Wednesday, June 29, 2016

People who wear suits every day by Cassie Kinney


People who wear suits every day
want to be cowboys of vigilantism--
Enraptured by the idea of themselves --
The idea of being defenders of supremacy.
Good old boys disguised as police
Once as bullies of their school to the hoods
And they militarize those schools and streets,
Except for wall street...
These damn police don't stop rape and murder,
And certainly don't stop corruption.
All they know how to do is shove the bullet,
Stop a person driving black,
Punish those who are fighting back.
There has always been a police state
Living in the present policed
Replicating the racist policies & projects. 
Who structured the projects and gave them crack?
 Who continues to acquit police after killing?
Who structured the levees and let them break?
Who sat back and let those people drown?
Who continues to put a fine and fee on lives?
Who benefits from their suffering? 

My uncomfortability by Cassie Kinney

I am too comfortable in my situation
But I am uncomfortable being who I am.
I am conflicted in my convictions--
When you work to make money, the higher ups take a portion,
The gov takes a portion to fund the military
And certainly does not fund education.
The prison system takes a portion,
And you barely make enough to get by--
So you might as well have nothing or have it all.
That money represents genocide and slavery,
And continues to be recycled through war,
And other cruel deeds that exploits the poor.
You have little options when you live in Appalachia.
You can only get by if you're a doctor--
And you drown working too hard--
Whether it's in fast food, a factory, a nurse.
Whether I'm stupid or a genius for getting by without working--
I don't get paid to cook and clean for the  husband and family.
I never get paid to write, or paint and take a picture,
And I certainly don't get paid to read for leisure.
I say that I don't work for the system
Because of its destruction & exploitation on the environment.
But that doesn't make me any less penniless and homeless.
Another side I must admit:
I'm jobless because I have no drive,
I have no drive because I'm afraid of failure,
Failure would make me feel ashamed,
And I am ashamed to be uncomfortable or comfortable with who I am.

Know your purpose by Cassie Kinney


When I refuse to work--
Should I be refused of basic needs?
Are you going to let me sit out in the cold?
Do you know why you're here today--
It is to work for someone else--
Are you here to do good or evil?
Are you here for love or money?
What if you work all the time,
Only having enough money to pay bills--
When is it time to have fun?
Before you become their slave--
Have you selected your purpose?
You better...
Before someone does it for you.
There is no place like home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Jobs by Cassie Kinney


Our parents, grandparents and their friends
Come from a long line of Protestant work ethic--
That spirit of hard work & discipline,
Which will reward you with salvation.
They don't care what you do or how you do it--
"You have calling, a duty" they say,
And they don't care if that calling is the most destructive,
Pernicious politician that pollutes the water, air, & food.
They would rather you be a corrupt business person,
Than a socially, ecologically conscious non-consumer
That lives homeless, drifting from place & thoughts.
Get a summer job,
Get an after school job,
Get a job while in college,
Get a side job,
Do a side project.
From mowing lawns
To Store cashier to waitress.
All the jobs are taken,
All the jobs have been invented,
And nothing new can be.
They say there needs to be more jobs,
But here exists the most frivolous jobs--
Pining to a small rich niche in California:
The Life Coach,  yoga instructor,
A Barista, personal chef, musician.
In America, you can be one of the many managers,
Accountants, secretaries, financial consultants,
At a business--or any assemblage of those words. 
But mostly jobs around the world is indentured servitude--
From the factory, mill worker, to the picker.
Still, people all over the world get by on little...
IN America they sell meth, cans, and metal.
While the college kid sells weed, shrooms, X, and LSD.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer garden meditation by Cassie Kinney

At my garden sitting in the private fortress--
With edible plants growing around me,
I am taken away from my importance--
As a ray of light shines through the foliage of a hickory tree.

A mimosa tree leans over top,
And I try to block the thoughts of my "responsibilities"--
In nature's own beauty shop,
Thinking about life's endless possibilities.

When at exactly noon the sun blares down on my shoulders,
My shirt comes off and skirt too--
I feel like one of a million loners--
Part of the nature that don't care about revenue.

Here, I sit in silence, basking bare under the sun--
Waiting for a sign, miracle, or answer,
Wondering what it'd be like on the run--
Run from my problems, my confusion, my anger.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Black eyed susan flowers & dahlias floral photography by Cassie Kinney




What is patriotism?

"You're just the latest reigning, vigilantes self-appointed cultural watchdogs of the moment, devoting countless hours and enviable resources to this bogus mission of stifling creative expression in the name of patriotism...It is wanton distraction, because lets just be forthright and honest about what is truly unpatriotic. Abject poverty is unpatriotic. The failure of our education system is unpatriotic. Lies told by presidents as justification for war is unpatriotic. It IS unpatriotic that elected lawmakers fail to acknowledge, let alone address, real desperation" (Bette Porter character of the L Word).

Smoke by Cassie Kinney

She smoked up until she had heart surgery,
Maybe I thought it looked cool when she done it,
And I would be just as skinny if I smoked too.
When I was in high school visiting my grandma,
I would wait till she fell asleep,
Grab a DORAL cigarette out of her purse,
And take a couple puffs in the bathroom.
In my twenties when I would sleep over,
I'd wait till she went to her doctor's,
Then take out a joint from my wallet,
Walk under the peach tree in her backyard,
And take in the blissfulness of smoking a piece of nature.

The female body by Cassie Kinney

Poked, prodded,
And still mutilated.
Then American girls do it voluntarily.
Little ones turn into sex objects
Then grow old to be of no objective.
Women's breasts and ass exploited,
While bureaucracy censors her body when she bleeds,
Or when her nipple is out to breastfeed.
So don't give me none of that bullshit about 
"Women need to stop modeling Disney princesses",
When it was men who constructed these fantasies,
And instead we modeled after Superwoman.
Television televising little girls to be something unattainable,
Has nothing to do with how little girls actually live.
Little girls turn into single moms living with their mom;
They turn into working class women in factories;
Underpaid nurses getting overworked;
Little girls turn into strippers that love their job;
Or giving blow jobs at eighteen & fucking to pay bills.
I know there's inspirational women,
And I know there's rich women,
I just don't know them personally because...
The stories of the women I know personally,
Are a story that is painful, exhausting.
Little girls turn into old women--
Who live for their grandchildren.
Their story is recycled through the little girls they raise.

men by Cassie Kinney

I have heard enough of the recycled elitist man's opinion.
I have been told to listen to music created by men,
Read books written by men and their philosophies.
I have been told to watch male-centric homo-erotic movies;
Vote for white men, adore art by white men;
Laugh at the white man's racist, sexist jokes.
Streets, statues, celebrations, and days named after them.
Money, language, politics in their hands...
Sculpting men's faces into a fucking mountain!

Take down the statues of dictators,
Rename the bridges and streets;
And paint the colors of the people across our faces--
Across the world to unite us in our races.
Teach the young ones the real history...
Without glamorizing presidents, America, and the flag.
Stop celebrating the 4th of July, Columbus, Thanksgiving, Christmas;
And burn the Constitution to reclaim our Freedom from our oppressor!

Lily flowers floral photography (Late June 2016) by Cassie Kinney











Friday, June 17, 2016

religion by Cassie Kinney

Replace man with people
From my generation,
Our grandmothers went to church,
And sometimes you went with grandma.
Our grandfathers stayed at home,
They wanted no one to bother them.
Our dads found religion later in life,
While mothers remain skeptical.
But once we turned 16,
We stand passively against religion
Because it is a symbol of patriarchy & hate;
And rebel against close-mindedness & anti-science.
In our minds the bible is illogical,
As well as contradictive.
And my generation won't have it!
We stand apart from religion
Creating our own ideologies.
If god already planned our fate,
Then why do I need to pray?
And if thou shalt not covet,
Then why was god so jealous?
If god made us all a certain way,
Then why try to be different?
It seems that some were fated for better lives,
And some were fated to suffer for the rest.

