This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Wasco.
Hello PrisonPandemic project,
It is with a heavy heart that I write you this letter today. I sent you all a letter yesterday and I pondered all day and night about what I wrote to you all. I wanted to explain further if I can. First, let me say, I pray this letter finds you in the best of health and spirits. Here’s a little bit more about me and my story.
They say there is nothing like an idea whose time has come. This idea that we see emerging “Black Lives Matter” well it’s been a long coming but even from this distant and isolated prison cell I can see its time has come. I have been a part of the justice system for as long as I can remember, a system that has tried but has failed deeply in trying to rehab its inmates. I can tell you that sadly I have been in and out of this prison for 15 plus years. Why? How? When? Where? One would ask.
I can tell you the reason is quite simple if you ask me. The short answer is metaphoric in nature. Imagine the drug lord “el chapo” after obtaining so much power and wealth hearing from his captains and lieutenants that the drug users all over the world have decided that they are done using drugs! Imagine that!
Think of all the bills, all the pay offs, all the greed, all the parties all have to now stop! Imagine all the drug users become woke all of a sudden and now they are all getting clean and are demanding jobs! Whose toes will they be stepping on for those jobs? The justice system is “el chapo”. Imagine all inmates all of a sudden become woke and stop committing crime and start demanding jobs. Whose toes would we be stepping on for those jobs?
The answer to your question of why is a 39 year old Black man with all the potential in the world throwing his life away? I don’t think you can imagine the length the justice system has gone and is still going to keep ensuring their job security. So I’m here to tell you whoever you are that when you bark up the tree of justice your bite better be much stronger than your bark.
You say in your letter that all you are collecting these letters are for a couple of reasons, one being to preserve in an archive for history to record and the other reason is the goal of prison reform. Well I hope and pray that you all are up for the lifetime sacrifice of going up against “el chapo” (the justice system). Last I checked he’s still the boss of his operation from a prison cell. Let that sink in for a moment.
My words are not to discourage you all more so to test your wills of sorts. I can tell you that me and my people (people who understand and live the Black experience in America) have been in an open and most times silent war with the “justice system”. Some will have you believe that we criminals are all in the same boat, that we all will never change, that we all only want to manipulate you and the system.
Though I agree on some parts of their argument I don’t agree that we are all the same and we can’t or don’t want to change part. I have been in the streets all my life and I know all the ends and outs of street culture and I can tell you, you can ask the worst Black street criminal if given the chance to live life as a upper-class American would they take that opportunity? And the answer would be yes!
So here is some advice to you all if you want to bring down “el chapo,” the corrupt justice system, you better bring a lot of people a lot of awareness and a whole lot of cameras, cameras, cameras. One thing corruption can’t survive under is the mighty camera! So affordable and so so so powerful.
P.S. Much love and respect.
P.S. I would like to hear more from you all if you have questions. Write me and tell your friends to write. Yes I have many prison professors in here that would love to hear from you all. We need advocates! Are you ready?