Joseph, 67

Joseph, 67


Meet Joseph…

From slavery to unity, through suffering and scorn,
Katrina can’t break us as Americans,
Like before, we’ll weather the storm.

Joseph, 67
Incarcerated: 32 years
Housed: Kern Valley State Prison, Delano, CA

Americans will be the winner

Now, how do I describe the pain and hurt or say what I deeply feel,
Just the thought of what I seen and heard of Katrina, all man, I’m feeling seriously ill,
To the core of my bones, I felt a horribly and nasty cold chill,
When I heard the levee broke, I mean, man tell me what the real deal
Sure all the people were warned before Katrina came crashing through,
But the deft, dumb, cripple, old and blind, what were they suppose to do,

The flood water problems were known to hit, many, many, many, years ago,
Major computerized testing, for the levy’s weakness, against the flood waters flow,
Now, all of a sudden I’m hearing rumors, and claims that the government didn’t even know,
Man, I’m not trying to heart that crap, come on people say it isn’t so,
The President and FEMA, but not everyone,

Was untimely with relief efforts to get the job done,
Walmart donated water, needed gas, and food was donated too,
But FEMA turned those items away, without a clue as to what they was suppose to do,
Now, if most the people in the Katrina Disaster were white instead of black,
The question must be asked, would a majority all white American Government,
Held those relief efforts back,

Now, maybe I’m just suffering with an illusion from all the Katrina misery,
Or is it true that, Dogging Blacks is the fiber of White American History,
But there is a side of the Katrina Disaster that I must say is very bright,
Most Americans, Celebrities, and the whole world is helping,
And many of those people or White,
What hurt’s me real bad in this Katrina situation,
Was the Women, Children and little babies crying,
People begging for help and food,
While older people were left dead with animals dead or dying,
Americans are Black, White, Red, Yellow and Brown,
Just to name a few,

And we will get busy and turn this disaster around,
That’s just what Americans do,
Can you feel the pain of my profuse crying,
Please Lord take the stake from my heart,
Because I feel like dying,
There are no amount of words that can truly express how ill I feel,
I can understand the looters,
People gotta eat,
Man, just keeping it real,
But the raping of little girls and women,
My God, gave me a real cold chill,

Got no time now for pointing the finger,
And that’s a natural fact,
But, can we all just get along,
At least until we get Louisiana and Mississippi back,
Now, we all know it’s only right for us,
To mourn for all those that die,
But, all the death, and hungry People crying for help due to Katrina,
Made blood, sweat and tears fall from my eyes,
But, I have faith and hope in the Unseen,
And the bells of liberty and freedom from this disaster will continue to ring,

And as I reflect on the late great Martin Luther King,
I know Americans will grasp the vision,
And fulfill the dream,
We will get up and rebuild Louisiana and Mississippi,
And I mean like never before,
For the whole entire world to see,
And none will be able to ignore,
So we get to stand the coarse together oh mighty Americans,
Stand the course and fight the good fight,
Put aside all out petty differences,
And let all of Humanity see how we can unite.

Americans, you know how we can do it,
Believe me, there’s no doubt in mind,
Cause we’ve already been thru hell and back,
As revealed throughout the annals of time,
From slavery to unity, through suffering and scorn,
Katrina can’t break us as Americans,
Like before, we’ll weather the storm,
We must remember to focus on the sunshine,
As we march bravely through the night,
Be strong through all the hurt, pain and death due to Katrina,
Cause we walk in faith, and not by Sight,
This Hurricane opponent who left all the damage,
Newscasters have named it Katrina,
But when it’s all over said and done,


Samir, 52

Samir, 52

Meet Samir…

I felt helpless and alone as I boarded the plane for America. Life was worse than I had imagined and it aggravated my feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Samir, 52
Incarcerated: 13 years
Housed: California State Prison, Corcoran

At 13 years old, my parents sent me to America to live with my older brothers. At the time, I didn’t understand why I was forced to leave my parents, siblings, and the only home I ever knew to live in a  foreign country with estranged brothers I hardly knew. I was told it was for my safety, but I felt it was a punishment and a rejection by my parents. Despite my reluctance to leave my homeland, I suppressed my thoughts and feelings and did as I was told. I felt helpless and alone as I boarded the plane for America. Life was worse than I had imagined and it aggravated my feelings of loneliness and isolation. At home, my brothers were always busy and I hardly ever saw them. Left on my own, I began to use food as a way to alter my mood from feeling lonely and isolated. As a result, I became overweight and my brothers started calling me “cow.” In hearing their taunts, I felt hurt, angry and rejected. I wanted to fight back, but I couldn’t because they were older and I had to respect them, so I suppressed my anger. To avoid being teased, I ate alone so I wasn’t judged by my large portions. I hid snacks in my closet and ate them when no one was watching.

I became obese and struggled with my weight for most of my life. I felt ugly, ashamed, and less than others. These feelings led to frustration and extreme low self-esteem. I thought no one would ever want me and I would die alone. This belief along with earlier feelings of scarcity and instability would later manifest into possessiveness and controlling over my wife. Along with a rigid sex role belief and a co-dependency issue, I developed a compulsive/obsessive, perfectionistic, controlling, grandiose, blaming, righteous and all-knowing personality. Before I reached puberty  I was an undiagnosed narcissist without power and I normalized these behaviors within my sphere of influences because they altered my mood from loneliness and isolation. Based on these adverse childhood experiences, I had unconscious abandonment problems. On the day of the murder, I had hoped for a reconciliation, however, when I was coldly rejected, I was unconsciously terrified of abandonment and this feeling triggered me into a rage that I didn’t know how to manage. 

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