The Felonious PhD.

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

Thoughts on Re Entry and Recidivism…Title VII!

on December 1, 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records, suggests that excluding job applicants who have criminal records MAY constitute employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.    The word MAY leaves individuals like myself without protection from discriminatory practices.   It’s hard for me to explain how it feels to have every part of your being be subjected to hate or questioned at some point and time in your life.  I know for a fact that laws and the government, will never fully protect my black, female, lesbian and felon self, so I am prepared and ready to fight for my own survival.

As I continue to muddle my way through my new life, it is imperative that I continue to openly discuss every detail about my journey, the good and the bad. And I don’t do it because I am some crazy lady, who consistently obsesses over losing everything she has worked for, and eventually going to prison. I feel that I must continue to discuss the details of my journey because society is structured in a way that reminds me daily, that I am not wanted, in certain circles and I not privy, to certain privileges and certain entities feel that they have the right to discount me as a productive and proud, American Citizen, because I have been labeled a FELON.

This journey through prison and my daily walk within my own so-called felonious skin, continues to motivate me beyond belief. It forces me to look at life through a lens that I have witnessed from others or often read about and empathized with, but never truly embraced as my own experience in America.

When the scarlet letters of F E L O N can give someone the right to look you in the eye and say, “We don’t want you here and you know you don’t belong here”. Something is incredibly wrong. Not only is it personally hurtful and mean spirited, it is also illegal and discriminatory in my eyes. My former employer, Patagonia, was wrong, and many may wonder why am I making a fuss over a $12.65 an hour job, that structurally disenfranchises not only felons, but minorities also, I say to them, that this is much larger than the $12.65 an hour. It’s more about structural oppression and discrimination and the right to work anywhere and be anywhere, I have the experience to work, despite my past. I am of value. I was when I worked my way out of the ghetto, I was when I was told by my high school counselor I was not college material, I was when I was told to get my nigger self out of an elderly white woman chair, I was when I was baptized at a church affiliated with my college and the congregation did not fully approve, I was when I was stopped by security at a store for stealing after I had purchased four pairs of shoes for my kids, it goes on and on and may even continue until my death. But, like I have stated before, I am prepared for this life. Nothing can or will ever dictate how I live or how I define my being. I am of value and I don’t need anyone’s approval to say so.   But I will speak my truth forever.

I am somebody too! No matter what anyone may feel or think about me, I have the right to be treated humanely and with love. And no one is going to make sure that happens for me, but me.

As usual life is strange, life is full of mysterious twists and turns and I am glad I was born and raised to be who and where I am everyday. Audre Lorde poignantly states, that, “Silence will never protect us”. So I will continue to speak my piece peacefully and lovingly. I will also fight for my right to freedom and liberty and justice like every other American. Life is good.

Peace.

The journey continues…….the felonious phd. 12/2016

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2 responses to “Thoughts on Re Entry and Recidivism…Title VII!

  1. thankful reader says:

    Hi there and thank you for all your continuous words of wisdom. I am learning how discouraging it can be to look for a job or even try and get a car when you are in a 1/2 way house, or as life with the scarlet letter “F” has begun in the outside world.
    But you were right and I made it through camp and have been home for a month now. Well I should not say home. Not there yet, just on this crazy roller coaster of a ride called a 1/2 way house. What a disaster! I have never in my life seen so many incompetent people in positions of power. First there was the handful of staff in camp, but this just got taken to an entirely new level. I was to the point I wanted to be sent back to camp. What does that tell you when a person is literally asking to go back to prison? #PORTOFHOPE more like #PORTOFHOPELESSNESS
    I know deep breaths and one step closer, taking it day by day. That is all I can do. However, I can see why many have returned to drugs/alcohol because the staff here is driving them to it.
    They are about to drive me to drink.

    • Thanks, yes it definitely is an uphill battle but keep telling yourself that like everything it will end. The halfway house was a joke. Don’t get caught up in he ridiculousness of it all. I found a way to get myself out of the house majority of the day. Kept me head down and focused on home. If you ever need support or someone to vent to email me at cdlittle2011@gmail.com. I had a wonderful friend who helped me through this madness every step of the way. Take care and stay focused.

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