I’m writing this, of course

Moore, Robert

Original

Transcript

Greetings; I'm writing this, of course to state my opinions, but also because of a sentence in the Questionaire which explains the submissions are to help people understand American prison conditions and the prison's practical effects and place is society. I'm writing from the San Francisco County Jail, where i've been held for twenty months. I'm 61 years old and have served three prison terms in California. In no way am I proud to say it, but i've been involved in the criminal justice system, in the prison system, of three different States; spanning a period which began in 1971 and [illegible] to 2015. As a Black man with this particular history I feel a little confidence in my ability to give an informed opinion on how the American prison culture evolved during that time frame; at least from my point of view. I've been preaching my theory and had enough heated arguments over it, for long enough now, to keep this presentation short and to the point. My theory is that just as the Catholic Church was invaded and exploited by child molesters; the ranks of correctional officers, at the State prison level, were likewise exploited by racist White males who desired to act out their hatred towards Black and Brown people in a way where they could do violence on a continuing basis. In addition and as the years have gone by without any substantial media coverage or analysis to explore that truth, without any [substantive?], that confederation of like-minded sadists' has evolved into a nation-wide network of unionized enforcers of White Supremacy. Many of them are capable of murder; and have no problem with swearing to tell the truth, and then lying the judge, jury and God. When I think about how they managed to stay below the radar for all of those years, and the implications of that, I can't help but be amazed, and a little afraid. The federal judge, the [other?] who process all of the section 1983 civil lawsuits alleging racial animus as a cause of action, are certainly aware of the dominant characteristics of the average prison guard in America's prisons. Many of the people are also in the know; [just?] sanction it by their silence. That is the scary part for Black people; he idea that so many men are getting away with so much civilian abuse; within an institution that most people think is staffed by good, decent men who are guarding society from evil. The appearance is that all of society is complicit and in agreement with the idea that this "[equal?] solution" of perpetual mass imprisonment, overseen by the brave men and women who aren't afraid to stand up to the ugly black menace, is the only option available to deal with the problem. This is my humble contribution to help people understand American prison conditions. I say the publicly funded institution belongs to the public in name only. The people who run them own them, and they have for quite a long time. The advent of cell phone cameras is the tool being used to expose the true racist nature of America's police forces, but prisons are shielded from that threat to the cloud of secrecy and propaganda covering their activities. And in terms of "practical effects and place in society", we Black people know the practical effect of prison is to remind us of our place in society. When I was released from my first prison term, in 1975, I was healthy and clean; my back was straight and my voice was deeper. My family nodded their silent approval; and a good portion of the credit for that improvement must go to the White men I met in those places. There were officers that had to be avoided, but they were in the minority and easy to ignore. They were outnumbered by the ones who were pushing me along to get my G.E.D. and become a man. It is vastly different now, in 2015. But i've made my main point, and being negative serves no purpose. At this moment, sitting in jail, I have only pen and paper; but maybe I can still be a small part of the solution. America is so worried about ISIS and other terrorists attaching from the outside-in, when actually the far greater danger are the citizens being made bitter and vengeful by the cancer of hatred growing in the prisons. I would like to contribute by offering questions. Questions, at some point, will be vital to the purpose of framing the issues to be debated and eventually voted on. 1.) What, at this point in history, should be a prison's place in American society? 2.) Was it really a good idea to roll back Affirmative Action? 3.) How much longer can America afford, in dollars and in intangibles, to indulge its hatred and aversion for Black men? 4.) What laws need to be changed? Sincerely, Robert

Author: Moore, Robert

Author Location: California

Date: October 17, 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 4 pages

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