You better be damn sure whatever project you are working on that you are in it for the long haul or you will fail, or you will give up.
Prison was the long haul for Jamie.
Writing a good first book and learning how to do it was mine.
I dream about finding someone in “the business” who recognizes this and has the clout and connections to do something about it. There! I said it out loud! I put it into the universe. Positive or negative, we create our own personal universe we live in. I have to trust myself.
It has been a couple weeks since I last posted, hasn’t it? I’m a little behind because life has gone into mental high gear. It is my nature to bite off more than I can chew, and then have look to chew very quickly.
And it is not only the ordinary things that have to be done. We all have a life to live. For me it is medical issues that try to get in the way. Through it I have made tremendous progress in the writing of, “Inside the Forbidden Outside.” The music and the music videos I began making a year ago and starting a YouTube Channel, Sonni Quick Piano Improv, cultivating subscribers, added greatly to the busy hours of my day.
Hours spent promoting and marketing the chapters and the music every day pushed my workday (unpaid at this point) to 16 hours a day, usually 7 days a week. This is no exaggeration. Writing slowed down and blog post writing also decreased. But the project as a whole was coming together and moving forward. The response has been overwelming. It’s exciting. Every chapter done, every music recording finished and every video completed by my inexperienced hands has been a source of joy. And it came with inspiring comments with the connections to people increasing everyday.
I reach people through my music, to touch them emotionally about Jamie’s story. The music is the emotion of the story. It reaches out through my fingers. It is my passion. It is that passion for grasping life in your hands ant not letting go that separates the winners from the losers.
When you truly love to do something you spend every hour of every day working on it in some capacity. No excuses are good enough if you don’t see it through. I think the idea of writing a book with music was a good idea. I have not heard of any other book who combined the story and music together. If you only had one or the other you would have only half of the story.
This story I’m writing, if you haven’t read any of the chapters I’ve posted at this blog is not just someone’s experience living with the brutality of the American prison system – the Prison Industrial Corporation. It is about love and hope – failure and determination above all else, to take back his life. He was going to be a father to the son he has rarely seen. He wanted to go to school and learn things. He was a good man who was never given a chance from the moment he was born,
because. . . . he was black.. . . he was poor.. . . and he came from a southern state known for racism – and he had epilepsy.
While you are reading I want to link you to a page I wrote 3-4 years ago (also found up top where the pages are in white. https://mynameisjamie.net/i-want-to-encourage-you-to-take-the-time-to-read-this-please/ As I was beginning this blog these are the reasons why. It might help you understand why this is important
The odds were against him. He was part of a family with four children, a mother and no father, so they raised themselves with little adult supervision. Mom worked hard to provide for her family, so how could she be there to raise them? I know that dilemma well.
Will this book help people to better understand what being in prison is truly about, and will they understand the psychological damage from grief, caused by loss? Will they understand the constant struggle inside the mind, trying to keep itself together, when what it really wants is to kick the walls and scream?
Will readers understand that? Because I know from talking to people ‘out here’ that many people don’t. The sheer number of people who end up locked in a cell that shouldn’t be is absurdly high – and then there are those who still think only the guilty go to prison.
Not every human being should be characterized and judged for the rest of his life because she/he went to prison. It is not the sum total of that person. When Jamie gets out of prison his identity should not be tattooed across his face – EX FELON. That is what happens to so many, making it so hard to survive. Even the ones who have been exonerated after decades in prison because the were falsely imprisoned have to live with that tattoo just because they were in there.
This book is the story of a great many men and a rising number of women. They are considered to be expendable people in this country which deems White Christian Americans to be a cut above all others as if skin color alone is the key to being a better person, except. . . a better person knows how false that is and laughs at the notion that skin is the number one prerequisite for being a quality human being. Skin color isn’t even on that list.
What could the criminal justice system do to arrest and incarcerate even more people? There is no separation between good and evil. Money decides your freedom. Lock up people for any reason, true or false, and when they can’t make bail, lock them up anyway, for years! This is what lies in store for low income, minority people in this country whose guilt lies in having the bad luck of not being born in a good white neighborhood.
I am writing this book because all of this pissed me off. Royally. What a choice of words. So much inhumanity was happening to Jamie and I couldn’t do ANYTHING about it! I had all of this emotion running through me. I had to channel it into something positive.
“I’ll write a blog,” I said. I asked Jamie if it was okay. “Sure,” he said, “but who would want to read about my life?” But I knew it was an important story because so many people had the same story. I realized before long I needed to write a book. Only I had never written a book (or a blog for that matter). I knew I could do it if I honestly tried.
I worked on it for 2 1/2 years. I learned a lot. I didn’t know enough about how to write a book. Writing a blog and writing a book are two different ways of writing. I took some online classes. I read and read about writing. I started over. I wrote and rewrote and continued learning. I think I am now about 60% done with the rewrite have many good tracks of music.
It is a good thing I did not try to publish the first draft because it gave me more time to be better prepared. You can find all the chapters on this blog, even the first draft chapters if you do a search on the blog using the title of the book. You can see the progress if you are interested in reading it. The first draft has too much information and not enough story. This draft is more about the story and info to support it.
That is it for now, but there is another blog post almost ready to be published – about Jamie ‘s story. A little catch up from the past and why is where he is now.
Keep up on relevant news and progress made on “Inside The Forbidden Outside,” plus new music and videos
I grew up racist. I didn’t understand why. It took me well into adulthood to figure that out. My parents were good people. They raised their children with values. They never talked badly about the black people in our town. We also had some Italians and I heard other people call them Wops and Puerto Ricans were called Spics. There were no Hispanics. No Mexican food. Not even a taco. Looking back I can see that segregation and the lack of blacks and whites mixing socially caused my racism. I was scared to death of black people and there was no one who talked to anyone about this divide.
