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A Collaboration By: Tariq MaQbool SBI#000830758C; And
Kory “Hussain” McClary SBI#000573398C

COVID took my guy, six thirty in the mornin
My boy, my dude … died
Breathing hard, struggling
he gave up right there in that bed
Tubed up, cooped up, sippin
the Reaper’s tea
They diggin his grave, so that he may rest
My breathin’s heavy, like a rock on my chest

Shit jokers plan, dusk till dawn
mornin till night
never ever knowin
where the sickle might smite
Rollin through the life
as if a broken kite
Still,
this shit ain’t right
Gotta chill, let this slide
like every other bullshit in here
brotha just gotta fight
Need a break, a little mental like

“Yo, Hussain, you down wit this workout right?”

“Got this my brother, Yo Akhi, chill aight!”
“Let’s get to the ‘Graveyard’,
we just gotta get our mind right”

* * * * *

SPARRING in the Prison Big Yard
A Graveyard where gangstas are laid to rest
Shadow Boxing in a cemetery, full of tombless plots
Bobbing and weaving, side stepping and jabbing
The ghost that float above, excavate the Earth
The Earth to which they must return
but refuse to go
Ducking and hooking the air,
the air copiously filled with demons
The specter of a gangstas pass …

MOVE!

ROPE-A-DOPING on the side of a mausoleum
Maneuvering away from a zombie’s bite
The dead want a nigga, these evil forces tormentin
Wantin a nigga’s soul on site
to dwell in hell forever like
Mentally ducking,
wondering if the Mind’s Eye is
playing with reality,
Un-seeable?
Or is this total misery and wretchedness,
absolute and,
unchangeable???

MOVE!

JOGGING through the Graveyard where
the forgotten rest
Viewing the nameless headstones with trepidation,
beads across the forehead, shimmering cold sweat
The dissonant howl of a wolf fills the air
A Werewolf!
A translucent spirit flickers the peripheral sphere
it converges, quickly
Running from death, chasing the full moon
A rat’s skeleton scurries on spurs
A cat roars a shrieking purr
A black cat!
A woman’s grating scream comes from beneath the Earth

RAIN DROPS …

Terror grips the soul
Chills grab the flesh
A light jog turns into a heavy dash

SPLASH!

Death is whistling, Life is silent
A man draped in black hooded cloak, appears
seeming violent!
Grimm Reaper?
Final destination?
The precise truth remains elusive
Death shall remain, however, exclusive

MOVE!

JUMPING ROPE in a Graveyard
where real niggas are dead, but still
alive
Where Life means digging ya own grave,
and jumping on top of the headstone till Death
arrives
Where Life means forever, and Death is coveted
In this Graveyard, Life’s smell is putrid
and Death smells sweet
In here,
Life is Death or Death is Life
Life is jumping rope in front of ya plot,
until Death did y’all apart from your misery
Death is precious,
precise
and Life is a Groundhogs Day ball of anguish
But fuck it!
This is where the gangstas is at … a prison!

STOP!!!

* * * * *

Breathing heavy, sighs slowed to a cadence
“How you feelin?”
“Doin good my brother, though I’m still reelin”

Casting shadows in the Graveyard like
Brothers Grimm
Life got many avenues, but in here
they slim

Still gotta get to feelin normal
soon
Can’t be dealin with this impendin
doom
It’s getting darker …
Soon it will turn to
gloom
Still feelin heavy
Melancholy
Carryin a dead man’s tune!

* * * * *

“Come my brother,
you wit me?
Once more around this mothafucka!”

MOVE!

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Life’s Junction

September 14, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | No Comments

Author: Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

Life has a junction, over and over
a repeating lunacy
without adieu
simple in nature, yet subtle
chaotic and sad, yet utopian too

Words run amuck with random thoughts
as always,
they ring loud, and simply true
a damp spirit, with a purple hue

Ruthless characters with evil eyes
surrounding gardens, where hope ensues
its sorrow and pain
in every sight
no happiness or reprieve in any pew

Facts blurred by the virtue of evil
crafts of deceit emerge from the devil
eyeing a goal of eternal oblivion
it’s you, it’s I, stuck in the cycle
round and round of iniquity vile!