Look at the flip side by Cassie Kinney

The old woman says "there is generational poverty...the family don't work",
I say there is generational inheritance of wealth exploiting people.
Then she says, "people voted for Obama because he was black",
It was also because he was black that people didn't.
"'Men who feel like women' are a threat to restrooms" she goes on to say,
But doesn't give a shit that transgenders are actually threatened.
The conversation moves to abortion:
Listen, NO ONE IS PRO-ABORTION!
And take that damn pro-life poster out of your yard,
When you kill and have complete disregard for other animals.
Another conversation moves to technology:
"The technology that exists today isn't that good for us" She says.
What do you really mean?
"I'm glad civilians have the technology to record cops behaving badly"
"Well, there's two sides to the story" her son interjects,
He goes on to say: the news doesn't tell the whole story--
"I agree...FOX news doesn't present the whole story either!" I laugh.
Somehow BLACK LIVES MATTER gets brought up:
"Black people feel like their life don't matter!"
She: "Why?" And I stare confused,
"Because of genocide, slavery, segregation..."
"But that was in the past..." She finishes.
"Segregation among rich, whites and poor people of color still exists"
Then the son says, "I wouldn't want to live next to a rich person"...
"But the point is: no one should live in substandard housing,
Substandard education, substandard healthcare;
Be subjected to the police preying on their neighborhoods, etc, etc, etc".
But everyone seems contradictive in their way of thinking,
And Laws are just as contradictive as people.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Their divorce by Cassie Kinney

In childhood and through adolescents I went to my grandmother Jasmine's house every weekend. And every weekend was spent with my mother sitting at the table making conversation with grandma, while my father either was off hunting with his cousins, or getting drunk and passing out. My mother would sit in her head replaying the moment when she made the mistake of marrying my father. And I wonder if she regretted it the very moment it happened. And through it all, I had no idea, and just assumed we were all happy and would live together forever.
For 18 years, she probably wanted to runaway from the same mundane routine. Even though her routine is just as mundane as it always has been, it is at least on her terms as an independent woman. I have no doubt that she resents every bit of him, even though she made four beautiful children with him.
As a kid, I was never aware of them having sex, until I overheard one conversation they had. Before they divorced, I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't having sex at all for months or longer. Because none of my siblings and I really had bedrooms or beds for that matter, sometimes we would sleep in my parents bedroom. One night I was pretending to be asleep in their room with the door open. I hear my mother saying something like "No" or some kind of refusal of sex, and I hear my father say, "So you expect me to jack off in the bathroom?" And something in my mind changed from then on about my perspective on men and relationships. I quickly fell asleep.
One day before I went to church, at the age of 14 or 15, he sat at his computer desk after we got back from grandma Jasmines. There, an envelope with a letter inside was situated on the keyboard. He opened it up and looked at me: "Your mother wants to get a divorce." I hug him and feel his confusion, and it's no telling what he did when he dropped my siblings and I off at church. Mom was probably at my grandma Lucy and grandpa George's house at the time, and stated that's where she would be and to take care of the kids for now.
Those months blurred together, because it seemed like he pleaded to mom and said he would change, and in fact quit drinking before all of this. Mom stayed at my grandparents, and dad put us on the bus for school and I really don't remember him working much or at least not a lot back then while my mother worked nights as a nurse. When all of us went to bed, he stayed up watching porn in the dark kitchen with the computer light reflecting across his glasses. 
Eventually mom came back home and dad struggled to made some peace, and it just wasn't working for mom, so she told dad to move out. He packed up some of his stuff to live with grandma Jasmine, funny enough, back in his old bedroom. I remember the day he was taking his stuff while everyone except me was out of the house, and he took our desktop computer (the only thing in the world I treasured.) And maybe it upset him because I didn't cry that he was leaving, and I cried that he was taking the computer. I screamed for him to leave the computer.
Another memory I have after that was dad moving back in, and that evening as I was pretending to nap on the couch, I hear conversations between my dad and brother. My dad said he wanted me to go with him to help him pack up his things, and my brother told him that I (me) thought dad was weird. I felt how uncomfortable that was for everybody in the room and so I get up and help dad pack up his shit again to bring back. Well very soon after that, he was moving back out to live with his mother. Quickly he got a job at a factory and dated some women. One black woman he wanted to date, his mother (my racist grandmother) told him he wasn't allowed.
Between all of those moments, I struggled with my own relationship with the boy next door. I felt like I was in the middle of my parents' divorce, getting pushed and pulled and dragged, all the while I was sneaking my next door neighbor boyfriend in my bedroom at night to have sex. Surprisingly my dad never found the boy next door in my room even though we were very loud and the bed squeaked. Eventually my mom knocked on my door one night and asked who I was talking to, and of course I said: "I'm talking to myself" because that's actually not that weird for our family. The boy next door sneaked out of the window and shoeless into the night.
During all of this horrible shit with my parents, I experienced my first love and breakup, and I dated another boy I had intercourse with a couple times, and I left him to go back with the boy next door. And not long afterwards, the boy next door became the man that has lived with me for the last 11 years. I went to college to party, get shit faced, high, tripped. And those years pass so fast, although it does seem like the hard parts never end. And I've had terrible moments in my life that I feel will never end, and somehow they do resolve themselves--but I'm stuck replaying the past in my head.
This is but one story of my life, and I am the product of the many other stories that form their own dimensions. I have some animosity left for my dad that may be because of my mother, but he is a changed person. He is a person I can't relate to, I can't have a conversation with, nor can I tell good stories or anything about my life because we are so distant-- I wouldn't know where to begin. He really doesn't know me and I don't know him, and I write this to express what I remember of him and what he doesn't know of me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Grab that gun by Cassie Kinney


In this kind of world, we fight and kill.And today, I say give every queer, woman and minority a gun--
To defend themselves from supremacist patriarchal injustice.
And if that doesn't work,
We make communities for the disadvantaged,
The ostracized, the freaks, the geeks,
And women of the world to feel safe.
The guns are not the problem nor the solution,
It is love, because love is love is love.

dedicated to the lives lost in Orlando Florida, June 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A night that you couldn't forget by Cassie Kinney

We sat across from our friends at a diner, we watched them eat  as we argued with one another. He said something rude about me, then I would say something equally offensive. Our friends just stared at us hoping that the night was over, but it had just begun. He had just got back from living in Virginia for several months, and moved back in with me. The pretext to him coming back home was because I procured an online relationship with a boy who preyed on me. One night after an art show, I kiss this boy in the back of his friends car (the friend we are with at the diner). Somehow, through visceral abilities, he knew that I was up to something that night, to which he found out about everything, thus ending the relationship with the boy. And those feelings led to anger which had been building up from that night till this moment. "Well, I fucked Travis, and made out with Ron!" I said in a puerile manner, to which he replied back, "Well, I cheated on you with a girl that I had up against the wall and fucked her until she came all over my dick."  "Nice," I said. "Can we just go and watch this fucking movie?"  
We left the diner to watch a movie. I was struggling to concentrate throughout the movie, and kept replaying the words we exchanged. Afterwards, the four of us got into my friend's boyfriend's car to go home. First we stopped at a gas station as the night grew on, and the dew on the car showed the evidence of that night with that boy. As he and I sit in the back seat, my friends looks back at me and smirks a little, and I look at the back that says the words "I love Ron" marked in the foggy window. He goes to see what I'm staring at in disbelief, and asks, "Did you write that?" My friend's boyfriend's car was the place that I kissed that boy, and we wrote all over the windows in that moment, that seemed to have only lasted a minute or two. And there the words of my shame were written plainly for my partner, my friend and everyone else to witness. My friend's boyfriend quickly says "Oh, I wrote that" as if that was going to come off as the truth. My partner gets out of the car and goes inside the store with my friend's boyfriend while I wipe away the humiliation. They were words I didn't mean, and at the time I'm not sure what convinced me to write them because this boy lied to me and conned me into liking him and apparently had other "women-on-the-side", because he was supposed to have been on a date with my other best friend's sister. 
Later that night, and I'm not sure how she found out, but she cursed at me for ruining a date between her sister and that boy.  Those days are so long gone, but I still think of the pain in that dimension of my life. I still hold onto the thoughts that puncture. Later that night, after our friends dropped us off at our house, I couldn't hold back the tears any more. I ran to the corner of the living room and hid my face, and just like a man, he yelled at me until he found a way to have sex with me that night. Needless to say, my friends never double-dated with me ever again.      