I grew up in Pa in the 50’s thru the early 70’s then left to go to school. My town had a clear line and white families lived on one side and black families on the other. I learned many years ago that black families couldn’t secure home loans on my side of the line. I remember hearing if a black family were to move into the neighborhood property values would go down because those people don’t take care of their homes and would trash them. “Just take a look at how they live.” But they didn’t own the homes they lived in. They rented from white landlords who felt little need to keep their properties in good shape. They had approval from the government.
I read an article on Moorbay’s Blog, about the fairly recent history of the last 100 years of housing segregation that forced black families to live in substandard housing. Read this article for yourself and learn. It caused me to respond with this post.
I came from a lower income family who didn’t live in the best part of town. My parents worked hard to provide a good home. There was an empty I’ve cream factory across the street and a big park a half block away. Often in the summer black children wanted to play at the park and had to walk through white neighborhoods to get there. They walked down my street. Not my side of the street but stayed close to the factory. They were as scared of us as we were of them. We didn’t call to each or attempt to make friends. I had never touched a black person and wondered if their skin felt like mine. I wanted to feel their hair. There was no effort to bring the people together. When I say, no effort, I mean absolutely none, ever.
Today many white parents are raising their children to be racist. Maybe not overtly, but by comments inserted into conversations that put white people on a rung that black people don’t deserve, so white kids learn in subtle ways that they are better than others. These kids grow up saying things like, “I’m not a racist, but . . .” and go on to say something disparaging about that race, be it black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Guatamalen, Honduran and many more. White is superior in their minds.
Today these kids are recruited on college campuses. Kids repeat what they hear and some become violent adults, like shooting at a teenager who knocked on your door for directions, and the man was a retired firefighter who saved people. A man who lied and said his gun went off accidentally. He couldn’t take responsibility for his actions.
After all this time how can this racism be continually perpetuated and not understood it is wrong. Everyone is human. No one is a superior human. Humanity comes from inside. It doesn’t come from skin color. We all know this so why do we continue to say, “I’m not racist, but . . .”
Since Trump, the rise of hate crimes has become staggering. People can openly hate now and the President of this country has called them ‘good people’ and mocks people of color. They use his show of support at their white nationalist rallies. Any race other than white is disgusting and inferior to this deeply flawed man. White people all over America are sucking it up like babies to a breast. It is nauseating to me.
Last night my ten year old granddaughter needing a shower said, “At least I don’t smell like a Mexican.” That quickly got my attention. We had talked before about racism and racist comments but she had trouble understanding how she had slandered an entire race of people with her remark. Mexicans stink. “I didn’t mean that!” she said. I told her, “Maybe not, but that is what you said.”
My son works at a boat marina. Hot, sweaty, dirty, smelly work; a mixed race of workers. They joke among themselves calling each other names. They know they’re joking in good nature. My granddaughter overheard. She wasn’t trying to be disparaging but needed to learn if she used that among school friends how wrong it was to say that.
So many of today’s children are rude, undisciplined, smart mouthed and think they have a right to backtalk and argue and cuss at you. It is what they learn at home. Many parents are not teaching their children right from wrong. New racists of all ages are being raised thinking white people should be dominant – because their parents taught them that. I fear it will get much worse.
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Jamie spent a couple years in the prison in this video, the McConnell Unit, in Beeville, Texas, during the years 2010 – 2012. This is a video of a news broadcast on prisons made in 1995. Government was cracking down in a fictitious crime wave that began in the 1980’s and needed to appear to be tough on crime to the public.
Every politician is now afraid if they appear soft on crime they won’t be re-elected. But they aren’t afraid of what the people think. They are afraid of losing the donors who line their pockets and fill their war chests for re- election – the most important aspect of being a politician who is comfortable with being bribed in order to keep their job. New politicians are zealous about doing what is right for the country. Long time politicians not so much, which is why there needs to be a cap on how many terms they can stay in office.
I’ve been publishing some of the chapters of my upcoming book, “Inside The Forbidden Outside” on this blog. Last week I published a chapter about the Smith Unit in West Texas where Jamie was first housed. McConnell Unit is the next prison he is sent to. It is not uncommon to be shifted from prison to prison. One reason is it keeps the inmates from forming lasting friendships or planning something within the prison. It is located in SE Texas in Beeville, near Brownsville, not far north of the Mexican Border.
I’ve been reading through the letters Jamie sent me from the McConnell Unit. The difference between reality and the propaganda shown in this broadcast is overwhelming. But in 1995 the government needed a lot of propaganda to get the American people on board to support ramping up the “Tough on crime” stance and the “War on Drugs” which began in the 1980’s, thanks to the corruption of Richard Nixon.
A Brief History of the Drug War | Drug Policy Alliance
http://www.drugpolicy.org › issues › brief-hist…
There were two things Nixon was passionate about; winning the Vietnam War at any cost, and his racist views of Black people. Black people were not friends of the Republican party or their view of what was good for America. Nixon put pot smoking hippies center stage. Massive protests to stop the war were beginning to interfere with his drum roll. They were getting too much support to end the war and had to be stopped. But people were done with sacrificing their sons and buying into the concocted need to fight communism. The real reason for the war had been kept from the media. If he could heighten people’s fear of marijuana and increase drug laws he’d be able to control the young people and their ablility to gather in large groups, especially at the White House.
Propaganda began appearing in the media, teaching people that pot was as dangerous as heroin. It said people were becoming addicted and violent. (I have never seen a violent stoned person who wasn’t laughing and raiding the fridge.) It justified tripling the prison population over time and created the need for more prisons. They were now seen as a business opportunity to make profit. Ironically, even today, our Attorney General is trying to revive those laws and fears again but people aren’t buying it.
NEWS – http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/editorials/sd-trump-sessions-marijuana-20180416-story.html
Black people have been portrayed as dangerous heroin addicts and dealers who might come to your hometown to rape white girls and addict the young. (We have since learned it is the pharmaceutical companies in bed with the government who is to blame). Women were to fear black men walking near them on a street and move to the other side. Black men are used to women clutching their purses in fear of snatch and grab putting all black men in the role criminal. Or government has perpetuated this false identity in the quest to destroy and incarcerate many black men – and women as possible. Incarcerated Black women is the fastest growing segment of society. Since 1980, the amount of women locked up increased 8-fold and are locked up 4x more often than white women. That would lead you to believe black women were more deserving of incarceration.
