I was one of the last ones to see our beloved Brotha Yogi alive

I was one of the last ones to see our beloved Brotha Yogi alive

http://sfbayview.com/2016/01/i-was-one-of-the-last-ones-to-see-our-beloved-brotha-yogi-alive/
January 30, 2016

by Vernell Devon Bush

My name is Devon Bush, a Black Afrikan inmate in struggle here in CSP Sac. Look, I was involved in the riot that took place Aug. 12, 2015, in the B-Yard. Also, I was one of the last ones to see our beloved Brotha Hugo L.A. “Yogi Bear” Pinell R.I.P. alive.

His last words to me was, “Do come back.” The short three and a half weeks I spent with him on the yard is filled with enough love and realism to last me a lifetime.

The artist writes: “I’m Steven James, proclaimed actually innocent, prolific African American artist, serving a 262-month federal prison sentence. I hadn’t heard the full scope regarding the tragedy of Mr. Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell, who served 46 years in solitary confinement (mostly) at Pelican Bay Prison, until one evening when the San Francisco Bay View newspaper was shown to me by several of my Hispanic Northern California associates, 2.2 Man, Indio and Mousey. Then a second paper came to my attention through several Caucasian associates in support of ending solitary confinement. All pointed out the story of Mr. Hugo Pinell and suggested I paint something reflecting the un-breakable guerrilla-like strength Yogi maintained to uphold his pride and dignity. But more so as one who has also been incarcerated for a long term with a loving daughter, my heart goes out especially to the daughter Yogi left behind, who I noticed hugging her father in a visiting photo for the first time after 46 years of separation which moved me dramatically to create this 24 x 24-inch oil painting on canvas titled “Concrete Jungle” depicting Hugo Pinell from youth to an aged older man, where long term solitary confinement is forcing men to survive on animal instincts. I’m offering this ‘Concrete Jungle’ painting as a gift to her from all of us in condolence and as an achievement award of honor and respect to Mr. Hugo Pinell, ‘Yogi Bear,’ who sacrificed his life to end long term solitary confinement for all races of those incarcerated. May you rest in peace, Yogi.” – Art: Steven James, 34596-044, P.O. Box 2099, Pollock, LA 71467The artist writes: “I’m Steven James, proclaimed actually innocent, prolific African American artist, serving a 262-month federal prison sentence. I hadn’t heard the full scope regarding the tragedy of Mr. Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell, who served 46 years in solitary confinement (mostly) at Pelican Bay Prison, until one evening when the San Francisco Bay View newspaper was shown to me by several of my Hispanic Northern California associates, 2.2 Man, Indio and Mousey. Then a second paper came to my attention through several Caucasian associates in support of ending solitary confinement. All pointed out the story of Mr. Hugo Pinell and suggested I paint something reflecting the un-breakable guerrilla-like strength Yogi maintained to uphold his pride and dignity. But more so as one who has also been incarcerated for a long term with a loving daughter, my heart goes out especially to the daughter Yogi left behind, who I noticed hugging her father in a visiting photo for the first time after 46 years of separation which moved me dramatically to create this 24 x 24-inch oil painting on canvas titled “Concrete Jungle” depicting Hugo Pinell from youth to an aged older man, where long term solitary confinement is forcing men to survive on animal instincts. I’m offering this ‘Concrete Jungle’ painting as a gift to her from all of us in condolence and as an achievement award of honor and respect to Mr. Hugo Pinell, ‘Yogi Bear,’ who sacrificed his life to end long term solitary confinement for all races of those incarcerated. May you rest in peace, Yogi.” – Art: Steven James, 34596-044, P.O. Box 2099, Pollock, LA 71467

This, as you know, was a very caring and loving brotha. I’ve sent you at least 10 letters by now, and I haven’t heard nothing back, but I know it’s the IGI or ISU. They won’t let our mail out because they fear the truth getting out. But I’m going to just improve on it – water down my letters a bit, not too much, and leave it in God’s hands.

There is so much that the brothers and sisters don’t know. However, make no mistake that this was a plot, a setup between the administration and staff, also the Aryan Brotherhood that carried out this racist assassination on Yogi – so much so the white AB knew about this assassination on Yogi Pinell’s life, dating back as far as 1971 when two of their beloved generals were killed, John Lynn, 29, and Ronald L. Kane, 28, along with three correctional officers (COs), COs Paul E. Krasenes, 52, Frank DeLeon, 44, and Jere P. Graham, 34.

It was said and believed that the racist Nazis and ABs worked hand in hand with staff at San Quentin to have Black revolutionary political prisoners tortured and even killed. Maybe that’s why these two white inmates were killed during the “alleged” escape attempt by the loved and hated San Quentin 6.

Make no mistake that this was a plot, a setup between the administration and staff, also the Aryan Brotherhood that carried out this racist assassination on Yogi.

