Being Different

Peace Kings and Queens of the universe. I enter your ultimate atmosphere as God of the Universe in the name of Allure The Seer of Truth God. My prominent black history figure and quote from this magnificent woman is my Old earth (Mother).

She said to me when I was younger: “Being different is not a curse, it’s a gift…” The science of those words registered immediately and became instictive, also natural. Because when one is considered different, it starts to raise more answers rather than questions. Due to the fact that when the masses see you, they might say, “oh thats Allure.” Your name is known before you even told them. Why? Because you are different.

Straight and to the point.

I wanna give special praise to Q., the founder of this genious idea and platform for us to share our thoughts on. Peace and much respect.

-Allure, The Seer of Truth God, Deanthony Clark

The Greatest Joy

My name is Shaveek Pittman and I am currently in Lawrenceville Correctional Center. I lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia for about 5 or 6 years. I have had quite a few different experiences since moving to VA from New Jersey, and this is why I can relate so well to this quote from Malcolm X that I chose for this assignment.

This quote from Malcolm X that I chose says: “It is only after the deepest darkness, that the greatest joy can come; it is only after slavery and prison, that the sweetest appreciation can come.”

It is self explanatory what is being said here, but still so many people feel as though they can understand what prisoners, minorities and everyone else suffering from some form of poverty are going through – simply because they read a book or heard about it from another source. The truth is: unless you have fallen under this category yourself, it is highly unlikely that you will ever truly understand the struggle that those who are at the bottom of society must endure.

For all of those people who can relate to these difficult circumstances, the meaning of this quote brings us hope to keep pushing forward, because your time of success and liberation are inevitable. It may be difficult to see this through the thick darkness that permeates the world we live in, but all it takes is just a little patience, a little perseverance and every step of the way becomes much clearer.

This invisible line we have drawn between the upper class and the lower classes is totally dependent on the lower class’ willingness to subject ourselves to the ways of the world. For example, there are many blacks who would agree that in terms of jobs and careers, we will always get “the short end of the stick,” unless we are privileged enough to be given an opportunity to establish ourselves in this corporate America.

The problem with this outlook will always be that – until we understand that this country was built on freedom, justice and equality, there will continue to be roadblocks everywhere we go. These roadblocks may have been set up in the interests of those who seek to control the masses, but it’s actually an indicator that we all do not have to walk the same paths in order to be prosperous and to free ourselves from whatever obstacles stand in our way.

– Shaveek Pittman Contributing Writer | Fredericksburg, Virginia #1870834

Q. Patterson’s Thoughts on Abolishing Mandatory Minimums in Virginia

On paper, a mandatory minimum is a prescribed amount of time a person who has committed a specific crime MUST actively serve in prison, as opposed to what can be suspended by a judge or jury. The judicial device of mandatory minimum seems extremely arbitrary, due to the fact that their are two bodies (judge and jury) who, through a hands-on knowledge of the facts of the crime, can discern specialities of that particular crime and sentence accordingly. I do not understand the need for mandatory minimums as they are excessive, since descriptive sentencing guidelines exist.

They restrict the ability to sentence justly, being that no two crimes are identical, even though they may share the same charges. The presence of such a device, being that of mandatory minimums, can only leave room for corruptive and nefarious usage. For example, a police officer can threaten you with multiple charges carrying mandatory minimums, effective increasing prison time tremendously if found guilty, simply because you decide to invoke your right to an attorney during questioning, which in turn, makes their job investigating a little harder. This vindictive practice is common amongst law enforcement and is abetted by the law itself through the vessel of mandatory minimums.

I, myself, am a victim of this very practice. Police officers decided to charge me 3 use of a firearm charges (another controversial law enforcement practice referred to as charge-stacking), each carrying a mandatory minimum, 3 years for the initial UFA, and 5 years for each subsequent UFA charge. This comprises 13 years of a 15-year sentence… mandatory minimums should be removed from the courts and the power to impose fitting, fair sentences reinvested to the judges, as they should be.