Black men became the poster image for the heroin drug dealer . In reality more heroin was sold and used by white people than black. It’s been proven overall that drug usage is equally used by both races, but in the prisons, the black population is much higher than white. Why? Prisons are a tool to enslave black people much the same way slavery did.
This video is a good representation of the type of propaganda fed to the American people in the mid 90’s. Heinous crimes are inflicted on those in prison. Think about it. Do you really think the prisons would bow down to inmates demands for nicer prisons with benefits like what is shown in this video, saying their hands were tied and there was nothing they could do about it? That’s a laugh. I don’t think so.
Twenty-five years ago prisoners couldn’t tell people on the outside the truth about what was happening on the inside. Information coming out of the prisons was censored. Not any longer. Now there is the internet and people are demanding change.
With social media, in the past few years, information began getting out. Videos from cell phones inside were being shared online. Prison beatings and murders by guards were now known. Unsanitary conditions. They have been hard to prosecute, just like cops who kill and priests who sexually abuse young boys. There its too much money behind them. There are too many prison abuses to list here. Texas prisons began threatening and punishing inmates with time in solitary confinement if they were found supplying their writings to people on the outside to be put on social media. The prisons needed to stop the flow of information. It didn’t work.
I began publishing information four years ago, but Jamie doesn’t write it. I do. I believe people have a right to know how bad it is. Millions of people are currently locked up and many more millions have already served time. These lives have been negatively impacted through racism.
Families have been broken and left without the ability to make enough money to survive. Lack of education has hurt the ability to raise families. Children grow up with the stigma of having a parent in prison. 70% end up in prison themselves because of it and the cycle continues.
One in three black men are now incarcerated because of this concocted war on drugs. They are targeted as young as preschool and expelled from schools for the same behavior by white boys, who don’t get expelled. They portray black boys as being more dangerous. But look at all the mass shootings. Every. Single. Shooting – every one – was done by a white person. So who is really more dangerous? The government will not call these white people domestic terrorists. They have mental problems we are told. What would they call a black mass shooter?
Disrupting education is a major cause in becoming part of the school to prison pipeline – and later – part of the prison to poverty pipeline. This is intentional. It isn’t hidden. It is as open crusade to make America white again – when has never been a white country.
People really did believe inmates have had it easy. People bought it hook, line and sinker. This video shows the cells looking nice. It appears to be a vacation getaway for criminals. The good life. Crime pays, it implies. But reality was far different.
The food looks plentiful. Even the tray being served through the cell door looks piled high with food with a female pouring ice tea from a pitcher just like at a restaurant. Really?? That’s ridiculous. Hot meals in reality are served cold, thawed right out of the freezer.
Medical care is not better than at a hospital. Much of the medical care is via a computer like Skype and involves being prescribed water and Tylenol. Heart problem? Take cough medicine. The law says they have to provide “adequate” care but doesn’t stipulate what adequate care is. ally ill patients with diabetes and heart disease are left to die because it costs the medical corporations like Corizon too much of their profit. Today I got a letter from Jamie saying they are withholding his seizure medication again. Playing dumb – again. They said they forgot to order it.
From 1995 until now conditions have gotten much worse. The prison industrial complex, the corporations that control different aspects of the prisons such as medical care, food, education and skills, spend as little money as possible on the inmates because it increases their bottom line. Many people are now aware of the horrible conditions inside but changing the system through reform is difficult. These corporations throw a lot of money at politicians to vote in their best interest. Right and wrong no longer matter.
People should know by now the government is not on the side of the people. But they have to want to understand the world they live in. Many people don’t. They prefer to live in a world of make believe.
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This is what America has become – deporting prominent people who work for the freedoms on which this country has prided itself for more than two centuries.We allowed ourselves the many illusions of a democracy the Republican Gestapo has actively worked to blatantly destroy to advance the holdings of the wealthy on the premise that the average person’s life has less value.
My writing is almost always about some aspect of our criminal justice system. But what circumstances are former inmates walking into on the day they are released and want to build new lives. The America they knew and the new America they will see can’t co- exist. If the Trump regime has decided which citizens deserve freedom and liberty, I can assure you they won’t be looking at former inmates as the type of citizens they will feel are deserving of “their” help. They will want them back in prison where they think they belong. Prison corporations already try to keep from helping prisoners with health care, decent food and education because they think of the cost as something coming out of their pickets. After all, they are just criminals, right? And immigrants are rapists and murderers and gang members according to Trump’s SOTU.
Steve Prator, Louisiana’s sheriff recently said the prisons should not parole the “good ones” because they could get a lot more free labor out of them. I suppose inmates should be used for their worth and then discarded?
If you want to be a good Republican today here is partial list of what you need to support. Feel free to write and tell me what I missed.
They have taken pride in:
2. Discrimination of non- whites, non heterosexuals
3. Cutting help for disabled, elderly and the poor
4. Unequal education for all children and support fir dissolving the line separating church and state because they believe their religious beliefs should be forced on everyone.
5. Gutting consumer protections
6. Gutting environmental protections
7. Taking from the poor to give more to the rich
8. Supporting fossil fuel energy and attempting to halt renewable energy growth
9. Wanting to line all our coastline with drilling rigs until this earth isn’t habitable – as we continue to invade other countries for their resources, too, because they aren’t strong enough to stop us.
10. Arresting people who aren’t loyal to them as they pretend it is Trump who leads them.
11. Wanting to destroy our right to free speech
12. Increased sentencing for non violent crimes and for Cannibis, pretending it’s as lethal and addicting as opiates but is really to keep prisons full in repayment of campaign funding by prison corporations.