Monday, June 6, 2016

50 people on the secret I am terrified to tell (article)

50 people on the secret I am terrified to tell from Thought Catalog by Chrissy Stockton

1. Two and a half years ago I was in dire financial straights, so I sold my home to keep my struggling business afloat. I neglected to tell the owners that they have an 800 sq. ft. bunker on the property that I built about seven years ago. The bunker that I’ve called home since I sold it. The entrance to it is well-hidden, but I still come and go very early/very late in the day. I’m a single man who keeps to himself. I’m now in a situation where I could move somewhere else, but I love this hidden paradise so much.

 

2. I cut off all contact with everyone I know and moved to Kenya, I tell people a fake name and a fake background and have made it appear to my family that I died on boat trip in the Pacific. No I am not joking. I am dead in the United States.

 

3. I run a cake business. I charge people hundreds for wedding cakes… Every last one is made using Pillsbury cake mix I buy for $1 a box at Walmart. I suck at baking. Every time I’ve ever tried to make a cake from scratch it sucked. But baking is like.. My whole deal. My friends all call me the cake girl. It’s like my whole life is a lie. People compliment my cakes all the time. Telling me how delicious they are. Telling me it’s so much better than box mix cake. Telling me they could never bake a cake so delicious. Well guess what? For $1, they too can make a cake just as delicious. Just add oil, eggs and water. In my defense, I love cake decorating. I make all of the frostings and fondant from scratch. I just hate baking fucking cakes!! I base my prices mostly on the decoration of the cakes and not of the cake itself of that makes sense. Still… No one knows about this except my husband. Even my best friends think I fucking slave over the oven mixing and baking these damn cakes. I have been doing this for YEARS. If anyone knew my business and reputation would be in the toilet for sure. :/ I keep telling myself I have to learn how to make the damn cakes without the box mixes, but I never do it. I feel like such a sham sometimes.

 

4. I once helped out my a female friend’s family by taking care of their cat for a week. Every day for a week, I would go over there and snoop around their house. I found my friend’s diary, and proceeded to read the entire thing. I used this information to get her to like me, and she is currently my wife.

 

5. I don’t want to be with my girlfriend anymore, but she might have cancer and I feel like I need to stay in the relationship.

 

6. I faked the last two years of college education. My parents put so much pressure on me I couldn’t handle it (I was suffering from severe depression and anxiety) so I faked it all. Lied to everyone. Made up fake transcripts. I just got my foot in the door in my desired field thanks to a friend as they hired me as a subordinate. This place only hires college grads but no one double checked my credentials since I was recommended. My hopes is that if I need to find another job I’ll have been at this place long enough to get it by experience alone (I work for a very prestigious company). I’m not bad at my job. I’m actually quite good. But my fear is eventually I’ll hit a wall and the lie will come to light. No one has known this for the better part of a decade. It’s a relief to finally say it “out loud.” I can’t even tell those I love. My silence is my prison.

 

7. When I was 17 I had a argument with my father and told him to fuck off, later that evening he hung himself. Our argument was the last time he spoke to anyone in our family and for that I feel a terrible amount of guilt for. Instead of him saying good bye and I love you to my mom and brothers he got told to fuck off before he went and killed himself. My punishment is to live the rest of my days in shame and guilt. He never left a note either.

 

8. I used to be a Police/Fire/911 Dispatcher, but had to quit because it nearly made me suicidal. I actually had thoughts, but had to drive 40 miles to go to a center/hospital where no one knew me for help. I have nightmares about a few calls I took where the caller killed themselves, shot someone else, or passed away on the phone with me. To this day, a few years after resigning, I still can’t listen to a phone ring, or sirens go off without having a mild panic attack. I am fairly sure it’s a form of PTSD, with flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, and an inability to function sometimes, but I’m embarrassed and scared to tell my fiancĂ©, or go to a doctor for it. I know there are soldiers out there with real PTSD that deserve help far more than me… I am very good at hiding it though. I also sometimes wait until my fiancĂ© goes to sleep, and I will then go sit and pretty much cry for several hours. It’s hell.

 

9. Everyone thinks I have a good job and roommates but I’ve been homeless and a prostitute for over year.

 

10. IT guy here, it’s amazing what people will do on their computers and say in their emails despite having to sign a waiver that all computer activity at work is monitored and recorded. I have half the company’s banking, social media and personal email account info and passwords. I know who is secretly banging who at the office behind their spouse’s backs. I know who is cybering at work and jerking it in the bathroom almost daily. At least they tell their sex chat partner they’re running off to the bathroom to jerk it, haven’t felt the need to check the validity of that one. I know when people are having martial problems, financial problems, I even know one person here had their children taken away because a social worker found cocaine in their house. I know who is embezzling money, I know when people get fired for completely bullshit reasons (like they just want to replace them with someone younger and nicer on the eyes), and I know who my boss is buying xanax and vicodins from. Basically I have a treasure trove of my coworker’s secrets. I won’t actively do anything with this info, but it’s nice knowing I have the ammunition there if something were to ever happen.

 

11. There was a girl who I had a crush on the moment I saw her on my college campus. She ended up dating a douchebag dude a few weeks later. I happened to end up sitting in a study room with him and a few mutual friends. He talked about how he didn’t think she was that attractive and how he liked other girls. I wrote the girl an anonymous email using one of those websites telling her about the things I heard and how the guy was a dick. She ended up breaking up with him after she found out he was cheating. The girl is now my girlfriend of 6 months. She has no idea (and is sitting across from me in the library). I’ve never told anyone this before.

 

12. When i was 15 my parent’s were going through a divorce, my mom worked night shifts and my dad was living with a friend of his. One night my sister who was 19 at the time came home pretty drunk from a party. She was acting goofy and fell on the couch next to me. She started grabbing my leg and laughing and we started fondling. We ended up having sex right there. When we woke up the next day she had no recollection of the night before so i just kept my mouth shut. Fast forward to when i’m 18. Sister is home from college and dad is over for a visit. they get into an argument and in a fit of rage my dad announces how he has never forgiven her for the abortion she got when she was 19 and subsequently killing His grand child. (he’s very religious). I then realize the baby she aborted was in fact mine…..and as far as i know, i am the only one who knows since she has never mentioned that night. 

 

13. Not me but one of my frat brothers in college knocked a girl up. A month later she had had lost the baby. I was using his phone one night to find my phone when his dad texted him, i swiped the lock causing it to open up the chat thread revealing the messages that explained the story. The day he found out he drove with some of our other brothers to Mexico and he came back with RU486, the abortion pill. He had apparently spoken to his dad who forced him under threat of pulling him out of college and cutting him off to secretly sneak the girl the abortion pill. I dont know the logistics of how he did it but apparently he secretly poisoned her causing her to lose the baby. He has no idea I know and I doubt anyone else does.

