4 of 8: DOES THE 13TH AMENDMENT APPLY TO ME?

In my most humblest opinion I believe there’s absolutely no reason why government spending on corrections should exceed the needs of public schools. It’s like each inmate, or account, whichever term you prefer covers a correctional employees annual pay; which gives credence as to why most, “not all,” but why most correctional employees, institutional vendors and bail bonds agencies are so reluctant to support prison reform measures that seek to reduce the prison population by releasing inmates serving extremely long sentences, but have proven themselves to have been rehabilitated years ago.

The Preschool To Prison Pipeline is just one component of a longstanding sentiment aspiring to place blacks back onto plantations. Although the 13th and 14th amendments were enacted into law in the late 1800’s, the ideology of Lincoln’s killer(s) permeated far beyond the post antebellum period and showed its face through Black Codes, Jim Crow laws, Peonage, and throughout today’s jurisprudence via its practice of streaming blacks, and poor people alike through the judicial system without affording them Due Process nor Equal Protection of the law. This practice has resulted in an overcrowding of the U.S. prison system with an extremely disproportionate number of blacks who’ve been: a) over charged, b) unduly convicted, c) disenfranchised, and d) unjustly denied appellate relief on a state and federal level:

THE CHARGES:

First and foremost before we proceed any further please allow me to say that by no means do I in any way condone the taking of a life. And with the utmost respect I commend all of the detectives, prosecutors, and judges who carry out the complexities of their daily duties with integrity, impartiality, and mindful compassion for all parties involved. Therefore, the purpose of this illustration is to simply show you how someone can be streamlined through the judicial system without being afforded the equal protection of the law nor the process that was due to them as defined by the State and United States Constitutions:

In 2005 I was charged with 1st degree murder by a trial court that did not abide by any of the mandates set forth in Michigan’s: State Jury Instructions Manual, nor the instructional mandates set forth by the United States Supreme Court or federal district and circuit courts in:

a) Berrier v. Egeler, 428 F. Supp. 750, 752 (E.D. Mich. 1975);

b) Berrier v. Egeler, 583 F. 2d 515, 521 (6th Cir. 1978);

c) United States v. Lofton, 776 F. 2d 918 (10th Cir. 1985), and

d) Mullaney v. Wilbur, 421 U.S. 684, 691-704 (1974) which mandated that, “the Due Process Clause requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the ABSENCE of heat of passion on sudden provocation when the issue is properly presented in a homicide case.

What must be stressed at this point is that not every killing warrants a charge of murder. I know that sometimes we struggle with this concept, because whenever someone from the black community pulls the trigger they’re usually charged with first degree murder quick, fast, and in a hurry, with absolutely no regard for the mitigating circumstances surrounding the situation.

But whenever Bill, Bob or officer Tom pulls the trigger the process is drastically slowed down. The prosecutor and judge takes into account all of the surrounding circumstances and mitigating factors. Then they consult the corresponding statutes and jury instructions so that they can get a thorough understanding of the elements and legislators intent – making careful not to over charge. And after taking into account all contributing factors rarely does the government come back with a charge of first-degree murder. It’s usually something less.

So as I stood charged with 1st degree murder in Eaton county Michigan, the trial court, over my objection denied me the right to present a complete and meaningful defense. It’s imperative to the following section that I inform you that the right to present a defense is an inalienable right guaranteed to us all under the United States’ 6th amendment, and is integrated into the common law of American jurisprudence. Therefore, this type of error is what’s known as a structural error. Structural errors aka structural defects can be likened to the four legs of a chair; if one leg is broken then the integrity of the entire chair is compromised and it cannot stand.

THE TRIAL AND DENIAL OF THE RIGHT TO PRESENT A COMPLETE AND MEANINGFUL DEFENSE:

For the purpose of clarification I would like to say that I was not charged with voluntary manslaughter, but I did request that it be submitted to the jury as my sole defense to the government’s charge of murder; along with the prosecution’s mandated burden of proof as required by the United States Supreme Court, and the trial Court agreed. However, after agreeing to the submission of this instruction on my behalf, the court took it upon itself to abandon Michigan’s mandatory Jury Instructions: “Use Notes”; which instructed the Court that, “If instructions on voluntary manslaughter are being given as a lesser included offense to the charge of murder, use Michigan Criminal Jury Instruction 16:9,” directly after the murder instruction, because instruction 16:9 informs the jury on how to apply the mitigating factors that would allow them to reduce a charge of murder to manslaughter.

The resulting consequence was that nowhere in the jury instructions did the Court inform nor even suggest to the jury that my sole defense to the government’s charge of murder was that the killing took place in the heat of passion in response to adequate provocation. Nor did the Court or jury instructions inform the jury that the Due Process Clause required the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the ABSENCE of heat in order to find me guilty of murder as mandated by Mullaney, Berrier, and Lofton.

