The Felonious PhD.

White Collar Female PhD. Felon, Prison Camp, Re-Entry, Criminal Justice Reform. Women, Lesbian

When I Am Free…….

Nothing will be as it was when I return home.  That is very ominous to me when I stop and think about the reality that I am facing.  I am a professional counselor without a license, a foster mom without the ability to foster.  I am a mother without a place to call home.  No matter how many degrees I have, how much I worked in the past, or how much I implored the system to understand the truth, the government and its criminal justice system have stripped me of everything.  I am truly sitting in this prison camp as a number.  I am not even Cassandra Denise Little in their eyes.

After enduring the irreverent treatment, I am then expected to re-enter the community, be productive, pay a fine, and serve 100 volunteer hours.  I truly believe our countrymen have lost their way.  This is absolutely a strategic and legal “public hanging.”  Just kill me, bury me, and call it a day.

Being alone and isolated with all of these truths, and left with my fate, I continue to reach deeper and deeper for hope and internal peace.  The process, this life is just not humane.  I wish someone of power could infiltrate this system on this low-level to gain some rational insight.  The white-collar female is a huge part of the middle class and the backbone of her family.  This process is truly impacting my life as well as many others who have found themselves “stuck” in the Federal system.  Even as I speak on my experience and the circumstances of many women in the system I remain hopeful and I plan to be a voice for those of us who are currently silenced.

This is not a part of my journey that I am passionate about, but it is a part of me that has forced me to see America from a different lens.  I have always been aware and been a fighter; now I completely understand that to get any change to occur, there has to be a movement.  I will be open to participation in real change for my son’s sake.

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FERGUSON, MISSOURI……………………..HE LOOKED LIKE MY SON!

He looked like my son, I mean not only because he is black and mine is too, he has an infectious smile that exposed his puffy cheeks and had on his swagged out wear.

He looked like my son, holding his cell phone, snapping a cool, quick selfie, a tall man-ish figure, but still very much a boy, enjoying the freedom of childhood, hanging with friends and maybe being mischievous and somewhat obnoxious because that is what hormonal teenage boys tend to do.

He looked like my son, full of life, promises and possibilities for the future, ready to take on the world and video games too.

He looks like my son, laying on the ground, life seeping out of his not yet developed body, sad, alone, calling for his mommy.

He looked like my son, in a blink of an eye, all things changed, he was once full of hope, promise for tomorrow is now………. gone!

He looked like my son, now he is on trial, being investigated, portrayed as a nuisance, a villain, the system is quick to find a reason outside of themselves………………………instead of being sorry!

He looked like my son, as his parents beg for peace in a non-peaceful situation, being bombarded with the responsibility for keeping civility instead of being given the space to grieve. Why did no one call on them before……………the shooting?

He looked like my son, they are the heroes, strong, resilient the victims in this crime. Now faced with the responsibility of defending their sons and families honor…………………………something is WRONG!!

He looks like my son, as I sit imprisoned by the same system that adheres to accountability of so-called crimes until it is their turn to do the time. I am acutely aware of how helpless we all are in regards to protecting our sons. My heart goes out to the Browns I am connected to their pain. I cry…………internally!

He looks like my son, wanting to remain hopeful when we are all structurally being programmed to FEAR, REVERE, DEMEAN, and MURDER each other, For what? That is the question……………I know that cop feels the same!!!

He looks like my son, once again our Nation is faced with questioning the issues of race, a circular conversation that never goes anyplace except back to where it began. Never seeking deeper and getting to the heart of the matter, surface dialogue that always pits us against each other, as our kids keep dying and someone’s father (cop) is forever changed.

He looks like my son, what happened to conversations and relationships with the community, when cops were your neighbors and did not wear riot gear and AK-47, war type interactions and war type reactions to disobedience.

He looked like my son, and not until we all can see these young men as all of our sons in this wonderfully diverse country and utilize other tactics then one such as these………shoot to kill, stop and frisk, racial profiling and structural oppression, unfortunately he will not be the last.

He looked like my son, He looked like your son, He was all of our son, where has our humanity gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

felonious PhD. 8/14

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I Still Cannot Believe I Am In Prison…..10 Months Later!

I still wake up every day in complete shock!  Well, not really a traumatic type of shock, but the kind of shock where I look around and the fog, my “White Collar Female Fog,” is not yet armed and loaded to get me through the day.  I mindfully will myself into that fog in an effort to keep my analytic mind in neutral.  But when I first open my eyes and gaze up at the exposed pipes, for a moment I am still dazed and confused.