13. Destroying the internet and controlling what you learn.
This list goes on and on. Registered Republicans approve of the items on this list. They support the destruction of democracy. But they can’t have their cake and eat it, too, but they think they can. Sorry, ignorance is not bliss.
I had hoped I would never read news about my country like I read now on a daily basis. This Gestapo type behavior of whisking people away, destroys their families, taking them away from their wives, children and communities where they have often lived for decades. Good people. Family people. Hard working people. Innovative people. People who contribute to our country and fought for our country. They are being targeted to get them away from “good, deserving citizens.” Trump’s government thinks these people, who have fought against discrimination, must be deported because they are dangerous. It is freedom and knowledge that is dangerous to Trump’s America.
This country was built 100% by immigrants after we destroyed its inhabitants, took away their land and didn’t honor our treaties. To this day we whittle away what little bit lasts because the government says they need it more. We made the indigenous people out to be the bad people we needed to overthrow. Now Trump has equated the word immigrant with the word criminal. But it was us who were the criminals. We were the murderers. We were the theives who took what wasn’t ours. Now Trump says : Immigrant = bad person. Immigrant= not good enough to live here – even if they had lived here for decades and have a wife and family and pays taxes. Immigrant = deportation.
It makes me sick. Trump’s America. I spit it out like spoiled food that sits rotting in my mouth. I’d rather starve than give an inch in the hell bee occupies. Trump declared he is on the side of America’s citizens. He has no remorse for behaving like Hitler deciding what race or what nationality is worth protecting. He also decides which citizens are worth protecting. I am appalled, as everyone who lives here should be.
History books looking back at this time will teach the young about this dark period. It will explain the cause of people’s ignorance. The new generation will be amazed at how easily people fell under control of the political party called Fox News, just like we were amazed that German citizens fell under the spell of Hitler. That couldn’t happen to us. We’re smarter than that we would turn against our neighbors.
Fox News is directing our easily swayed, mentally challenged president (” I am, like, really smart” he says in his valley girl way of speaking about himself). They tell him who to incarcerate and who to execute while inventing “facts” that don’t exist. Laughingly, smart people don’t have to tell people they are smart. They are smart enough to know that.
This dark time will be taught in school like Hitler is taught today. Children will learn what we did to other non-white countries so we could move in with our corporations and nationalize them for profit. Casualties and deaths will be counted and attributed directly to this disgraceful American President who is causing the collapse of any good we are capable of doing. We can no longer pretend America gives a shit about anyone other than the elite class who would rather see someone dead if it meant it could claw out another dollar for themselves.
With Americans targeting their neighbors and spreading hate like the Germans did, I wake each day with such sadness. As I listen to the madness of the fervent talk coming out of Shawn Humanity’s mouth I wonder if the evil was always there or if his ego and huge paycheck gave him the self importance to spread such viciousness to people caught up in the lies he tells. He has far surpassed Bill O’Reilly in spreading evil non truths to his audiences. They lap it up like a dog in heat. How can the anchors at Fox be so hateful of America. It is frightful.
America is losing its soul. It’s goodness. I used to be proud to be as American – so glad I live here. Now I am ashamed of this pathetic regime that was not elected by the people, although Trump thinks he was and it infuriates him. He won, not because he was the best person for the job, but instead by manipulations of billionaires redrawing district lines and attempting to further control who is white enough to vote. And of course, Russia. That much has been proven. The rich don’t give a damn about the people who live here if it doesn’t further their agenda.
I am ashamed of the people who allow themselves to be manipulated by Trump. I am ashamed that people I know could be so ignorant of the reality of America today – those who feel entitled. Those who pride themselves on remaking ignorance into their reality. Those who think their lives are more valuable than others. Sadly, Trump’s America will hurt them, too.
Where was the outcry from Republican citizens when a Republican politician a couple weeks ago announced they wanted to put a stop to Meals on Wheels and lunches for poor children because THEY WEREN’T WORKING and America couldn’t afford to feed them. Not WORKING? He was proposing they just let them die from hunger? They aren’t good enough or productive enough to live? I’ll bet that will motivate the lazy elderly to go out and get a job at Wal-Mart. Who cares if they can’t.
There are people who think every fetus has the right to live, but don’t expect republicans to do anything help them live. Count my life in this batch. Elderly and disabled people weren’t worth helping? This is America? Where was the outcry for suggesting that? Or perhaps Fox News didn’t report it and people never heard about it. Fox is very selective about what they consider to be the truth worth reporting.
Trump has laid our evil government on the table for all to see. He couldn’t have done this if his black heart wasn’t already there. His first year in office has only laid bare what was already hid – the undeniable beginning of the destruction of our country. If you don’t see that you deserve the consequences you will be blindsided with.
The rest of us will continue to fight for our country. We have kept our eyes open to the agenda of today’s Republican party that in no way resembles the party of my grandfather. It has sunk to lows previously not thought possible. Not America. I cry for my grandchildren and the destruction they are left with long after Trump is dead and buried.
If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Black soldiers fought with the British for teir freedom. Wouldn’t you? The Promised they would not be forced to be returned to the owners – as if people owning people was ever okay. Even as late as last year, Republican politicians in the south were trying to change the school history books, rewriting history, promoting the fallacy that slaves really had it pretty good. Well fed and dressed. They forgot about the raped, beatings and selling family members and never seeing them again.
This weekend, my mother was visiting and was reading a book history book titled “Mirrors”. She was shocked to realize that slavery in America lasted over 400 years. She didn’t know.
Complete version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” showing spelling and punctuation
from Francis Scott Key’s manuscript in the Maryland Historical Society collection.
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bomb bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
‘Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
It is obvious, it is not in Trump’s best interest to tell the truth about why the NFL players are kneeling and what it stands for. In addition, Trump has often let words come out of his mouth about things he really knows nothing about. His ignorance is often astounding. He repeats lies so often his base thinks it’s the truth. All of the people who join him in bashing the NFL players and calling them names without ever actually attempting to understand why it was happening is just as ignorant as he is.
