No Effort Toward Self-Determination [Freedom] Is Futile

“No effort toward self-determination <freedom> is futile; it is one of the things that men cannot do without. Without it life loses its value.”

    October 1969

    George L. Jackson

Twenty-six straight years behind prison walls has somewhat hurt my mind but it hasn’t stopped my resolve to one day return to the streets of Philadelphia. I don’t like to show emotions to much, behind these walls it makes you vulnerable. Every person has their own way of dealing with this prison psychosis, some of us like to study and read books, others like to workout, but most play card games and run from this hard core reality.

    Inside this prison psychosis “ignorance” is supreme, it has tapped into the minds and hearts of the young and old prisoners. Last week I read the <2016 Spring edition of the Greater Friends Newsletter>. And on page #5 it tells us about the tablets. The New Jersey D.O.C. sells these same tablets for $35.00, the Federal Bureau of Prisons sells GTL tablets for $39.00. Now most of us understand the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has a rich history of selling its prisoners inferior and overpriced products.

They sell the tablets for $157.00. Department of Corrections policy says the D.O.C. is “not” permitted to make a profit of more than 5% on anything it sells to prisoners. I brought this to the attention of the population here at Camp Hill but it failed on death ears.

Things like this get me mad and fatigued, it burns my fighting spirits. But I must always pull back and check myself, my war is bigger then this small fight. It’s hard to get people to stop believing in the mythology of their own ineptitude. Meaning: “the quality or state of being incompetent.” Mentally prisoners mind is being wiped-out, dumb it down as they say. It use to be a time we had all kinds of study sessions, now dudes sit in front of the T.V. all day learning the wicked ways of the snake. It’s so bad we lost all sense of ability to pinpoint our true enemy. We hit the prison yard always looking to get at each other, as if I told you to get off the telephone. As if I turned away your visit, as if I denied you parole, as if I came into your cell and destroyed all your personal property. Deep!

How can any sound minded person walk around the prison yard with a tough-guy attitude and never go over to the law library and try to liberate yourself from the “clutches” of the Department of Corrections who have their grips around your neck choking the very life of us.

Sometimes I sit back inside my cell, A.K.A. <Torture Chamber> and wonder do we even care anymore. We have so many beautiful organizations fighting for us, organizations like: Decarcerate PA, Fight For Lifers, Human Rights Coalition, CADBI - The Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration.

They are out there in the “trenches” waging war with a machine that thinks it is “virtually invincible.” The Achilles heel lies in the outside public opinion and perception. This rotten machine can only function off of our “ignorance,” once we as a whole become aware and alive, we can then bring the fight to this machine. Remember it evolved from a myth!

“When you refuse to be a slave, they will label you a trouble maker.”

        Mr. Nataniel Butler #BQ-0913

        P.O. Box 200

        S.C.I. Camp Hill, Penna.