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Author: Kory “Hussain” McClary # 000573398C | Edited by Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

“Hello” from the other side of the concrete and razor wire wall. A man is trapped behind the wall, calling out to anyone who is listening.

“Hello, hello, could you get me out of here.”

Man down, man in distress, castaway. A man’s life is slowly but surely slipping away while he is trapped behind this concrete and razor wire wall.

His ‘hellos’ are all met with echoes. It’s an empty vast canyon behind this wall where only the soulless dwell.

“Hello”, it seemed as if he was calling out to himself. This man did not want to become one of the lost souls forgotten about so he shouted his ‘hello’ from the others side of the wall loader.

“Hello”, but still only an echo.

This man wondered if anyone realized that there was a man snared behind this wall. Did anyone care that this man had loved ones to get home to. Little ones to guide. He had a mother to hug, a wife to love, sisters and brothers waiting to receive his brotherly smile. A father he needed to embrace and a mother he needed to kiss… .

“Hello”, he could hear the traffic promenading the other side of the wall. So he roared his ‘hello’. The response was only a roar of an echo.

He was being ignored and left to be what he dreaded, a soulless shell. Why? He was a man who made mistakes like those on the others side of the wall ignoring him.

He was sorry for his mistakes. Only if someone would listen and let him explain.

“Hello, hello, could you get me out of here.”

The man knew that the concrete and razor wire wall was impervious. Unclimbed, never to be breached, and the sole witness to his trap.

Only if he screamed louder, someone would have to answer him.

“Hello”, just another echo.

Too many screams turned this man voiceless. His calls caused him to be further entangled.

Muted!

No voice, so the man on the other side of the wall wrote. He wrote his pain in the form of an ‘SOS’; placed it in a bottle and threw it away over the concrete and razor wire wall. Somehow the bottle was returned undisturbed. The man refused to let his hope in humanity slip away. So he threw the bottle back over the concrete and razor wire wall.

Still there was no responses or help. The bottle was returned, note still intact. His ‘hello’ from the other side of the wall could not be reciprocated. His pen was broke.

Now the man cried. Tears of pain, shame, and remorse ran down his face.

His hands were cuffed behind his back, his legs were shackled. And his mouth was gagged. Only his tears flowed freely, allowing this man behind this wall in this barren place to know that he still had a soul. A soul that yearned to be free… .

“Hello!”

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Author: Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

In recent days, the news around the country, once again, is filled with Corona Virus related issues. The obvious result of the pandemic taking space on the airwaves is reduced focus on the protests for social justice.

The death of Congressman John Lewis highlighted for me that the wheel of time turns without any hitch. The death of yet another stalwart of our social justice movement further stressed the importance of that special cause and the need for change now. It seems that we keep losing our Nation’s heroes without any actual progress. Truly, the days of Selma seem virtually unchanged in a lot of aspects of our culture.

In my humble opinion, the problem of taking the ‘eyes off the ball’ remains the main issue towards any required change.

The Black Lives Latter Movement, and others whom are protesting for systematic changes to our Criminal Justice System, Social Justice, and Policing Reforms seem disjointed and without structure.

Charles Barkley recently made rounds on the sports talk shows following a “Tweet” criticizing the ‘Protest Movement’ for being without organization and being too focused on simplistic and meaningless symbolism; and being bogged down with pointless arguments such as what ‘labels’ athletes place on their jerseys.

I submit that, the Hall of Fame Basketball player rightly criticized and tried to bring attention to the actual and real issues rather than just wordplay.

This ‘loosing of focus’ is becoming the hallmark of the recent Protest Movements where the message is getting lost due to ‘other’ unrelated issues. For example, Collin Kapernik’s taking the knee was hijacked by President Trump’s ‘dog whistle’ of being anti-flag, anti-American, and being un-patriotic. Kapernik himself muddled his message by being silent and seemingly without any strategy others than suing the NFL.

Charlottesville, Ferguson, and other similar protests were marred by ‘us v. them’ politics, violence, and pointless rhetoric that resulted in the status quo.

