Prison Radio
Omar Askia Ali

“Your word should be your bond.”

Whatever happens to a person’s word being [inaudible]? It has been a shift in our culture and one’s word [inaudible]. We share experiences with people for years, but when they are blessed to obtain freedom, they don’t look back. While they were incrcerated with you, they cried on your shoulder and over the years, raked up all sorts of promises.

Don’t worry, brother, sister. When I get out, I’m going to look out. They often say, but once their feet touch the bricks, they conveniently forget, they forget the hands that were extended to them in their times of need, they forget that they gave their word. They forget to call their homies or so-called dog’s attorney or to touch base with his or her family.

They forget to drop a letter postcard, or even at Jpay, wth a brief message of support. They forget all about you, but as soon as they are back, you’re their best friend. These are what you call fairweather friends or more appropriately, [inaudible]. These people have no sense of good friendship or brotherhood means. As long as you got a Jolly Roger or can of cheese or a summer sausage for them, they keep, reah, right there by your side, telling you lies.

Hey man, keep it real, just let your brothers and homies know they can count on you. Why lead him or her on? Don’t hustle us. Some of us cried the blues about prison groups not doing enough to help us, but once we are free, we don’t even stop by to offer our support to any of these groups, who by the way, survive because of volunteers.

A lot of these groups depend on former prisoners and their families to help them keep working for the incarcerated. All of that said, this message is about redemption and making better choices. For those of us going home soon, really think about the promises you have made to one another and keep your word and those of us who are guilty of failing to live by our word. Do what you promise, get involved. It is not what an organization or group can do for you, but what you can do to assist them in helping those of us behind. Some of the, some of us are fighting for our lives.

What can you do? For starters contact the Human Rights Coalition at Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia, PA 19104. Phone number 215-92-3491

They are building up a political action committee pack to champion the legislation that helps with prison issues. Volunteer your service, and in the process you’ll meet a host of people that you may not be aware of. In politics the PAC applies for muscle necessary to garner money, public support, or convince legislators to sign onto our cause.

This is how you can redeem yourself. There a number of other prison groups to get in contact with:

CURE, P.O. Box 8601 Philadelphia PA 19101 www.Curenational.Org

Pennsylvania Prison Society 245 North Broadstreet, suite 300 Philiadelphia, PA 19107

[Inaudible] at the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project 718 Arch Street, Suite 304 Philadelphia, PA 19106

Stop being a chi-chi and potato chip friend and be a real homie.

Be stand up. Thank you.

These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.