Many times the call for help is sitting right in front of you. But can it be heard while we sit behind these narrow walls? When you arrive, medical asks if you have thoughts of harming yourself or others. If you say no, it’s brushed off and never brought up again. The mental health staff are thorough here, but only if you have a pre-existing psychiatric history! Continue reading
The whole concept of marching and protesting is only a facade. It’ll never produce long-term results, only a temporary pacifier. The only way to fight against this type of injustice is through the local elections. You see, our people have a misconceived notion when it comes to the voting process. When it comes to voting for the president, we’ll show up in record-breaking numbers, but when it’s time to vote for local officials from the governor down to the district attorney, the majority of us won’t lift a goddamn finger! I mean, how can we a people be so misdirected and irresponsible? We made ourselves obsolete by neglecting to use our voting powers within our local governments, and as a result, our local governments can treat us in any manner they see fit without the threat of any political backlash. This is why the cops can kill us and get away with it, and why the courts can unjustly give us 100 years! It makes no goddamn sense!
Sorry it took so long to write back.
How are you doing? I hope all is well with you and your team. Also, I am sorry to hear that y’all been sucked into the “system” and now all have court-dates. As always, standing up for what’s right or disrupting the system come with a negative price. Hopefully, nothing over bearing will come out of y’all court situation. Also, I seen I.O.A. protesting against video-visitation. I want to say GOOD JOB and keep up the good work.
I received “Mama’s Baby Papa’s Maybe” and WEB DuBois “Darkwater.” I have read both of them and found the Mama’s Baby Papa’s Maybe to be the most interesting. The Author really gives it up to let you see how America “thinks.” She really hits home when she explain the misnaming factor which I think is so true. I look at it this way. We have been stereotyped so much with negative notions that whenever we are view by the public that’s all that comes to mind is that we are a people without a culture, a bunch of thugs, as Hillary way “super predators,” etc. So, when society is fed these negative images, they really don’t care that we are being incarcerated at an alarming rate. They don’t care that we are being mistreated inside the prison all, because by popular thinking we are not fit for society anyways.
Furthermore, America was built off white supremacy and free labor (slavery). America has hid the ugly face of racism and slavery within the legal system. So, instead of a black man being “lynched” by a lynch mob and tree wise he is being lynched legally in the decency of a court room, and the smack of the whip has been replaced with the slap of the gavel. As a result, discrimination against race and class has forced the black woman to be the head of the family, this, too, being by design, because children coming out of a single parent home are more likely to travel on a road leading to prison.
On one note, the author quotes Goodell’s reading of the partus sequitur ventrem: the condition of the slave mother is “forever entailed on all her remotest posterity.” You have to ask yourself what is the condition of the slave mother or, conditions of the slave mother and why it’s forever entailed on all her remotest posterity. She’s born a female but she’s conditioned to act and perform as a slave just like the women before her and so on. So, its safe to say that a slave like mentality would be passed on from generation to generation. Furthermore, you can see the residue of slavery left in the modern day negro because we still choose to call ourselves “nigga” (the black community version of nigger) and the self-hate that we so adamantly express toward each other. Also, as this is passed down, the fact that you are going to prison one day is passed down also, subliminally. It’s to the point that prison is seen as a part of life now.
With this being said, I agree on the fact that we need to break apart, to rupture violently the laws of American behavior that make such syntax possible. We need to empower people with the education necessary to seek out and destroy injustice anywhere.
Peace until next time.
– The Black Holocaust
PS: I read the WEB DuBois not so much to go off of, I need more information. Also, if possible can you send me anything by Dr. Cornel West – books, internet, etc. – or Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow.
Included with this beautiful drawing:
Ebony Fields was in the STARR program in Durham. She was transferred to Wake County for about 50 days. She knew Uneice “Neicey” fennell who died here in Durham at the jail on Marc 23rd. Ebony drew this in her memory and asked me to forward it o you for possible publication in the IOA.
Thanks so much
April 6, 2017
What’s good IOA? Ain’t shit changed in this hell hole but the date. “Still being held hostage from the sun!” The jail still refuses to treat us like human beings. You know it’s been a whole thirty one days since I wrote my last letter and they still haven’t fixed the damn kiosk in our pod. They come on and look at it like everything is just normal. They’re making it hard on themselves and us because we have to ask for paper sick calls and canteen sheets, then they want to bitch and complain. The medical people take forever to check the medical box and when they do it’s still a wait. But they want that 20 dollars on command.
As far as canteen goes, Pam is cool she tries to get her job done the best she can but wherever they found (the other) girl they need to send her back because she always fucking some shit up and eating all the chips and shit. That high-ass canteen is meant for us. To those that protest for us and was willing to get locked up on March 13 to stand up on our behalf about this visitation thing, I say thank you.
Until next time–
I received two letters from you on March 31st, one was dated February 11th and the second March 27th. So I think there may be some lag time with the mail. You asked if I had received the Human Relations Commission’s Report and I have not! The only thing I received in the mail are two written letters and both March and April “Feedback” booklets. There is no report anywhere to be found if it was sent. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if it conveniently was lost by the mail inspection here.