Even now, although the post George Floyd murders protests seem different, I submit, without proper national organization and strategy, there will be no results. With COVID-19 struggles and dirty politics, the goal of change appears more chaotic and unachievable.

In the same vein, the United States Supreme Court in recent days struck yet another blow to the requested and demanded change by ruling against a challenge to one more bias, racist, and unfair state voting law that disqualified ex offenders from voting. This ruling further highlighted the need to get together and to speak with one voice. Rather than random protests, center of attention should be on national unity and approach.

Where the highest ‘Halls of Justice’ seem to signal that the fundamental rights of an American citizen to vote are forfeited in perpetuity due to a simple run-in with the law, a clear message is sent that even the most basic of rights are not going to be afforded to a citizen, specially the one of a darker hue.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is akin to injustice in itself. Where a segment of society in this country is told that you are forever a subservient class! The decision has yet another dangerous precedent of Apartheid like reality for the minority of this country.

Thus, Charles Barkley’s Tweet and advice should be taken seriously by those who actually want change, reform, and a better just and equal tomorrow for all Americans regardless of their color and creed.

I would suggest and urge the Protest Movement all over the country to organize in State entities and focus on struggle and efforts that are particular to the need of each State in this Union.

Without such focus, the death of George Floyd and countless others and the resulting Movement will fizzle out. To make change, we must Organize, Strategize, and Implement!

Otherwise, it’s all for naught.

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Black Women

August 24, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | No Comments

Author: Duane Kelly # 488959B | Edited by Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

Beautiful Black Women
Where shall I begin?

Intelligent, classy, and strong
Putting up with brothers for so very long

Inspirational, independent, and talented
Always to be appreciated, never to be taken for granted

Mothers, aunts, sisters, grandmothers
Always there, always supportive, holding families together

The center of Black Pride
Queens dignified, Diva personified

Single, married, and hardworking
Raising babies, loving wives
and still holding down good cooking

Soft, sensitive, and sexy
It’s a privilege and pleasure to have you next to me

Easily my better half
Making two into one, using the lovers’ math

My beautiful Black Women, out of all GOD’s creations,
We were made to last

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From A Fallen

August 14, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | No Comments

Author: P. Reid # 830759C | Edited by Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

Prison life is a serious thing – not just the circumcision from life, as we know it, but by the boundaries of how the entire family dynamic suffers a massive fracture by an individual’s incarceration.

We allow the pressure of society to cause us to deny love to the one who have fallen from grace by virtue of a crime committed.

Love me despite me…!

The struggles of the children of the incarcerated are never seen and their challenges, to achieve their goals despite the handicap of having their lives inverted, not by a selfish act of the parent governed by rules of oppression and degradation to levels not known by onlookers who can’t see beneath the undercurrent of modern day slavery.

The challenges of trying to parent from behind the wall takes a strong and virtuous individual who refuses to compromise of his or her values and principles that keeps perspective of who we are evident to those we are trying to instill morals as they persist to exist.

Covered in stereotype and societal bias as to being compared to the scum of the earth, even if the incarcerated is innocent and convicted by a system configured to keep the ‘machine’ oiled and continuous, it is also regardless of the need to fulfill the farce concept of justice.

Getting the assistance needed to regain freedom can be very trying at times. Those suited to power are those who have never sought it, and he who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.

Not being able to affect influence or change in the lives of loved ones wears at the soul of an individual who cares – gone but hopefully notable forgotten…

I have always given my truth to be ‘overstood’ that there are still good people left in this world of ‘Me Too’ and the ‘watch what I’m doing!’ Having the courage to live my way and striving to getting to a place where my respect for self and others leave me happy to be whom I want to be, even if I’m draped in Khaki and referred to by numbers.

We are told never to judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. But then, it doesn’t matter, ’cause you’re a mile away and you’ve got his shoes!’ Besides, every man’s journey is not his own – but also those of whom his ties carry.

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Who Are You?