– Q, 1/14/21

THOUGHTS ON VIRGINIA’S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

by Lord Serious

The sooner the inmate population within the custody of Virginia’s Department of Corrections learn that the General Assembly has no intentions of passing any real prison reform legislation, the quicker they will begin organizing their own political coalition to force their hand. Neither the Republicans, nor Democrats, in Virginia’s state legislature have any interest in passing any substantial laws that will effectively reduce the inmate population. Neither are they willing to pass any substantial legislation that will effectively prepare us to reintegrate back into society as a rehabilitated men and women.

So you want to know my thoughts on Virginia’s Criminal Justice System? Here goes: this is a criminal enterprise ran and organized by a mob of slave catching, thieves, and murderers. The purpose of this system has always been to oppress and repress the movements of Virginia’s Black population and this will never change.

The prison population does not have to continue to hope and pray that the very people making a fortune off of warehousing us will one day become more humane and enlightened. We may “pay our debt to society” by serving time. But this does not mean we have to comply with their demands that we permit them to exploit us for our labor or our financial resources. We have the power to disrupt and dismantle this entire system, and we wouldn’t have to resort to violence in order to accomplish this either. All we would have to do is refuse to work, and boycott Keefe Commissary, Global Tel Link, and JPay.

They have to feed us, and clothe us. So all the inmate population would have to do is give up the luxuries and comfort gained from spending our money, and our family or friends money with these blood suckers.

This system cannot survive without our compliance. Therefore, since Virginia’s Criminal Justice System is just a continuation of the Old Dominion’s long history of keeping Blacks in chains and shackles. I’m of the opinion that we should stop playing by their rules. I think if these politicians and government officials are not careful, a day will come when people in my position will stop waiting for these corrupt politicians and slave drivers to free us. Instead, they will begin thinking up ways to hit these slavers where it hurts.

As long as the expense of housing prisoners can be covered by the tax payer, the politician and government official can balance the budget.

But what would happen if the inmate population stops cooperating with this system, and they removed their monies from their DOC accounts? What if prisoners stopped allowing themselves to be used as a source of revenue?

What would happen if this same inmate population decided to cost the Department of Corrections money in other areas as well? What if there suddenly was a spike in the cost of medical treatment due to more inmates requesting sick call? What if there was an exorbitant spike in the cost to replace broken or damaged state property, because the inmate population suddenly became a lot more clumsy or careless?

What if every criminal defendant took their case to trial and opted for a jury trial? But before the verdict was brought in they had a psychological breakdown in the presence of the jury that caused them to become such a disruption in court that it forced judges to declare mistrials?

This may not amount to much in days, or even months… but what if this type of non-compliance and correctional disobedience was employed for a span of years? I wonder how much money this would cost Virginia’s Correctional System? Would their corporate executives still receive their Christmas bonuses? Or would they find that their ledgers show a decrease in profits and the slave business and the mass warehousing of human beings isn’t as lucrative as it used to be?

It is my opinion that it isn’t too inconceivable for these things to start occurring should the Virginia Criminal Justice System continue to refuse to accommodate the inmate population’s modest request to pass legislation that will permit both violent and nonviolent offenders with an equal opportunity to earn up to 30 days of additional Good Time at a GCA Level I.

Life demands a balance and if you are not treating people fairly, then the universe will produce an individual who will come amongst you to reset the scales.

Lord Serious is an activist and the author of one of the most controversial books of all time. Apotheosis Lord Serious Hakim Allah’s Habeas Corpus Appeal is a must read for those who hope to understand the era of mass incarceration through the eyes of today’s modern day slave.

It is available at https://www.amazon.com/Apotheosis-Serious-Allahs-Habeas-Corpus/dp/1734220201

Prompt: (Non)/Violent Criminal Justice in Virginia

The fight to dismantle a racist criminal justice system and free disadvantaged minorities from the grip of systemic racism is an uphill battle… Fear is the prime strategy for politicians who favor long term confinement and profitable human warehousing, rather than opting to see the human soul as capable and worthy of rehabilitation. Fear is easiest, because it does not have to be given to anyone. It is primal, and everyone already has it in abundance.

