The deputy superintendent’s remarks were degrading and insulting. He thought that my soul could be bought for being allowed the privilege to walk through the front door at Elmira Prison, a symbol of status in his mind, but not mine. The front door of the prison was only a symbol of influence in the minds of fools, not in the minds of free men with thoughts based on liberty and equality. As a matter of fact, the rear was where my ancestors were forced to enter, so there is a sense of pride to walk in the footsteps of one’s ancestors.
“Mr. Superintendent, I personally don’t give a damn which door I come in. Apparently you didn’t hear anything I said. It’s not me I am concerned about. I am used to the back doors of America. It’s those black women and children standing out in the cold, waiting to be processed and being denied the decency of using the restroom that concerns me. It’s not about me. It’s about decency and what is right,” I assured him.
He then told me that he could not change the policy and do anything about the situation at hand but that he could take care of me and make it more convenient and comfortable for me when I come back to Elmira. I thought of the times I heard the line “We can take care of you, but we can’t do anything about all those others.” As a police officer and head of the black police organization, I had heard this more times than I care to remember from police officials, elected officials, politicians, businessmen, and now a prison superintendent. But it wasn’t until that moment, standing in the gym at Elmira Prison, that I realized how much their use of “others” sounded so much like niggers.
|Формат:||22.9cm x 15.2cm x 1.8cm|
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