Mental Struggles

By: Joseph Green

In this post I want to be honest and transparent about my own personal mental struggles in hopes of shining the light on the struggles that so many others endure in my situation and even those who are not incarcerated. Yet they are apprehensive to talk about it. Prison is a very dangerous place but it’s main objective and design is to break the mental mindset of everyone that enters its doors.

Coming into this system I had no doubt that physically I could protect myself. I was equipped to handle whatever…so I thought. I didn’t know the amount of stress it would play on me mentally. I was tough on the outside but on the inside I was being mentally broken down. My reality was, I was falsely accused of a murder. I had to watch my beautiful black mother fall victim to her own mental illnesses and drug addiction. My younger brother was also serving a life sentence and it was a strong possibility we would never be face to face again. My niece was growing up without my physical presence. My grandmother was getting sick and had to watch her grandkids grow up in prison. And to top it all off my appeals kept getting denied.

These were my thoughts as the years, months, and days begin to pass for me in this prison system. And I was not prepared for this reality. As my appeals got denied I begin to see people in my life lose hope of my return, write less, visit lesser and financial support became non existent. I was now on my own to face this reality. Not because I wasn’t loved anymore but because when I got sentenced, my life was put on pause.

I never understood or even thought I could have a mental illness. I didn’t want to accept that I was dealing with anxiety,severe depression and PTSD. I tried to numb and mask my pain behind laughter and drugs. If you can relate then you know it only took me away for a moment but my reality was always present. For the first time in my life as a grown man I had to come face to face with Joseph. I had to acknowledge that I was not okay. I was hurting and I needed help. I had to regain control of my mental wellbeing and life.

I wanted and I knew I needed help but I couldn’t trust anyone. I made the decision to talk to a psychologist. This had to be done on the low because I didn’t want anyone to know my business. I knew that in order for me to grow and get better I had to face and address my illness.

Prison is filled with men who strive to keep their street image. Believing that their street rep is what defines them as a man. Yet many are wearing mask pretending to be something they not. Telling war stories and king pin stories trying to validate a image or enhance a ego to make themselves seem tougher, smarter and more important then the next man. And yet we all sit in the same unfortunate position here in prison.

Society forgets that we human beings that have emotions and feelings. I’m in love with a beautiful woman. Many believe that we are absent of such a intense and intimate yearning for another human being. Many men strive daily to express this emotion to their family, friends, children and the woman that sacrifices and supports him with her love and support. Everyone needs support now more then ever with all the stuff happening in today’s world.

Everyone is dealing with something that they may not speak about. If you have a love one or friend incarcerated they have moments of despair, loneliness and flat giving up. Your words of encouragement on any given day may be the spark needed to ignite change, hope, and optimism in a dark and demoralizing condition.

It is a huge stigma placed on mental illness so much so that it is rarely spoke about or addressed. Society tends to avoid or downplay the reality that many imprisoned men and women come from low income or impoverished communities. Where drugs, murder, and violence is a norm which causes us to become desensitized to these hardships and realities of life. We begin to accept these negative things as normal activities of the “hood” and ways of life. But none of these things are normal.
Many men are taught to be emotionless especially when your apart of the street life. Like the soldiers who fight for this country, they are taught to detach their feelings and emotions or risk death. No matter the race, culture, economical or social status we have all experienced some form of mental illness. We don’t have to allow ourselves to be controlled by it. Victor Frankle said,” Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning such as the meaning of sacrifice.”
We suffer from our mental illnesses because we fail to acknowledge they exist. Being incarcerated and battling a mental illness has caused me much suffering but it has also guided me and allowed me to share my experiences and my story in hopes of helping others going through tough times. Your suffering has a purpose and meaning. Remember everyone is going through something. Be that positive light that helps guide them out of darkness. Listen to their voice and help bring about change. Remind them that they are not alone……Things will get better. Have a blessed and peaceful day.

3 of 8: DOES THE 13TH AMENDMENT APPLY TO ME?

In certain districts the educational system is so underfunded that some teacher, and most certainly not all, because most educators extend for more value to the undertaking of their duties than they can ever be compensated for, but some teachers find themselves so overwhelmed by their workload, and unappreciated by their pay that they’re unmotivated to spend the extra time needed to teach just a few students out of a crowded classroom of many, the fundamentals that they should’ve been taught a few grades back in previous years. Now instead of being brought up to speed in his/her current grade, the student is again just streamlined through to the next grade without learning the prerequisites that qualify them as eligible for the next course of studies. So for the reasons that these students aren’t able to keep up with the rest of the class in their following grade, they’re often classified as slow and placed into remedial classes. But such a classification is not the proper remedy because these students aren’t mentally challenged. It’s just that you can’t reasonably expect for them to know how to apply formulas 3 and 4 if they’ve never been properly taught how to utilize formulas 1 and 2.

So without being able to keep up with what’s going on in their age appropriate grade these students are now categorized as disruptive, and “cast”ed into detention for the duration of the class period or even sometimes for the entire day — producing feelings of inadequacy and disparagement that give way to negative self identity complexes; which manifest themselves through behavioral issues that are often the result of repeated instances of isolation and feelings of rejection. Now since the student feels that he/she doesn’t really fit into the school setting they just may, and often times do find themselves searching for acceptance and identity within crowds that engage in attention seeking activities; that’ll usually land them inside of juvenile centers followed by eventual stints in county jails and ultimately prison. What’s most devastating is that upon their first felony conviction they’re given a dept. of corrections prison identification number, even if the case that they’re convicted of didn’t land them a prison sentence. And what’s even more alarming is that this Preschool To Prison Pipeline closely parallels something more telling, and I’ll give you the background on that next.

SYNOPSIS ON SLAVERY, EMANCIPATION & RECONSTRUCTION:

During the Civil War, in the year of 1863 Pres Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation against the Confederacy. It proclaimed that all slaves within states that had committed treason against the United States are all now free. However, Lincoln’s emancipation proved ineffective because the Confederacy refused to recognize his authority.

After a 5 year long war, the United States, aka the Union, proved victorious by running off the Confederacy and reuniting the south back into the Union. However, Lincoln and the Republican party feared that the Emancipation Proclamation would be viewed as a tool of war and only effective during that period, and for that reason producing no lasting impact on the issue of slavery. So in response they attempted to create an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would free all men and women forever forward. This amendment would be known as the 13th Amendment.

However, Lincoln would never see this amendment through, because during the period of Reconstruction he was assassinated in April of 1865 by an ideology that harbored deep hatred and resistance towards the emancipation, civil rights and advancements of black people.

But as paradoxical as it may be, his successor Pres. Johnson, who set forth extremely lenient terms for Confederate members’ readmission back into the U.S. political arena, somehow got the bill ratified in December of 1865. Followed by the 14th Amendment; which he had no hand in advancing might I add — only acts of obstructing its passage to the point of being one vote away from impeachment. The reason why Pres. Johnson opposed this bill so boldly is because it was the gateway to guaranteeing all citizens born or naturalized in this country equal protection and due process under the law; something that he despised to his core — and was most eerily echoed within the: “Send her back!” chant, directed at congresswomen: Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. However, in spite of all of his disgusting rhetoric, it still passed in 1868, and was championed by the ratification of 15th Amendment succeeding his presidency — which enfranchised black men with the right to vote.

THE CIRCUMVENTION OF THE 13TH & 14TH AMENDMENTS RIGHT INTO THE AMERICAN PRISON SYSTEM:

But how does all of this talk about slavery and the 1800’s relate to today and the Preschool To Prison Pipeline you may be wondering? It relates to today because the 13th Amendment states that:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT as a punishment for a crime whereof the party SHALL have been DULY CONVICTED, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Today’s prisons systems are modern plantations except inmates are not picking cotton. Rather than laboring the land, state and federal tax payers pay for our stay to the tune of approximately $34k a year for each prisoner. This can be likened to the amount of money each slave would produce had he/she worked the land.

How does this affect the American tax payer? It affects the American tax payer because speaking for myself, I haven’t used $34k worth of anything in a year. Hell, I doubt if I’ve charged up $34k worth of anything over the entire fifteen years I’ve been incarcerated: not on health care, dental cost, food, nor clothing. So who uses this tax money? Your money is being spread amongst DOC staff hourly wages and salaries.

Humor Inside The Walls Part 2

All we really have in here to look forward to is the Gym, Chow, mail, store, and of course the weight pit. Each place has its funny moments. The weight pit is by far the funniest. It’s always that one person trying to get everybody to look at him.

