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  • Rob Will

Remaining Positive In The Midst Of Extreme Negativity

I always try to focus on positive and productive issues. If I wrote about all of the treacherous, duplicitous, and devious things people do to each other around here I would have to fill about 100 pages a day.

This environment is sick; it breeds extreme paranoia along with a multitude of other psychological impairments. People start to imagine that others are out to get them so they start trying to get those who they feel are trying to get them. It’s really terrible. And some individuals have no problem snitching and actively working with TDJC staff members in order to cause problems for other inmates. Indeed, there are guys here who seem to have nothing better to do than snitch and start drama. They thrive off of doing so. I can’t even begin to comprehend how any inmate could work with officers against another inmate, any inmate, regardless of how much they dislike them. Sadly enough, it happens every day around here. Some snitches tell on others to achieve their own deplorable little objectives and some snitch just because that’s their nature — if they see a chance to snitch, any chance, then they’re going to because that’s just what they do …

To recount all the times I’ve been snitched on would be a daunting and extraordinarily time consuming task. I do, however, want to briefly describe an incident that happened 3 days ago, on January 1st.

Around 6:30am I was woken up by a Sgt. Youngblood. She knocked on my cell door and asked me why I’ve been sending threatening letters to Major Smith. At first I really thought she was joking. Although it seems absurd to think that Sgt. Youngblood would knock on my door to play a stupid little game with me, at the time what she said seemed so outrageous, that’s all I could think of. It was as if she had said, “Will, why have you been dancing around the dayroom naked, playing air-guitar and singing Irish folks songs?”

With what I’m sure was a look of confusion I asked her to repeat what she just said. “Will, I asked you why you’ve been sending threatening letters to the Major.” I told her that I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about and asked her to explain to me exactly what it is that I supposedly had done. She went on to tell me that she was informed that I had been sending letters to Major Smith telling him that I was going to kill him and his family.

“Look here Sgt. Youngblood, I’d never do any stupid shit like that. Will you just pull some old grievances from my file or something and compare the handwriting?”

She said that I really need to take it up with Major Smith. Long story short, I ended up talking to the Major and I showed him some samples of my handwriting in cursive and print and the situation was resolved. Someone had tried to forge my handwriting though; they obviously kept some kite I wrote or jacked a kite of mine that was being passed through the dayrooms or something.

They were obviously hoping that Major Smith would retaliate on me for the letters without even making sure that I actually did write them. I do know who wrote the fake letters and I’ll just say that it’s an individual who has nothing better to do than hate on people and try to pull others into his depraved, sickly and hate-filled wretched little realm of existence.

What made me feel the need to write about this was the fact that the night before this bullshit jumped off I was on a good positive vibe, talking to a homeboy of mine about how we were hoping that all the increased post-Tabler oppressive actions by staff would make guys around here work together more to make this environment better. We debated the possibilities and concluded with “Well, we’ll try to help the process along and just see what happens.” As we debated we were both skeptical, understanding the full dynamic of our situation and environment, but still a bit hopeful. The next morning after all the drama got resolved all we could do was sigh …

It’s very hard to do positive things in an environment such as this. It’s like we’re fighting on two fronts — on the northern battle-front we’re battling state oppression and our southern outposts we’re holding back the other inmates who want to undermine any type of productive activity. Sad, sad, sad …

I was just reminded of an incident that happened a few years ago …

We were all on F-pod fully engaged in direct action protest mode …

Every day we were conducting demonstrations, going hard, addressing conditions and protesting the Death Penalty. The fervor of Resistance was thick in the air. The sense of Solidarity strong. I had just gotten back from conducting a sit-in. The E.R. Team brought me back on the pod in full riot gear and I was giving a protest speech the entire time. After things calmed down a bit I got a kite from a dude I was cool with. Did he send me a note expressing some Solidarity? Not quite. He sent me a 3 pg. dissertation arguing that we should stop protesting for a few weeks so he could build up his wine supply. He was upset because he felt he couldn’t make his wine due to the fact that a lot of ranking officers were coming around because we were protesting so much.

He explained that “all of that protesting stuff was cool if we wanted to do it,” but he felt that his wine should be of equal importance to us and indeed his wine was of vastly greater importance to him. He even offered to pay me if I could convince my comrades to stop protesting for a few weeks. I hit him back with a kite explaining, basically, that although I understood his great desire to make wine and I surely wouldn’t want to purposely hinder his wine-making ventures, we weren’t about to stop protesting. So he got all aggravated, started hating and a bunch of stupid drama ensued with all types of other people getting involved. It was ridiculous. It’s rather funny when I think about it now, but some serious problems could of occurred.

The vast majority of people here aren’t political at all. They aren’t interested in doing anything that won’t directly benefit themselves. They hate on those who are doing positive things. It’s sad and sometimes I get quite discouraged but I’m going to keep striving to better myself, those around me and my environment as a whole …

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