Race and Racism in American Prisons, and America Herself

Jerry Metcalf #251141
Thumb Correctional Facility
3225 John Conley Drive
Lapeer, MI 48446
email @ jpay.com

As I sat thinking about how and what to write on such a sensitve topic, I kept asking myself where to begin.

Do I start with the fact that although blacks in America only comprise about 12% of the population, they also–stunningly–make up damn near 50% of America’s prison, jail, and detention facility population?

Or do I go further back and begin with the fact that anyone who lives in American inner cities (mostly blacks) is seldom afforded their Constitutionally guaranteed right to a trial by a jury of their peers, because when a poor person goes to trial in these United States and is found guilty, he/she is punished harshly (well beyond the norm) to make an example. That way, when the next young, poor, often black or brown, man or woman find themselves standing in a courthouse they capitulate. Because regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent of your crime, if you are poor and black in America they want you so terrified of that supper-long prison sentence that you take whatever “deal” they offer.

And the reason for this evil scheme is simple: nobody gives two turds about our most underrepresented communities. No one cares whether there is enough money to guarantee little black kids an education, let alone whether they receive the right to a fair trial.

So when those black kids grow up and are locked away for years and decades and lifetimes, they remember how they were treated their whole lives. They remember how the white–or mostly white–government held them back. They remember how the white–or mostly white–teachers in their overcrowded inner schools lacked the ability and the time to help them learn, yet passed them anyway. They remember how the white–or mostly white–police officers harassed them, beat them, and murdered them. And then, after all that, when they finally find themselves imprisoned in a world where they are the majority, all that anger and frustration comes boiling out on the new minority, the very same white people (or so they think) who screwed them over their entire lives. Only now those white people are also convicts.

To add fuel to the flames, the minority whites, not really understanding what is going on, and how this viscous cycle is so deadly, grow even more racist, or, even if they’d never had a racist bone in their bodies, they find themselves forced to mingle with racist individuals and gangs because they fear the black inmates so badly.

Luckily, over the last several years, I’ve noticed that as many of the level-minded convicts (black and white alike) start to mellow out and mature, they have begun to realize the truth. That the idea of white and black in American prisons–and across America herself–is a deceptive illusion. In prison there are really only two opposing teams: Team Prison Guard, and Team Convict. There is no Team White or Team Black.

And Team Prison Guard already always has the home field advantage, so we of Team Convict need to get our act together and realize we are all playing for the same team reguardless of race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or anything else that sets us apart.

That’s why I am calling on all white Americans to join the Black Lives Matter movement. Not because they are black and we are white, but because here is a fight we can all get behind. Here is a fight that can unite us onto the same team.

The police in America have begun to kill people in unprecedented numbers, and are seldom held accountable. True, for every two young black men killed by police, there is only one young white man whom is killed. But this number, as lopsided and demented as it is, proves two things: One; that the police really are racist. And Two; that they are actually murdering people, whites included.

The only question I have, Dear Reader, is this: What are you going to do about it?

My name is Jerry Metcalf, and I wish to make the world a better place. If you do too, please join me @ Facebook.com.

BLACK LIVES MATTER: Oh Really?-Jerry Riley

How many times has it been said before? Black Lives Matter. Are we stating the obvious? Of course all lives matter, to someone, somewhere, at some moment in time, right?

Or is it only when the death of a Black Man or Woman catches the Headline; I Can’t Breathe; do the public authorities have to carry out an extreme, likened to Mike Brown laying in the street for hours after he was murdered, or a cop kneeling casually with his sunglasses propped on top of his head and his hands in his pocket as he chokes the life out of another “suspect” at his own leisure?

Do Black Lives only Matter when they can be exploited by corporate media as a catalous to “Get out and Vote”? Did Black Lives Matter when Trayvon Martin was murdered for walking while Black? Wasn’t Barack Obama the President? So who were we supposed to “Get Out and Vote” for then? Did our “Vote” suddenly make George Floyd’s Black Life Matter?

Do Black Lives Matter when the life is that of an unknown victim? When my sister mysteriously disappears, when my mother’s house is foreclosed because of “Blacksploitation” from predatory Banksters, or when my city’s educational system is only graduating 20% of Black Males? Does Black Life Matter when there is no catchy hashtag to tweet, like #teensstilldolife! or #bidensomnibussupport or #90ssupperpreditors?

