Road to injustice

I was reluctant to read “The New Jim Crow” Michelle Alexander's book at first, being incarcerated myself, I thought what could I learn? How much more injustice in America could I stand to ponder and read about. I am living this moment in prison inside a race based lockdown and the courts and system don't care. I know and live inside the mass incarceration of black and brown people, and it's not hidden or a secret. I've lived it first hand as the prison system has grown in California and become more racist, program less, unforgiving and cruel since the nineteen seventies. What could I glean from this book?
Well, immediately, I looked into the mirror and saw and felt every word on each page of her book, and it broke my heart, but not my spirit. I saw how the courts, prosecution, law enforcement, politicians and American media set up this so called war on drugs and crime as a smoke screen for their true intention which was and is the New Jim Crow - - to incarcerate, bog down and enslave as many black and brown people as possible. Thereby marking, branding the young people for life. They may as well had gotten a branded iron and put it on the sides of the youth's faces. Even people who get out of prison physically are set up for failure.
The courts and government don't care if lockdowns or roundups of people of color are based on race and color of skin, it's as welcome as the morning sun. The courts say racism or race based actions are harmless error. Often the courts are saying in essence that if you don't use the word “nigger” out loud or say out loud an action based on race it's fine to lockdown blacks and harass them just because of skin color.
You may not see the hanging trees that line the roads of injustice across America, all the way to the Supreme Court, but hanging from those trees are black men, young and old. When a system of justice is shown over and over again to be racist and unjust and the courts say, well, just a harmless error, and prove it, it is like telling a man with both legs chopped off that they are still there.



Spoon is back with a new essay in SJRA Advocate.

When I was five years old, I anxiously awaited my turn to cross the field and go up the old wooden stairs across the railroad bridge to school, as thirteen of my brothers had before me. The older kids seemed happy to go and they stayed all day long. I thought the fun must be endless.
When I finally got there, I was slapped by the kindergarten teacher I had a crush on, Ms. Tereese, because of a fight I had with another boy. I was paddled from the second grade on and beaten with extension cords and water hoses at home. I failed every course e, from reading to math, and yet it was as though no one cared. By the fourth grade, I was told by the vice principal that I was no good and that I would never graduate from high school. Although I proved him wrong, I was passed from year to year even though I didn’t how to read or write. I did not know what a subject or verb was, or how to do simple fractions. I attended classes doped up, smoked out, smelling like weed and liquor. Apparently no one noticed.
I had choices I didn’t see growing up....(read the reaming part in SJRA Advocate)


Life is precious

Inspired by Marina Baric, student from Sweden. 

Thanks for your questions, I answer them only for myself. You asked, “what kind of insight and what kind of thing, dream or thought can make a man feel like he has the right to take another person's life?” There is no such right for me or any person, entity or government to take a life. I believe life is to be cherished and celebrated and nurtured.
I have never set out to take a life or dreamed of killing someone, but I did. And after, sitting here in prison almost 35 years later I can still say I have never set out to take a life and I do not dream of doing so.
There are some ignorance, unawareness and awful economic situations that contributes to the loss of lives and people justify the killings the same way the governments justifies the Death Penalty and Life Without Parole. For me anyway, trying to justify a killing is an excuse.
There are all kinds of environmental, sociological, religious, psychological and governmental reasons one uses for taking a life, all are still excuses. There are quick and long killings practised and sanctioned by most of these entities and yet none of those are justified in truth and realness. Sometimes one isn't aware of how precious life is and have not yet felt the truth.
There is no such thing as a just war or just killing. All life is precious.
Life is precious when we begin to see, think and feel in the moment and by seeing ourselves and our lives in other human beings or other creatures, dogs, cats, birds, horses, any plants or animals. Then we know that by taking their lives, one takes one's own life. So as you said, “a person that ever thinks about taking someone else's life, maybe isn't appreciating their own life”. If we know it's our own heart we are blowing up, stabbing, shooting or beating, perhaps then we can show love and how life is precious.
Vi är en klippa!

Peace G

Peace G
Sharing books and songs
Dances and dreams
Instead of bullets and bombs
Wisdom and peace
Instead of greed and war

Peace G. building bridges
and wells
Instead of tearing them

We grow from our missteps
sharing forgiveness and mercy
instead of revenge and hate

Peace G. we walk each
in our own shoes
and as one, one people,
one planet, sharing many

We walk embracing the real
in all of them
coming together in peace,
truth and realness

© Spoon Jackson
Sept 2010


Why not At Night I Fly, America?

The documentary, masterfully made by Michel Wenzer and Story Film, who poured their lives, hearts, tears, art and endless sweat into this film to make it all the way real and unique, why At Night I Fly was not even accepted in the smallest film festivals in America is a disgrace and a disrespect to the truth, real art, real film and enlightenment.
At Night I Fly won the two greatest awards in Sweden and was recognized for its outstanding vision and realness in every European country it appeared in as a great, unique, insightful and needed documentary.
Yet, the documentary film industry in America did not embrace At Night I Fly, USA is known for not embracing the real and mainly want the fake and phoney, unredeeming stuff to be given to an auduence. Stories and stuff that keep the stereotypes flowing and the masses drugged and dumbfounded with illusions of how honorable and true the USA media and documentary industry is.
When in fact, the documentary industry and media in general in America can't care less about truth, true art and realness and promotes whatever the prison officials or government officials tell them is the truth even when it's a lie. There is a ban on allowing media to come inside California prisons and the media does nothing to fight it.
At Night I Fly unveiled the truth in art in prison, justice and injustice. The media in America, liberal and conservative have all been paid off. They don't even try to come inside to know the truth. The prison allowed the great Oprah Winfrey to send in Lisa Ling to do a documentary but only if she did it on the negative aspects of prison and mainly the fabricated side of prison life. They ignored the truth and true art and realness going on behind these walls.
It is a shame that American media is not independent and has no back-bone for promoting the truth. Whatever the state and prison officials send out to them they print and show as gospel. No heart, no courage, no realness.
What I say to you brother Michel and Story Film and all the prisoners and staff that were in At Night I Fly, you told a real story of art, truth, hope and penology, of darkness and light, the realness and depth of art, hope and incarceration.
I thank you Michel and Story!
America has a history of hiding the truth or hiding from the truth. A history of not wanting the real out there.
Vi är en klippa och jag är stolt to be African Swedish. Continue the realness struggles!
Love, peace and hope!
For brother Michel, Story and Peace G's


Middle of Spring

Lockdown based on race continues with no end in sight. There was a rumour that they would change their ways and base lockdown on whatever gangs or inmates were involved in the incident.* But then the prison changed their mind. There is more profit in keeping as many blacks on lockdown as possible. Blacks are still the only people here on total lockdown.
So it looks like I'll miss spring too. I already missed winter. In a few days it will be seven months of lockdown. My heart and spirit waned for a moment or two and I ended up in the hole. My realness people family, Peace G's and friends from Sweden, Norway and Germany had my back and because of them my heart and spirit stays inspired and full of love, peace growth and realness. Blessings and hugs to all. Things will get better.

*The incident referred to is a riot in November 2011(editor's note)