign the laws to protect the profit interests of major companies instead of providing for the interests of the public.

To illustrate the point, when a raw material comes into a factory, like rubber for example, it’s only worth the market value of itself say $2.00-per-pound. It’s not worth as much as it will be when it’s sold as a tire. Factory workers earn a minimum wage to make, say, 1000 tires in a day. In some factories that could be less than $25.00-per-person-per-day. If there’s 20 workers, that’s $500.00 a day for labor costs, plus the cost of the rubber say $20.00 per tire, which comes to $20,000 for 1000 tires, for a total of $20,500 to produce the tires. They can be sold for $85.00 each, for a total of $85,000 for 1000 tires. That’s $85,000 minus $20,500—the cost of production—which leaves a total of $64,500 in profit. This profit is the surplus value.

This is what drives capitalism, and capitalism drives white supremacy. The owners of the company pay the government to make the policies that allow the most profitable conditions regardless of the health of the workers or damage to the environment.

The U.S. was founded so that white men could have the “Freedom/Greedom”—earn and own as much profit as possible.

The problem with capitalism itself as a system is the dialectal aspect. Similar to the game of Monopoly, with the roll of the dice, once someone acquires most of the property, controls the bank, and “earns” the majority of the money, they win, and the game is over. (That’s why the internet is so powerful because intellectual property becomes a commodity and the game can go on longer.)

When there’s only a finite amount of wealth to be gained, for example there is only so much gold on the entire planet to be mined and when the world’s 26 richest people own as much as the poorest 50 percent1 it’s not possible to have true equality under a capitalism system. Like a casino, the odds are in favor of the house, or at a poker table, in favor of the one who can out-bet everyone. In the scale of casino games, it’s a good thing to be a winner. But on the world scale when this happens economies crumble, markets crash and the working class of the world who have the true power and actually create surplus value (profit) starve. By its own nature, capitalism eventually devours itself.

—Johnny Gould, February 29, 2020

1 “World’s 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%, says Oxfam”