All in all, when it truly comes down to it, the only question you need to ask yourself is, if these white inmates and white COs were killed during this uprising by the San Quentin 6, then wouldn’t it only be “right” for the racist AB and COs to seek revenge together? They waited 51 years, then kicked him out to B-Yard with 28 racist white inmates, half of whom were AB seeking payback for the murders of their comrades.

Please do keep in mind that the AB never agreed to respect any treaty that was a part of or intended to be passed down with Hugo’s name on it whatsoever. A lot of brothas were shot, stabbed, hospitalized. So was even more white inmates, being that Black inmates did the best we could with the COs using cover fire for the white inmates.

A closer view of Steven James’ painting, which he’s offering to donate to Allegra, Yogi’s daughterA closer view of Steven James’ painting, which he’s offering to donate to Allegra, Yogi’s daughter

But understand what hurts me to the very core of my heart is being a witness to the murder – assassination – of the last of a dying breed. Before half of these brothas could really receive his uncut real history, he was yanked right from under us.

Me being one of them, I could feel why a lot of the brothas back here in lockup are feeling real discouraged and embarrassed. How can we not feel some kind of way that shit happen on our watch? I swear every time we tried to come to Yogi Bear’s aid, we were either shot by COs helping along in the murder or met head on by racist, demon-looking whites with big knives in their hands and blood in their eyes.

About the time I did reach Yogi, it was too late. Dragging him away from his killers, Yogi’s eyes were wide open as he took his last breath. His eyes seem to say it all: “I’ve did my part, young brotha. The rest is on you.”

I see him every day and night, although it trips me out because I would think he would come to hurt us all who failed him. But for those who got to know him, this lovely brother, he comes with an open mind and a very humble soul telling me it’s OK.

He died for the struggle, the brothas and sisters in the struggle, the kids and anything or anyone who has ever struggled. He says that the time is near and to love our brothers and sisters – and also learn to forgive and love ourselves.

This brother took the time to teach me how to mind travel, how to embrace my Blackness, how to see only the good in our people, and to even love the parts of me that I think to be imperfect. He did all this knowing he would die soon.

He died for the struggle, the brothas and sisters in the struggle, the kids and anything or anyone who has ever struggled.

All this while the administration planned on ways to have him assassinated. All this while COs dug up all of the Black knives in the yard to destroy us. This is to say God sends only his strongest men through even the mist of war; with death knocking at the door, you head your people to the battle field. Know only within your own self – heart, mind and soul – that this is all a part of God’s plan. Wow!

To be honest and truthful, I’m so mad at this sinister, cunning, conniving ass administration that knew exactly what they were doing turning the B-Yard all over, shipping all inmates involved to other prisons so we could start wars all up and down California, when our real enemy is here at CSP Sac. I really hope ndugus don’t feel like it’s no need to take a stand for our beloved Brotha Yogi Bear.

This brother took the time to teach me how to mind travel, how to embrace my Blackness, how to see only the good in our people, and to even love the parts of me that I think to be imperfect.

We must as brothas and sisters respond in unity and take up the black sword left to us by our loved one. It is our duty to stand firm just as he did for 51 and a half years.

To rub it in our faces, they got most of the brothers directly involved back here in the ad-seg (administrative segregation) on every charge they could think of – myself, attempted murder on a white inmate who was helping along with COs and other white inmates to murder Hugo Pinell.

Wait, there’s more. For right when the brothas thought it couldn’t get any worse, the COs got Hugo’s killers a few doors down from us back here in Ad-Seg. Them and their partners in crime, the COs, are celebrating it up. But 23-hour lockdown got it to where we can’t touch them. And even if we could, they’re protected by everything and everyone and administration powers that be. Try that for reality! Believe me, I haven’t even gotten started yet and I’ve said way too much.

Rumor has it that some COs back here give them the papers speaking on our beloved one. They really got a crack out of that one. Plus my grand, may her soul rest in love, used to always say that sometimes you got to laugh to keep from crying.

I’m very strong as a Black Afrikan man, but it eats at me that they have that newspaper and I don’t. Well, You’re welcome, if any of this reaches your hands this time, to publish it in the Bay View, name and all. Some may be mad, but there is so much truth I just had to let out. And I know Yogi would want the same.

Long live the spirit and legacy of Comrade Hugo L.A. “Yogi Bear” Pinell! Love in power! Black unity, righteousness, loyalty, militancy, love and Afrikan structure!

Long live the spirit and legacy of Comrade Hugo L.A. “Yogi Bear” Pinell!

I now go as I come – honestly, sincerely, respectfully, new day, the real Afrikan,

Vernell Devon Bush, General Kahittel, young Black Afrikan brotha

Send our brother some love and light: Vernell Devon Bush, G-24828, CSP Sac Z-G-181, P.O. Box 290066, Represa, CA 95671. Vernell adds a postscript: Coming soon, “The Assassination of Hugo Pinell: What Really Happened on B-Yard.”

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