Updated: Jan 19
While holding back the tears in my eyes, I type this scribe. In my ignorance I've disrespected the lives, the blood of the people who came before me that was beaten, had bled and literally gave their lives to and for the struggle we're currently still in. I am sincerely ashamed of my behaviour and I sincerely apologize for my personal contributions to the destruction of my generation. To my people and to the rest of society, I'M SORRY. The times that we are currently living in, are the times WE as black people have been living in. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s was before my time, and all I ever knew about the Movement is what was taught to me through public schools. (the watered down version of events) With only the public schools version to go off of, my appreciation for the struggle was debased. I've currently been in prison for 20 going on 21 years. Throughout the course of this time, I've had more than enough time to reflect. I've grown to become more and more attracted to history. Our history, Black History. The history of the struggle we've been engaged in ever since our ancestors set foot on American soil. Reading! That's the one thing I can't recall me doing much of before my incarceration. However after 5,10,15,20 years in prison, I've got to a point where I've done everything that could be done in prison and I've heard everything that could be heard in prison and I was experiencing a serious sense of void within myself. A void in my identity. I am a black man. However throughout these years I've had numerous epiphanies which led me to begin asking myself numerous questions about myself. One of the questions to myself was, 'as a black man, what has been my contribution to my people?' My honest answer to myself was an answer I wasn't proud of. I was a problem, a threat, a danger to my people, to society and to myself. I seen the footage of the murder of George Floyd. I seen the footage of the murder of Rayshard Brooks. First I cringed, then I became furious, then my spirit was crushed by the thoughts of my prior behaviour. 21years ago I had attempted to kill a individual who talked like me, who walked like me, who act like me and he was black like me. 20 years ago I didn't understand that attempting to kill this person, kills more than the individual. I've read The Assassination Of Fred Hampton, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The New Jim Crow, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, and a slew of other books. These are the main books including the Bible that has had such a powerful influence in my life which has led me to turn from promoting or demonstrating behaviour that's destructive and brings shame and pain on my people. I realized that nothing changes without understanding. In Seattle's Capitol Hill area There was a murder of an 18year old inside of the CHOP. Behaviour such as this dilutes the message of the protest. In prison this is the thing that the 'car' understood. All of us in the car is a reflection of one another. As black people, we got to wake up and understand that each of us, our individual behaviour is a reflection of us as a people. Now is the time for us to realize that all of us, individually, as black people have a responsibility to represent us well, collectively. The murder of George Floyd has drawn millions of people around the world out in protest. Still there's people who don't understand the what and the why of the protesting. We all know that police has been murdering us. Its not a secret. I consider those murders as periodical public lynching's. I was watching Do The Right Thing, A Spike Lee Joint. It was 1991 when that film was made, 29years ago. There's a part in the movie where the police chokes Radio Raheem to death. Do The Right Thing was just a movie. Radio Raheem was just a character playing a role in the movie. Flashforward to the murder of Eric Garner. A real life, life that was taken. The murder of George Floyd too, was a real life, life that was taken. The fact that both of these brothers were murdered by the hands of white police officers carries sufficient significance to the fight we've been up against ever since..... However even if they were murdered by black police officers carries similar significance due to the fact that we're being murdered by the people whose mission statement is to PROTECT AND SERVE. For years we've been unprotected, under served and taken advantage of by police as well as in the judicial system. Our frustration stems from us seeing two different types of justice being administered in America. Today, (as I previously mentioned) the world is aware of the lynching that is taking place publicly on America's streets. However, there's lynching's that's taking place weekly in every courtroom in American hidden underneath the cloak called Justice. I'm assuming that most of society believes if a person does the crime then he or she should do the time. And I agree. However, when does punishment cross the lines and becomes abuse? We're seeing Justice being executed unequally and unfairly in the State of Washington. So much so, that the recent events taking place has force the Washington State Supreme Court to release a declaration admitting to their participation in the devaluing of black people. What does that mean? One thing for sure, the definition doesn't equate to anything favourable for all of us who has been in prison who has pleaded and presented meritorious issues in our cases to the same Courts who has been sticking to the traditions of remnants of Jim Crow law practices. I have a document signed by nine (9) Washington State Supreme Court Justices, acknowledging the existence of judicial systemic racial injustice being carried out against black American defendants. These are the 9 people in Washington State who has the power to make decisions that impact the our lives and the lives of those in our communities.
I've been in prison for 21 years. Charged for assault where no bodily injury was inflicted. I shot at someone and fortunately the individual was not injured. I've sat in fighting for my freedom, filing petition after petition after petition. In the meantime I've watched people who had murder convictions come to prison after me and get released before me. SADLY, I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE TRAPPED IN THIS PREDICAMENT.....