I caught a bit of the Virginia State Senate meet on prison reform and wondered to myself how easy is it to hide the truth of profile-fueled mass incarceration behind the myth of a colorblind justice, and promoting “community safety” as a means of pumping more young black and brown men through the proverbial prison pipeline…

The senators, representing their respective counties, some for numerous terms and spanning decades of elections, stood to give their uninventive political spiel. Lofty, fear-writhed narratives framing Virginia’s prisons full of rapists, murderous lunatics who can’t for Christ’s sake ever be trusted with civil privilege again… That fantasy propagated by our state senate is far from truth… I’ve also come to find that most politicians at the state senate level just so happen to know numerous victims of overtly violent crimes, and no people incarcerated for crimes of any type. I found that concerning… it’s the tell-tell sign of a major disconnect between politicians and so many minorities who are faced with the ‘awesome’ fact of incarceration illy effecting their families and communities.

The senate pleaded for an amendment that extented the good time earning credit to only those incarcerated that have charges falling within the category of “non-violent.” This provision does not meet the cause for which special session was prescribed – reformation for racial and social justice. The simple fact being that most falling under the non-violent criteria happen to be white ‘victims’ of the drug epidemic. Once again, a chance for some correction of the racist system to take place may be manipulated, distorted, and amended to meet the needs of the already privileged.

Though the provisions for “violent offenders” likes to cite murderers, rapists, and other sexual offenders as the centerpiece of its public safety interest, it is an examination of the more ambiguous crimes of desperation that exposes a line-teetering sensible policy making and subtle racist devices of the past still being unknowingly used to disempower and disenfranchise minorities today…

The crime of robbery, majorally effecting downtrodden poor minorities, a crime of desperation, is considered a violent crime whether actual violence occurred as a result of the act or not. A large portion of the prison system is made up of robbery charges… some were accompanied with coinciding charges identifying violence, such as malicious wounding or assault. Others, not so much.

A crime such as robbery is not a result of some mania or perversion of mind in most cases. This crime directly reflects the pressures facing a 1st world society and its social systems failing its most needed citizens. It is economical disparities that create the prototype robber, not some lust for violence. It just happens to be black and brown Americans that make up the lower side of that economical ladder. Black and brown men are no more violent than any other race in this country, therefore there must be some deeper reasoning behind the mass incarceration of these people.

Aided by time and information, the once ago capital of the Confederacy has made strides in the abolishment of racism… But the dismounting of monuments means little if the ideals behind those statues remains in tact and still dictate how minorities are treated in this country today…

Prompt: What do you think about the criminal justice system in Virginia and how they are separating violent and non-violent offenders?

What do people need to know about you that would show them that you are human? Imperfect, but full of limitless potential and capable of astonishing change…

We are accepting different form of expression, (writings, essays, poetry, and art) that highlight the question at hand.

-Q. Patterson, BrillianceBehindBars Creator

Change Is Here

HEAVY, that’s what this obtains, heavy thoughts to provoke the brain to go beyond it’s regular (limited) capacity of thinking that a change is gonna come. Whether or not you’re aware, change is here. Not without a united front standing strong tother & putting forth the necessary work to promote positive change. Even then, them haters will still hate. It’s in their D.N.A. (genetic makeup).

The first ever to possess racist views is Shaytan (Ibliss, Satan, Lucifer, etc.) He was under his own impression, that because he was created from a smokeless flame, and that we (human beings) are created from alternating mud, gives him president over us. But when corrected by the Creator of all that exists, that we are more deserving, he begin his hate campaign, and since that time until the last day on earth, he continuously pushes his hate for us. Even in the hearts of our own kind does this hate lies. So see, hate is nothing more than a enemy to your own being, whether you realize it or not, before its to late to repent for past actions or views taken.

Ask yourself this question: if real space aliens were to invade our planet & attempt to erase our way of living – erase us – I’d give a arm & leg that all racist views of each other would become nonexistent, and we would join together on a united front to fight & protect our existence. There would be no white, black, yellow, or brown. The only color that would be, would be the humanity color of all human beings. Working together for a common purpose: to live. U.S.A. (United States of America), if we’re not going to stand for what this great land of ours is suppose to represent, then they might as well change its name. There’s a reason why GOD created all men equal (regardless of the different shades, shapes, and sizes).