As for your inquiry about any knowledge in regards to Uniece Fennell. There is none in 3D, no one knows a thing here and the officers are tight lipped as if it never happened. When I called home the day after the incident my family was asking about the death – And I had no clue about it at all. When I asked the officer in the pod about it he would not comment and wouldn’t even confirm that anything happened. I watched the local news that evening, there was no story about it there either and nobody gets the newspaper. The women’s pod is on the 5th floor, we are in the dark down here on the 3rd floor. Sorry I couldn’t be of any help this time.
Video visitation seems to be a hot topic lately. I heard that the jail was going to transition to it like Wake County but I didn’t realize it was happening NOW! A couple days in the past few weeks we have been prevented from coming out of our cells in the morning because they had someone working in the visitation room: They’ve already started installing metal mounts to house the video screen. It looks like they are progressing forward despite all the protests inside and out. The feedback booklet hits on a few critical points such as profiting GTL as well as the jail’s profit and how video visitation will dehumanize personal interactions. I want to point out how the District Attorney’s office will directly “profit” from it, too. Just like our phone calls I would think the video visits will be recorded. The district Attorney’s office has access to your phone calls and will now be able to pry into your visits. There is no privacy whatsoever. They read our mail, they record our phone calls, and now they will be keeping tabs on our visits. What would it be like if we had that privilege to listen to the prosecutors and DAs discussions and every phone call that they make. Invade their private interactions. Now that would be something. My point is that the deck is already stacked against you and anytime I speak my mind I have to worry whether or not what I say could be falsely used against me or perceived some other way. It’s ridiculous!
On to other topics! The food and ABL. It has been a roller coaster with them and there is no consistency. When they began in October, there was promise, but now I can see that was just a front. The first 3 weeks were good! A variety of fresh fruit including Bananas, green vegetables, including chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, good portion sizes, and no soy. Currently, the fruit we get is not ripe, heavily bruised, and tastes awful, easily finding its way into the trash container. We have not seen a banana since the first couple of weeks. We hardly get greens, nothing like we got the first few weeks even if we do. Lately the food has been so salty you can’t even eat it. The pancakes yesterday were hard as a rock. At this point I don’t know which company was worse, ARAMARK or ABL. There is absolutely no variety ether. You get the same meals every week multiple times a week. It’s getting old very quick. Honestly, at this point I hope the jail does not review ABL’s contract. What reviews I saw and the article about ABL in the newspaper raving about their good quality and healthier menu is a lie. My vote would be to kick them out too. Their quality and service has been declining since day 1.
I wrote last time about the DA’s office and the prosecutor threatening to obtain another search warrant after a judge has already noted significant misconduct by officers. Well they mangaged to get one, how, I have no clue. The only way is by lying and bad faith, which the DA’s office is notorious for so I’m not surprised. I just read an article in the newspaper on 3/31/17 quoting a supreme court judge. In summary it mentioned that the average person does not think the justice system within North Carolina is fair and a large percentage think the process is too slow. My follow up question to that would be to isolate Durham and see how it compares. My guess would be that Durham would be far worse. I sit here day after day watching how the system in Durham works and it is concerning. Most of the prosecutors are no better than Mike Nifong and Tracy Cline, maybe even worse. I swear they teach a class to these prosecutors on the best way to hide the truth, withhold evidence, and when all else fails keep them in jail and delay, delay, delay. Its a vicious cycle where their goal is for you to lose everything you have; whether its your job, house, car, marriage, etc. And once they’ve exhausted and beat you down by holding you in jail they wait until you give up. It’s just crazy to me and something needs to be done.
Oh, I want to give my thoughts on this jail with regards to Uniece Fennell. I don’t know what happened, but if it was suicide I don’t think that means the jail can wash their hands from liability. My understanding is that this jail was supposed to get more funding for mental health. Officers were supposed to get training on how to better handle mental health issues. If Uniece was troubled enough to harm herself, there were obvious signs that should have been caught. These officers don’t care about anyone in this jail and they are certainly not observant enough. Next, how does the jail provide the means for someone to commit suicide. This should not have happened and should not have even been possible. I’ve lived in these cells for 17 months, if she was able to be successful in her attempt – something was not right and something needs to change. You stress the hell out of people and then place them in a harsh environment. We already know that mental disorders are widely prevalent within the jail. It’s a shame that yet another person dies in this jail.
Alright! Thanks for the letters and Feedback! Looking forward to hear from you soon and any new updates!
It was good to get a letter from you in this dark place. How are you? I’m doing about as good as I can in here, you know. I read the magazine (feedback). It’s nice, very informative and REAL! I feel that the video visitation is a horrible idea because it’s the one time for twenty minutes to be free again and be a father and talk to and catch up with your children’s life, to be a husband/boyfriend and speak with your significant other and feel human again. I am for face-to-face visits. It’s the only time we as detainees feel human and are actually connected to our real lives outside of this filthy, overcrowded hell on Earth. Continue reading