This is Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, imprisoned in Virginia. I wanted to express my appreciation to everyone who has been raising their voice, sending kind regards in regard to my recent diagnosis of cancer and denial of medical treatment, and I wanted to read this statement to express that and also add an account of the situation that I’m dealing with and other political prisoners also. The title of this piece is, “U.S. Officials Devise to Murder Political Prisoners by Medical Neglect: My Continued Denial of Cancer Care.”
Since receiving a recent diagnosis of prostate cancer, I’ve received an outpouring of love and support from a great many individuals, and organizations and their supporters, including the Panther Solidarity Organization, the Revolutionary Intercommunal Black Panther Party, Third World Peoples’ Alliance, Prison Radio, Prison Lives Matter, and many others too numerous to list here by name.
I want to thank each and every one of you who have sent kind words and raised your voices in protest during this trying time, where prison officials have been quite blatantly denying and delaying medical treatment in a clear ploy to ensure that my condition spreads and proves fatal. I’m, of course, not the first to experience this sort of attempted murder by medical neglect.
It’s almost the standard U.S. official response, in particular to political and politically-active New Afrikan and Black prisoners. Even highly-visible and well-known Black political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal, Russell “Maroon” Shoatz, and Dr. Mutulu Shakur, needed massive outside protest campaigns just to receive care for deadly illnesses like Hepatitis C and cancer, which would have proven imminently fatal if left untreated, as U.S. officials devise. Indeed, on account of denied care, Dr. Mutulu Shakur is on his deathbed as I write this, and comrade Maroon passed on to the ancestors in December 2021.
My cancer condition has similarly gone untreated. It was a year ago, in early October 2021, that blood tests showed a high likelihood that I had cancer, but Virginia prison officials did nothing for over six months. It wasn’t until eight months after these results were known that diagnostic tests were given, which confirmed the cancer and that it had by then spread throughout my prostate and possibly beyond. Yet it’s now a year later and no treatment has been given. Even laymen know that left untreated, cancer can spread and kill in a matter of weeks or months.
Contrary to the findings of international tribunals and human rights organizations, America has long denied holding hundreds of political prisoners. Not only does the U.S. hold and furthermore abuse many political prisoners who are primarily people of color, but it devises to assassinate us by medical neglect, especially when we contract potentially fatal medical conditions, which as an alternative to violent assassination, offers them plausible deniability for causing our deaths.
From outright lynching to direct and proxy assassinations, like those of Fred Hampton, Sr., Martin Luther King, Jr., Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and many others, America’s designs to suppress and ultimately execute influential, independent Black political voices that organize and speak against racism, lies, and capitalist exploitation, is well established. Similarly well established is that the masses are our only real defense against these designs.
In my own experience, it is to the people that I am beholden for effective resistance having been brought to bear against numerous well-documented efforts of officials to dispose of me by more traditional violent means. Now, with my cancer diagnosis, they are maneuvering to murder me by medical neglect, but I wholly trust and rely on the people, who are truly the ocean in which we revolutionaries, as fish, must wholly integrate ourselves and swim in order to survive.
Dare to struggle, dare to win. All power to the people.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.