Excerpt from THE HUNGRY I Chapter 11 page 261

Published November 30, 2016

 

As always, not everyone was enamored with me. Some detainees were downright hostile at first. The racial attitudes in the brig were as dangerous as those I noticed upon returning to the corps. The brig was laid out like a prison dormitory. Our facility featured a large picnic table near the center of the room. A row of bunkbed racks ran along one long wall and another wall was made up of heavy metal bars with a sliding-bar door. A bank of windows overlooked the basketball court below. Our dorm held more blacks than whites, and I was assigned a lower bunk in the zone between the white guys and the black guys. At first, I didn’t realize that the racial climate was fluid, but it didn’t take long for me to grasp this reality. Sometimes, we were all “green”—just a bunch of hard-luck, loser marines doing hard time. Other times, the tension was palpable; some of the black guys would choose a target to harass. Then, they would swoop down him like ravenous vultures! I was disgusted by their petty, small-minded and wrong-headed attitudes, and I said so! That’s when the hostile guys started giving me the evil eye.