 

14. I have a blind brother. When we were young, I used to get so frustrated at all the extra attention he received and how I had to be more responsible with my sibling than my peers. So, when my brother and I would go play, go to the store, or just generally go anywhere without adults, I would abandon him somewhere unfamiliar to him. Then, I would stand off quietly and watch the anxiety set in as he tried to figure out where he was and what was going on.

 

15. I accidentally killed seven people. I put a rag into a new water heater exhaust to keep debris out and installed it in a rental. I get a call a week later, there’s been an accident. I show up and there’s a ton of ems and police. They ask me where the gas shutoff is, and I go down to shut the gas off and see the end of the rag I forgot sticking out of the top of the heater. Ripped the rag out, shut the gas off and head upstairs only to be told all the tenants were DEAD. I drink all day now and sleep. It’s killing me from the inside every single day, but if I say anything my family is ruined; we have a bunch of rental properties and we’d be shut down.

 

16. I hate all of my friends. Literally. I don’t have anything in common with any of them, and don’t care. But I’m too scared to be alone and have no one else to go to so I keep hanging around with them.

 

17. My own secret, is that I’m still deeply in love with my (now married with kids) first love, nothing will ever happen and it is ridiculously hurtful, but w/e, life goes on.

 

18. I have memories of my sister (five years older) and I playing a roleplay game when I was younger that I think would be considered sexual abuse/molestation if I told anyone. I don’t remember how old we were, but I know she was around the age where her breasts were developing. When home alone we would play a role play game where she was a boss and I was a secretary, and the boss would always sexually harass the secretary. It ended in my sucking on my sister’s breasts while she would lie on the couch with her shirt off. My memory has always been really horrible, so I only remember patches of this, but I remember that it never felt sexual. I don’t actually trust my memory enough to feel confident that this really happened. I love my sister, she’s my best friend and I would never want to damage our relationship by ever bringing this up and asking her what really happened. It is a secret I will carry with me and never reveal.

 

19. I still have “imaginary friends.” I’m almost 30. I lost them for a while. I don’t know why or how, but it they were gone. I couldn’t see them or hear them any more, not the way I used to when I was younger. It made me was miserable. I kept hoping for a way to get them back. Two weeks ago, I somehow managed to finally break through whatever the barrier was. I have spent the past two weeks hanging out with, and talking to, a character from a well-known TV show. I can’t really “see” him visually, but I can see him with my mind’s eye. He goes almost everywhere with me. He’s sitting on my bed right now, waiting for me to get off my computer. (I promised I would get off a little while ago, but I had to check reddit one last time.) He’s been coming to work with me every day for the past two weeks. I share my food with him. (I kind of mentally duplicate it for him, since he can’t touch it in reality.) I love it. I’m happy again. I realize most people would say he isn’t real, but something about him is. I don’t care. He’s real to me.

 

20. I used to masturbate a lot. And when I was 10 I had a technique where I’d let off a load into a sock then wash it and quickly dry it, now I couldn’t leave it hanging outside or use a dryer otherwise my family would’ve seen it and probably smell it or whatnot. So I’d put it inside my gas heater unit. Unfortunately my sock had caught on fire inside the unit, blew it up and set my house on fire. Only my brother was home at the time, and he managed to survive the house did not. For 5 years we stayed from caravan park to caravan park whilst we waited for confirmation that it was not arson and we could receive an insurance payout. We eventually did and scraped together money to start rebuilding the house. The house is still being rebuilt to this day and it shames me anytime I have to visit my parents living in a tiny mobile home where my backyard once was.

 

21. I have been pretending to be colorblind to everyone I have ever known, including my own parents since I was in 3rd grade. I am now 28 years old. I even convinced an optometrist of it.

 

22. When I was 13 I caught my father in bed with my 15 year old brother’s girlfriend (also 15). I haven’t seen her since, but I’ve been blackmailing my father with it for the last 6 years.

 

23. I was hit by a truck a few years back and was diagnosed with retrograde amnesia and awarded a 2.5 million dollar settlement. I have used this money to move into Florida and I currently live in Boca Raton. I faked the whole thing because I hated by life and wanted an excuse to leave. I haven’t seen my family since and have made a new life.

 

24. my grade 6 teacher let me touch her boobs once.

 

25. After graduating from high school, I went to a small out-of-state college where no one from high school knew me. I was told many times how impressive my false Australian accent was, so I decided it would be great fun to go through college pretending to be from Australia. All of my friends and even my girlfriend of two years think I’m Australian. I have a completely fake Australian identity, family, and past. I will soon be graduating, and I plan on asking the girl to marry me. Everything she knows about me is Australian I don’t know how to tell her she doesn’t really know me. Guess I’m forever a bloke.

 

26. My Great Uncle Jack used to live with my family. One day, he got drunk and had a bad fall that ended up causing him to bleed out, I ended up finding him (I was 14 at the time, and had never seen such an awful sight) and lost consciousness due to all the blood. When I eventually recovered, I called the ambulance and stayed with my uncle, he died in the back of the ambulance, holding my hand. No one knows about what happened to me, and if they did they would realize that I’m the reason he’s dead.

 

27. I’ve never attempted to kill myself, and I doubt I ever will, but I just want to die. I’m an incredibly happy guy odd enough. I truthfully am happy, but whenever I think about getting shot, or getting cancer, I get a little excited. I wish I was one of those deaths on the news, shoot I’d love to take someones place, they want to be here more than me. I’ll never actually kill myself even if its just for the sake of others who need me, but I can’t stop wishing that someone else would kill me. I’m done being here, I’m done dealing with the crap. I’m just burnt out and I don’t want to be here anymore.

 

28. Every night when I go to bed, I have a little pillow and assortment of blankets that I pretend is this girl I like. She would never like me in real life (in fact, she doesn’t), so I just play pretend. It’s inherently creepy but it’s what keeps me from being a total wreck all the time.

 

29. Last summer, when I was 16, I found out that I was pregnant. I come from an extremely conservative and Christian household, so I was too scared to tell my parents. They also didn’t know that I was dating my boyfriend of the time, because he is Hispanic. I decided to get an abortion, but didn’t have the money to fund it. My boyfriend had a job, but kept encouraging me to keep the baby. I tried and tried to gather the $300-600 necessary for it, but it was so hard. I ended up having to order RU486 (the abortion pill) from a sketchy website online with my own money, because I was so scared and desperate. I ended up getting really sick from it and had to explain everything to my mom on the way to the hospital. Since I hadn’t gone to the doctor before, I wasn’t aware of how far along I was. I was over 6 months pregnant, and had hid it from everyone in my life, other than my boyfriend. I hadn’t imagined the emotional side effects, or what would happen afterwards. I ended up giving birth to a baby much bigger than I could have even imagined, and he suffocated to death almost immediately. As if the shock of this wasn’t enough, the doctor called the police and I got investigated by a homicide detective. I hated myself to the core and still do a few months later. The thing is, that no one would expect this from me. At all. People think of me as such a “goody two shoes” and I was recently voted “class clown.” No one could imagine that I had an illegal, late-term abortion at 3 in the morning. No one could even tell that I was 6 months pregnant, because I only gained 6 or 7 pounds. No one would imagine that I’m being investigated by the homicide detectives or that I fight off thoughts of suicide daily.

