My name is Charles Karim Diggs. I’m calling from Pennsylvania state prison, SCI Phoenix. The name of my essay is “Somewhere in Your Lifetime.”
America has experienced the African-American president, our first. Our parents used to tell us one day there would be a black president, but not in their lifetime. I used to wonder why would they believe such nonsense?
Once President Obama was elected, I considered it the most brilliant political move ever made in my lifetime. I thought his election was planned to remove the argument about racism and Americans could say there was no more racism in America, let’s all get along. The thing is, us Africian-Americans believed having an African-American president would make substantial changes affecting african-Americans.
American people have made progress in many areas: change is part of redeeming itself on the history of American slavery, apartheid, Jim Crow, lynching, and economic power—slavery never ceased.
The Mississippi plan of action instituted a modified system of slavery that continues today. The Mississippi plan was a plan that used murder, rape, and [inaudible] as a terror tactic to prevent the African slaves from exercising any resemblance of freedom, manhood and womanhood. Each generation continues to voice opinion of my parents, “not in my lifetime.” After the great achievement of putting a family of color in the white house, haters made a contract to deny, vote “no,” revert everything President Obama attempted to do.
The opposing political party refused to vote for his lawfulness station. He had to use executive orders to get any systems in place. He was such a team player. He left many Republicans in their jobs after he was elected. His decency was rejected and despised. Our new president is in office to overturn destroy everything Obama achieved. He is doing everything achieved in those eight years of President Obama. Undermining him, why? There are European people in America who believe there should never be a African-American or woman ever should be a president in their lifetime. We are now being punished as a nation for electing a black family to live in the White House.
Reports are not a voice for the prisoners, elderly women and children, anyone who was living from one paycheck to the next and of course they represent to protect, the business corporate institutions. Did you notice why every person seeking elected office and judgeships always make their priority? They are business-friendly.
We have yet to hear any person seeking office saying they are going to be friendly for the people most in need. If we desire to see any substantial changes in America in our lifetime, we’re going to need a heart, a mind that is reformed to such a level that selflessness, envy, greed, fear is eliminated from our agenda.
This is the only wealth we have. This inner wealth is the key to mobilizing the women and men to put down the necessary discipline, to organize enough of us, to put a plan of action into place in our communities. There is a reason why most Americans do not vote. We are first miseducated, secondly, we don’t have enough courage to imagine that we are worthy of a better world in our lifetime.
We should be the change we want. Thank you.
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.