True story, one morning I happen to come out and I wanted to hit a few sets on legs. Seems like this is the only station open because everyone runs to chest and arms in prison. I have a pair of sunglasses that I call ‘Busta Blockas’. The name is self explanatory. I go to do my set trying to block all the bustas I can. One guy in particular I try to stay away from. I have been to other prisons with him and he’s the same at every one. This guy a grab all the dumb bells and set them around his bench so people would talk to him. ‘Anybody got these 40’s after you’? Another guy asked him. “Naw bra you can get em’, just bring em’ back”. The guy said showing off one of the biggest gaps I’ve ever seen. Now he has a way of rearranging the weight pit so it’s suitable for him. He’ll start moving in other people areas trying to make room. “Excuse bra, I’m goin put this over here”. He said picking up the preacher bench. “Come on man, keep that shit over there”. One of the regulars said to the guy. “You got enough room over there. Why is you all over here”? One the guys asked him. “Never mind, y’all tripping”. The guy said putting the bench back where it was. Now this guy has been like this for years. I was just observing everything and he actually had all this weight and didn’t lift no dumbbells, all he did was move other things in people areas getting everybody upset. Now it was his turn to sit down and hit his set. I give him credit, he worked out everyday but looked horrible. Fat stomach with small arms and a little chest. He would take his shirt off and put a weight pit belt on around his overlarge stomach, then he would put a large amount of weight on the bar then ask for a spot. Nobody wanted to spot him but you always had some fool that’ll do it. He had way to much weight on the bar and I knew he was not going to lift it. It had to be like 315lbs. I did my set and this guy yelled out loud as hell, “Watch me dawg cuz this shit going up”. He said showing off his Michael Strahan gap. “On ma three dawg, 1 2 3”. He said pushing the bar up. The guy behind him broke it and kept his hand there. He came down hard and bounced it off his chest but it didn’t come back up. The right side was going up but the other side was sort of stuck. “Get da bitch dawg, NIGGA GET THE BITCH OFF ME”. He clenched his teeth struggling to get the bar up. His spotter wasn’t worth a fart. He was trying but he needed help as well. So two more guys ran over to help him. When they got it up on the rack, gap man turned to the spotter and said “Some spot dawg, I almost died”. He said getting angry at the guy. “Man you do this shit everyday, come out here and take all the weight and put the heaviest weight on and try and lift it”. His spotter said defending himself. “All you on some bullshit, I was better off by myself. A anybody want these 50’s”? He asked in a fed up way. It was my third set when he came over to me and asked, “how many more sets you got”? He asked looking at me but only seeing a reflection of himself. “I got a couple left I’ll be sure to let you know when I’m done”. I said not wanting to be bothered. “You mind if I get a couple sets?” He asked already knowing the answer. “Not to be funny but I’m trying to train for something”. I said changing the weight. “Y’all be acting funny with the weights. I ain’t mad doe”. He said getting upset. I had been interrupted by him so I had to reactivate the blockas’. He lingered over to the incline bench looking like a vagabond. His pants were rolled up to his knees, his French braids were struggling to to reach his neck and he had some hand made shoes. Even though I didn’t want him around me he was very creative. He had literally made some gym shoes. They were Adidas on top but Nike on the bottom. This fool done sowed some shoes together. How, I don’t know. He went to the incline bench and put 285lbs on the bar and literally yelled out to the whole weight pit; “Watch me”. Loud as hell. The whole weight pit froze. The guy that spotted him the first time was like “Naw, I’m good, that nigga was musty”. I didn’t want him to hurt himself so I went to spot him. “Good looking, ain’t to many like you”. He said sporting that gap and wrapping his hand around the bar. “On my 3, 1, 2, 3”. He said. I broke it for him and kept my hands close to the bars. He let it come down hitting his stomach and the bar bouncing right back up. He did this 3 more times lifting his ass up to get it. On his last lift he was now struggling. His legs were dancing under him, his whole body was lifted out the seat and his two teeth in the front was biting his bottom lip. You could actually see the spit bubbles coming through his gap from him struggling lifting the weight. I was helping him but he was weak as shit. “I got chu man just keep pushing”. I said trying to get it off of him. “Rack the bitch.” I said trying to put it back. This fool say ;”One more fam”. So I’m like no you burnt. He ended up racking the bar. I headed back to my station and he yelled, “good looking bra bra, you need any of this weight before I leave”? He asked. “Naw I’m good, but good looking.” He took the belt off and grabbed his shirt and left. Soon as he left some guy blurted out “Damn dat nigga a bug dog”. I just shook my head and reset my ‘Busta blockas.

Christopher Clark/Chris x/HP Chris

Embrace Your Kids

When I was young I was introduced to violence like most kids are to cartoons. One of my earliest memories is one that has scarred me both mentally and physically. I still have nightmares about it 23 years later. When I was seven years old I was shot on New Years Eve. I almost died because of a stray bullet that found its way into my bedroom window due to the traditional gunfire celebrating the beginning of a new year. Which lead to a fear of guns, It sounds absurd saying that because pretty much since the age of twelve I’ve had one of my own. I watched silently and helplessly as domestic violence riddled my household almost every single day. Alcohol played a big role in this, and I’ve had several family members that were and still are addicted to the bottle. Which lead to a fear of alcohol, again its ironic because I myself partook in the consumption of alcoholic beverages. By the age of thirteen I was a full fledge weed head who dabbled in liquid courage.
My whole life I’ve been provided every opportunity to make something of myself. I could of took several different routes than the one I ended up traveling. Yet I still and knowingly sabotaged my life like a terrorist hellbent on proving his self to a cause he doesn’t truly believe in. I knew what would happen to me If I continued down the road I was on. It terrified me that I might end up dead or in prison, but I couldn’t quite escape the persona and lifestyle that had be glamorized my entire childhood.
To often people are their own worst enemy, I know I was. I’ve earned this 15year prison sentence. Its no one else’s fault but my own that I’ve had to watch my beautiful daughter grow up from behind bars.
I’ve lost so much because I chose not to use all the talent God gave me, because I felt the need to be a follower instead of a leader. I’ve learned so much about myself and life since I been in prison. God has saved me yet again, and It must be for a good reason. Now I’m determined to use this second chance for good. I want to help young adults learn from my mistakes instead of them suffering and stumbling along learning as they go. Because our criminal justice system isn’t fair and it doesn’t care about our children making mistakes. The first chance they get they’ll lock them up and throw away the key. Innocent until proven guilty is a myth.