 

30. I was falsely accused of raping a girl in high school. The resulting ostracizing was very scarring, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. I outran the stigma when I left the state for college. If it ever catches up to me like it was in high school, I’d probably become suicidal. How many times can you endure people telling you that you’re a monster before you believe them?

 

31. When I was about 12 I went with some family to the family dollar. My mother  and cousins went off to go look at generic groceries so I decided I would just spend my time hanging out in the toy aisle, in the toy aisle there would always be these bags of marbles that other kids would open and leave laying there so I decided to fling marbles across the floor and one just happened to reach one of the far off aisles. So about two minutes later I hear a loud crash and someone scream “Somebody help this man!”. Being the curious child I was, I ran over to see what the commotion was about and I find everyone gathered around this guy who had seem to have fallen from the ladder as he was getting something off the top shelf. The guy is seizing out and blood is coming from his head as he laid there and his face seemed to be turning blue. My mother whisked me and my cousins away and we left. Next time we went we talked to the front cashier and she said that they called the paramedics but by the time they got there he had died from choking. Apparently when he had the seizure he was choking on his own tongue. The cause for the fall according to the front cashier was that he had put the ladder on a marble and didn’t check it before he got on it. When I heard what the cashier said I just stood in disbelief thinking I was going to jail, I tried telling my mother many times but all she did was say that I imagined it.

 

32. I’m a 25-year-old female high school teacher. I’ve gotten myself off on multiple occasions while fantasizing about fucking one of my 16-year-old male students on top of the desk in my classroom.

 

33. My mom died when I was 17 and when it comes up I use it to garner attention for myself. In reality, I never met her and she has never meant anything to me other then a name. I feel so empty

 

34. I told my entire family I was able to transfer out of community college and into a university, but I never finished up the requirements. So since I live at home, every day instead of going to school I go to the local library and bs. My lies are so extensive, I even go to the campus and meet my girlfriend for lunch sometimes. I’ve made fake transcripts to show my family, and to make it look like I’m actually studying I go to MIT opencourseware to look up facts that I “learned in class” that day. I have become a remarkable liar. I hope to be transferring in the fall and then I look forward to living a normal life. Coming clean is not an option at this point.

 

35. After my mother left my father, he developed a really inappropriate attachment to me. I was 19 and my brother moved in with his girlfriend. Dad was suicidal, and had no family or friends close by, so I was it. For the first year, he would wake me up at 2am to sit with him every night until he cried himself to sleep. After 4 years of cleaning up after him, making sure he ate, and generally remained alive, I discovered that he had been using the attic access in his closet to sit above my personal bathroom and watch me through a peephole. I wanted to dismiss it as paranoia, but there were too many physical signs that made it reality. Moved out shortly after that because I couldn’t bear to look at him. I’m 29 now, and no one in my family has any idea that this ever happened. I know that he was going through a rough patch, but I feel violated and dirty every time I think about it still. I also have huge amounts of guilt because I hate him for putting me through it.

 

36. This will probably never be seen by anyone but fuck it. My father once owned a cat who loved to suck our earlobes for whatever reason. About half a decade ago my father left me alone in his apartment with his cat and I don’t know exactly why but I just grabbed the cat, went in the bathroom with it, laid on my back, put it on my chest and let it suck my earlobes while masturbating. I find myself fucking disgusting when I think about it but I still think that it was one of my best faps.

 

37. My dad got rich by associating with a scumbag that has his own construction company. Scumbag bribes city officials to approve unstable skyscrapers that would collapse with a 4.0 earthquake and my dad makes all the paperwork discretely. In exchange, multimillionaire scumbag persuades his other loaded friends to hire my dad as their lawyer. I’m now trying to get into office in the next 30 years to revert most of what my family has contributed to.

 

38. I’m a 30 year old woman and I’ve never had sex or kissed anyone. I’ve never had a boyfriend or a girlfriend. There’s nothing physically wrong with me, nor am I unpleasant to look at. I masturbate a few times a month, mostly because of a biological need rather than actual desire, I guess. I’ve never fantasised about anyone or felt any physical desire for anyone.

 

39. Me and my cousin have been doing it for 10 years now. It started when she was 12 and I was 13. We had to babysit the younger kids in our family while the parents went to a party, and when they fell asleep, me and her got to talking about a lot of stuff. I made a move and started kissing her, and she didn’t resist. We ended up doing it on her bed that night. We would end up fucking almost every weekend when we lived with our parents, telling our parents we were going out to hang out with some friends, but actually hook up. I’m 23 with my own apartment now, and she comes over almost every day to make out/fuck

 

40. My boyfriend and I met at the brothel were I used to work. As a whore.

 

41. I do not have a lot of confidence, and can never ask girls out. I met my current wife by installing a keystroke logger on her computer, and intercepting facebook messages and chats with her friends until I confirmed she liked me. That way I knew exactly how to approach her. I orchestrated our entire early courtship to my advantage. If she knew she would likely divorce me because I delved deep into her personal life and found out some crazy things about her past.

 

42. I am an active opiate addict. I use every single day. Everyone in my life – even the people closest to me – think that I have been clean for over a year. I’m a good actor and liar, it comes with the territory of addiction. I don’t want this, I hate myself, I want to stop more than anything. It’s so damn hard.

 

43. 26 year old male, and have “visited” with 30+ escorts over a 4 year period.

 

44. I was jumped by a group of gang members a number of years ago. I was hospitalized, wound up with a concussion, broken jaw, 46 stitches and tens of thousands of medical bills I am still unable to pay. I know who all the gang members are and directly recognized one of the assailants and filed a police report. He had an “alibi” and nothing ever came of my case. I had run in with them again a few years after that and ended up with stitches and no charges sticking to my attackers. I see these gang members around town still. I get chased out of bars, and there are certain places I don’t frequent because I know they may be there. I bought a hand gun just a few short years ago for my own protection and knowing these guys are not just going to let me slide if they run into me again. I carry it if I know I’ll be in “problem areas” and neighborhoods where these guys may be. One night, not too long ago, my girlfriend an I were walking downtown when I noticed a large group of them hanging outside a bar. I told my girlfriend to wait for me at another bar not too far away while I pulled my hat down over my face and put my hood up. I walked across the street to a construction zone where I could keep out of sight and still keep an eye on them. A half hour later two of them came walking across the street passed the construction zone. I popped out drew my gun and fired at them twice, unknowingly missing the first one, but hitting the other in the gut. He keeled over and let out a long groan before falling to the ground. I looked for the fist one and he was laying in the street a few yards away (ducking for cover). Thinking I had hit them both I ran around the corner pocketed my gun then ran to hide by an over pass a number of blocks away. I texted my girlfriend, she came and met up with me, and we took a cab home which drove by the scene. The man that I shot is now in a wheel chair, paralyzed from the chest down. They (the police, the gang members, the community) didn’t know who shot them, they think it was rival gang members. I still see them around town. They are not any more weary, but I am armed and ready. I’ve only told my best friend this story. He told me not to tell anyone else, not only because I could get in trouble, but because it would change peoples perception of me. My girlfriend never really asked what happened that night but she expects me to tell her at some point.

 

45. My mother has multiple sclerosis and her health has deteriorated fast since I have been born. She was gone from being able to walk, to needing a cane, to needing a walker, to complete wheelchair usage, and now completely bedridden. She has a urinary tract infection that is untreatable and is constantly in physical and emotional pain. She takes prescribed medication for depression and bipolar disorder, as well as sleeping pills. Throughout my childhood she has tried to kill herself three times because she wants the pain to stop. In the middle of the night, I bought something from a dealer and snuck into my house to give it to my mother. She passed away within 2 hours. My dad, sisters and brother have no clue.