Racism needs to be stamped out completely, we’ve come too far for this sh#t, and it’s long overdue. There must be equality, plus justice for all, or none at all. That’s my take on such. Peace y’all, from a captive still stuck in the beast. Real Talk!!

-D. Moyler, Contributing Writer | Virginia #1119539

Take a Stand for What’s Right

It is a tragedy that many lives have been taken in the same way that George Floyd’s life was taken. In fact, it’s by the very ones who have the responsibility of protecting the lives of everyone in society. This is not an issue that has only occured once or twice, but has happened so often throughout the past, that it has a pattern of resurfacing whenever the time is right. Although these officers are the ones who are to blame for the lives that were taken, we as a society have opened the doors for things like this to happen. I’m not saying that we do not deserve better treatment, but what I am saying is that if we took responsibility for our own well being and the well being of those around us rather than waiting for someone to give us what is rightfully ours anyway, law enforcement would only be used when it was appropriate in situations like the ones we face today… where lives are taken by the authorities for no reason at all, the one who committed the murder would be facing the same punishment any civilian would face for the exact same crimes.

The only thing that I see fit for the times that we live in is that everyone gain their independence. What I mean by this is each and every one of us is in a much better position to carry out justice by educating ourselves and encouraging others. We shouldn’t continue to depend on the same ones who are threatening our livelihood day after day for protection. Everyone who decides to take a stand for what is right, prevents things like this from happening again.

My name is Shaveek Pittman and I am currently behind the walls of LVCC Lawrenceville, Va and I hope that all who read this are encouraged to keep striving for a brighter future.

– Shaveek Pittman

Keep on Marching

How much longer do we have to march the streets in protest?

Our words can be seen from space, but we’re still not being heard.

We are still being killed in public, beaten in public and our young generations are being harassed and/or arrested for petty crimes just to have them in the system instead of being given a warning or a citation.

It took a deadly virus (I call a blessing in disguise, even though I’ve lost family and friends) to remove the blind fold from our eyes and now we can see all the injustice world wide.

— I believe the President is trying so desperately hard to reopen businesses to put the blind fold back on us, so we can no longer see the injustice and continued brutality from the police, to get the people back to work to stop the protest of the Black Lives Matter movement. —

Keep on marching as long as you can until we are heard; do not let them put the blinds fold back on. Black Lives Matter!

– Brandon Henry #1493358
Woodbridge, Va

Prompt: ‘Criminal Cop’ Justice Reform

The conceptual lines that formed the basis for the childhood game of cops and robbers has been destroyed.

Though many of us knew of the ambiguity associated with criminals and law enforcement projected in mob movies by the depiction of the crooked cop, and ambiguity through the vicious images of cops’ mistreatment of black lives captured during the civil rights movement, the idea hasn’t been accepted on such a mainstream scale as easily as it has today. That’s with good reason I suppose: law enforcement’s intricate roll in the operation of society. Many would love to maintain the illusion of a perfect system (a perfect cop), rather than accept the fact that the system is finite and many people lose their lives at the present of its inconsistencies. So the back draft of the collective societal thought passes the blame on to the less essential. They will say: “Why are the cops killing black people? They must be doing something wrong…” But the presence of social media, free of expert commentators, leaves no room for harsh realities to be ignore any longer. The truth is becoming clearer – the ones sent to serve and protect have done so, not so much with communities in mind, but serving in the further corruption of their departments and unions, protecting shady cops from prosecution for their crimes of mishandling lives in their charge.

The term ‘criminal justice reform’ has taken on a new skin… in the matter of less than a year. This reform is now focused on the policing of cops… a funny idea if I should say so myself. The administrators of policy and law still have to administer laws, even if they’re new ones, right? That thought itself gives me goosebumps… as I’m not sure exactly how to ‘police’ police better. Honestly, I thought the implementation of the body cams would suffice for effective policing of police, and yet others have lost their lives with mysteriously no body cam footage of the account… only civil bystanders armed with phone mounted cameras, capturing truths that would of otherwise been buried in mounds of disinformation and political jargon – aimed at furthering the decades old agenda of being “tough on crime…”

Writing Prompt Assignment:
What further can we do as a society to make sure that lives like George Floyd’s aren’t taken without healthy fear of prosecution?

