By K. Rashid Shariat Law, Prisonersolidarity.org
Jan. 6, 2006
I've been in prison for almost 17 years. Like so many other poor
men raised in the ghettos throughout this country, I am guilty of
the crime of ignorance, self-hate, and the desire to follow the
road to self-destruction.
Though our families tried to give
us the tools they felt would lead to a more respectful life, these
tools were often fruitless due to the psychological warfares we
are forced to deal with. We are molded by our conditions of poverty,
resulting in the development of an animalistic instinct to survive.
We are purposely handicapped by our real teachers--the media, movies
and the music industry--all promoting war, violence, theft, sex
and drugs. They call it entertainment. I bear witness that it's
a slow death for a young impressionable mind. It's like giving you
a rope and instructing you on how hanging yourself with it is okay,
and the right thing to do.
Then you have a lot of those who have supposedly escaped this trap,
who have selfishly forgotten where they came from, turning a blind
eye to the struggling people left behind or joining hands with the
capitalists who once contributed to their demise. What good does
it do you to gain the world but lose your soul?
I see them as the consciously dead. A conscious death is worse than
a physical death because, though you breathe life you are being
mentally manipulated and don't realize you're a pawn waiting for
the master minds who control your third king to make their next
move. Once a person lands in prison, this mental manipulation is
taken to the next level. It starts by dividing, then conquering.
They set out to destroy you mentally so that your dreams become
only of your prison surroundings, and your goals become things that
will keep you in prison or bring you back, and your family unit
is often destroyed because life goes on for them without you. It's
easier to forget about you than to suffer with you. This leaves
you mad at the world, a walking time bomb. Violence becomes a way
of life, a justified answer to all your problems.
There are those who get that second chance to enter society again,
who are the true products of their environment and will prey on
their own neighborhoods. Their carefree nature leads them to know
no better. Now, the think tank that designed this system must commend
itself on a job well done. They lay and await their harvest: your
welcome return to prison. Another one bites the dust, another job
created. It's nothing personal, just business. I need to feed my
family while I destroy yours.
Has it yet to become clear to the American people that this is why
they have taken away all productive programs and counseling in prisons?
Fortunately, there are some who, after many years of looking in
the mirror, begin to reflect and see what they have let themselves
become. They start looking for answers, soulsearching, digging deep
inside themselves, finding their great attributes as human beings,
their journeys become positive, and they aim to save others from
the condition they once suffered from, though a man makes these
transformations for the good of himself.
America sent a message on Dec. 13, 2005, when they executed Stanley
"Tookie" Williams--that there is no redemption for a convicted
person and they will never forgive you of your sin. I don't know
personally if Mr. Williams was guilty or innocent, and I am sincerely
sympathetic to all four families for their loss.
But it was clear that Mr. Williams had changed. His actions spoke
loud and clear that his goal was to save lives. Mr. Williams became
more of a threat because he was trying to awaken the consciously
This leads me to once again point to the blueprint I lay out for
you of what brought us to prison and what keeps us coming back.
It's part of someone's plan to keep us consciously dead. America
needs to wake up before it's too late. Our children are killing
each other in the streets, on the schoolyards, even parents in their
homes and it's the "Tookie" Williams of the world and
myself that can save them because we relate to their pain. You can
learn a lot from a number.
Now I call on every convict or ex-convict to not let Stanley "Tookie"
Williams' death be in vain. Embrace that road to change, it's paved
beautifully. Pick up a pen and share your transformation with family
and friends. Write a book. Get your message out there to the children.
I also call on the American people to adopt a prisoner and reassure
them that someone cares. A little love can go a long way. Let's
give hope and life and stop the death penalty. It's not the answer.
May this message be received well.
The struggle continues.
K.A. Rashid Shariat Law
P.O BOX 1989
Ely, Nevada 89301
Inspired by Stanley "Tookie" Williams, Mr. Law is determined
to become an author, and help young people who might gain from his
advice. He is currently writing a book called Tales of the Tier,
about stories prisoners share with each other and things he's heard
and witnessed while in prison.
He also plans to write an autobiography
"that I'm sure will be a positive contribution for those still
in the struggle, and an answer for those who don't understand us."
Mr. Law has no typewriter and is trying to raise money to buy one.
He has few contacts outside of prison, and is unable to get a prison
job. He'd be extremely grateful for any contributions you could
make toward this purchase. Mr. Law writes, "You can send any
donation through Western Union, to the Nevada Department of Corrections
(Ely State Prison, P.O. Box 1989, 4569 North State Rt. 490, Ely,
Nevada 89301), with my name and prison number (K.A. Rashid Shariat
Law, # 52590). You can also send money using the internet, via J-Pay."
Here is the J-Pay
The following link offers tips for writing to prisoners: