Jews in jail

buster keaton jew jail prison jewishThe proper word here should be “prison,” but you get the point of my alliteration. I had to say something about this story because it highlights life in prison – especially as concerns Jews. Needless to say, it isn’t a pretty picture.  Jewish or not, it’s really a great idea to avoid going to prison.

A simple horrifying experience that could be deemed cruel and unusal punishment. I am not a “pacifist” in that I think violent prisoners should be coddled, but non-violent criminals should not be subjected to violence or depravity, such as rape, while incarcerated. On the other hand, even violent offenders, it is being claimed, have benefited from “softening” techniques such as meditation, as I highlighted in my “Buddhism in prison” article. Such “reform” to whatever extent can only be beneficial to society as a whole.

A Jew in Prison
A Reflection on Anti-Semitism on the Yard

David Arenberg had everything going for him. He was smart, the son of a research scientist and a teacher. He graduated in 1980 from the elite University of Chicago with a degree in psychology, and went on to become a left-wing tenants’ rights organizer in New York City for seven years. But in 1987, he suffered a “personal tragedy” and a “political defeat” that he doesn’t want to discuss but that prompted him to leave his organizing work. Always a moderate drug user, he says, he began abusing cocaine and “generally living a seedy life.” His brother tried to rescue him by recruiting him to run a small trucking company in a western state, and for a time Arenberg did all right. But despite that work, and later taking up tenants’ rights once more, he continued his drug use and also adopted a new line of work — using computers to engage in sophisticated financial ripoffs. Arenberg was arrested and jailed briefly for forgery in 1996, but only became an even more active con man when he was released. Finally, in 2001, he was arrested for driving under the influence. The arrest led to more serious charges of fraud, forgery, identity theft and vehicle theft, culminating in consecutive sentences totaling more than 13 years. Today, with about four years left to serve, Arenberg, 53, is trying to sort his life out. He sent the Intelligence Report the following account of his experiences as a Jew in a state prison — a harrowing tale of surviving severe prejudice in an unforgiving environment, but also the story of a remarkable journey of self-discovery.

I am always the last person to eat. It’s part of a compromise I worked out with the skinheads who run the western state prison complex where I am incarcerated. Under this compromise, I’m allowed to sit at the whites’ tables, but only after the “heads,” and then the “woods,” and then the “lames” have eaten. I am lower on the totem pole than all of them, the untouchable. I should feel lucky I’m allowed to eat at the whites’ tables at all.

Not that there’s anywhere else I could eat. The prison yard is broken down into five distinct racial categories and segregation is strictly enforced. There are the “woods” (short for peckerwoods) that encompass the whites, the “kinfolk” (blacks), the “Raza” (American-born people of Mexican descent), the “paisas” (Mexico-born Mexicans), and the “chiefs” (American Indians). Under the strict rules that govern interracial relations, different races are allowed to play on the same sports teams but not play individual games (e.g., chess) together; they may be in each others’ cubicles together if the situation warrants but not sit on each others’ beds or watch each others’ televisions. They may go to the same church services but not pray together. But if you accidentally break one of these rules, the consequences are usually pretty mild: you might get a talking to by one of the heads (who, of course, claims exemption from this rule himself), or at worst, a “chin check.”

Eating with another race, however, is a different story. It is an inviolate rule that different races may not break bread together under any circumstances. Violating this rule leads to harsh consequences. If you eat at the same table as another race, you’ll get beaten down. If you eat from the same tray as another race, you’ll be put in the hospital. And if you eat from the same food item as another race, that is, after another race has already taken a bite of it, you can get killed. This is one area where even the heads don’t have any play.

This makes it difficult for me, of course, to fit into the chow hall. Jews, as we all know, are not white but imposters who don white skin and hide inside it for the purpose of polluting and taking over the white race….


  1. Where does it come from?
    This apparently universal human predisposition to construct “us” and “them”, particularly under conditions of hardship, seems hard-wired, more’s the pity. Reminds me of Jane Elliott’s “Blue eyes, brown eyes” experiment. Depressing :no-comments:

  2. You’re right on the mark there. Notice that most of the articles here feature the outrages committed by various tribal ideologies. It’s in our genes & we’re gonna have to struggle mightily to overcome it. I’ve been called a Zionist Jew, Islamaphobe, anti-semite, & even an NWO ” agent provocateur” so far, depending on which tribal ideology I condemned. We readily see the evil in all the others but can’t bear to see our own sacred cows slaughtered.

