Prison Radio
Izell Robinson

This is Minnesota inmate #210006, an innocent man confined within the quadrilaterals of systemic injustice fighting to be heard. I only want you, the listeners, to hear me. I’m endeavoring yet again to be heard. It’s not easy or common to have a voice within systemic oppression.

I feel as if I’m in a tomb buried alive among lifeless men who have lost hope and forgot how to live, partly due to being stripped of their humanity and left naked of faith. They question if there really is a God, and will we live and breathe again beyond this tomb. Their spirits have weakened in years of confinement that has become a battle against the system or peers looking to harm. Therefore, there’s no resistance to the stress, depression, anxiety and PTSD that many have found no coping mechanism for. This takes being a part of the mass incarceration epidemic to know what this is like. It is a sad sight that I would shield from one’s eyes, because if justice looks like this, it’s better not to have known it.

However, what keeps me alive is my faith. I’m a man of God, but still imperfect, I admit. Yet I do believe in the power of prayer to deliver me from this tomb. I continue to choose life, so that I may live. Living to me, has become my connection with my higher power, who is the source of my strength. So at the moment, my prayer is for the men I’m surrounded by, you the listeners, and I, for this is the moment we walk by faith and not by sight.

Oh Lord, God of our salvation, bow down your ear and hear my prayer. And Lord, open your eyes and see our afflictions. We acknowledge that we all are imperfect, due to our multitude of sins. Therefore, I’m seeking you out on the whole of us, to ask you to forgive us for our sins. I ask that you strengthen our faith and establish our hearts with your grace. Father, allow those not in bonds to continually to remember those of us in bonds, suffering through this adversity. You know our hearts and how it’s been fragmented by this criminal system of injustice.

However, I know vengeance belongeth to you, and you will recompense. Humble us to understand the wrath of man worketh not your righteousness, for we are troubled on every side. Yet keep us from distress. We are perplexed and caught in despair, persecuted and feeling forsaken, cast down and on the verge of being destroyed, but we know where your spirit is there is liberty, and our hope is steadfast in you, the God of all comfort. Make our strength perfect in our weakness so we may endure.

For this cause, I bow my knees to you, the God of our lives, who is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask for or think. We give you glory, honor, and praise and sincerity with an n-word love. Amen.

I hope that, you know, that prayer touched you all and that umm, you know, we will all find some blessing and figure a solution out for this whole mass incarceration and systemic injustice that we are experiencing here in the American penal system. Thank you for listening, and thanks to Prison Radio for this much needed connection with family and community.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.