Today, I have a sense of humor about my current state of affairs.  I am in prison and I didn’t even have the opportunity to be a “real felon” and “enjoy” the life that financial crime would have  involved.    No planned business deal where I was conniving and deceitful and living a glamorous life with all the money I supposedly swindled.  I mean, no drug dependency or periods of selling drugs. No murder or aggravated assault.  Truly, it hardly seems fair for someone like me to be called a felon and carry all of the ramifications of being disenfranchised and discriminated against and get NO  “street cred” at all!!  A nerdy felon! So dumb!  Even my criminal story is so boring that I don’t even repeat it anymore because people get a dazed look that says, “You are LYING!”

I have thought about just creating a good criminal history and story to tell when others are talking about why they are here.  But, once again, I do not want to put that type of energy out in the universe.  Then I think, “Heck!  What could happen to me?  I AM IN PRISON!”  Yea, it is a camp!  But the fundamental principles of lost freedom and the burden of a life-long “felon” label will follow this nerdy, peaceful, foster-mom, PhD, forever.

After 10 months, I have surrendered to the fact that I am here.  By surrendering, I mean that instead of daily emotional breakdowns, disgust, and anger, I have infrequent bouts of, “What in the hell is wrong with my country?”  I will never belong here, but like many of the other women here, I will survive and proceed onward to excel somehow.  After everything I have been through in my life, this can’t be the climax of my story!  Whew….at least I hope it is not!

I am thankful for my friend who continues to give me a voice and reminds me to go back into the “fog” on the days that I wake up in shock and struggle to extricate myself from my ever-present disbelief.

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Womanly Smile

WOMANLY SMILE

 

For years and for centuries we have hidden our pain

Tortured, abused, raped and misused

Our strength transcends and our power transforms

A womanly smile tells all……

 

An invisible force within a society minus us, has no foundation

Now imprisoned, in a misogynist storm

Disgraced, dehumanized, defeminized in a structurally oppressive–industry

Daily encouraging, empowering and acknowledging each other with

A womanly smile that connects us all….

 

Our truths, our stories and struggles to maintain our picture perfect lives

Gives strength to our power and passion to look towards our tomorrow

Sitting on pause, existing soulfully and intrinsically on energy of love

Wake up in the morning with nothing to offer, to give, to share but my-

Womanly smile that has the power to heal…….

 

the felonious phd.

August 2014

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James Baldwin’s Eyes…………………………. 90 years old!

Those eyes-I can see what you feel

and I feel the same

Attempting with all that I am to utilize

the power of words

to liberate my crying soul.

 

Those eyes-Will never allow me to relinquish my power

as an artist

They bestow on me the promise

to dispell my truths

good and bad

at whatever cost

to my self.

 

Those eyes-Are familiar eyes

the ones that I saw as a child

that spoke without speaking

and searched without seeking

only having to stop, listen and be true

to self.

 

Those eyes-Captivate, motivate,

stimulate and galvanize

my inner being

to move past these atrocious moments with

grace, dignity and an intellectual

soul.

 

Those eyes-Articulate excactly what I am enduring

and

provide me with a road map to

securing my own

freedom.

 

Those eyes-embody the power to extract

every last drop

of this experience

no matter if it is

bitter or sweet.

 

James Bladwin’s eyes-Are my mirror, my hope, my dreams,

my history, my present, my future

My Destiny!

 

Aug 2014

the felonious phd.

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Write It…….Someone Will Read It!

Just as I am convinced that my time here is completely meaningless and that I am bombarding my poor, busy, hard-working friend with numerous blogs in the mail that contain my ongoing angst-filled thoughts about my temporary space of nothingness, another woman walks into the camp and asks if anyone knows “The Felonious PhD.”  In the past two weeks, there have been three new campers who have approached me and proceeded to thank me for writing for this blog.  One even stated that my story is inspirational and helped her family with come to terms with the idea of her entering a Federal Prison Camp.  

I have to admit that although I am not happy when I hear the woman, Ms. P., over the intercom ask for a mentor to assist a new camper, it is encouraging to me to hear that the blog is serving some purpose other than providing me a platform to express myself.

It has been a few weeks since these women entered the camp.  They have told me that I explained the process to them on the blog accurately.  Also, that by providing them with some sense of familiarity with a system they have never been a part of has made the process a little easier.  There are a few more things I need to write about for new campers and I plan to do so soon.  my long-term goal is to write a book entitled, “The Indicted Soul,” which will discuss the horrendous emotionally draining process prior to entering the Federal Camp.

I am very thankful for the blog and my steadfast friend, Rebecca.  Friend you are helping more than just me!

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