Write your experiences with criminal cops. Write your ideas (if any) for changing the way cop are held to the letter of the law. Write between 2-5 paragraphs, if possible.

Make sure you add your name and any other information you might want people to know about you.

– Q. Patterson, Creator, Organizer, Writer, VADOC #1392272

Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know (incarcerated or formerly incarcerated) wants to write on this prompt this month and be featured on BrillianceBehindBars.com, send an email to yourlovedoneq@gmail.com with the essay and bio to review, or we can add inmate numbers to our Brilliance Behind Bars JPay to allow them to contact us directly.

Uncertainty (FEAR/COVID-19)

I know the purpose of this writing prompt was to shine the spotlight on how the incarcerated individual is coping with his fears and the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m sure others will leave you all thoroughly informed on how this virus has been effecting the day to day operations in prison. Therefore, my approach will address a fear the prisoner and the free citizen both share in common. And that is the uncertainty surrounding the job market and our ability to provide for ourselves in the post-Coronavirus world.

The April jobs report shows that 20.5 million jobs have been lost. This has pushed U.S. unemployment to its highest levels since the Great Depression, and it has virtually wiped out all of the jobs recovered since the 2008 Great Recession.

I wonder what will our new normal be when the smoke clears? Will local small businesses recover, and if not then how will this effect the economy in my community? How will corporate America respond? Will they downsize the number of laborers and other minimal skill positions that people like me need? And if so, then what employment opportunities will be available to me when I am released from prison?

I expect that the post-COVID-19 world will look something like this:

When you go to retail stores and fast food restaurants there will be less cashiers and more self-serve/self-checkout lines where patrons can use touch screens and credit cards.

Within factories, manufacturing plants, and warehouses all over America the automated machines will outnumber the people on the floor. And trucking companies and delivery services will replace drivers with autonomous vehicles and drones. Even janitorial positions will be effected by industrial robots that sweep and mop floors.

I fear that any job that can be performed more efficiently and cheaply using artificial intelligence, corporate America will replace even more of their human employees with robots. I know that it is the essential workers in these minimal skills jobs who are the most expendable. I know that it is the essential workers in these minimal skills positions who were the most exposed and some of the most vulnerable. And I know that corporate America is cold blooded enough not to give a damn about whether these minimal skills people can keep food on their table, or pay their rent to keep a roof over their heads. All corporate America cares about is their bottom line.

There are stores and companies that have already invested in this type of technology. Anyone with eyes can see that this is where the future is heading. The only reason this trend hasn’t become a full fledge transition into automation yet, is because the technology is still too expansive. However, as the necessities of the society drives demand and innovation, more technological advancements will be discovered. Today’s time consuming and expensive methods will be replaced by cheaper and quicker methods. It is crisis like this pandemic that drive this sort of entrepreneurial spirit. Thus my fears are inevitable.

In my book, APOTHEOSIS LORD SERIOUS HAKIM ALLAH’S HABEAS CORPUS APPEAL, I suggest that learning the skill of computer coding will provide job security for people like me. This is a skill that is in high demand. Since most companies will be using AI and robots. They all will be in need of humans to secure their networks, run diagnostics on their machines, and perform trouble shooting when glitches occur. Learning the skill of computer coding will make you an indispensable asset to society. I hope this encourages you to look into new career opportunities. Unfortunately for me, the Virginia Department of Corrections does not provide this sort of training to those within its’ custody. (Smdh). Peace!

– Lord Serious Hakim Allah / J. Boughton Jr., Chesapeake, VA #1404741

Lord Serious Hakim Allah is the author of the controversial book APOTHEOSIS LORD SERIOUS HAKIM ALLAH’S HABEAS CORPUS APPEAL available now on Amazon.com for $10.00 plus s/h. It is a must read.