“ Conditions of freedom”
By Juan Quenton C Ward
“Laws and decrees.” “dar not with liberty but well consist”. My thesis here is that freedom, in the modern –world for Black and Brown man, is increasingly endangered: the freedom of the law, also, in the long run, the freedom of the poor and working class whites. And I believe that should we continue this lock-up trend in America, that we shall be unable to maintain any successful defense in retaining our freedoms until we reverse this cycle and trend and recognize once more those principals of order under which freedom was obtained- the body of rights and privileges acquired through the Bill of Rights. Every right is married to a duy: every freedom owns a corresponding responsibility and there cannot be genuine freedom or rehabilitation for those we incarcerate unless there is also genuine treatment and educational opportunites from the moral and social realm.
Order in the moral realm is the realization that these once exiled and incarcerated men with right education, training and human compassion can become a body of transcendendant values-indeed a hierachy of values –which give purpose to existence. Order in society is the harmonious arrangement of classes and functions which guard the rights of all , not just certain segments o f society. Now, of course, there cannot be freedom without order and laws and in a sense there is always a conflict between law and order aswell vigilance for guarding freedoms. Many express this conflict as the competition between the claims of justice and the right to deny freedom or liberty to those accused of crimes.
Too often those of conservative doctrines and ideology in this country continue to cry for stiffer penalties and incarceration of segments of our society more out of power aswell to assert their ego in defiance of conventional measure. At the present time there needs to be an eloquent debate on the long term incarceration and imprisonment of the poor in America by those well discerned in the intemperate arguments over 13th amendment practices.
As a prisoner locked within the bowels of the “belly of the beast” for some two decades now, I feel somehow divorced from humanity and can’t fathom how some people who once fled from English rule of persecution, oppression and imprisonment are so apt to repudiate the importance of historic legacy in gaining libery and freedom. Many who has turned a blind eye to acceptance in the Black Communities aswell poor class communities are exposing themselves to the danger of absolutism, whether the absolutism be what Tocqueville calls “democratic despotism.”
Under this current nightmare in which I am forced to live, it seems clear my captors intend to keep me faceless, a man without opinion as those of the “Rethuglican” Party has been posted in key positions for a bloodless take-over, and no one is prepared to join a resistance movement in defense of bringing their fathers, sons , brothers, and uncles out of the modern –day slave camp, because we have forgotten what freedom means.
Comrades the walls of Jericho fall down, not because the trumpet blast was strong, but because the walls were crumbling. People, we have politicians that want to reenslave and deny rights to Blacks and Hispanics that generally support democratic views.
A slave in Aristotle’s definition is a being who allow others to make their choices for them. In the burgeoning Prison Industral Complex of Wisconsin and elsewhere around the country it is impossible for man to be materially prosperous or freed from necessity of choice, for he will always be considered servile by those of his oppressors
I’ve watched for two decades as this servile man be stripped of true manhood, the dignity of man, relegated to what remains a child, never advancing into Man’s birthright. As his growth is stunted and for many who has the unfortunate luck to turn within, resorting to beastial mannerisms of eating , throwing and smearing feces or screaming into insanity as they have become bent and broken vessels of men.
While many may applaud longer incarceration and stiffer penalties that allow private corporations and groups like ALEC to profit from the lives of those who has resorted to criminal conduct out of necessity or choice: I think there is a weakness in it aswell danger.
Attorney Michelle Alexander in her book “The New Jim Crow” eloquently shows the revival of old doctrines and beliefs called “Black Code” law that imprisoned men for profit and gain. Many politicians and lobbyists tend to confuse the whole discussion of this problem by using political rhetoric, spins,and propaganda aswell sensationalizing via mainstream media.
I have witnessed the cripling effects of what these long term imprisonment does to men and women as if we were living in the eighteenth century, not in the twenty-first- we owe a lot of that we are experiencing to our first so called “Black President." No, not Barak H Obama, but William Jefferson Clinton, Who created draconian laws like those of the Medes and Persians. “
Nevertheless, we as a society must stop the attack on liberty and the incarceration of Black and Brown, aswell working class Whites in Wisconsin that’s presently being employed very interestingly by persons who pretend to have the state’s best interest at heart- but in truth seeking their own poplitical and financial aspirations.
O cannot say enough on how in this case it requires the highest degree of solidarity and copperation, to change “ the great wheel of circulation” upon which our imprisonment aswell rural demographic areas economy has become dependent upon as physical security.
Many of these politicians –curiously archaic in their opinions, although they pride themselves upon their diversity – are old fangled supremicists, dedicated to “enslavement” in the era of the twenty-first century: others (thoses more grimly acceptance, Probably, ) are the new fangled ‘tea party” collectivistic, desirous of draining everything from the state, but insistent that they have only the good of the state and its citizens in mind. I accidentally stumbled across a poem that read;
‘This is got by casting pearl to hogs,
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood
And still revolt when the truth would set them free.
License they mean when they cry liberty;
For who loves that, must first be wise and good.”