August 1, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | 1 Comment

Author: Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

I don’t know what love is
Because, I know you
I don’t know its beginning or end
Because, I know you

I have experienced joy and happiness
Because, I know you
I have experienced heartache and sadness
Because, I know you

I know what it’s like to be alone
Because, I know you
I know what it’s like to have a companion
Because, I know you

I gaze the stars at night
Because, I know you
I travel the Galaxy
Because, I know you

My days turn to nights, and nights to days
Because, I know you
My little circles of life, revolve
Because, I know you

Sometimes, my heart quickens
Because, I know you
Often times, it simply flutters
Because, I know you

I have a longing and sense of belonging
Because, I know you
I am stranded and rather abandoned
Because, I know you

I follow Halos in mist filled nights
Because, I know you
I wander halls and search cloudy rooms
Because, I know you

I roam lofted pathways surrounded by gardens
Because, I know you
I follow footprints on grass sparkling with morning dew
Because, I know you

I see apparitions running among rows of roses
Because, I know you
I chase shadows under gilded canopies and verandas
Because, I know you

I can smell dandelions
Because, I know you
I see a horizon twinkling with fireflies
Because, I know you

I feel locks of velvet upon my face
Because, I know you
I can feel a breath warm on my neck
Because, I know you

I feel my lips often tingling
Because, I know you
I can taste peaches and strawberries
Because, I know you

This unending episode continues
Because, I know you
I wonder if it’s everlasting or forever withering
Because, I know you

I am familiar with your curves and silhouette
But,
I’ve replaced a thousand pictures it seems
To imagine your face
Because, really…
I don’t know you!

For a long while, a lifetime perhaps
I’ve been searching, I think…
Because, I thought…
I knew you

Yet, I am always left wondering
Because really…
Who are you?

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Author: Santise “San Man” Robinson | Edited by Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

I recently applied for a pardon. But, I wasn’t afforded an opportunity to speak to the decision makers. Let me share with you what I wanted to convey:

A Human Rights Watch report states that advances in neuroscience have found that adolescents and young adults continue to develop in ways particularly relevant to assessing criminal behavior and an individual’s ability to be rehabilitated. These findings show that young offenders are particularly amenable to change and Rehabilitation.

I am not trying to deny the wrongs that I have done, nor the crimes which I have committed, neither am I seeking to try and justify them in any shape or form.

My childhood was what it was.

Sure when I committed my crimes I was an angry, hurt, self destructive young male with no realistic idea that I could have a better life. Therefore, I owned with absolute certainty, the ignorant mindset; ‘nothing would ever change!’

The belief system construed at such a young age made me feel: I had no chance whatsoever for a better life.

However after years of inner reflection and finally finding answers to my troubled childhood questions – which forced me to pause and to for once understand, that I did not have to be what my circumstances dictated – the realization came that I could actually change my own conditions.

It wasn’t easy coming to this awareness. It has taken well over 20 years of self learning in this environment for me to be able to conceive that I could break the family cycle and stand as my own man.

All that I want is a chance, the opportunity to exhibit to the world the man that I have become.

I want to be … more than some negative statistic; I want to be … much more than a prisoner who dies behind walls.

I want the opportunity to stand and walk as a man. To do enough good with the rest of my life that others will know that I have changed and grown. And I am no longer that lost, angry, and deluded ‘man child’.

I have become a man with a heart, soul, and mind who really does care and has the acuity to be a tremendous asset to my community and to benefit society as a whole.

In here where wanting is never having; day and night are basically the same, only the sun and stars mark the difference. I find myself dreaming, hoping in the face of despair and desiring what is most unlikely. Simply because I now know that I am better than my situation is and I can rise above my circumstance. I am now a responsible human being, I have no excuses.

* * * * *

‘Pardon Denied – Apply at a Later Date.’

With that simple phrase above, I was recently denied my Petition for a Pardon. Yet, with the comprehension and wisdom of my own positive change, I, fortunately, learnt the power of being optimistic as well. Yes, the answer was a ‘No’ this time, but I am hopeful for a better future.

The fight does not stop!