It easily showed who the real hidden racists are. Many of them call themselves Christians, but I sincerely doubt that this behavior is taught in Christians teachings. Even the simple teaching taught to children called, “The Golden Rule”, says to treat people the way you want to be treated. Why is that taught? Does it matter? What happens when we treat people badly? This Christian teaching gives you the answer: “You reap what you sow.”
Do you believe that? Do you think it applies to you? All of the time or some of the time? Do these rules – these teachings – apply to the way white people treat black people or do you think America should be white again, when it was never white in the first place? Do you think being white has privileges? You know it does. It shouldn’t, but as long as you are white you don’t care.
America still treats Indians as though they are worthless and white people are better. We destroyed them. We invaded and conquered them in true Christian fashion. People who insist America is a Christian nation yet does horrible things to people who aren’t white even though their religion teaches them there will be repercussions to the things they do, they do it anyway, as if their God will applaud their bad behavior against people who are also made in his image – so the teachings go.
I have listened to white Christians online the past few years, on up to this national anthem incident as they spit hateful names at black people, following the hateful comments by our hateful president who has bashed all races, and women, since his presidential campaign started. We sat shocked at the filth that spewed from his mouth. Surely this wouldn’t be allowed to continue. Everything that has followed from the beginning of the destruction of our public school system to wanted money from Medicare to build his dam wall, terrorizing Hispanics who’ve lived here most of their lives as well as the Muslims, taking away the chip program for low income and single mothers, destroying the EPA and allowing more toxins into our air and water – and the list goes on. – and there are people who approve?!
Those of us who know right from wrong were amazed that so many people hated America so much and held inside themselves the same views he held.
I sat one day with a feeling of dread and typed the words, “How will we be able to put the hate back in the bottle now that this despicable abuser has said it’s okay to hurt people.” In addition, he openly installed leaders of the KKK in his cabinet. Mass killings have escalated. He will do NOTHING except what the NRA wants.
My children are grown. When they were young I would not allow them to have play guns of any kind. The more guns there are, the more mentally unbalanced and drunk (mostly) men will use them. Ask my sister. Her husband, in one of his drunken stupers got his gun out and waved it around. He spent 11 days in jail before he could post bail. If he were black it would have been a lot longer, if bail would have even been offered. My sister bought a gun to carry in her purse because she was afraid of him. What part of the second amendment does that apply to? Why should you have to protect yourself from your husband? But everything is okay now. He decided to become a Christian, at least in front of people, and the story of what happened that night changed and a new truth was born.
What do I do with my good Christians friends who spew Trump’s hatred? I am not including all Christians here. Each person has the right to practice any faith they choose that they believe makes sense to them and helps their life. But that does not mean it is okay to hurt people who are not like you. And if you are going to be hateful – without investigating the things you say are true, and instead allow yourself to be lead around by the nose to support a president who clearly has some problems mentally, then you will be thought of in the same light as he is. He has the lowest rating of any president in a very long time. There is a reason for that.
Support him if you want – but research what you think you believe. The national anthem is not what you think and you need to find the truth. I stopped pledging the flag about 40 years ago when I found out it had been changed. Do you know that? Do you know why?
I am proud of the NFL players. Black people have been trying for along time to get the attention and be recognized as equal human beings and nothing worked. If you don’t support this – I mean, really support this, and not just lip service – then the line is drawn in the sand for me.
I have black grandchildren. Real people. I won’t tolerate anyone thinking they are better than they are in any way. You can’t straddle the middle of the fence. You can’t think you are superior to my family or anyone else who isn’t white.
I am ashamed of this man who is supposed to be “my” president, whose lack of real compassion prompts him to talk about people like the uncouth person he is.
If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: email@example.com
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I have been trying to find the right words to explain “Black Lives Matter” to people who have missed the point completely – often deliberately because they don’t want to appear to anyone that they do understand. You can’t keep up the hateful offensive rhetoric if you understand. Please go to the original blog post and read why this was important enough to reblog her post.
I think some white people want to stay openly hostile to impress their friends that they can say racist things as well. White people don’t want to appear sympathetic to blacks. I am appalled by people I know, even family members, who deliberatelly misunderstand the meaning of Black Lives Matter.
Even those who know the years I have put into researching and understanding the racial divide, have a mocking tone to their voice when they say I support Black Lives Matter like it’s some kind of a joke, the way people used to call people “nigger lovers”, and no, I won’t be politically correct and put in asterics instead of the letter I. It’s a hateful word but this is a hateful subject we shouldn’t have to have.
White people feel and think it’s necessary to constantly put down black people and call them derogatory names because they think they somehow have to keep themselved on the top rung of quality people. I have 2 half black grandsons. I’ve been told not to worry, they will be okay. They are being taught to respect authority. But how are they safe when no one is teaching the cops to respect them back? There are so many statistics proving the racism of many cops. Please note I did not say ALL cops. The ones who shoot using the excuse they are afraid as a reason to shoot someone in the back, shouldn’t be a cop. A cop that tells a man named Sterling to get of his ID out but uses that as an excuse to kill him, a man who works with kids. What does it teach those kids?
My grandsons aren’t any safer than any other black man who has been killed by a bad cop. I don’t want to hear any more but..but..but and bring anything else into this discussion. Fire bad cops who have proven they are unstable. Arrest and prosecute those who kill unjustly, no matter what race they are. Fire the cops who protect and lie for bad cops. Stop defending cops who kill. Stop implying that the man simply walking down the street is suspicious and deserves being taken down and kicked in head. There has been too much of this. It is not justified by anything other than certain white people who are afraid of losing their top dog status. If anything happens to my grandchildren I will be one very angry grandmother.
If you are someone who insists on not understanding the issues and encourages more harm to black people and also wants to let the cops off the hook when they kill without just cause then I feel bad for you because of the divide you continue to encourage. The writer of this post is right. We need to talk. We need to find a way for this to stop.