Does anybody really think Black Lives Matter when Geo Group, Corrections, Corporation of America, JPay, and Global Tel Inc, monopolize Prison Profiteering, and capitalize off of the suffering Black Lives we so self righteously profess “Matter” to us. Do Black Lives Matter when Prison is the #1 Industry in the Automoble State of Michigan? Who disproportionately fills those for-profit prisons? Who is the target of Generational Mass Incarceration?

What if George Floyd wasn’t killed? What if, instead of breaking his neck or choking him, the police lied at trial and sent him to prison? For Life? Would his Black Life Matter then? What if the coroner, instead of lying on George Floyd’s autopsy for the benefit of the police, lied about a victim’s autopsy? Would his Black Life Matter then? What if the Prosecutor, instead of charging the most lenient charge that can be proven, went straight to 1st Degree Murder, as is the case for most Black Defendants. Would George Floyd’s Black Life Matter?

I doubt it.

I’m sure “a” Black Life does Matter at times to some people, other than that person’s family and friends. That is, when it’s beneficial. Since the catchy slogan came out, Black Lives only Matter when the police kill someone who other people care about. George Floyd was a Black Life that Mattered. Mike Brown was a Black Life that Mattered.

Sure, Black Lives Matter when you can spend a weekend shouting slogans and tweeting hashtags. But if you are asked to Sacrafice or go to War to preserve Black Life, (not “A” Black Life) all Black Lives, will you continue to claim that Black Lives Matter?

-Jerry Riley

My Condolences-Andrew Wright

When I seen the video of George Floyd being murdered, I was pissed off! But sadly, I wasn’t shocked! This story seems to be the norm in America today. Its been playing over and over for many years now.  
Its clear that the American law enforcement/Department of Corrections has adopted a Gang Mantality way of thinking. The police are basically a government funded legal gang and act as such. How is it possible that one man (George Floyd) is hand cuffed and on the ground not resisting but pleading for help saying he could not breathe, and you have at least 3 other officers watching and hearing this man beg for his life while another man (police officer) puts all of his body weight in his knee on a helpless mans neck until he goes unconscious and keeps the full pressure on his neck for 3 minutes after Mr. Floyd’s body goes limp. In my opinion, every officer there should be charged with 1st degree murder/ accessary to 1st degree murder, not 3rd degree murder! Whatever happened to the police protecting and serving the community?
If this incident would’ve happened between 2 civilians/regular citizens, the survivor would have been charged to the fullest extent and denied bond. I guess as long as you take an oath and wear a uniform with a badge, or have a title as a government employee, you’re above the law! You can just go around being a bully.

Everybody who has ever delt with a bully knows their is only one way to deal with a bully. HIT’EM IN THE MOUTH! And that is what is happening right now with all these riots: the people are tired of being bullied.

The whole justice system needs to be revamped(injustice system that is). There is no justice throughout the system. They say your innocent until proven guilty, but I guess thats just for the police that commit crimes. If you’re from an impoverished community, its definitely guilty until proven innocent. Lets take the racism out of the equation for a minute. Look at a state like Michigan. Michigan has a population of almost 10 million people. Out of those 10 million people 17% of the population is black/brown, but 85% of the prison population is black or brown. But even worse than that, if you look at another demographic, 99% of the prison population comes from impoverished communities, Ghetto’s, trailer parks, slums or whatever you want to call them. The government likes to keep the race element in play to take the sight off of the bigger picture, the fact that there is just two social classes: RICH & POOR.

I grew up in Southwest Detroit. I’m Puerto Rican/caucasian and have always been labeled as (white) caucasian man. However, 95% of all my friends and family are black/brown including my own children. Growing up, we all went through the same struggles. I took the beat downs, threats, and harassments just as much as my black/brown counterparts. I definately support the protest that are going on now. I believe you have to stand for something! And you have to fight fire with fire!

However, I wish my people would see that tearing up are communities isn’t the answer. At the end of the day, we have to go back to live in those communities! We need to take the fight directly to the culprits. They need to understand that there will be repercussions for their unlawful acts. Furthermore, prosecutors and judges need to be held accountable for falsely convicting innocent people and not properly charging others because of their social standings!! At the end of the day, people just want to be treated fairly, no matter what race or social standing they have! My prayers and condolences go out to the Floyd family!
Andrew Wright #880170 (MDOC)