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I Rise Still

July 15, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | No Comments

Author: Kory “Hussain” McClary | Edited by Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

Even after all of the transgression and oppression
Against people of my complexion
Standing tall with a pen as my weapon
I’m going down writing!!!
I will not be silenced – By this system of recondite violence

I Rise Still

Through this concrete and steel, I will assure that my word is
heard
Throughout this world
My pen will write, until I am free, or
without life!!!
Standing here resilient and austere

I Rise Still

Through the cracks and crevices
of this ‘penal’ development
I will not be appeased, until I am
standing free – reunited with my
family!

I Rise Still

After years and years of disquieting
rejection, inimical reflection
of my case, by a Court
with a racist support beam
I will never give up my dream
to be standing shoulder to shoulder with the
leaders of the culture

I Still Rise

My scent spreads through the prison vents
It emanates on the other side of the gate
And spreads far and wide
emitting my fragrance
Freedom!!!

I Rise Still

Through this concrete maze, this living
grave
I’m traveling past lost souls
Physically they’re here, but their minds
are gone!
I constantly remind myself that
this is just a Sojourn
Eventually I will be home

I Rise Still

And still I rise, I’m on an
ink pen high, chasing my life,
And still I write…
That the stenographer, the judge,
the State, the lawyer, and the jury,
were all White!
And with this black ink, I speak
the truth
Like so many, I was captured as
a youth
And still I rise like Mya Angelou’s…

I Rise Still

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(Unedited version, the Edited piece is on medium)

Author: Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

Prison is a cynical place in general. I guess over time, being crushed, chewed, and mauled by the system that professes to be the best Judicial System in the world, the inhabitants of a place like this’keep’ grow as sardonic. I remember coming to New Jersey State Prison with lot of baggage, a chip on the shoulder so to speak. Loosing trial with the most circumstantial of evidence was still a shock to my system. To tell you the truth, in my naveté, I really chalked it up as an anomaly. I STILL believed in the system.

Yet, I remember so many of the older prisoners in here who after hearing my summarized version of events, would often display a particular sad smile. They would then nod knowingly and pat my back and walk away, leaving me slightly confused and annoyed.

“What the hell was that all about,” I would often mutter under breath.

Then, over the years, Time taught me the reality of the system.

But, not everything, I am still naive it seems. I thought I knew it all by now. I thought that I had the comprehension. I thought I understood the subtleties, the racism, the bigotry, the failures, and injustices of the failed System of Justice.

But, even now, today, I learnt that I don’t know anything.

Georg Floyd’s MURDER changed everything. I sat there with emotions that I can’t convey with words. Because watching that man getting killed invoked passions of vengeance, which any ethnic Pakistani, Afghan, or a man from the Middle-East would feel.

However, the realization came quickly this time, with a bit of shame and a lot of regret. As a Pakistani American, I had figured that I understood racism. Especially post 9-11; I faced my share of issues with bigotry and discrimination. I felt shame and regret because over the years I have had multiple conversations, debates, and arguments over races issues with many of my African American Muslim brothers, some of whom are in their late 70s. I always thought that I could present a cogent argument or could state a point of view, and more than often they would just stop arguing with me and give me that knowing nod and pat my back and walk away. Leaving me slightly annoyed and confused.

You see, watching that Police Officer, Chauvin, pin his knee deeper into George Floyd’s neck with his hands in his pockets, opened my eyes to the fact that I didn’t have the slightest of clue about discrimination, prejudice, and real racism.

So, as a grown and perhaps wiser man, I could only do the most honest of things as a person who is not Black, and that was to shut up, listen and to hear from those of my brothers who actually know what they are talking about.

After listening to a cacophony of voices from outside and inside I also realized that there is no real opportunity or forum for prisoners in here to add their voices. So, I came up with an idea.

I simply posed a question, “What were your feelings when you saw George Floyd getting murdered? Please share your views…”

What transpired next left me sitting stunned and speechless at 2:30am at night among a pile of submissions with a heavy heart and eyes filled with tears. You see, I had a complete different plan to tackle and address this subject, but, once again, it became abundantly clear that I just needed to be quiet:

ANTHONY PEOPLES: # 303892 / 137935-B

Title: ‘Please… I can’t breathe! Don’t kill me.”

