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Photo by Gordon Plant on Unsplash

Tell me the worst thing you’ve done,
for that’s all you are to me.

Speak only of the mistakes you’ve made,
that’s all I need to see.

I will never take you at your word,
or acknowledge who you’ve become.
In our eyes you are nothing more,
than the dreadful things you’re accused to have done.
For the rest of us are equated as individual sums,
but not you!
You will always be equated with the worst thing you’ve done;
and that my friend is true!
For you see in America,

The lil guy does not count or win,
and most poor people don’t make it to adulthood
without a brush with the law.
Often hounded and helped by bureaucracies,
lacking good education, economical stability and good pay.
All their records and statistics are carefully documented,
and every mistake they’ve made along the way.

Our urge for revenge is sacrament,
to protect our corporatocracy.
There is no one to protect you, the lil guy;
from “us” who rule society.
You will have to continue to bear our exploits,
for our self-serving reasons.
As you walk know, for centuries;
on you, it’s been open season.

And when this breeds contempt and you break our laws,
you must pay your debt to “us” society.
And society will never, consider paying its debt to you,
ostracized, dejected, and repressed minority.

So based on fear of “you people” we mass incarcerate,
and impose disproportionate sentences to make us feel better.
And continue to loathe over you and feel superior,
and perpetuate the false illusion “from you people” of being safer.

Among us, the most fearful, narrow-minded, and vengeance driven,
are the ones who scream the loudest, and are the ones heard.
You see the scope of our insight and maxims,
we vehemently uphold to be right.
Sadly for you through the ages, from day one;
has been the source of your castigation and plight.
As for your vindication;

only time will tell.
All under the cloak of freedom, fairness and liberty,
we vow to uphold our legal system and Democracy.
For we’ve fabricated the legal system and Democracy.
For we’ve fabricated the Legal and Moral framework,
To proclaim to the World, we reign with Justice and Equality …

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Kenneth Baptiste is a writer incarcerated in California.