Dear Black & Pink,
I have enjoyed reading the Newspaper. I have learned about history and Black & Pink’s philosophical connection to certain traditions. I may not agree with the politics or religions of all other oppressed and unfairly treated persons, but I believe that a united front is required. I am the kind of person that looks for similarities in people so that I may share a connection with them- I choose to “opt them in,” as opposed to segregating others by ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual identity, etc to “opt them out” of my circle, so to say.
“Resistance” in regards to the prison system and the Government that supports it is simple. The Government is a Corporate entity. A Corporate Entity is an imaginary “person” created so that some people or a group can escape individual responsibility for the harm they create in the pursuit of profit. In the United States, corporations are Capitalist in nature. They rely on their money, property and control of these assets as their power base. The Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) is an arm of the Government which is self-sustaining. On a large scale it involves the mainstream media, which controls what crimes we hear about. The Politicians create the “hard lines” that target these over-sensationalized and manipulated crime waves to get elected and then keep them in jobs to protect the “common man” from the “horrible criminal.” The judges that show compassion are labeled as weak on crime, “unAmerican,” and shouted down when they explain why they gave a kid a break, only to be replaced by a judge that will keep the prison full, no matter what the truth of the situation tends to be.
Who is going to be swept up in these crackdowns? History tells us that those that are the least able to protect themselves are the targets of the greatest oppression. Politicians want results to show their voters so that they can keep their nice job.
Do you ever see police stopping and frisking white middle class teenagers in the suburbs? No, they go to the inner city and the poor areas, determine them to be high crime areas, and use that as an excuse to violate search and seizure protections guaranteed to citizens in the Constitution. Why don’t they do it in Suburbia, is there less crime there? Statistics tell us that the crimes committed by whites and by Blacks and other racial minorities are about the same per population. As a white male who grew up in a suburban setting, I can attest that drug use and availability was as high or higher than that of my friends in the city schools. They would come to me to get stuff, because the kids at my school all had money, so the drugs went to where the money was.
But what cop is going to take the chance of pulling over a State Representative’s kid, or a lawyer’s kid, for a “your tail light is out can I pat you down” stop? No, they go to the city and they pick people, usually people of color at random. Hundreds upon hundreds are stopped. The officer asks “Who are you? Let me see some ID. Can I pat you down for my safety?” 80-90% of the people stopped have nothing illegal on them, but they are searched, and maybe seized, illegally. True, we can refuse to obey- so the courts say. But how many times have we read in the paper that the cop shot down the kid with a cell phone in his hand? When you know this could be you, then regardless of what your legal rights are, you’re faced with reality- When the cop says Stop, you stop. When they say, “Show me ID,” you show them ID. The reality is you do not have a choice.
The courts have changed the rules. There are hundreds of thousands of simple possession convictions due to individuals being stopped just this way. It supports the PIC. These stops are challengeable under the “Terry Stop” doctrine (“a brief detention of a person by police on “reasonable suspicion” of involvement in criminal activity but short of probable cause to arrest,” aka Stop and Frisk). But you have to have a trial and a pretrial suppression hearing with a skilled attorney who knows search and seizure law. It takes a year to fight it and the DA offers you 2 months time served so you don’t challenge the illegal stop. Unchallenged, it stands.
The PIC is in place to support large populations of blue collar workers that lost their jobs and can’t find new ones when manufacturing, steel, and coal jobs died in this country. We now use taxpayer money to disenfranchise a segment of the population, criminalize them, and in doing so create the largest “criminal justice” empire ever known.
I look forward to sharing the ways I know to fight the system from the inside and outside using simple and proven strategies, all of them legal and non-violent.
Dear Black & Pink,
Hello family. This is my first time ever writing. I’ve been a member of Black & Pink for over 2 years and I’ve been openly gay all my life. Some people call me “P.” I have a story I’d like to share.
I thought when my father died in my care on Jan 17, 2001, it couldn’t get any worse. Then on Dec. 25, 2002, my mother was killed. Again, it couldn’t get worse. I’ve been in the Federal prison system now for several years. I’ve had my share of boyfriends and always got hurt in the end. In 2012/2013 I found a guy I fell in love with. Months later I went to SHU for a write up and when I got out, I found out he had been cheating on me. I tried to leave him and he got abusive. He beat me up because I wouldn’t take him back. I did 2 days in lock-up and he stayed in lock-up and was sent to another prison. While he was still in lock-up I went to medical to be tested due to me finding out that the person he was cheating on me with was sick with something. On March 6, 2013, I was escorted to medical and got the worst news. I was HIV+. All I could do was cry. I wanted to confront him and ask him why, but I wasn’t allowed. I was told by officials that he knew he was sick. I felt like my life was over. Months later I got a letter from him telling me that he is going home to his real spouse and I was going to die in prison. I ask, what did I do to deserve this?
I was all the way at the bottom of the pit and an Angel came. He lifted me up and carried me when I felt I couldn’t go any further. He is HIV negative but he said he loved me and didn’t focus on my status. He looked at who I was. He treats me so good and we even got married on June 30, 2013, over the phone by a minister friend.
We have been separated though due to him getting in a fight and being transferred, and then I got in a fight and am being transferred. But I still love my Angel with all my heart and will do whatever I have to just to get to him. I’m also scared he has contracted the virus. But I know he still loves me. He really is an Angel and I just want all the HIV family to know that each one of us has an Angel and we are loved. For every time someone tries to destroy us, there is also an Angel who can pick us up. I truly miss my husband but I truly believe we will be together again soon.