My general argument is this: the continuous silent acquiesence of incarcerating and imprisoning Black and Brown Americans in Wisconsin cannot continue to be endured without voice. The United States constituion were established that laws might make semblance of freedom possible. For all of Americans talk of equality, democracy and liberation still our nation and country character has the stamp of hypocrisy while the rich gets richer and the poor gets prison. Respect for moral traditions inculcated by our religious indoctrination are in decline, and as for the prescriptive ideations which we, more than any other people aspire to , has altered little since Dr Martin Luther King Jr’ s I Have a Dream speech.
Because of political aspirations and fear- mongering we have done a most terrible mschief to our societies, we have ceased to respect our individualism and has begun instead, to run after an abstract conservative view- many of those in the ruling class has set no bounds to their ego. Much like the prison guard who comes into these walls, gates and fences daily with the belief it’s their duty and job to harrass, belittle and deigrate those of us with the unfortune to be incarcerated.
How can a state that does not protect the human dignity of those within its ward (care) recognize the prescriptive rights or enforce rights that protect minorities against majorities? While screaming safety as an abstraction to liberty and incarceration in the name crimes are committed.
I garner to say rehabilitation are realized in the prescriptive sense where balanced thoughts, well defined ideas and rights of other persons, properties and lives are valued and we conduct ourselves in accordance with operating norms within a state governed by moral principle. There are many men caught up in Wisconsin’s Industrial complexes that exudes this quality, which maked it possible for them to become truly productive members of society. But because of political rhetoric and grandstanding many of us continue to languish in prison.
I am rather embarrassed at saying this for It has been said often before and great mass of historical evidence supports what I am saying: thinking of the Birmingham 9 accused of rape against a white woman, later proven innocent but too late; Rueben Hurricane Carter; Jamas Newsome out of Chicago accused of murder aswell the six Black boys in New York accused of Central Park sexual assault.
Still every great question has to be argues afresh in every generation and first principles have to be declared over and over again. Truly, until we learn from history we have learned nothing.
Until this incarceration I like most people use the word “freedom” vicariously, not understanding the freedom from struggle of insitutionalized enslavement or religious indoctrination is- for I did not live in an age-an age where the weight of oppressive chains and shackles were the archaic establishment and customs-However , Make no mistake about it, being locked inside these steel and concrete tombs year in year out sets a dangerous precedent in our so called modernized era as it breaks the foundational link between generations and leaves our children and families without male role models.
I erst while owe my incarceration partially to myself and the vindictive, mendacious lie of a “white” female aquaintance who reached back to historical practices and traditions claiming I assaulted her by touching her breasts and vaginal area over her clothing,
Due to overzealous prosecution and ineffective counseling here I sit in the epoch center and cesspool of hell, Or t least, it feels very much like a personal hell. Every Wisconsin citizen needs to turn their concentration to the truth, and stop butressing what was once reconstructive era thinking and reconstruct our morals and values and see that it is wrong to imprison any man longer than two decades and still his release is to come out of these gulags whole-functioning normal in a mainstream society with no housing and or monetary assistance to give that leg up.
In the Christian principle, freedom is to the will of God. This is no paradox. As he that would save his life must lose it, so that man who desires freedom must recognize a providential order which gives all their freedom of choice- the view of “inalienable” rights.
It can be said and argued freedom without absoluteness becomes simply the force of those who hold power to do as they like with the lives of those whom they hold captive, much the same as a slave master done with those enslaved seen as his property and the Warden and abusive prison guards that inflict tyranical, dictatorial mannerism over those whose interest has conflicted with society.
It is unfortunate that we live in an age or political corruption and greed, for good or ill, where rhetoric and clever political sound-bites gratifies those who espouse to hate and separatism. Many of Wisconsin's politicians has not learn how to respect or reconcile respect for those who hue and pigmentation is dark and brown.
Very few people are interested in true equality and bringing many of our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers , aunts and uncles aswell cousins out of these places unfit for animal habitation. It always bothered me when I would see the commercial of abused dogs whimpering in cases limping and broken, disheveled and how people called for discontinuing the practice of abusing these pets telling the world, "these are not just our pets, but our family"-and I found it infinitely strange that here I am a man imprisoned for two decades and my crimes are not of murder--but that I dared to have a Caucasian victim rather than the socially acceptable norms of Black on Black crime.
While I am more inclined today to recognize my errant ways an try to give back to my community and break this viscous , dangerous cycle that threatens the whole Black community and its fabric though our young men and boys that have become lots due to modern-day Blackplotation of drug kingpins ,gangsters and thugs.
The greatest danger just now is the continued killing of our young men like Trevon Martin, Alan Blueford who was 18 out of East Oakland, let alone in Wisconsin.
It's time for Wisconsin to take their heads out of the hole , especially Black , Hispanics and Asians and began to support these 11X15 and FFUPP moments and discontinue the mass incarceration of our youth and resist this clandestine practice of over criminalization of our loved ones.
Remember, Wisconsin "Rethuglican Party" seem bent upon establishing a universal equalitarian domination over the lives of those in the poor class while continuing to call these passed laws and legislations free and democratic, but as we already see have made existence almost impossible for those who are living day to day. Check to check and week by week.