 

46. While on deployment, I killed a man in a coup de grace. The feelings of taking a man’s life always weigh a heavy burden on me every day. No one like’s hurting people. He had been hit by some of our mobile artillery. While part of me wanted the bastard to be in pain, it wasn’t right. My medic was busy with my wounded, and as the officer on duty I took out my .45 and put one in his head. I knew my boys wouldn’t say anything. Most just watched, accepted it as a fact of war, and kept walking .I remember throwing up afterwards. I came home and everyone acted like I was a hero. I never felt like more of a sham my entire life.

 

47. I have herpes. I know that doesn’t sound like anything particularly horrible after these devastating tales of incest, rape and other sad/terrible/morally ambiguous situations, but I feel like it has ruined my life. I feel trapped, like I will never find someone who could actually like me enough to see past it. No one knows. No one would even suspect. I’m quiet and nerdy, keep to myself, keep my nose clean, etc. But I am naive when it comes to guys. Or I was. A boyfriend in college didn’t tell me and gave it to me… and then cut off contact when I “realized”. I had only lost my virginity a year before that. I know it seems like nothing in comparison. I knows some would even find it funny. But you have no idea what it’s done to me. It’s destroyed me. I’ve considered suicide, its only been this past year where I don’t want to walk to a nearby bridge and jump. I feel just… wasted. Even if you’re shy, you still at least have a chance with your crush or someone you like. With this, all my chances have dropped to zero. If you like someone, think about it… would you still like them, want to date them, if they had herpes?

 

48. I have terrible credit. I have debts from 10 years ago that I never paid off. My wife doesn’t know.

 

49. My brother committed suicide in 1994, shortly thereafter I intercepted a letter to my parents from his girlfriend. She was pregnant and wanted them to know and asked if they wanted to be in the babies life. I burned the letter and have never told them. She never contacted them again and I did so many drugs that I buried that secret deep in my subconscious.

 

50. I’m white and my wife is half black. I fantasize that she’s my slave when we have sex. She thinks I’m the least racist person she’s ever known.

 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Things little girls learn (short story/poem) by Cassie Kinney

Oh, there's lots of things little girls do in private...
At 3 we start running around the house naked,
Strutting nudist in high heels and a purse.
At 4 we rub our genitals on couch corners,
Like little humping dogs on stuffed animals.
Growing up you're discovering your body.You finger your butt--scratch and sniff,
While you're still playing with barbies,
You make them kiss and hump.
When your mom, dad, or grandma kiss you,
And you watch how they kiss one another,
You start experimenting on others.
Or when you're sleeping over at friend's houses,
You're laying side by side their parents in the next room,
And you kiss one another to test the boundaries.
If you were like me,
Friends would take baths together, comparing bodies,
Commenting on our breast sizes and pubic hair.
At 10, girls have slumber parties,
And every girl showed their little boobies to everyone in the circle.
Do boys have similar experiences growing up as this?
Us girls were constantly learning new info on our bodies,
And talking about our development like we're conducting research.
You learn about sex through twisted understandings from older girls
And older friend taught you about periods and sex,
Because your mother would not or did not give you 'the talk.'
You learn about sex from late night Cinemax
When your dad would pass out with the channel on all night.
You sit and watch the TV brightly lit in the dark,
Peeking at the display of sex from the corner of the room.
At age 9, you're exposed to sex scenes that reflect fantasies in adulthood.
Before that, you're exposed to princess movies made by men,
Where the main characters seek a prince to find redemption.
If you were like me, you grew up watching tv with hip hop music:
Outkast, Chingy, Nelly, Yin Yang twins,
And you would shake your body like the women in the video.
At age 11, You learn lyrics and rap Ludacris's "What's your fantasy?"
The sexual adventures continue throughout high school,
Swapping first sexual experiences with your friends,
Remembering the exact day and hour we first had intercourse.
The way we learn about sex has changed in the last 50 years,
And the way we engage and create sexual encounters is changing rapidly.
Girls and boys exchange nude photos through phone messages,
A decision made impulsively and a picture that could last forever
To be seen and shared among friends that you didn't intend to see.  
How sex continues to be learned and achieved can be predicted
By analyzing the patterns now: the porn industry is a bigger entity;
Makeup use, cosmetic surgery, and advertising at an all time high
Plays on girls' insecurities which further serves to tell girls to be sexy.
This world reinforces the notion that boys to men get to have sex
While girls to women work towards impossible standards of sex and sexuality.
 Likewise, girls accept early on that sex is not for their pleasure, only for entertainment.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Ferguson Film & the Department of Justice Report by Cassie Kinney

Ferguson Film & the Department of Justice Report 

The Department of Justice found a systemic pattern of racist discrimination, and came to
a settlement agreement with the Ferguson police department, in the murder case of Michael
Brown. However, a report last week suggests that the Ferguson police department did not uphold
their agreement with the Department of Justice (D.O.J.), which led the D.O.J. to sue the
Ferguson police department (F.P.D.) According to the report, the F.P.D. violated the First
(freedom of speech), Fourth (protection from unreasonable searches/seizures), Eighth
amendment (protect from cruel/unusual punishment), and Fourteenth Amendment (equal
protection) of the Constitution, including federal statutory law.

From the film and report, it is evident the F.P.D.'s practices (stops, arrests, and use of
force) perpetuate racial bias through the focus on revenue, considering the municipal courts were
filled with almost all black Americans. The report states "The City goes so far as to direct F.P.D.
to develop enforcement strategies and initiatives" (pp. 13.) Also, the report states "Since at least
2010, the court has collected more revenue for Failure to Appear charges than for any other
charge" (pp. 43.) From this perspective, it seems that African Americans are preyed upon for
non-violent offenses than their white counterparts would not be fined for, and this process has    
punished black Americans in order to fund the city's expenses, and fund the city's own
criminality. In other words, police/law enforcement see blacks as criminals to be profited off of
rather than constituents that need to be protected. Because of these violations, the community of
Ferguson distrusts the police/law enforcement, especially considering the Ferguson community
that is nearly 70% black, is not represented in the F.P.D. For example, of the 54 officers that
currently serve for the F.P.D., fifty are white and four are black.

Furthermore, racist attitudes and discrimination come from controlling images in the
media. The images greatly influence modern racism within law enforcement to "Redlining",
where blacks are segregated from whites (I.e. inner city, urban neighborhoods are separate from
the suburbs.) Similarly, racist covenants and predatory fines have led to racist policing. For
example, police officers are known for ticketing black citizens for "jay-walking", "improper turn
signal", and "expired tags", and the fines can be up to $500. To better illustrate the racial bias,
"the Ferguson Police Department from 2012 to 2014 shows that African Americans account for
85% of vehicle stops, 90% of citations, and 93% of arrests made by F.P.D. officers" (pp. 4.)  A
further analysis of vehicle stops/searches, where contraband was found, for example, blacks were
26% less often than white drivers of possessing contraband, even though blacks were more than
twice as likely to be searched, suggesting that officers are considering race when determining
whether to search.

The reaction from the F.P.D. in response to the rebellion of the town, was even more a
realization of white supremacy being upheld, especially when open carry of whites and stand
your-ground laws protect the ideologies of the dominate white. An old white man holding a gun
is seen as "patriotic" whereas a black man holding a gun is seen as a "gangster." Considering
police officers are likely to be white, the image of a white man with a gun is a reflection or an   
extension towards those white officers. This is especially a violent ideology when young black
men that get murdered are not armed. When black adults and kids are murdered for carrying
around toy guns, it is obvious that the law completely disregards black folks, and that the second
amendment does not apply to black citizens. This predates all of these current instances, back to
the Black panther party— when officers viewed black folks as terrorists, when in reality— the
officers were the terrorists.

