Frightening parallels exist between the racialist logic of the prison yard and the racialist pedagogy of many public schools.
When new inmates arrive in California state prisons, they pass through the gauntlet of other men and must make a quick decision: With whom do they stand? They have four options: the whites, the blacks, the Latinos and the others.
For most of the “fish,” or fresh convicts, it’s not much of a choice — they are chosen. The prisons are divided into strictly separated racial gangs, which have their own leadership structure, lunch tables, yard space and black markets.
New inmates typically fall in with their racial brothers: whites with whites, blacks with blacks, Latinos with Latinos. The only exceptions are those who join the others: a collection of smaller ethnic groups, sexual minorities and whites who refuse to join with the Aryan Brotherhood.
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