Slavery

We are slaves in the midst of freedom, waiting patiently and unconcernedly, indifferently, and stupidly, for masters to come and lay claim to us, trusting their generosity, whether or not they will own us and carry us into endless bondage.

Martin Delaney (1812-1885 United States)

My name is Antoinne Pitt I am from Portsmouth, Virginia. This profound statement can be related to today’s time because slavery still exists but is done more intelligently. The Constitution of the United States abolished slavery, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party has been duly convicted.

Prison warehousing is modern day slavery and the convicted are the subjects. A system has been put in place that is designed for people of the lower class to fail. Projects and section 8 housing were built to house individuals with a low income. In these environments, the lower class people become susceptible to the things that go on, because the things that we see and hear are planted in our subconscious mind and stored as sensory data. This is where the term ‘product of my environment’ takes rise. We begin to adapt to these environments and begin to engage in some of the activities in what we call a will to survive. Adapting to this survival-of-the-fittest mentality has lead to the mass incarceration of the olive people.

Prison is a billion dollar industry and is truly legalized slavery. A system was put in place and designed for us to fail, but that does not mean we have to fail. Self government relinquishes the power of those that govern. This legalized slavery can be combated by governing yourself – if not, you are consenting to be governed. This is done by living a righteous life, right thought, right action and adhering to the universal law of cause and effect that governs all events. A person who didn’t teach you right has no intentions of treating you right.

You are only as free as your thoughts. Stop waiting for your master to give you direction, but direct the course of your life by mastering yourself. Peace and love.

– Antoinne Pitt, From Portsmouth / LVCC

Criminal

To be a criminal is not soley a matter of self determination, no more than being homeless is. It is accompanied with a lack of social responsibility as well. Almost no one randomly wakes up and says “I just want to commit crimes for a living.” No.

Illegal acts are social dilemmas, mostly committed in states of distress, where individuals are seeking immediate relief from very present, very persistent problems. In this search, they make grave mistakes, sometimes harming others… inconsiderate of others, because of the apparent lack of consideration for them by others. The pressures and problems they face are less likely of their own making. Crime on a large scale is a societal problem that plagues the impoverished. A problem few of our leaders see fit to impute upon the victims or simply ignore.

Where the jurisdiction of social responsibility ends, the choice of an individual to select a destiny of their choosing must take precedence. The identity of a criminal must be shed, because a criminal is not what you are just because a crime is what you’ve committed. In opposition, society’s inclination to be “tough on crime” and continue to demonize those who (for the most part) are victims of society’s failures, does not allow for such realization. Truth is, society has had a great hand in trapping millions of people into the role of the “criminal.” Showing them that their lives are less and beyond redemption; that their existence does not amount above the mistakes they have made.

The abolishment of parole and the reluctance to restore it, along with the restriction of earned sentence credits disregards the practice of incentive as a means of enforcing ethical behavior. In fact, it enforces the idea that no matter your behavior, your lot in life is unchangeable, breeding despair and further instilling the persona of the criminal.

To be a criminal is not a crime, it is merely a product of an imperfect society, but to remain one is. To assume that this problem is definite is a grave injustice that stands to keep destroying countless lives and stagnating the evolution of society as a whole…

– Q . Patterson, Brilliance Behind Bars Creator, #1392272