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“We shouldn’t get too caught up in this notion that somehow people who are asking for fair treatment are somehow, automatically, anti-police, are trying to only look out for black lives as opposed to others. I think we have to be careful about playing that game.” Statement of President Obama
As a Pacifist, I believe that every life matters. For the last two weeks or so, I’ve watched town hall meetings with people speaking about the Black Lives Matter Movement. I listened. I learned.
After watching a town hall meeting on CNN called Black, White and Blue, I asked myself why are people who have had no experience whatsoever being discriminated against in America because of the color of their skin, arguing over the meaning of Black Lives Matter?
Each generation sits around the dining table and shares stories of their lives. They talk about the challenges and…
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I have written posts and pages about a man who lives on Death Row. I use the term “lives” because he has a life. It might not be the life he wants, or one you and I could tolerate, but it is the life he has and he is trying to make it the best life he can. He has spent years studying to understand life to a greater extent than most people do. He had to go back to the earliest part of his life to understand and learn to appreciate it.
Most people float through their lives from day to day without much thought about why we are the way we are, or why we ended up with the life we have. We often don’t take responsibility for making the causes we have, to end up where we are. I began writing to him a couple years ago because he intrigued me. I had gone to a pen pal site for inmates, not looking for someone to write to, because I was writing to Jamie, but because I thought this site might a place to put his info and acquire a pen pal or two for him.
Then I saw this post about an inmate named Armando Macias who was on death row, and he was a Buddhist. Since I am a Buddhist as well, I found that intriguing. I doubted he was a Buddhist before he was sentenced to death row, and how does someone find that practice inside? There aren’t Buddhist monks in prison like there are chaplins. What has his study and practice changed his life to enable him to have quality in his life while living in a tiny bathroom sized cement box. We have had wonderful letters discussing the teachings of Buddhism while getting to know each other.
A member of my family, not understanding, even asked why why I would even want to have him for a friend? Why would I even want to write to him/ He murdered someone! He didn’t deserve to be a friend of mine. He no longer qualified to be a human being. He was going to hell, I was told. Even though he understood what he did was wrong he didn’t deserve to be treated with kindness ever again for the rest of his life. Because none of us are perfect and do things that are wrong does that mean we should be shunned?
I’m writing about him today because something a little strange happened two days ago. Most of my posts, no matter when they were written still get views. I think that is fairly normal on blogs that aren’t time sensitive, like news. He sent me something to me near the end of 2014 he had written. I broke it down into The parts and it can be found at the top of the site where all the pages are. It is called The Inhumane Society
I still get views every month on the entire series of three posts. I was quite shocked the first time i read it because it was quite degrading. So far it has been read over 500 times. That’s not bad because I was a fairly new blogger when I posted it. It showed me it was something people were interested in finding it out more about. People are realizing they have been lied to a great many things and they are tired of being lied to. We need to insist even stronger we aren’t going to take it anymore. The days of being manipulated are coming to a fast close.
The other day, in the space of two hours, 62 people read this post. Read it yourself. What do you think? These were unique viewers. My blog won’t register a viewer as “unique” if a person logs into the same post within 24 hours. What was bringing here? It wasn’t a new post, I’ve had a few take off and have had 800 to 5000 views over a couple weeks, but not when it had already been out for 1 1/2 years. Was it the subject and was was happening now to get a lot of traffic? Why was it being quickly shared? Mind you I’m not complaining. Anyone who writes wants to have their words reads.
DEATH ROW AND THE DEATH PENALTY
There have been more articles written about the death row and the death penalty than there ever has been. People want it changed and it has gone back and forth over the years. The fact that it has been proven that we murdered innocent people and it is too late to give them their lives back. to have that on your conscious is hard., I would think. Many people aren’t guilty and are used to falsely fill the prisons for the sake of the profit of the prisons.
Yes, there are some really bad people inside, but they are the minority, not the majority, and the length of sentences are often beyond reason. If they aren’t as bad as they have been out to be, simply to fill “for profit” prisons, that means the people in this country were taught to have no moral compass..
This brings me to the second problem I realized. America wants to insist this is a Christian Nation. If this were true – if this country was founded on Christianity, what the hell happened? Why does this piece of dirt that holds 5% of the world’s population have 25% of all the prisoners in the world? Do you see what I’m getting at? Either there is something ineffective about the teachings or there aren’t as many people really and truly “practicing” the teachings, living their lives as if the teachings make a difference. There is so much hate and so many hate crimes, and people think they have a right to do them. People either have no idea what the term”you reap what you sow” means, or they think it doesn’t apply to them.
I recently read a article on a Christian website. The preacher was teaching a lesson. He said to his followers, “You don’t have to worry about the phrase, you reap what you sow. Jesus died for your sins.” What??? It doesn’t matter what you do or who you hurt. You are saved and going to heaven.. I’m sorry, it doesn’t work like that. You get back the effect of every bad -and good – thing you do. If you aren’t happy, it is for a reason. It also applies if you are happy. You have no one else but yourself that is responsible for your life. Even if you were taught differently, it doesn’t make it so.
This country should be overstuffed with happy Christians. Where are they? They are all out there proudly toting their guns In case their neighbor tries to shoot up the grocery store while they are in it. A Christian country wanting to terrorize lgbt people because they say Good doesn’t like it. They terrorize Muslims because they say every single one of them wants to kill you in your sleep. And damn those Mexicans raping and killing our women. Then they teach this to a new generation of kids? Is this our Christian nation? It’s shameful.
Armando Macias studied all religions to find the truth about his life. He did do something bad. But through this bad thing, with the teachings of Buddhism, which is doubtful you know anything about, he learned what it meant to truly be a human being. He is more free in that prison than most Americans are carrying they guns around because that is their god given freedom to protect themselves – from what?
It is Nichiren Buddhism I teach Jamie, so he will truly learn his value as human being. Praising an entity does not replace the work we need to do on ourselves that make us better people. We can’t say “Praise the Lord”, and then do as we damn well please and think we won’t have to pay the price for our actions.