If our children are the future we must invest an give all of ourselves so that they’ll have the brightest future possible.
Embrace your kids, show them you love them endlessly. Be role model worthy even when they’re not watching because guess what….they’re always watching, learning, and emulating us. We are our children’s first example of what to be like. Be the very thing you want them to be…or as close to it as possible. They won’t be far behind…

Christopher Lewis #828689

Humor Inside The Walls

A lot of individuals look at prison like asylum or a place where smiles and laughter doesn’t occur. That’s completely wrong. Even though I was sentenced to natural life w/o parole I try to find something to smile and joke about everyday. It’s like when I come out the cell in the morning to floss and hit my grill I might see a person and they just laugh. It’s not the laughs like ‘look at this stupid MF’ but it’s the laughs of ‘damn you had crying laughing yesterday’.

God has given people talent and it’s up to us to find it. My talent isn’t in sports (well it might be because I’m pretty good in all sports), but I don’t know how to sing, and I’m not an artist. What I do possess is the talent to make people laugh and smile. It doesn’t stop with inmates but staff as well.

I’m incarcerated with all walks of life and it’s guys in here that do not want to show a sign of a smile but I shoot that down so quick. It was one guy years ago he would ask the homies was I outside because he wanted to be fake mad all day and complain about tedious things. He would yell out the window and say ‘Man is Chris out there because I ain’t tryna laugh cause I don’t feel like it today’. Little did he know I was on the side of the building hiding when one of my homies lied and said no. Soon as he came out he started complaining, ‘Man why the bathroom so dirty and why y’all keep laughing’? He asked looking puzzled. So when I came from around the building I yelled ‘Come here and get that evil off you. You need a hug’. When I tell you this fool took off running back inside the building laughing shouting ‘Man get the hell away from me’. My job was done, I had put a smile on his face before he escaped the bear hug. He came to the window fake mad saying we play to much and needed to grow up and he slammed his window and we busted crying laughing.

I wish I could actually record this stuff because I can’t make it up. We call our cafeteria the chow hall for what reason I don’t know. So we have meals that no one eats but it’s always this one person that’s gonna collect it from everybody and make the whole unit suffer. I’ll explain later about the suffering. But this fool would sit in the chow hall with a altered state coat with a another pocket stitched inside the coat. We have a meal called cat head and it’s Salisbury steak but it’s no where near a steak but it does stank. So he a have his coat open and ask everybody that walks past ‘you eating that tray’? So this fool a grab the tray and dump it inside his new pocket that has a garbage bag inside of it. Once the garbage bag is filled he racks his tray and heads to the unit. The whole unit automatically knows what he’s gonna do. He comes to microwave with 40 cat heads, not to remind you you only get 2 per person and they’re bout the size of little meat balls. I come up and he has the microwave on 20 minutes. ‘Man how y’all let this fool get in front of y’all’? I asked pissed off. ‘Wait cho turn playa, y’all down nar watchin’ love & hip hop and y’all shoulda’ hopped cha’ ass up to the microwave’. His English was horrible and he was making all of us suffer from the lingering smell of old shoes, spoiled hamburger meat, old rust, and gravy. He would take it out and stur it up put it back in and licked the spoon. ‘Ughhh’. I said under my breath. The whole unit suffered every other Tuesday and Wednesday. No matter how much we talked about him he went harder. The officer would come out and yell, ‘Who in da hell done stole cat head out the chow hall’ because he now smelled it. Everybody was laughing now because this fool because he was only on his 8th minute and we were fed up with his BS. Still waiting he would tap his feet humming Missy Eliot – I can’t stand the rain’ song looking into the microwave. ‘Man please can we have some time in the microwave’? I asked in sarcastic way. ‘You want some time? Well buy you damn watch’. He snapped back. I had no choice but to laugh and so did everybody else. The microwave line was as long a roller coaster line at Cedar Point. He literally used the whole time. When he was done he took the bowl out and went about his way lighting the whole unit up with that foul odor. He yelled back to me and said ‘next time stop talking so damn much in the chow hall and you’ll beat me back witcho’ nosey ass’….Christopher. He said pausing sounding like the neighborhood wino. Then he flashed his gold tooth smiling like Joe Peshi off of the movie ‘Home Alone’.