Moreover, practices through the F.P.D. are not unlike the law enforcement in other areas;
sadly, harmful racist practices are rarely detected and ignored when discovered. Mentioned
within the report, "Officers rely heavily on the municipal 'Failure to Comply' charge, which
appears to be facially unconstitutional in part, and is frequently abused in practice" (pp. 16.)
Other ridiculous charges/fines include 'High Grass and Weeds', and 'manor of walking' are all
ways of controlling and oppressing black citizens by taking away their money, property, identity,
and dignity. What is also unjust, is that police officers gave preferential treatment to their friends
and public officials to remove charges. The evidence was provided through emails, which can be
read on page 75 of the report. For example, the rhetoric used for the officials was that they or
someone made a "mistake", while the rhetoric around a black man or woman for a citation/ticket
was a "lack of responsibility." Other emails amongst the police officers were ugly
demonstrations of their own racist ideologies; for example comparing President Barack and
Michelle Obama as primitive apes.

Consequently, Michael Brown is not the only victim of police brutality, and within the
last couple of years, those who have also been victims are Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, and
Eric Garner. Recently, Sandra Bland was removed from her vehicle and taken to jail for an
"improper turn", and was found hanging in her jail cell days later. There have been other cases of    
this as well. The F.P.D. and many police departments, continue to use excessive force in any
circumstance with Tasers, batons, and canines, and use force on kids or the disabled— 90% of
these cases where force was used, was towards black community members. Other recent
examples include the cop that flipped a black female student in class.

Looking forward, the City must replace revenue-driven policing, and instead focus on the
needs of the community. The F.P.D., as well as other police department, need to be trained to use
de-escalation techniques to avoid or minimize force in these situations. Another way to improve,
is that officers should "get out of their car," "stop writing tickets," and "get to know community
members" (pp. 87.) Improvements can be made by forming a diverse police staff, as well as
requiring psychological and intellectual tests. One website evidenced that the only training police
officers receive is 3-4 months of training and they must pass an exam. The qualifications for
being an officer of the law must be more rigorous and radical, for example, instead of hiring
people that may be KKK members, we should hire officers that are more like Michael Wood-- an
ex-Baltimore police officer (and an ex-Republican), that exposed police brutality and his own
involvement. Other radical changes to be made, can be to remove these insignificant laws such
as tall grass/trash/leaf litter fines, jay walking, and more. Another, is by giving back citizens the
money they owed or paid, dropping charges, and giving reparations for the damage the police
have produced within Ferguson's community. 

At the Intersection of Race, Class, & Gender in the Criminal Justice System by Cassie Kinney