This is my opinion. Please understand i am not lumping all Christians into this category. You can believe what you want. Each of us to come to terms with our own life. You can be angry or you can think about it. I’m not saying you should stop being a Christian. But understand why you are. Was it told to you ha
I think it is hard to not try to analyze it, but that doesn’t change anything. So how does one change something that causes unhappiness? Let’s take a hard situation, since I mostly write about the prison system. Today I wore about juvenile detention and the artwork is from a man on death row. He committed a contract killing. Not his first offense. Read what he wrote about what happened the first time he was released. He wanted a better life. His karma was too strong. What is karma? The effect of causes made. If you want to know what causes you made in the past look at your life today. How do you want you future to be? Make the right causes. Otherwise life just slaps you around and if you really think life isn’t being fair it is easy to play victim and say it is not your fault – it was done to you by something outside your control. At that point many people would pray to God to fix it and when that doesn’t work they’d say it was part of God’s plan for them to suffer. So nothing changes and no responsibility is taken. Amen. Praise the lord!
How does someone change the fact they are on death row? or Ad Seg like Jamie? Physically, right now it won’t change. What changes is attitude and life Condition. You could call it moods. depending on your mood, when something happens you will react differently. If you are angry and a guard treated you badly, you’ll get pissed which will start a chain of events that could end up with you getting very hurt. If you have a higher life condition you might blow it off and the guard would just walk away. You could have a higher life condition and instead, genuinely smile him. After all, he has to work in this 100 degree weather with more clothes on than you and tempers are flaring. Now that he isn’t angry and you weren’t condescending to him maybe you’ll be the first one he takes to the shower and you thank him. Different causes. Different effects. This is all of life. This is how karma is made.
Everything you think, say or do creates karma. Even in a prison cell he can be happy. There are many kinds of prison cells. To escape unhappiness you have to understand the causes of your life. When you are in rhythm with the universe you will bring to you what you need, and when you try to change, your life will throw up obstacles to keep you down. Resistance to change. This is a life long battle. How do you get in rhythm? By chanting “nam myoho renge kyo” The law the cause and effect through sound and vibration.
Some people mediate, but that is too passive. You physically have to do something. Yes, you can think about change but it isn’t the same. There are so many things I want to do. None of it will happen unless I make the cause for it to happen. We understand that on a basic level. Can you even imagine what you could do if you took control of how you’re life actually went? So whether it is changing violence, or anger or jealousy or lack of confidence, or a hateful coworker, or not wanting to be alone, anything – if you have complete confidence your mind will figure out a way. But we are human and it is always 2 steps forward and one step back That is life.There is nothing supernatural about it. No God up there who has the ability to love no matter how much people want it to be so. Common sense. This, was the intro to Nichiren Buddhism 101. You don’t have to believe it, but millions of other Nichiren Buddhists in this country to do, which is why this is not a Christian nation. We have to have laws for all people not just a select person. There is no fat happy Buddha, either, BTW. We don’t worship the man, we try to live what he taught.
This was not meant to insult anyone and their faith, only to bring to the surface the people that don’t practice their faith as it was meant to be, but instead use it to judge others they think should practice what they believe in, and use hate and violence to push their agenda – no matter what faith they have.
This puts an amusing twist on a very real subject that affects hundreds of thousands of people every year. You might look at x-inmates as dangerous criminals – and some of them are. But a majority of those people being released aren’t dangerous criminals. are like you and me and are no more apt to be a danger to you – than yourself. Unless of course you are a danger to the people around you.
I get so tired of people professing that the United States is a Christian nation. There are prisoners in every corner of the world but none come close to the amount this country has locked up and the number in solitary confinement that we have. Do we breed more criminals? I don’t think so. Why is it that this country is the ONLY country that is so adamant when insisting we are a Christian nation, especially when there are so many faiths practiced here? How disrespectful to the many millions of non Christians.
No country uses people for profit as much as we do. We imprison so many people unjustly. We lock up more children. Cops think is okay to throw a student across a classroom, while she is still sitting at a desk, because she stood up for herself and the girl defending her gets arrested, too. How can this be? Is this what it means to be a Christian nation? We lock up people who don’t have the money to fight back or hire an attorney. We do this for money! For profit! So many of our citizens are led around with a rope through their nose believing the garbage put out in the media about how the color of one’s skin can make them dangerous so they can justify ruining their lives and destroying their families. They are deemed worthless.
Yet we are a Christian nation? Really?
I am sick of hearing politicians saying they are Christians and even Ted Cruz says a president should start every day on his knees, as if this type of Christianity makes them right in the things they do. It is scary if this is the way these Christian politicians think America should be. If this is how people think, if people are supposed to study the Bible so they can feel the loving arms of God around them (I was told), then why is it that the line is drawn in the sand when people leave prison and their life is judged so negatively that help is not extended because people think they are not worthy enough to live near you or work with you because they think they are so much better than they are.
This is the holiday season when we spend money to send out cards that say “Merry Christmas”, and “Peace on Earth, good will toward men” ALL MEN, These phrases that make us feel good for a minute but change nothing. Now, I know there are people who care. You know who you are. But I don’t tell you the other things people say, “You should take this site down and shut the fuck up.” ( an actual comment)
If you care about people – if you really do want this world to be a better place – stand up for everyone’s right to live and be happy – even those who don’t think like you, who have families to feed, just like you. Who need a job to survive, just like you. Who need a place to live, just like you. and even those who may have a different faith than yours.
The presidential contender Donald Trump has a slogan. “Make America Great Again”, although he thinks he can do it through racism, insults and selfishness and war. I think we can do better – don’t you?
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Original Improvised Piano Music –
The music I have written for this blog has been moved to Soundcloud to make it easily accessible for those not on WordPress. It would help me tremendously if you went there and “liked” it, commented and shared. people tend to listen to music that others have listened to and it would give me a push to get started to have better stats. All bloggers understand that.