The hardest thing now is telling my closest family of my HIV status. I’ve told one but not the others. I’ve already hurt them so much and I don’t want to hurt them further. They are all older like 78 to 98 years old. How do I tell these people what happened to me? One thing I do feel good about is that they know my Angel and like him, and I love him.
Dear Black & Pink,
Hey family! This is Nikki Lynne down here in the great state of “Lock ‘em up an’ throw away the key.” Yep, Texas. Would you believe that a candidate for Governor actually had the nerve to say that as part of a campaign slogan! Let’s hope his butt loses the election! Well, I was reading my Newspaper last night and I was inspired to put up my nickel’s worth of jibbering.
I have been diligently pursuing treatment for GID since I’ve been here. My battle started in ’99. When I was told “You ain’t a woman, boy, you’re just another faggot.” I didn’t give up. When Psych dropped my case in 2001 because “we don’t treat GID,” I didn’t give up. Last year I really started giving them hell. Part of the problem is Texas Law, but we’re gonna work on that. I just sent some paperwork out for the courts. We’ll see what happens next. I’m not gonna give up.
I finally got some very encouraging news from the Psych, here. He told me that the people at the top are pressuring them to “treat the problem.” Well the problem won’t be treated until my body matches my soul. When they give me the operation, and transfer me to a women’s unit, then I’ll be treated, but the battle won’t be over. The battle won’t be over until they close these doors. Stop lockin’ us up and throwin’ the keys away.
My point is, no matter what these people do or don’t do, we have a choice. We have a choice not to accept just anything, a choice to fight if necessary to achieve a goal for the greater good. I want to issue a challenge to all Trans people, in Texas and nationwide. I challenge you to stand up and fight. I challenge you to pressure the system into making us whole, and letting us go. If you don’t stand up, why should anyone else? File the paperwork, file the grievances, process the 1983′s, get in their faces. But don’t you ever give up. Make this the transgender battle cry. NEVER GIVE UP!!
I love you all.
Nikki Lynne, Texas
Greetings to All at Black & Pink!
I am happy to be part of this movement. I’d like to say Hi to all my brothers and sisters. I’m incarcerated in Missouri, where my civil rights continue to be violated by the medical staff and the D.O.C. officials.
I am suffering from HIV/AIDS and the medical staff here have been deliberately denying me my HIV medications, from 2008 to 2012 and some of 2013. I know for a fact that these people are trying to kill me ’cause I’ve two lawsuits on this prison. I filed my first lawsuit in May 2011 and it’s still pending, now my second lawsuit on this prison is because they denied me the right to dress adequate during the winter, which resulted in two injuries. My temperature was 101.1 and went up to 104, I could have died. But by the grace of God he kept me living on.
Now in 2011 my weight decreased from 159 lbs to 118 lbs in one month, and the doctor has discriminated against me ’cause there is another inmate who has HIV, and his weight decreased as well, but they prescribed him with Ensure Nutrition Drinks. He denied me Ensures, and prescribed me with a snack bag that consist of one sandwich, one box of raisins, and one juice. I’ve had trouble gaining my weight back.
I fear for my life in this prison ’cause they are racist and they have let Blacks die in here. Before I filed my lawsuits I wrote the warden, the Assistant Warden, the Caseworkers, I even wrote letters to the Governor, and I couldn’t get no help from nobody. I explain to them that my life ain’t some game, that I am a human being and don’t deserve to go through this. I even had a nurse tell me in March 2010 that she ain’t giving me my medication, and that she signed a refusal form saying I refused my HIV medications. They even forged my name on the refusal forms. I am being denied my legal work, these officials trying to stop me from corresponding with the courts on these two lawsuits.
We had an inmate walk to medical and complain his chest hurt, they gave him some tylenol and sent him back to his house, this brother went into his cell and dropped dead. This year we had four more brothers die in one month, the medical staff here sucks and they don’t try to save nobody. The DOC officials threw one lil’ brother down a flight of stairs. I am so fed up with these people, I don’t know what to do. If you have a medical emergency and push your call button, the DOC officials will not respond to your call light. If you are in a cell with an inmate who has Life Without, and you fear for your life ’cause you only have two years left to do, they will not move you. They even have a electric shield they use on brothers in here, you don’t have to use force on them, in order for them to use force on you.
Now the thing that kills me the most in here is we are housed in a maximum security penitentiary with people who have Life Without, Life, 200 years, 400 years, 30 years, 25 years, etc, and I can’t get the inmates to stand up in unity for our rights, everyone is so scared of these correctional officials in this prison. So I stand up for my rights only, ’cause you can’t get five inmates to stand together and file IRR’s on officials. I sit here and watch these officials deny inmates food, medication, IRR’s, legal work, and etc. They will do nothing. We have rats in our cells, toilet water running into our cell- here in the State of Missouri. But rather than make a stand for our rights, people are quick to fight one another for a pack of cigarettes, or food. They will make a stand in fighting each other, but not the system.
My brothers and sisters, keep hope alive by fighting, standing up for what’s right, and don’t let nobody violate your civil rights. Just know I love all my brothers and sisters of Black & Pink, just know I will keep pushing, keep fighting, and keep my faith in my high power. God bless you all, and may peace be with you all.
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