But these are the things we experience in prison. I know that Covid- 19 has everyone on edge but we deserve to smile and I’m hoping that you did after reading this.

Christopher Clark/Cx/HP Chris

Who is the real killer?

Covid-19 attacked the MDOC’s inmates in early March. But it wasn’t Covid that attacked the inmates, it was callous staff members who arrived to work everyday knowing full and well that there’s a deadly pandemic ravaging the State, and with staff being more accessible to the virus you’d think that they’d be more considerate of the fact that they have the potential of bringing the deadly virus inside the prison. How can inmates escape that? That’s the million dollar question. There’s no escaping. Social distancing is not applicable in prison when you have selfish people who are motivated by a check, but are not required to be checked; unless done so voluntarily. What sense does that make! Inmates cannot bring the virus in. And we can’t blame this on visitation either, because visits were terminated approximately six months ago, and most recently the virus had ceased spreading. According to MDOC’s testing, results, and reports during the week of 07/17/20, then the following week of 07/25/20 there were no positive cases within the entire MDOC. On [07/23/20] it was reported that 10 staff members tested positive for the Covid-19 virus; no inmates though. Then on 07/30/20 ten inmates somehow showed up positive for the virus and it’s re-flaring. Now keep in mind that visits ceased six months ago. Now you do the math. Who’s endangering who? I’m not saying that all staff had malicious intent, but when you have no regard for human life and choose to come to work everyday knowing that you’re sick or may have been in contact with the virus, what kind of intent is that? We were punished because of someone else’s doing. Having to be locked down, placed in isolation, property destroyed, and most importantly being subjected to having to contract and God Willing suppress this deadly virus with no immediate or long term complications.

I was positive in April but the actual test results came in May. It was the scariest days of my life. I grew up in the middle of Detroit in a small city called Highland Park and it wasn’t at all a park. I’ve seen and did things that I’m not proud of. Guns drawn and pointed in my face some went off some didn’t. I was sentenced to Natural life for murder. Still those things didn’t compare to my Covid-19 experiences. Waking up with a gold glow over my body and vibration lines radiating from the gold glow–I was hallucinating from me not having enough oxygen to my brain. 1:47 a.m. I got up and told myself over and over: I’m not going to die in prison. The glow and vibration lines disappeared once I got out the bunk and walked around the unit getting my breathing under control. I once didn’t go back to sleep because I scared I was going to die. I fought it for as long as I could. I lost my taste, smell, continuous bowel movement, lost of appetite, cold chills, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath.

We lost a couple guys at this facility one in particular I use to converse with on the regular. His name was Sanders-Bey. By him being an elder I was always on his back about exercising but he would never go, so I would playfully bust him upside the head and take off running to try and get him to chase me. It worked a couple of times but as time went on he would just curse me out and say, “you’ll be my age one day”. We lost that brother to Covid -19. I can’t believe that he’s actually gone.

We are trapped inside a cesspool full of sick individuals. We can’t determine if we’re going to live or die because of another persons greed or ignorance. Our lives are basically in someone else’s hand, and that hand may be the hand that writes you direct order citation, or put handcuffs on you escorting you to segregation, or aiming a taser at you, or the hand that shakes you down passing you the Covid-19 Virus. As you can see none of these were helping hands.

We committed crimes, some more heinous than others, but that doesn’t negate the fact that we have a right to be treated humanly and in most cases deserve a chance to live and make it home to our love ones. I say most and not all because I’m speaking realistically. The truth is there are beautiful people incarcerated behind these walls, but you also have the evil lurking inside as well.

These are the things that needs to be addressed to society. In prison, is it Covid that’s killing and harming us, or is it the s#@$$?

Christopher Clark/Chris X

Finding a way out

By: Charles A. Jackson Bey

As I have grown into a deeper understanding about life while remaining in bondage throughout (MDOC) Michigan Department Of Corrections, real men or conscious individuals who are serving time or has served time do not want to be labeled or called criminal.

I would think no matter if you were from an urban neighborhood or suburban community one would disapprove with this title as well. It’s no different from any other undesirable name that serves as condescending, disrespectful or has a degrading nature towards a human being.

Crime Prevention is something we all wanted growing up! In some form or fashion if one would recall before they broke the law. To be the one who cleans up society! Making the world a safer place, from seeing our favorite super hero’s on television taking out the bad guys! To wanting to be just like them taking up their task of saving the world.

As we became older reality set in to know it was a fairy tale to be flying around in a cape having superpowers to fight crime. Just like when we learned Santa Clause wasn’t coming down chimneys many of us didn’t have. So young boys played cops & robbers! this was more the reality I lived in and most wanted to be the robber instead of the cop.

