New York state governor, Andrew M Cuomo, gave a press conference on Monday, March 30th. In which he discussed the need for New Yorkers to practice social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is effecting our state the worst. Governor Cuomo called social isolation unnatural saying he knows how hard it is for people to self isolate and not being able to hug your loved ones. While he was expressing those sentiments I couldn’t help, but think of the irony because I’m currently being held illegally in solitary confinement in retaliation for filing a civil rights lawsuit to challenge the disapproval of my UFD organization, which I use to positively organize, motivate, inspire, and educate young prisoners, and to steer them away from gangs, drugs and violence.
I’m being kept in the hot, dirty, metal, box-like cell 24 hours a day with little property for fighting for the right to help young prisoners change and better themselves. Now, I’m not trying to downplay the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, but all of you who are still isolating or under quarantine due to the coronavirus and who are experiencing anxiety and depression, I asked you to imagine for a moment that the anxiety and depression were multiplied by 10 and you might now know how it feels to be in my shoes.
You at least can get on the phone when you want to call family and friends. I can’t. You can get on the internet, access social media, watch TV and videos, or even playing video games, I can’t. Even my incoming and outgoing mail is being disrupted with letters I sent to people and letters sent to me have turned up missing.
Can you imagine the anxiety you would feel if you were kept and isolated unjustly and had you’re communication with the outside world disrupted. Well, how about if you were the young man next door to me who superintendent Christopher Miller illegally had placed in that cell with absolutely no property, not so much as they sheet, blankets or toothbrush all because the superintendent got angry with him.
All I’m saying is: In this time of crisis and heightened anxieties and fears over the corona virus, I ask that people not forget the continual need for social justice. Because quite often, these are the times where abuses, injustices and tyranny get ignored. Solitary confinement is torture. It is inhumane and it shouldn’t be abolished.
This is Dontie S. Mitchell, better known as Mfalme Sikivu, reporting to you from the Gread Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock, New York.
Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @freedontiemitchell. Please join in phone blasts and emai lblasts to bring light to the injustice being done to me. And listen to my first box in the message as well. And please spread the word. Thank you for listening. And God bless.
These commentaries are recorded by Noel Hanrahan of Prison Radio.