Millions of men, women and even young children from neighborhoods and cities all over America, the land of milk and honey, the loving nation that so many say is “One Nation Under God” – who is professed to know your every thought and wants to have a mansion in heaven waiting for you when you die – yes – the people of THAT country, are locked away – out of sight – so you don’t have to even think about them during the time of holidays, while you buy and send the same type Xristmas card every year – and spend 49 cents – and still rising – until all cards become electronic – to send a card and probably only sign your name ( if you are old enough to know how to write in cursive) – Love, so and so, and you’ve done your duty and followed unwritten protocol that it is a must to profess your love for mankind and maybe even go to church – that one time each year you catch up on your going to church duty – and once again you did your loving Xristian duty to pretend you cared about all people by sending these cards to people who might wonder why they didn’t get a card because they sent one to you, although this duty is only done on holidays – but what about the millions of people who are locked away, many of them behind heavy steel doors, inhumanely treated into silence by people who enjoy having the power to do so – inmates who, if they received a card would cherish it while trying to imagine who took the time to care enough to spend 49 cents on a total stranger the rest of the world would rather forget ever existed, or didn’t even think if they existed at all in the first place – the millions of people locked away – some justly – some unjustly – but never the less are still human beings – with broken lives, when most people, even good ( they think) Xristians, in their judgmental way, choose who they believe are good enough to be part of their world, and the rest should be shut out -leave the country – test them – is their faith good enough to be in their presence? do they love God enough? because if they don’t, they no how to treat people who don’t have good Xristian values, and whether you are locked behind a steel door or have your head covered by a simple piece of cloth you aren’t good enough to be in my goddam Xristian country, they think – so children cry and grown men cry because these men didn’t have someone to send THEM a lousy friggin’ Xristmas card, even with only a signature wishing them a happy holiday – a happy what? Christmas, even though being merry or happy was something they weren’t allowed to be and prison guards made sure you were as unhappy as possible 363 days a year because Thanksgiving and Christmas, even though food there could never be mistaken as good, they made a small effort to not starve them on those days – Xristians wouldn’t do that on Xristmas so maybe their Xristianity came out on those days or surely God would be pissed as hell with them, as surely as he will be pissed at you if you are one of the self-centered Xristian Americans who have the audacity to think all Muslims are terrorists as though a Xristian who kill umpteen people at a Planned Parenthood clinic is something different because he was only upholding the righteous word of God, and even though you might say aloud that it was wrong, deep in your heart you are sure he was somehow justified and a part of you is glad he had the conviction to do what he believed was the right thing to do and the bible backs him up – it says so in black and white and every word in the bible is God’s actual words and that is the truth! and he most certainly is NOT a terrorist – and I say – you are most certainly NOT a Christian, for whatever that is worth during this time of another holiday, the one in which we usually express our love for other human beings to the point of spending our hard earned money on them, sometimes buying something -anything – even if it is just a hastily bought store item – nothing personal of course – those things weren’t on sale – just a gift, any gift – because we can’t show up for Xristmas dinner without a gift! to honor the birth of your savior, who didn’t save you from a goddam thing (the proof is in your actions) – not even yourself from your own hypocrisy, playing the game and being grateful you got through another Xristmas albeit a few pounds heavier for all the overeating and drinking you did because after all it IS Xristmas and that is what you do on Xristmas and later you can pay off your credit cards or return the gifts you got and exchange them for what you want instead – oh, the meaning of Xristmas, and the hearts of Americans, has gotten smaller every year and there is no room now in those hearts to care about the human beings locked away in a prison cell or have room to care about people who aren’t exactly like you – and you point at Bible verses that prove – to yourself – that it’s okay to be an ass – Isn’t there an ass in the manger scene with all the white people in it? and it’s easy to talk to your friends and demonize inmates, Muslims, people who need abortions, although you have never done one single, solitary thing for the actual people who were born to the raped, drug addicted, alcoholic, physically and sexually abused, neglected, worn out women who can’t care for a baby, and if they try, do so much harm to the child, who never learns what it means to have a good, loving family, so they end up in juvenile detention which 71% then end up in prison – but they MUST BE BORN! because God says so! – but that doesn’t mean you need to have anything to do with these horrible people who committed a crime because they lashed out at a world that didn’t have Xristmas presents waiting for THEM, because their mother was in prison for buying the drugs she took while she was pregnant and the child was busy trying to defend himself from sexually abusive foster parents who used the money they were given to raise them, on drugs instead of feeding the child who ran away to join a gang because he was looking for a family, and you say, “But he alone chose to commit that crime!” but what do you do when you are a child and you’re hungry, so he was given LWOP – life without parole because of mandatory minimums and you cheered because now you were safe from the monsters who could attack you in your safe neighborhood, safe from the motherless children who grew up and now have tattoos all over their bodies, and are herded into their bathroom-size cells they live in that probably have no windows, and no Xristmas cards, no Xristmas music softly playing in the background, no pretty trees with tinsel and lights and dinner on the table, and you don’t have to even think of them at all because you did your Xristian duty and made sure they were born. You have a clean and loving heart and God must love you very much for this – but if you really think you were born in HIS image then I feel overwhelmingly sorry for you because you missed the entire point of what it was supposed to mean to be a Xristian, and if there is a hell to go to after you die a horrible death for the causes you’ve made – remember, you reap what you sow – then you are lucky, because there is no such place as hell after death, you’ll get to experience it before you die – hell on earth – so remember these things and look at your life and see if you fit in this picture, and above all else:
P.S. There are also many good people who honestly care about those less fortunate and don’t condemn people for not being like themselves, and who, ridiculously don’t only want to let Muslims into our Xristian (cough) nation unless they are Xristians, which doesn’t make sense, does it, especially if they want them to be Xristians like they are. Pray for the confused because they are the ones more apt to become violent, as we have read recently, and out of fear, have attacked innocent people living in this country. This country is imploding and it is a sad sight indeed.
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