Africa, James



Institutionalized By James Africa The inevitable has preordained such a season marked by particular conditions in a free nation that leads the world in mass incarceration, or should I say if only for the sake of being politically correct; class incarceration, when we as a people have no choice but to face our destiny. A destiny that challenges us to confront reality. A reality that compels you and I to ask ourselves. Why in the land of the free, if we are indeed free, are so many Americans locked down? Or we all mutually share the risk of inevitably becoming institutionalized. Generally when the word institutionalized comes to mind, I imagine on the surface that typically most Americans will tend to envision a destitute, dysfunctional, psycho or socio-path in state or federal custody, guarded by correctional officers, barriers of concrete walls, and barbed wired fences. Instead of for instance an extravagantly well-off, schizophrenic, manic depressive celebrity guarded by paid armed bodyguards, volumes of legislative privileges, and a gated community in the hills. This of course is the conventional concept of being institutionalized as we perceive it under ideal circumstances. But after taking an intensive, in-depth, independent examination under the surface of the inherent characteristics and features of the topic of institutionalization, the description I have opted to illuminate what can only be described as a prison within, is not when an individual, but when a nation's diminished capacity to conform beyond the abnormality of the predisposition Americans are systemically programmed to normalize and culturally glorify as the American way, renders an entire kind, caste, and class of Americans politically, socially, and economically unfit and unable to exercise the liberty of unrestrained independence, because the innate unrelenting obsession to escape their restraints has all but officially psychiatrically pronounced them as a public danger to themselves and others. Thus I submit before one can understand fully the nature of institutionalization, one must be able to fully identify the elements of incarceration in all its aspects, since institutionalization is essentially the mental, physical, and spiritual manifestation in human form of a prison within. While incarceration according to my understanding is wholly one realm composed of multiple dimensions. Ideologically not all Americans subscribe as I do to the absoluteness of incarceration as any mental, physical, or spiritual place of confinement were prisoners are being detained under restraints. I guess in hindsight because my struggle with a profound sense of bondage began long before I was ever officially charged, convicted, and sentenced for a violation of any criminal offense against the peace and dignity of the state of Tennessee. I realize today with absolute clarity that like me, a kind, caste, and class of Americans whom have been molded by the same reactionary forces to the shackles of hopelessness or the handcuffs of helplessness I inherited, have also been so pathologically institutionalized by their conditions that the statistics presume before they even exit their mother's womb they are incorporeally already arrested by authorities but don't even know it. So whether we can agree or disagree that the political, social, and economical restraints that are being passed like heirlooms from one generation to the next are a shackle or a handcuff. In a nation where liberty is fundamentally based on what you can afford. The reality is for Americans who cannot afford to bond out of the bondage of poverty, inequality, and legalized dehumanization, is poverty, inequality, and legalized dehumanization are the lifeblood and leading manufacturer of class incarceration. Therefore for the millions of Americans whom like my great grandparents, grandparents, parents, and I, will die political prisoners serving life without parole under the confines of a kind, caste, and class. Our struggle to preserve any trace of liberty or maintain anything that remotely resembles sanity in the political prisons we call slums, gutters, projects, barrios, trailer parks, or ghettoes continues to be the cause of the criminalization which led to the institutionalization of the day. If class incarceration is being chronically under the arrest of a persistent delusion that is resistant to reason and confrontation with the reality that America's slums, gutters, projects, barrios, trailer parks, or ghettoes are actually in every aspect this mental, physical, and spiritual place of confinement were prisoners of a subculture are being detained at gunpoint under political, social, and economical restraints. If class incarceration is America's underclass; the model of (how) an exceptional nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal (except) those molded by the same reactionary forces to the shackles of hopelessness and the handcuffs of helplessness. I inherited from the conditions of America's predisposed default; became and remains the richest nation on earth by keeping the most vulnerable Americans locked down. If class incarceration is the criminalization of America's throw away society for inherently being conscientious objectors, for being unfit and unable to adopt the way things are at the bottom of America's wastelands, as humane, as sane, as the way things in the land of the free ought to and suppose to be... Then I submit being institutionalized is being so pathologically indoctrinated with the false ideology that (human dignity) is something you and I can buy or sell, that (if) its unconditionally true that what makes America America is our creed that all Americans are born in the United States with certain inalienable rights from the creator God. Then the reality that Americans must confront politically, socially, and economically as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for (all), is in practice in the United States of America is essentially by all looks and appearances mentally, physically, and spiritually (un-American)...but don't even know it!

Author: Africa, James

Author Location: Tennessee

Date: May 13, 2015

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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