Forty-six years in the penitentiary,
Forty-six years eating from commissary

Forty-six years of suffering and misery
by confronting racism and white supremacy,
never, ever letting them get the best of me.

Nineteen when captured and confined,
shoot-out with police marked the
beginning of this time. Been to the
parole board nine times, continuously
denied for the nature of the crime …
something that will never change!

Change … brought them two college
degrees, and two vocational certificates,
they were treated as if insignificant,
you have to wonder, then, what is change
or its significance, when community support
is overwhelming, but they consider it
a factor that is all too damning.

International law says U.S. prison
system is a burgeoning crime, but none
of these corporate criminals are doing
any time. A crime against humanity
when poor and people of color are
targeted for arrests, and white judges
in black robes, no different than
whites in white hooded robes, say it was
a fair and legal contest. Yet the DA
and court appointed attorney were law
school roommates, eating lunch and
dinner together, despite the clime or
type of weather … how can we escape
the collusion, when finding me guilty
was the only conclusion.

Indeed, crime and prison is big business
and the poor is its commodity with a
shelf life of 25 years to life, mass
incarceration—business is booming!

Forty-six years and the grandchildren
of the first guard who searched me are
now searching this cell, and to them
everything is swell. Telling me to
undress to search my body, with no
understanding how I withstand these
tests … Test to human decency, dignity
and self-respect, while confronting
white supremacy with an American flag
pinned to their chests. Their only
concern is money for a house, and
sending their children to college,
keeping the poor and oppressed absent
of knowledge. “'I’m just doing my job”
is what they say, corning to work each
and every day, simply to make sure
white supremacy stays this way.

Remember: We Are Our Own Liberators!
Jalil Abdul Muntaqim
Sullivan Correctional Facility
October 20, 2017