Standing against big government and for the people!
***Inside a Prison MS-II Educational System for 16-20 year olds***
*** - Sometimes the boys or young men I have in my prison classes sound like coyotes in a confusion of calls and yelps coming from the nearby cemetery. The real coyotes have reason to complain as the state has erected a $50,000,000 research center on the adjacent property destroying at least 20 acres of once roam-free territory in this urban setting. Late at night with my cat on a leash I hear them about 300 years away, plaintive as if to raise the dead. Tonight as it snows I know they will cry as their burrows fill up in the last bit of woods they can hide in. Their cries echo some sounds from my students who are all felons in a Maximum Security II facility.
Behind the high barb wire in the midst of GED instruction the mostly minority felons I teach play the prison game, tentatively trying out a last ditch attempt to earn a GED, while nursing their hombre-egos to supplant the other fallen 'stars' around them. Most want to serve their time withourt regret; all promise to behave when they get out. I believe few if any keep the promises they make to their counselors to earn "Good Time" which will shorten their in-prison time by as much as 20%. All want to get out earlier than the moment (unpredictable) the prison walls and its confinement affects them negatively and they have to lash out at themselves (suicide) or others in there (assault/battery). If they hit a teacher or a correctional officer there's more time to serve; if they beat up a cellmate there may be more time to serve. As teachers we're always reading for the signs of change. But it is getting harder to read the youth in the Obama prison age.
These are some of the things I've seen in the last few years, but going on 10 years now as a pre-GED teacher in a rock hard environment.
There's such a 'fog' in the heads of the 19&20 year olds I teach in prison coming out of the city ghettos in my state. MLK and Malcolm X are toneless to these young men doing a year or 2 or 3 usually, many waiting to leave for the bigger, older-men joints up north as they turn late 20 or 21, and leaving behind their last vestige of juvenile innocence here in my classroom. To some suddenly, a GED looks good, but to many the streets lure them back like a Siren's song they and only they can hear through these prison walls. They love to brag about the 'b******' they screwed, and the babi-mamas they floated with 'kidds' and they're quick to spot and harass a 'cornball', and if someone is rumored to have dissed them on the inside in another cell, they'll start a mental-waging, ego-wagging, bullied-up threat to kick that guy's ass first chance they get, so that I have to register that without their knowing it. Talk about being sneaky in an "I, Claudius" way, but I've saved many a kid from a battering. Just-in-time examination and ratting on someone often stops a desperate situation from developing; prison afterall is all about putting out 'fires before they start'.
I see blacks, Hispanics, whites from the inside of walls they can't leave for years, and they almost NEVER hate the melancholy-missed streets of drugs, rap, b******, deals and lies they've got from their warped concepts of survival by living on the counterpole of 'discriminate hatred' and forged 'acts of cruelty', both of which they never see themselves committing. Even the girls-b******-ho's-babi-mamas they reject are becoming meaner in their shady stories. When they go to Anger Management classes they say what the counselors want to hear, mostly dispassionate efforts meant to disguise their true feelings (the extent of their failure and angers). In classroom some get lost in their work, but in the time of instructional breaks, they revive their old stories and 'gangsterisms' with the boldest speech in sheer bravura that would turn MLK and Malcolm X red in the face with denigration.
The streets are their Siren calls and Obama has done nothing to reach them as rarely does one break-free of this charmed worship and reverence for the injustice and self-advantageous mix of murder and mayhem they can add to their mix when they come home. The unjust world becomes theirs when they have a gun in their band, and that fact alone will make it home. I have heard this kind of talk for all of the struggling years of the Obama presidency. They brag unhilted in sheer defiance to Obama's profligacy. The waste and spending of Obama's $6.9 trillion added to the National Debt in 4 years is itself a paradox for their destructive passions to rob more, hurt others more, to get back to the streets sooner so as to create and wage Black Terror. All that anger pent up inside some of them while imprisoned will be released to the streets.