  3. I don’t know what your intent is here. Arenberg was part of the choregraphed scenario that made big time news once, but that plot was Jewish, just as this Jewish criminal’s story is. He can not ever pretend that he was anymore biased ‘racially or ideologicallly’ than anyone else from the start of his jailhouse experience. His writing for the Southern Poverty Law Center (another crooked Jewish Organ) tells even more about his character (rather lack thereof) and proof of his special ‘Jewish’ identity. Another whining sob story from one of the ‘Chosen’.

    Here is a peice of what happened at Skokie, which Arenberg the ‘Nazi’ fighter doesn’t mention:

    Skokie had all the elements of a difficult case: a clash of absolutes, prior restraint of speech, and heated public sentiment. In recreating it, Strum presents a detailed account and analysis of the legal proceedings as well as finely delineated portraits of the protagonists: Frank Collin, National Socialist Party of America leader and the son of a Jewish Holocaust survivor; Skokie community leader Sol Goldstein, a Holocaust survivor who planned a counterdemonstration against the Nazis; Skokie mayor Albert Smith, who wanted only to protect his townspeople; and ACLU attorney David Goldberger, caught in the ironic position of being a Jew defending the rights of Nazis against fellow Jews. While the ACLU did win the case, it was a costly victory–30,000 of its members left the organization. And in the end, ironically, the Nazis never did march in Skokie.

    Did you note the leading ‘Nazi’ was Jewish?! The ACLU, which is a largely ‘Jewsh’ dominated Organ, pretends to stand for Free Speech, but only in certain cases….errr rather like this one. In NO other case, where the characters are NOT in the ‘Jewish’ plotline as bit characters of a stage-managed Hollywood scene, has the ACLU EVER come to the defense of ‘anti-semites’, who are neither skinheads, Aryan Nations, KKK or any other such Storefront display existing for these professional ‘Victim’ con artists.

    David Arenberg is what he has always been in spite of his allegations as deposited with the SPLA….a Jew first and foremost, a criminal who got caught, and that also in spite of the allegations of not being raised ‘Jewish’ in the religious sense.

  4. Horrific and Barbous Nation
    That any non violent human being should be subjected to this in the land of the free and the home of the brave says a lot about what kind of “democracy” we find ourselves in. I’ve had conservsations with “fox news conservatives” ( most of whom have no true conception of what right leaning philosophy really is) who moan about the tax money we spend on these “animals”. The majority of people behind bars in this country go to jail over non violent petty mistakes (bad checks for groceries,marijuana,unpaid traffic tickets). One out of thirty six people in this country is in some phase of the correctional system. More than any other nation in the world. That is right more than China, more than Russia, more than any other civilized country in recorded history. These poor men and women typically do not have the money to make these these mistakes disapear. Which most of them will if you pay restitution, court fees, whatever other monies they extort from you so you can maintain your delusion of freedom. Decent humans subjected to rape, violence and the hatred of animals. Both in jail and the courts.

  5. The fact that this man is Jewish should not be the main focus of our thoughts in reading this article. This man is a human being and should never ever for any reason be subjected to this treatment which should be reserved for the truly murderous and deranged. He is a criminal yes, so it is OUR responsibilty to see that the punishment he faces is fair and becoming of a civilized society. This goes for the majority of people caught in the neverending spider web of our court system. Now that prisons are being privitized and corporations can turn a profit on this brutality don’t be suprised in the near future if it is you paying astronomical amounts to this evil system, and if you don’t/can’t your tax dollars can still go to work while your in a 10×10 cage with an illiterate brutal near animal (who should be there) who thinks that orange jumpsuit makes your ass look very very nice.

  6. California has 170,000 human beings in prison. There might be that many more in county jails. Thinking violent and non-violent people deserve to be treated different in prison shows a lack a human decency. There really aren’t such clear distinctions as some of the most violent people I met were there for non-violent crimes. Each have been given their sentences of time away from loved ones and away from society; not torture.

    It is impossible to understand prison unless you’ve been there, seen the depravity and been so greatly humbled. Being Jewish in prison isn’t easy but you get more respect when you stand up for yourself. I faced this many times and was told on several occasions that I was going to be killed. Thank G-d I’m still alive.

    I thought that if the prison system would look at each prisoner and form a plan so that when they re-entered society they would be more likely to live a positive life. But we don’t do that in our public schools so why would we do it in our prisons?

    If anyone is interested in stories with a bit more depth you can read two of my stories on One in the January Issue and one in the October issue.

  7. Poor,Jewish,And In Jail
    A Jew in prison bears a unique challenge, there is no community to shield him or place to hide. His worse enemies many times are Jew hating jailers who let sadistic inmates know that he is unprotected. The cornered Jew cannot help himself, and if he can afford it must quickly find a few bodyguards. The best choice would be an assortment of Rabbis, corrupt jailers , and gang leaders. If he is broke he better find something to offer or else he will be psychologically tortured and driven insane.

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