Good afternoon. My name is Harold Cunningham, and I’m calling from DC jail tell y’all that I’m trying to start a movement on. It’s called “Mental Has No Color.” And it goes like this.
Mental illness has no color. Our movement is coming, screaming: “mental illness has no color.” It’s a disease like COVID-19. It’s time to take the mask off this disease so you can see the scars is deeper than the eyes can see.
Mental illness has no color. There’s no rainbow to this madness. All lives matter. From one person to another, it could be your mother, father, sister or brother, so take your bias blinders off your eyes and see that mental illness is a disease that we have to come together and fight with unity. For what about our brothers and sisters who suffer from mental illness on lockdown being abused, tortured and denied mental health treatment? Don’t they matter too?
Spread the word loud and clear: a movement is coming, screaming “mental illness has no color.” It’s a disease like COVID-19 moving from cell to cell, creating a living hell. Let me project this picture of mental injustice: torture and pain from a brain that was once insane. This is inside mental injustice look like this. Trapped inside a concrete box with delusional suicidal thoughts. PTSD ricocheting off the walls like a silver bullet straight through your heart, killing you slowly like an afterthought. Six by ten, no ventilation, can’t breathe, no wind.
No help with nowhere to go but insane. I’ve been fighting, I’ve been fighting, I’ve been fighting, to the point that I’m feeling punch drunk. Numb to the pain, enslaved by these chains, chains wrapped around your wrist, chains on your ankles, chains wrapped around your waist, embedded in your skin deep, cutting all the way to the bone. You’re all alone. Head split, face swollen, ribs broken, blood everywhere. Seven officers, COs in full riot gear running in your cell beating you mentally and physically, tortured and denied mental health treatment for decades, housed in solitary confinement, dead end.
Yes, ADX I’ve lived in seven days and seven nights a week, year after year. I haven’t ate a meal in over a week. Body feeding off its own flesh, self-imposed hunger strike is what they confess. Head so light you don’t know day from night. You become wild as the voices in your head become loud, chaos. Like trapped animals in a zoo, you are no longer you. Feces, blood, urine all over the walls, now somehow all over you.
I’m trying to take the mask off this disease so those who are in prison on lockdown can get the help they need. I’m just one in a million trapped inside solitary confinement box. This abuse torture and denial of mental health treatment must stop, so spread the word, a movement is coming, spreading “mental illness has no color.” Hashtag let’s put a stop to this madness and get these brothers and sisters to help they need, like I was when I was suffering over 20 years at ADX.
And I want to read his last one poem. It’s called “I am.” It’s very short. It say:
I am the voice of the struggle. I am the heartbeat of the streets. I am cold hard steel prison bars that make you holler in the middle of the night. I am demonized by the news media as a monster America must fear, must hate, must incarcerated. I’m stopped, I’m frisked, I’m violated, and I’m humiliated. I am the threat that the police must shoot first and ask questions later. Why? I am because we are one, God’s son. We must fight this together in unity. I am because we are one.
Thank you Mr. Gabriel for that, this opportunity and everything.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.