I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to respond and say something about the recent news regarding my pending execution date. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been floundering a bit, trying to find my footing. I wrote a response to the AP’s announcement, which I thought was a bit premature on their part; I mean, the actual date is the “news,” not the State’s request. But it is what it is, I suppose. Of course I’ve had quite a few years to get used to the idea of my eventual demise (eventual no matter how it happens), and so the news came as no real surprise. I try not to spend my time lying to myself. I’ve been on death row for 23 years now, and so things were always tending to this. Still, waiting and actually arriving are two different things. Now that I am here (so to speak), I thought it best to pause and take a peek inside myself, see what it all means. And what does it all mean?
Well, for most of us, it means what it has always meant: the strong do what they want, and the weak suffer what they must. So, yeah, I’ve been doing my share of suffering these past few weeks, going through bouts of extreme anger and, I’m embarrassed to say, wallowing in deep sadness. But why sadness when I’ve been caught in this trap for 30 years? I mean, I really and truly hate this place—the horrible food, the constant clanging of the keys, and the sheer senselessness of it all. And, yet, the thing that truly saddens me (and upsets me in equal part), is the thought that on some as yet undetermined date, these people (?) will force me onto a gurney and call it justice. And it’s this—the whole “calling it justice” thing—that opens my eyes each morning. I can’t allow them to do that, to carry this thing out as if it’s legit. I mean, kill me if you must, but call it what it is: Murder!
So, you see, I’m caught up in the throws of some very powerful emotions at the moment, trying to marshal my strength and focus in order that I might be able to rise to the occasion. It’s going to take me a little time to gather my force, to get my feet under me, and I ask that you all be patient with me and not doubt the depth of my convictions. I have my finger on the thread of something powerful, which, if properly pursued, will show the system for what it is. Something similar to what Christine Blasey Ford did. She really made a mockery out of THEM, made them all look like the petty, stupid little men that they are. I intend to do the same thing.
I don’t know how closely you were all following the whole hearing debacle. But I watched it with keen interest, looking for parallels and matching metaphors to the larger context. You see, to me, the whole system of capitalism (of which patriarchy is but an extension) is predicated on rape, on holding people down and fucking them. So, in a very real sense, we are all Christine Blasey Ford, and must do what she did: speak truth to power. To me (and I believe this was true for Mrs. Ford as well), “winning” was never about preventing Kavanaugh from being confirmed (no more than my “winning” is about preventing these people from killing me): that, after all, was never within her power to do. Nevertheless, what she did—and the price she paid for doing it—was instructive. She set herself free, and that was such a beautiful thing to see. She spoke about how, after the incident happened, she, too, found herself floundering, trying to find her way forward. She spoke about how her grades suffered and how her relationships, even up to the present, were affected by the memory of what she went through. But she also, over the years, has become an accomplished woman, and has somehow managed to hold it together in spite of what was going on inside of her. And then she sees the name "Kavanaugh" on the short list to sit on the highest court of the land, and the grown woman in her saw it as an opportunity to release the young person that she was from the prison that she's been trapped in all these years. She probably didn't know that she would have to do it on nationwide television in front of the whole world. But when she found out that that would be the context, she didn't shy away, and that, too, was beautiful to see.
At the same time she showed us that the Supreme Court (the same court that decreed Black people were 3/5 human beings) is a supreme joke! This whole system is a sham, and we have to come to see it for what it is. There’s nothing behind the curtain (or under the skirt) if we’re talking of the Lady of Liberty; it’s just a group of old, white men pulling levers. Until we see that, until we understand that the only way home (freedom) is through confrontation (or “facing our fears”), we will never discover who we are.
And maybe it’s true to say (as some have said) that it’s too late to save ourselves. Maybe it’s the destiny of mankind to destroy itself, in which case this civilization will perish like all the others. However, in the meantime, “it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners!” So, yeah, I intend to do my job. I just need a little time to think, and I hope you all will join me in this thinking process, and that we together can figure out a way forward.
To the bitter end,