I paused and held my breath as I watched the murder of Mr. George Floyd on my 13 inch television screen. I gasped in shock as former police officer Derek Chuavin in broad daylight, with all his body weight pressed his knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds on the neck of this already subdued young black man!

I cringed as Derek Chauvin, with his hands inserted into his pockets and a sinister look upon his face looked uncaringly into the direction of the crowd while Mr. Floyd sadly and desperately called out for his mother!

I later found out that Mr. Floyd’s mother was deceased. His mother was gone, and yet he still called out for her with his last breaths.

A DAMN SHAME!

I witnessed a man get murdered by a police officer! My heart engulfed with so much sorrow for Mr. Floyd as I watched his life get snuffed out so unjustly! Anxiety began to set in and my heart quickened its pace! And for a few moments I found it difficult to breathe. I had to calm myself.

The same script continues to play out, just with different people. The same situations. The same outcomes. Many of these police officers who have taken an oath to “Protect and Serve” are using their authority to act out their true character and what they actually stand for. Always attempting to disguise and conceal their prejudices.

And, what of the many others who have been murdered unjustly? Some were recorded, some not. Why does it continue to be this pattern of murdering us black men and women, and other people of color by corrupt racist police?

What about all the people of color that have been and continue to be placed in these warehouses called prisons unjustly to serve outrageous sentences? Sentences that destroy families.

This is also another form of murder. Another form of having a knee pressed onto our necks! Another form of carrying out prejudices. Another form of destroying a race!

SHARIF BROCKINGTON-TORRES: SBI# 963206-E

Title: “We Will Breathe Again”

What were my feelings when I saw George Floyd getting murdered?

Hopelessness! The meaning of a lynching! The 400 years of lynching of my ancestors! Great, great, great, great, grandparents, my parents, myself, and my 13 years old son.

The lynching of my Nationality! I felt the realization of the generations that are still struggling to breathe today.

I can’t breathe!

I felt the tears from the whole of my soul to my eyelids, but there were no tears to come out. I wonder if I’m a ‘Georg Floyd’, or his son.

For the first time in my life I felt and learned the exact meaning of “Systemic Racism”, a plague that affects my whole body. The whole African Nationality.

I felt breathless, when my son asked if I saw what had happened, and why?

Silence.

I am unable to answer something that I wasn’t provided an answer for, an answer which my parents or their patents couldn’t provide.

I also felt the White man’s word “Nigger”! I felt the millions of footsteps behind. I felt the pain, depression, desperation, struggle, unrest, discrimination, inequality, denied loans, denied jobs, denied education; I also felt the silent voices of those whom yelled and pleaded, crying and fighting, and untold emotions, all mixed with mine.

I felt that and more, all due to a system that was designed against us. I FEEL the enslavement of “Blacks Only” of the Criminal Justice System. I FEEL being 3/5th of a human under the United States Constitution.

I felt the knee that was on the necks of my people and is still on our necks.

Still, I felt for help.

Then I felt hope. I heard the voices, saw my people around, and felt the strength of 401 years of still NOT broken. I could hear my son’s footsteps in the crowd of protest.

Hope!

Instead of people yelling and screaming they were roaring along. Not being heard but felt. Not only waking America, but the whole world. The meaning of hope, and holding on, pushing through.

I am proud to be Black! I felt us! I am power of black.

I felt, our black lives matter. Our black lives do matter.

I felt us! And we will breathe again!

___________________________

HAMZAH FRANKLIN aka “Snake Doc”

Title: “Fascinated”

I’m fascinated with law enforcement and the culture of military application. Both arenas filled with noble minded persons. So, I have no qualms with an officer and soldier who has been trained to go beyond what is necessary; I have a problem with the system that has trained them… not the people per se. The system needs to be overhauled – completely.

Think of the system as a computer. It won’t boot up because a floppy disk has been left in the drive. Once we discover the problem, we need to remove the disk. Then the computer will work again, but lingering problems are still affecting the computer. Now we have to Control, Alternate, Delete: Control are agendas; Alternate our course of action; and Delete the effects that have plagued the nation with inequality.

___________________________

KORY “HUSSAIN” McCLARY (Kory McClary.com)

When I saw the video of George Floyd being murdered my feelings were:

“Damn, they did the same thing to me!”

