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Love Letter to the Community from inside a Washington State Corrections Center

WA Corrections Center – August 13, 2020

Putting my thoughts on paper sometimes is a way to escape the reality of the existence I am currently surviving. It’s during times like these that I am even more motivated to get my voice out to the free world. Given the current state of things we face many challenges; a global pandemic, economic crisis, unemployment, depression, you name it people are facing levels of emotions that can be unnerving. It’s during this time I can say I understand and empathize with what you are feeling.

Yet, how can a prisoner understand? We go through a myriad of emotions while incarcerated and are left to our own devices on how we choose to handle them. Some choose a self-destructive path and some find solace in others company and advice. While we may seem like people separated from the free world, we are not blind to what goes on in our communities. After all I for one realize the brokenness I left behind where I came from and know all too well the impact my decisions left on the ones I hold dear to my heart.

Now is not a time to despair in our misfortunes, but to actually be a family. We have heard the word COMMUNITY, but we forget it isn’t spelled without UNITY! People, this is to all of you who are doing the work and fighting for something. This is also for anyone listening. It’s time to stop for a moment and analyze yourself, look deep into your soul and re-discover or re-invent what humanity means to you.

I understand the political chess game that is gripping the world and it’s a part of the fabric of our society until the people choose to change it. For now, it’s important for us all to not lose sight of a few facts. One of those you who are sincere in the work you do, never forget the ones who have experienced the systemic racist machine of mass incarceration. We know all too well the dehumanizing and depressive experience incarcerated people go through just for being colored. There are millions of modern day slaves housed in warehouses across the country hoping their voice is heard and mine is one of those.

There are amazing men and women that are intelligent, loving, and experienced in what you all are just going through. Trying to fight for freedom but are unsure, divided, or even weary of others around you. You see you cannot claim to be a champion for your community if it isn’t in unity. I am sick of hearing about all these movements that claim to fight for equality when the very people, are fighting amongst themselves, hoarding important information and resources and are even perpetuating the very system they are fighting. Get it together people!

We all fight for equality, empathy, and inclusion but it’s not what I hear or ever see happening between the so called champions of justice. Believe me I know all too well, the politics of race and how it plays into our lives. I have experienced it in the free world and the ugly world of prison.

My voice is one of many concerned people who wish to be involved in the discussion when discussing reform because you CANNOT discuss police reform without discussing reform of the prison industrial complex because it is interwoven not separate.

I urge you all to work together no matter what organization you claim to support because the goal is freedom from the shackles of systemic racism, yes it is that easy.

-Inmate at a WA


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