I have seen why few black male teachers don't last as teachers in prison because these young men make it impossibly difficult for an older 'brother' to bear their familiarity, strong wills, and violent, fatalistic manipulations. So they do leave after a time, and the women and men who stay on teaching try not to waste their energy on pointless battles in the classrooms that defy learning. All real line prison staff come close to burning out though, trust me, and every felon whatever his age senses 'weakness'.
I have to say the black liberal civic leaders and the street social workers feeding these boys like horsemeat to piranhas have accomplished few knights and enlisted these men simply as 'pawns' of a now-extremely Democrat-Socialist party latent in every city ghetto. After all, they elected Obama again from the heart and soul of every major city ghetto. Even in prison like their peers on the outside doing more crime I hear my students say: 'What can I get for free or if I steal it, without getting caught?' I see that so ingrained in them after 4 years of Obama's heisting the Nation that I call it: The Obama Solution.
They hate Obama because he is free yet he somehow manipulates their tensions the way the correctional officers do. Obama I believe represents a money-obsessed man who by reason of his ignorance of what is happening in 'this prison' makes mockery of their situation. Don't try to follow the logic here! You can't. These 19&20 year olds in prison for years aren't very unsuspenceful; they need to share their ludicrous beliefs like unexcreted food: a common vomit of blaming the system-whites-lawyers-courts-Uncle Obama-any enactor who got it over them. The international tension of the world means nothing to them. Theirs is a fatal vision of themselves (one often seen as ending in death, no matter what), and it's part of our professionalism as a teacher or a counselor to correct that, but climbing Mt. Everest would be easier.
When anyone of them calls me a racist I know they are hating the white man's laws that they tried to beat like Sharpton and Jackson and others have. They really hate (most without knowing why) black Liberal Progressive politics from inside the concertina wire fences more than they hate me, who at least let's them have a commissary candy while they do my math problems. Some really try to learn in prison what black schools in the cities failed to teach them, usually because the 'knightship of dealing-robbing-smashing heads and other elements of the drug trade' (along with music&guns) lured more of them quicker than the few loyal, straight mothers and grandmothers could prevent it. Mostly women visit black felons; mostly men visit white felons. Can you guess why that is so? These are the last 'holdouts' or castaways both races of felons abandon last.
Almost none of my black students ever talk about their fathers -nearly zero. These white, black, Hispanic youth do talk about dads and uncles in prison, or who have had a long history in or out with pride or at least a bragging bit of respect. Making money is their real 'father', they say over and over, always bragging like the addicts of crime they were when lured to commit crimes, and as passionate some remain entranced with bigger (bragging) victories when they get out. They want out...time served TS, for prison time often enriches foaming with ideas...dreams and power, more powerful levels of selfishness some can imagine inside these walls and fine wired fences. Prisons are full of bad dreamers! Prison conversation breeds new incitements and envy to commit later crimes after release.
There's plenty of room for concerned black adult men to visit them if they're 'in the visiting roster' but few have any visiters at all, except for an occasional lawyer notifying one or another of a fresh warrant, or a continuance, another disappointing delay. All these young felons have lived lives utterly delayed by the crimes in which others have been hurt or killed. They deserve all the time the judges give them in many cases. But ARE WE TEACHING THEM TO BE READY WHEN EXITED or merely in a duel or a standoff with the shadow of something 'they might become' (a few attempt it) by some miracle without the music&guns&rap?
Unless they reach them while they're in prison, the adult concerned black and older males will not want to see or look for them when they return to the streets. Angry blood 'cooks and simmers' there. The felons' blood is very different than the black older male blood that is evangelical in content. Many will kill any 'helper' for a 'take', a gun, some money, for no reason, so I rarely see a concerned black adult man inside the walls, unless a few have the great courage to teach them inside the wired walls. That's where the learning begins for these young men, and I've seen it work and not work for many years, and not being black have seen it objectively and subjectively.
Any vibrant older hispanic or black teacher is welcome to try to soothe the anger and frustration of the dregs of society inside these walls if he's got good intentions and a heart of steel. I tell you now: These young men need more than they've gotten, or will get if they go backward to the streets they came from. They need a 'road-block,a friggin concrete road educator' to take my spot. A few, I hope, are willing to try to reach the felons. It won't be easy, I promise you.