The stenographer put her knee in my neck when she doctored the transcripts on me

for her husband

This cell is smothering me…

I’ve been screaming: “I Can’t Breathe!”

Since it’s a white knee in my neck

They can’t hear me…

Her White word against my Black word

The Appellate Court said, Nigga you got

some nerve!

Appeal Denied!!!

They all Eric Garner’d, George Floyd’d me…

“I Can’t Breathe!”

_____________________________

“D” ANONYMOUS

“If it wasn’t on camera, no officer would have been charged!”

__________________________

“Z” ANONYMOUS

In short, I felt sad first, then very hurt. To see a man trying to get air, while calling out for his mother and just die was beyond all understanding.

And not to go into a very long statement about it, but it’s part of the reason many of us are in prison all over the country. Police lie, plant evidence, the Courts uphold unlawful convictions and we die in places like this.

But this is nothing new to me; I’ve seen this all my life. My question to you is what are (you) going to about unlawful mass incarceration???

This system is broken and no one cares. It’s all about the dollars. We’re products to you people for just having a job… That’s why you treat us the way you do. I’m a victim; you just haven’t killed me yet!!!

__________________________

J. BIDDLE: #616776

Unfortunately, this sad tragedy will continue to happen until a major change come about and those officers that are responsible for the Unjustified Beatings and of Murder of others are immediately held Accountable for their gratuitous actions.

But for the peaceful protest, the violent riots, and then looting, the 4 officers would never be arrested and charged with the murder of George Floyd.

Personally, I really don’t think that things will change, unless serious changes are made within the laws. Specifically, Law Enforcement officials have one set of laws for themselves, and another set of laws for everyone else.

In the Rodney King’s violent beating situation, those officers were found ‘not guilty’. In 2014, Michael Brown was murdered by officers. Here we are in 2020, some 6 years later and same old tragedy continues nationwide.

Changes will only come about, only when changes in the one sided laws are made.

/////////////////////////

A. FRANCIS: #634098 / 307375-C

When I saw the video I was angry.

My next thought was why they always need an INVESTIGATION when they have that kind of footage.

RAJHN KALIM: #420404

As a 62 year old African American Muslim, when I saw the murder of George Floyd as well as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, back in February of this year, play out on Nationwide TV, it impacted my heart and spirit, and left me filled with anxiety, stress, and despair.

And had it not been for the video, in George Floyd’s case, he would have been labeled a common criminal who died while resisting arrest for passing a so-called $20 bill.

There was also no video in my case 19 years ago. If there was I would be free and home with my family. And not serving a life sentence for armed robbery and aggravated assault on a police officer.

____________________________

IBN EL AMIN PASHA #535695 / 428449-B

I was NOT surprised when I saw George Floyd get lynched. Simply based on history, it was supposed to happen. I would suggest that you examine and research the U.S. Constitution.

Ask yourself, those who participated and wrote the Constitution, were any of them Black or African American? Research the significance of the year 1619, the Reconstruction Era, the Jim Crow Era, Civil Rights and the Black Power Movements, and see how they relate to African Americans and Black people. Research Segregation, Gentrification, Redlining, Redistricting, Busing, Poor Housing, Racism, Poor Healthcare, Poor School System, Poor Politicians, Poverty, Drugs, Crime, Homelessness, Mass Incarceration, and ‘Police’ that don’t live in the Community that police the Community, and that are of opposite race.

Once you are able to thoroughly research, examine and be sincere about your resolve, ONLY then you will be able to understand why, what happened to Mr. George Floyd was SUPPOSED to happen.

____________________________

* * * * *

The above were just a few select CAPTIVE-VOICES from behind these walls. But, of course, there are other voices as well. Such as the ones who walk around wearing Blue with shinny Badges. So, in the interest of being “objective”, I reached out to a few officers for comments as well. That went as follows:

OFFICER “C” – ANONYMOUS (White Male)

I stay out of politics man … Yeah, it wasn’t good. Did you know they burnt down Downtown Trenton? I hope he [Officer Chauvin] gets the most time they can possibly give him. If I was there I would have stopped him. I probably would’ve punched him or tackled him off that guy.

