Victim Advocates Need to Wake Up.

Peace, Fam:

I imagine that this may be the beginning of the end.  My best friend Ty and I have found a better, sharper, cooler place to post our thoughts and we’d like to invite you all for the ride.

This is probably the first time in ages that I’ve even had a brief moment to sit down and compile a few thoughts.  I envy Ty’s ability to do this daily.  There are so many rantings in my head.  So many things I’d like to talk about, but sometimes the organizing of thse thoughts takes more time then I’m able to release.

Last night, my job Prison Creative Arts Project held a movie screening of this film called Concrete, Steel and Paint.  It was about a group of prisoners working with members of a Philadelphia community to create murals.  The director of the film said that this should be viewed as restorative justice and I was ready to agree, until I saw how fucked up the movie really was.

Check it, you’ve got some long-term prisoners who discover that they’ve got a talent for painting.  They find it as a meditative release.  They find it as a moment of escape from the mundane life of being incarcerated.  They connect with this miscellaneous artist woman named Jane Golden who creates murals and is a “victim advocate”. 

Basically, Jane collaborates with who have had crimes committed against them and their families.  In the movie, Jane unites the “victims” with inmates (who have nothing to do with whatever horrible crime they’ve had committed against them) in the hopes that the two groups can produce a collaborative mural. 

As they are working on the mural, the “victims” want to come and ask the inmates questions about the nature of their crimes and to essentially use the inmates as a catalyst to project all of their pinned up issues about their own personal issues.  For example, one woman lost her son to gun violence, so she questions an inmate who was maybe involved in gangs about “why didn’t my baby live”.

It was the most unforgiving, unfair piece of bigotry that I spent an hour of my life watching.  The floor that my popcorn kept falling on was a much more forgiving space than the room filled with inmates and victims.

Conversely, “Victim Advocate” is an oxymoron.  Who the hell wants to STAY a victim? Especially one filled with the unforgiveness and contempt displayed in the movie.  Take a deep breath, pray to your God, meditate and move the fuck on – for real.

Anyway, those are some immediate thoughts that come to mind.  I need to work on my poems for this month.  I’m going to pretend that I care about writing a poem a day more than I do about the sunshine and warm weather I’ve been praying for for months.

Poems coming, thoughts coming, randomness coming.

Yo Girl,

~phoenix

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2 comments

  1. Mr. Sawyer · April 1, 2010

    OK. OK! I’m waking up! lol
    Lovely blog looking forward to the future
    see ya 2marrow!

    Ty

  2. blair · April 2, 2010

    okay okay, i’m going to sleep
    nice blog looking back on yesterday
    see you today

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