Why is that? The robber was considered the popular dude and the cop was the lame or should I say undesirable due to the fact they were not considered our super hero’s & more the villain. The robber was the patriarch who could save the day! Taking on the Robin Hood concept steal from the rich & give to the poor.

Which was a unhealthy seed being planted that turned us into a culture who take from each other! becoming our own cowboys & Indians amongst our own who was in the same circumstances. Preventing crime became even more a ferry tale as we seen those who were to protect & serve committing crimes! having a disregard for human life.

Then we fail victim to monkey see monkey do! And was no different than those we pointed the finger at! When we started breaking the law & killing our own! As we are witnessing those protest for black lives matters! We’re still gunning each other down, and stabbing each other on the prison yards.

So ask yourself how can we expect the system to change if we fail to change? How can we expect the police to take our lives serious! if we don’t take life serious?
For to long we have been Misinformed, Miseducated & Mislead and it’s time to wake up! and break the cycle as an whole.

Following the life style of do’s & dont’s in the underground world is where we earn the title criminal, that has reached far beyond the surface of a broken community. As the so-called rules are never sell drugs where you rest at! but you can sell to your neighbors! never take nothing from a working man or woman of your community but it’s o.k to rob the dope man or rich white people.

Which we know there’s no honor among thieves! as well as there’s no rules in the street game! Now to be more clear, everything is done for a reason and the majority would tell you committing a crime is done to help better their family conditions. From selling drugs to robbery! even writing bold checks, all would agree to saying they wanted a better life style than the one they had.

So for crime prevention to even begin we know money is the key factor because those who doesn’t have it, break the law to obtain such monetary in order to better conditions for their family & themselves. Finding a way out! is almost is impossible when No Jobs, Single Parents, Abuse, Child Neglect all play a part to the hindrance to success in poverty strict environments.

So how can a cycle be broke if the problem steady creates more problems before the solution can be applied to the first problem? we find ourselves chasing our own tail in a world built on War instead of Peace! Lies instead of Truth! Hate instead of Love! & Crime instead of Crime Prevention.

If we really want to see crime decrease, we will see more education being established in & out of prisons across Michigan, more self help programs to keep ex-felons free in society. This is a New Era of time and a lot or things have changed from jobs to education and 80% of new convicted felons have never worked a day of their lives and most have very poor education only obtaining a Junior High level of knowledge or less.

The incarceration system is younger! thriving with more youth and they’re not interested in learning because of who’s teaching! and a computer many prisoners have no clue on how to properly use. A vast majority can’t understand the school work due to the fact of not knowing how to read or write! also to mention the G.E.D is taken on computer software as paper testing no longer exist.

So after school attention is needed with the help of an inmate tutor but this is not happening & student prisoners would rather learn from a crook instead of a book. That’s the reason so many prisoners don’t have a valid education far as obtaining a Diploma or GED is because effort is not applied and the surroundings of one’s upbringing plays a crucial role to becoming a gateway to the prison system.

Now the MDOC is not offering much to prisoners who are willing to learn and have obtained there GED and are lifers or have long indeterminate sentences. When it should be mandatory all prisoners receive equal education because one day the lifer could be released from a change in law, their case overturned or granted a commutation.

Returning back to society ex-felons need more jobs to benefit inner cities and help building communities through individuals who believe in the rehabilitated people from prisoner. Everyone wants to live in a safer environment & to create a better life for their children, nieces, nephews and also for their parents!

But as I mentioned earlier most took the route of crime in order to find a way out! so we need more resources & opportunities in our neighborhoods so we can take the right way out!!!!

Exodus from the Democratic Party-Pt 2
By: Richard Dyer-Bey

The threat of military and navel intervention of the power of the Commander-in-Chief to suppress the insurrection as well as the implementation of certain provisions of the Emancipation Proclamation [12 Stat. 1268 (effective January 1, 1868)], both these advents persuaded other rebel states to end their secession efforts and remain in the Union. These former rebellious states were called [Border States]:

1. Maryland 3. Missouri 5. West Virginia
2. Delaware 4. Kentucky

Under the parliamentary law of Congress, while the aforesaid events occurred, Congress adjourned “sine die” [without day] NEVER TO MEET AGAIN at the appointed time “the first Monday in December each year.” Accordingly, Congress ceased to exist as a lawfully functioning government body. The deliberative body of the original Congress lost its constitutional power, and thus Congress has not the capacity to declare war.

Meanwhile, President Lincoln, acting as Commander-in-Chief, issued Executive Order 1 [April 15, 1861] implementing military rule under the pretext of the national emergency. Then, on April 24, 1863, Lincoln commissioned the Lieber Code [“General Orders No. 100 (Section 2, Articles 42-43)] devised by Francis Lieber to effect the desired change in government.

Although President Lincoln was assassinated before he could complete his [Reconstruction Plan for the Union], three military Reconstruction Acts were enacted by the “Radical Republican Congress in 1867”, they were the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875.

