January 6ers Claim They Are Being Force-Fed Critical Race Theory In DC Jail
Two Capitol Rioters held by the District of Columbia Department of Corrections are accusing their jailers of psychological torture by exposing them to "critical race theory," "reeducation propaganda," and "anti-white racial messaging" on their prison-issued tablets.
In a plaintive letter included with a motion for bail for defendant Ryan Nichols, Nichols and fellow insurrectionist Robert A. Morss detailed the horrors that they have been dealing with during their time in detention. Some of them are perfectly legitimate complaints about the prison conditions and mistreatment from guards that probably would not have bothered either of them very much before they themselves had been sent there. Others, like the Critical Race Theory tablets, are straight-up ridiculous — for instance, "Staff wear political clothing with BLM, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, and the Vote Democrat on it." [sic]
In the letter, they claim to be political prisoners who are only in jail awaiting trial because of their "political affiliation." Curiously, there are millions of Republicans across the country who are not currently in jail awaiting trial because of their "political affiliation," because they did not invade the Capitol that day.
We are compelled to alert the world of the Diabolical conditions in this "Correctional Facility" which continues to crush all of its detainees. We are Political Prisoners on American soil who have been unjustly an unfairly incarcerated. We are relentlessly burdened by selective prosecution. We are slandered and vilified by mainstream media. We are repeatedly accosted. We receive death threats from within the jail. We receive death threats upon our homes and families through the mail. ALL because of our political affiliation.
As political prisoners, they say, they would like to be moved to Guantanamo Bay, which they claim has better conditions than the District of Columbia jail.
Guantanamo Bay Cuba is a detention facility that actually provides nutritional meals, routine sunlight exposure, top notch medical care, and is respectful of Religious Requirements. It has centers for exercise, and entertainment for the detainees, even though those detainees are Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Taliban that have actually killed American citizens.
Therefore, if the Government is going to continue to illegally hold us in DC-Guantanamo, under the above mentioned horrific conditions, subjecting us to cruel and unusual punishment, and various tortures. We hereby, make the following request: Let us spend our precious and limited days in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, where the enemies of the United States of America are treated better than us group of January Sixers, who have merely been accused of crimes.
You know what? I think that is a perfect solution. Clearly, these men have learned an awful lot about the conditions at "Club Gitmo" from really smart guys like Rush Limbaugh, and are definitely aware of what they are asking for here.
The motion for bail includes more detail about the horrors these men have endured.
Ryan is a pastor's son and a practicing Christian. Ryan has been denied the right to worship at any Sunday service or from participating in Bible studies of any kind. DC Jail uses COVID-19 as a pretext to deny Ryan his First Amendment rights. The jail has not offered any reasonable alternative. This blanket denial of his rights is unconstitutional on its face and tantamount to punishment. Ryan is regularly discriminated against for being White. He is forced to endure disgusting racial animus and slurs regularly. The jail also prevents him from having reasonable access to reading materials while simultaneously streaming anti-White messages and Critical Race Theory propaganda across his tablet. This is psychologically damaging.
To be clear, the reason Ryan Nichols has not been allowed to attend worship services is because he is unvaccinated and refuses to get vaccinated, not because he's a Christian and everyone in the whole prison hates Christianity.
Nichols and Morrs also complained about the newspaper for the Nation of Islam circulating in the "Patriot Wing" (what they call the pod where January 6 defendants are staying), though perhaps he may want to coordinate his messaging on that with Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is now a very big fan of that particular publication.
This is not to say that all of the complaints are illegitimate. The letter also includes complaints of mold, mice, cockroaches, exploding toilets, physical abuse, lead paint, and other issues.
Nichols's lawyer Joseph D. McBride — who also represents Richard Barnett, the guy who put his feet up on Nancy Pelosi's desk — was so concerned about these conditions that he wrote a letter to both Amnesty International and the ACLU asking them for help. He did not write a letter to any conservative nonprofits known for addressing these issues, because of how they do not exist. (We will give half a point to the libertarian Reason.) He also did not mention the "psychologically damaging" exposure to anti-racist information that so traumatized his client.
He did, however, also claim in that letter that the prison conditions at the DC jail (which he calls DC-GITMO) were worse than the conditions at Guantanamo Bay.
Originally intended to be an "island outside the law" where terrorism suspects could be interrogated without restraint, the ACLU has reported that Guantánamo Bay has become an international symbol of injustice, abuse, and disregard for the rule of law. Yet, the detainees at GITMO who are suspected terrorists responsible for the horrific attack on our country on September 11, 2001, seem to be treated much better than the detainees at DC-GITMO.
To be fair, it does seem unlikely that anyone is torturing prisoners at GITMO by telling them that racism exists and is bad, or by wearing T-shirts with Joe Biden's face on them.
The motion for bail also includes some other fascinating details of Nichols's story, like how he was not carrying a crowbar with the intent to do any violence with it but rather to use it for official crowbar purposes only, that he shouldn't be charged with spraying an officer with pepper spray because it wasn't his pepper spray, and a lot of implying that he thought all of the cops were members of Antifa and BLM in disguise as cops, and that his using a bullhorn to encourage other rioters to get weapons didn't count because he was being "hyperbolic" and no one was listening to him.
At 4:21 pm, after having read his father's text, and in light of the abject brutality he witnessed in the tunnel, as well as the news pertaining to Ashli Babbitt. Ryan Nichols, consumed with concern and emotion grabbed a bullhorn from someone in the crowd and told the crowd: "This is not a peaceful protest." That is an accurate statement. The protest on the Western Terrace had turned into a riot. Ryan told people to take up arms so they could defend themselves: "If you have a weapon grab a weapon, you need to get your weapon."
Ryan said this because he unequivocally believed that their lives were in grave, imminent danger— and that people who were being brutally and unjustifiably attacked had a right to defend themselves. And in the heat of the moment, Ryan made a few hyperbolic statements to a crowd of people that could barely hear him. No one was listening to Ryan.
Oh, what a lovable crowbar- (OFFICIAL CROWBAR PURPOSES ONLY) and pepper-spray-wielding scamp he is.
I hate to say there's a bright side here, but maybe there is. If the actual conditions of the DC jail are as bad as these people are saying they are, it is unfortunately more likely that they will be improved by these people and their lawyers complaining about them than by anyone else complaining about them.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse