Prison Radio
Kenneth Zamarron

This is Kenneth Zamarron from Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, located in Carlisle, Indiana. This piece is entitled, “Racism Extinguished.”

I was in a microscopic prison cell the other night with some friends. We were sharing stories of the moments that have profound impact on our lives in prison. Michael shared a profound story that I believe needs to be retold.

Mike is in his 50s, white and tattooed. He had been involved in a program here at the prison for well over a decade. It is called Compassionate Companion Program, known simply as CCP. CCP allowed Mike to volunteer his time with dying prisoners. Sadly, they could not hide that as light faded from within, so too did their supremacy of self-reliance. The [inaudible] men would struggle with their loss of strength. Hence, they would lie and attempt to keep quiet about the fact that they defecated on themself. Mike would then talk to ’em and talk to the declining men with empathy, sometimes for hours. Soon, the once-were-buff men would have tears falling away from their face to their prison-issue beds. The droplets that descended from their face was the letting go of the pride they once had, as they accepted the anthropy and the altruistic help from Mike.

Mike then asked if I knew Blue. I said, “Ary*n Blue?” “Yeah,” Mike said. Blue was a well-known leader in Indiana’s white supremacist gang. Blue is also in his 50s, shaved head and covered with tattoos of sw*stikas and infamous horror-movie serial killers. Mike said, “You know, Blue was once in CCP. It changed Blue.” “It was a 19-year-old kid named Little D that reshaped Blue’s heart,” Mike said. Little D was Black and dying from leukemia. He had only a year left on his sentence for a nonviolent drug charge. So Little D truly believed he would be released from prison. Unfortunately, the courts swiftly toppled all Little D’s hopes for early release by denying all of his requests for modification of sentence and compassionate release. A storm of sorrow would overtake Little D with the denial of hope to die free.

Blue would then become one of Little D’s umbrellas, as Little D started to come to the stark realization that he would die in prison. One day, Blue saw a Little D sobbing to his mother. He held on to her as tight as he could but his grip was fizzling out as the leukemia was removing the life from his body. Little D then pleaded with his mother, “I just want to go home with you. Please. Please. Mom, I’m sorry.” Blue had tears falling slowly from his eyes as he witnessed this. Mike, seeing this, told Blue, “You cannot see color or race when you look at him.” Blue said, “He’s just a kid. He could be my kid.” Mike said Blue and Little D would talk daily and share tears as Little D went from this life to the next phase of existence. Mike said Little D died with his head held high, looking towards the window at the daylight sky. I fought tears in that microscopic cell that night.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.