So, now you know that, the only lawful Amendments are [The Bill of Rights of 1791]. The First Ten Amendments to the Organic United States Constitution of 1789.

And, as Andrew Johnson a former Democrate from Tennessee succeeded Lincoln as president, under Johnson, certain Confederates was pardon and so-called Negroes wasn’t offered a role in the reconstruction process. Under Johnson’s plan of 1865, allowed the state government to pass a series of laws called [The Black Codes], and a century later called [The Jim Crow Laws], that guaranteed white supremacy, economically, regulating the labor of race, jailing the “new class” of citizens, so-called Negro / blacks for being unemployed, then hiring them out to pay for their fine. Socially, investing in negro, black legal status to remain lower class and submissive to so-called whites, and politically keep the “new class” of citizens, so-called negro out of the halls of power.

Theses Blacks Codes are still in effect today. Regulating labor, over looked for certain jobs, jailing so-called Negroes / Blacks people, a minority race but majority in prison, black legal status, given the so-called negro a record whether it be criminal or financial delinquency to keep them in the lower class and dependent. How?

For 70yrs. the so-called black / negro was a faithful supporter of the Republican party until 1930, (the Great Depression). Democratic president, Franklin D. Roosevelt attracted the so-called black voter to the Democratic party with the NEW DEAL — (I call the “ABC’s” — [ADC, SSI, etc]), which included economic relief, recovery, reform, housing and employment, which led the so-called blacks / negro to switch party allegiance. And they use the same tactics today to keep you voting for a fallacious promise of economic relief — (which keeps you dependent upon them), yet, you still struggle to this very day.

Since switching allegiance to the Democratic party, here are the historical facts of repayment for you loyalty. In 1915, Democratic president Woodrow Wilson played the first movie in the While House — [Birth Of A Nation], a Ku Klux Klan movie, lynching of Negroes. After the showing, he (Woodrow Wilson) stated: “It’s like lighting in a bottle, because the fact is, it is all so true.” In 1921, the Ku Klux Klan continued openly lynching and terrorizing the so-called blacks. In 1954, the so-called blacks had to fight for equal schooling, Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka. In 1955, Rosa Parks had to give up her seat to a so-called white man. And all through out the 50’s and 60’s, so-called black people have been harassed at the voting poles, church booming, segregation, attacked by dogs and killed by the Dixiecrat citizens, and the police. Once again, lets not forget Bill Clinton’s crime bill that allowed mass incarnation, and during the 90’s, Michigan built 12 additional prisons. This is the party so-called black people vote for? People, the black codes are still alive and well. Remember the Democratic governor from Virginia, Ralph Northham openly admitted that it was him in the black face next to his Klansman buddy and he is still governor today. Democrat? Right!!!

So-called Black people are still being lynched today by so-called white people (LOOK AT WHAT JUST HAPPENED IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA [JUNE 2020], TWO BLACK MEN WERE HUNG (LYNCHED))!!! Now, I wish for you to ask yourself why haven’t the Democratic party passed a bill that will stop gang violence in your community? Shut down a whole countries army with tanks and missiles. Send billions of dollars to other countries to fix roads and build schools, but they tell you there is no money for your children’s education or schools. These are just a few examples.

Conclusion: This is just a perspective from a historical point of view and remember, Donald J. Trump is a Democrat and just recently Bill and Hilary’s friend. He only switched to the Republican party to try and become president, knowing this could not happen running as a DEMOCRAT.
In my next article, we will address what I have been hinting and alluding to in this writing: [The Emancipation Proclamation; 13th, 14th, & 15th Amendments, Confiscation Acts of August 6, 1861 and July 17, 1862 and the Reconstruction period [1865-77]. I also will be repeating some of my thoughts from this writing to fill-in areas I did not go deeper into.

Peace!

Richard D. Dyer-Bey
The Truth

The other day I was approached by this guy named Joe. He asked me a question that I found I couldn’t answer quite as accurate as I should have been able to He asked “what is your perspective on the George Floyd situation.” And I stopped and thought, for the first time, about the situation. And the answer hurt me, I told him the truth. I said that I am certainly knowledgeable of what’s going on but that the situation did not affect me like I know it should. Although I’m white, I grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood in Flint, Michigan, and most of my close friends are Black.
This sudden coming to realization that the things that are going on in the black community that I’ve witnessed growing up in Flint And being in prison since I was 15 has not motivated me to get educated and try to help, hurts. It hurts it took this long and so much pain from my fellow peers for me to finally open my eyes. And it hurts to know that there are so many more people in the state of mind I was in out there still, and that needs to change.

I would just like to thank Joe, for asking me what he did. And challenging me to make a difference. I only ask the same for who ever reads this!
#BlackLivesMatter
-Isaac L. Bowling