Realigning the Purpose

Sent in by John Neff

Words are not to be used lightly because they are too powerful to be guidance for personal agendas imparting the wrong message for change. Something should be said about this. A wall is being built with more obstacles being stacked in our way by those already imprisoned who fling dead labels around like reasons to accommodate their circumstances. This is an injustice to the true cause at stake here: Resistance and solidarity must arise to face the real wrongs being done; not the insignificant ones.

The words racism and/or discrimination are used too freely when they rarely apply. Too many in prison like to use these terms to describe their specific circumstances in here and it takes away from the relevant facts in this matter. There is a bigger reality here and issues that concern us all. In prison, we are ALL oppressed. We are ALL discriminated against. It is the nature of our confinement. Minorities aren’t minorities in here and yet the people use it as a slap right in the face to the rest of us suffering the same plights.

The real enemy must be identified and they wear the uniforms of our captors. It’s not fair to constantly march behind a banner saturated in an ancestry no longer known when the reason we don’t have equality is because we are incarcerated; simple as that.

The same ghosts from the past do not haunt us. It is a sham to send out half-truths or to be selfish in what the goal here is supposed to be; prison reform and shedding light on the foulness of these prisons.

In here, there is no black, white or brown as far as society is concerned. In their eyes, we are all criminals who deserve nothing except the crumbs from the soles of their shoes. That is what must be changed and where the true fight lies. Not in continuing theories of racism when this applies to every man or woman in prison. Our efforts need to focus on everything for everyone; not to point fingers at things to be used as a baseless excuse.

We are all suffering the same in our circumstances. As defined, racism means a belief that a race is superior to others. Well, that does not fit the model for reform because it is authority and society who believe they are superior to each one of us. Their actions – or inactions – prove it. This is OPPRESSION.

There seems to be a need to correct the aim of being heard and to remember the reasons for it. This cause must not live inside a bubble. This fight is not meant to include some while excluding others. The individualism expressed in this unique environment with its idiosyncrasies based in racial identity is irrelevant to the nature of reform. That is not the issues outside these walls.

John Neff #54213
P.O. Box 1989
Ely, NV 89301