Yeah, outside some people curse me out when they see me in uniform. But, I don’t give a S**t. I say F**k you to them.

I call it politics because, you know, what happened to the whole thing about the F***ing virus. They all forgot about that on CNN, Fox and what’s that other channel, and this thing is all over the place now and people are burning and looting. Like I said, I think it’s all politics man and I stay away form that.

What I think about Racism? Man, it’s like someone getting drunk. Whoever gets drunk we punish that person but, I don’t know, I think they are just using it as a political thing. I don’t feel that way towards people. You know how I am, you treat me good and respect me and I will treat you with respect as well.

Like I said, I feel bad about what happened to that guy and I wouldn’t let it happen.

___________________________

OFFICER “L” – ANONYMOUS (Black Male)

I think it was crazy. I wear this uniform but under it I am a Black man. You understand. I went to the protest yesterday with my kids. I am not for any of that stuff.

No, I didn’t feel… No one [outside] is saying anything [bad] to me. As I said, I’m a Black man.

What? No, I don’t talk to a lot of my [fellow White] officers about this, because … I know what they are about and what they put-out on social media and I see it. I don’t talk to them about it because then I will hate them.

Yeah, I separate it. Because I work here and I just don’t talk to them about it.

___________________________

OFFICER “X” – ANONYMOUS (Black Female)

My heart hurt. I don’t talk about it to anyone other than my own people…. I don’t trust anyone and I would not stand for it.

How I feel as a Black cop? … I got kids. But, I ain’t allowing them to do anything like that when I’m around. Like I said, I got kids.

Subsequently, I also had a chance to speak to my family and friends about Racism over the phone. I started this piece by stating that I was stunned, to tell you the truth, I must admit that I am more stupefied at the end.

Talking to non-Black people, including some close friends, I am dejected in admitting that we have a lot more to learn. Not just about the issues of Systemic Racism, but also about our own baser instincts.

Also where we are protesting on the streets for equality everywhere, we need to be honest with ourselves. Not just in America, but all over the world. I know it is politically savvy to criticize select countries on some make believe axis. But, if we are after the truth then we must address all of our evils, not just the selected few.

Yes, we should criticize the heavy handedness of Iran, Russia, North Korea, and China; we can surely speak about the marginalization and suppression of minorities in Burma, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Middle-East, and Sub-Saharan Africa. But, then we must also address the brutal and torturous campaign of Indian Forces against Kashmir, and the indigenous Nexalites; Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and Russia’s operation in Dagestan, and Chechnya. We must also address the Australians about the Aboriginal Saga, the Netherlands and Greek authorities’ mistreatment of migrants etc.

Otherwise, we are just going to be lying to ourselves.

I also feel sorry for being unable to amplify every voice. You see, I have many more loose papers fluttering about, with each screaming its own truth. Yet, I am unable to fit all of those CAPTIVE-VOICES in here.

Lastly, I want to share something that I learnt about our Black brothers and sisters. They are an extremely forgiving folk! A people whom are getting killed on every street corner it seems, because someone feels scared, or gets offended, by the mere color of their skin. In truth, they are the ones who should be scared of everyone, since they are the ones whom are being blatantly hunted.

I am perplexed with this dilemma.

But, even with that much evil, I am not surprised by their collective grace in return and their reliance on love over violence. Because, the people of, and from, Africa are some of the ancient inhabitants in this world; they are, perhaps, the sages among humanity.

Our Black brothers and sisters have preached a gospel of love. In face of tyranny, injustice, inequality, and racism, they have consistently spoken a language of peace, harmony, and love! Like Mathematics, love is also a universal language. I think it’s high-time that we all reciprocate.

So, to all my Black brothers and sisters, Assalaamu Alaikum, Peace be upon you!

Black lives matter, yes, Black lives do matter!!!

_____________________________

Every time I was disciplined by life, it showed me the weakness

of my intellect

And every time I increased in knowledge, it increased me

in knowledge of my ignorance!

(A quote from Islamic Tradition)

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