At the Intersection of Race, Class, & Gender in the Criminal Justice System by Cassie Kinney 
In Race, Wrongful Conviction & Exoneration, Hattery and Smith (2011) state that race, class, and gender play a role in cases where people have been wrongly convicted of a crime. For example, their findings suggest that 90% of exonerations were male, and 75% were from minority groups. Interestingly, the authors found that white men made up fewer of the exoneration cases compared to the statistics of White men incarcerated, which suggests that black men are the most wrongfully convicted (Hattery & Smith, 2011.) According to the website The Innocence Project provided within the article, states that the number of exonerations is now up to 337, where the average number of years served is 14, and only 140 people have been found to be the real perpetrator. Because 95% of exoneration cases are for the crimes of rape and murder, DNA evidence was crucial to prove the innocence of a person. But DNA evidence will not help in every case such as robbery and other property crimes, some testing can be flawed analysis; and most inmates are not offered DNA testing. With this in mind, there may be more innocent people than once imagined and may never be found innocent.  
Factors of false convictions include: false confessions, police officers and detectives presenting false evidence to suspects, snitches being paid to testify in exchange for being released from prison (Hattery & Smith, 2011.) Another factor is that "inaccuracies in eyewitness testimonies happen significantly more often in interracial cases" (Hattery & Smith, 2011, pp. 93.) Historically, there is a long-standing myth of the black rapist in the United States, and this is part of 10,000 lynchings between 1880 and 1930, as well as other false convictions blamed on black men (Hattery & Smith, 2011.) Actually mentioned below, many of the African American exonerees were indicted for raping white women, and historically, people that have attempted murder have blamed African American men on crimes they committed, and this racial bias creates more suspicion of the young, black man. When there is a disregard for black men and women, it is beyond incomprehensible how murders like Dylan Roof are given special treatment, for example when he killed black men and women in a church, he was escorted by the police to give him a burger before he was sent to prison, and the context behind Roof's murders, was to send a message for black men to stop engaging with white women.  
For instance, taken from data by Gross, Hattery and Smith (2011) 6% of those incarcerated are actually innocent (or 140,000 people of the 2.2 million currently incarcerated may be innocent.) Hattery and Smith (2011) found that 84% of 87 cases involved an African American man allegedly raping or murdering a white woman, thus figuring that "African American men are four times more likely to be exonerated for raping White women compared to the number of times they actually commit this crime" (pp. 83.) Some of this wrongful conviction has to do with a White victim misidentifying an African American man. Of course for people wrongly convicted, their lives are lost from special moments, and you are taken away from family, opportunities, and time for education. A profound statement made by the authors, Hattery and Smith (2011), was: "the wrongful conviction of just these 250 individuals amounts to 7 million hours of lost work, $42 million dollars in lost wages, and the $87 million dollars used to incarcerate these individual who were factually innocent." (pp. 83.)  
In the article, Breaking the Blue Wall of Silence, Cottler et al. (2014) states that the "Blue Wall of Silence" refers to an unspoken rule among groups of officers ignoring one anothers corruption and wrongdoings (Cottler et al., 2014.) This unwritten rule has to do with Police Sexual Misconduct (PSM) where poor, women of color are particularly targeted and affected due to the risks factors of their population. Those risks included stressful life events such as separation of parents, having children during adolescents, experienced child sexual abuse, or had drug addiction issues, for example: "93% of participants reported at least 1 of the 4 stressful life events examined" (Cottler et al., 2014, pp. 340.)  
Moreover, 25% of the 378 female drug court enrollees that participated in the Sisters Teaching Options for Prevention (STOP) project, reported a lifetime history of PSM, and those 78 women reported that "96% had sex with an officer on duty, 77% had repeated exchanges, 31% reported rape by an officer, and 54% were offered favors by officers in exchange for sex" (Cottler et al., 2014, pp. 338.) Some of the women stated that they were as young as 15 when they engaged in sex with a police officer, and actually, 24% of the women that traded sex with an officer, done so while he was on duty with another officer (Cottler et al., 2014.) Of the participants, 70% of those affected by PSM were African American women and the rest White women (Cottler et al., 2014.) Particularly the women that were targeted in these acts had low levels of education and employment where only 48% of participants had received a high school diploma or GED, and 42% reported working in the past 12 months. Other interesting facts about the women in the study was their average age was 36, and that 95% of the women were not married, 39% were homeless, and 70% had been arrested 4 or more times in their lifetime (Cottler et al., 2014.) In all, the most marginalized women were those with symptoms of antisocial behavior that didn't have jobs and tended to use drugs, thus they were most likely to be vulnerable of PSM—especially if they had been involved in the criminal justice system prior 
Likewise, in the article Violence Against Women in Selected Areas of the United States, Montgomery et al. (2015), studied the prevalence of emotional, physical, and sexual violence against 2099 women (median age 29 years), living in the United States during 6 months between 2009 to 2010, and their associations with HIV-related risk factors (I.e. unprotected sex.) Montgomery et al., (2015) show the relationship between victimization of women and poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, and HIV risk. The study predicted women living with HIV, experience violence at a higher rate, and in fact women that reported intimate partner violence (IPV) within the last year, were more than three times  likely to report a HIV/AIDS diagnosis, compared to women who reported IPV living without HIV (Montgomery et al., 2015.)  
Furthermore, Montgomery et al. (2015) concluded that 86% of participants within the sample population were African American where more than half were unemployed, had a high school diploma or less; and a little less than half reported food insecurity as well as lived on less than $10,000. Almost half of the participants reported abuse in childhood, and had symptoms of depression or PTSD (Montgomery et al., 2015.) In fact, within the sample population, 31% reported emotional abuse, 19% reported physical violence, and 7% reported sexual violence during the 6 months (Montgomery et al., 2015.) Violence against women is a discrimination that particularly affects women of color, and although we have policies and shelters to protect women, still some women of color face a different reality than white women.  
As demonstrated in the article above, those victimized individuals most likely face a host of mental health issues, emotional distress and are likely living in poverty. In Mental Health and Poverty in the Inner City, authors Ujunwa Anakwenze and Daniyal Zuberi (2013), explore the cycle of mental illness and poverty within urban environments. Anakwenze and Zuberi (2013) postulate that a cyclical phenomenon occurs for people living in neighborhoods that are dilapidated, have a lack of access to jobs and opportunities, with a high use of drugs, alcohol and violence among youths which may later lead to chronic stress resulting in mental health issues due to threat of victimization. In fact, within the criminal justice system, there is a high rate of mentally illness (Anakwenze & Zuberi, 2013.) In turn, those mentally ill who have been arrested, can't get jobs or don't have access to opportunities later, which perpetuates poverty. One of the best ways to prevent and reduce mental illness in the inner city is by engaging families while promoting mental health care services for children and adolescents at school. Something the authors mention is that there is somewhat of a mistrust within the community of health care professionals (Anakwenze & Zuberi, 2013.)  
For instance, although discrimination is less overt and/or violent than in the past, there are forms microaggressions against people of color that force them to distrust and avoid people outside of their own race. But the barriers for people of color don't end there. As Shandra Forrest-Bank and Jeffrey Jenson (2015) states in their article, Differences in Experiences of Racial and Ethnic Microaggression among Asian, Latino/Hispanic, Black, and White Young Adults, discrimination is a significant risk factor for non-Whites (particularly women and children) on the basis of health, including psychological and emotional health. In fact according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, discrimination adversely affects access and quality of health and mental health services for people of color (Forrest-Bank & Jenson, 2015.) The authors of the study define microaggressions as forms of subtle and unintentional acts of discriminatory behavior, where they surveyed 409 undergraduate students who identified themselves as Asian, Latino, Black, and Whites to explore the different experiences of microaggressions (Forrest-Bank & Jenson, 2015.) Of the population sample, 30% were White, 25% Asian, 25% Latino/Hispanic, and 20% Black (Forrest-Bank & Jenson, 2015.)  
In the study, the authors found that based on the Exoticization and Assumptions of Similarity subscale, Latino/Hispanic and Asian participants scored highest, and based on the Assumptions of Inferiority subscale, the population of Blacks and Latino/Hispanic in the sample had higher rates of types of microaggressions (microinsults, microassaults, and microinvalidation) than Asian participants (Forrest-Bank & Jenson, 2015.) Based on the Assumptions of Criminality subscale, all of the non-White scores were higher than the scores reported by White respondents (Forrest-Bank & Jenson, 2015.) Forrest-Bank and Jenson (2015) also reported that Black respondents had the highest rates of microinvalidations than Asian and White respondents (while no differences between Latino/Hispanic, Whites, and Asian respondents). Microinvalidation refers to the minimization of historical racial oppression. Particularly, Black respondents experienced the highest levels of interpersonal microaggressions, while White participants had the lowest microaggression scores on all scales, which reiterates perceived discrimination across all non-White groups.  
 From the research mentioned above, Blacks were seen as more inferior and criminal compared to other ethnic groups, which discrimination is further perpetuated in the criminal justice system. Likewise, it is a cycle where Blacks have been systematically segregated to be preyed upon, then falsely accused as stated in the research previously mentioned, and then the White media portrays a controlling image that reinforces the police and public's attitudes to justify deadly treatment of non-Whites. In the article Racism and Police Brutality in America, the authors Cassandra Chaney and Ray V. Robertson (2013) examine the  rate of police brutality in America while exploring public attitude of law enforcement with emphasis on the treatment of Black men in the criminal justice system. One survey mentioned by Chaney and Robertson (2013) of 978 non-Hispanic Whites and 1,010 Blacks, 38 % of Whites viewed the criminal justice system as biased against Blacks while 56% of Whites saw the criminal justice system as treating Blacks fairly. In contrast, 89% of Blacks reported bias within the criminal justice system against other African Americans, while only 8% of Blacks thought that other African Americans were treated fairly.  
Furthermore, Chaney and Robertson (2013) cite the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP) which reported 5,986 cases of police misconduct, including 382 fatalities, as well as over $300,000,000 in settlements and judgments linked to the misconduct between April 2009 to June 2010. The comment section of the website was reviewed as well, where five people responded strongly with contempt for police officers, eight responded they were suspicious of law enforcement; 16 respondents replied that officers are agents of brutality and many described brutal stories of their own interactions with law enforcement, while seven respondents had respect for law enforcement.  
Consequently, there is a growing suspicion of law enforcement as perpetrators of police brutality, but White populations sometimes tend to side with the police officer to justify the brutality. One could say that the police culture is a reflection of an hegemonic society—an environment that created Dylan Roof. In fact racism is so embedded in America, there are streets and statues of figures that opposed the end of slavery. In the article, From Ferguson to Charleston and Beyond, Anguish About Race Keeps Building, Lydia Polgreen (2015), states that Dylan Roof is in fact a "product of the same legacy of racism that many black Americans believe sent Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Walter Scott and Tamir Rice to their graves." The author reminds the reader of the language used amongst White right-wing politicians in which they minimize the murder of 9 black men and women in a church to a story of a 'young man who is obviously twisted'. The author continues to remind the audience of the names of black men who were murdered at the hands of law enforcement, and an incident where a police officer was violent during a kids pool party in Texas. One interesting statistic rarely discussed was that there are as many as 1.5 million Black men missing (dead or in prison) in America (Polgreen, 2015.) It is the color of one's skin that determines how the police, public, and teachers treat people where our society has tended to place higher status towards light-skinned people.                                                                                          
For example, Traci Burch (2015) of Skin Color and the Criminal Justice System: Beyond Black-White Disparities, studied a population of inmates sentenced to prison for the first time on their first felony, while examining how colorism determines severity of punishment in Georgia. According to
the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), researchers predict 1 in 10 Georgians will serve time in state prison in their lifetimes and in Georgia, 62% of inmates are Black (Burch, 2015.) In fact, "Medium-skinned blacks receive sentences that are about 200 days longer than those of whites, while dark-skinned blacks receive sentences that are 400 days longer" (Burch, 2015, pp. 407.) When analyzing how and why Black populations are disproportionately incarcerated and have longer sentences, it becomes clear when connecting incarceration rates to a type of racism called colorism, including the connection between criminality and a lack of opportunities within those same communities (and a host of other disadvantages.) When compared to the non-Hispanic white populations, the Black population faces higher rates of mental health and other health issues, high unemployment rate, significantly lower income, higher infant mortality rate, among other health issues (Burch, 2015.) These oppressions are a matrix of domination imposed upon young, poor, people of color at the intersection of race, class, and gender.            
As mentioned, those who have been previously incarcerated, are in a situation where they do not have access to opportunities and there is a sense of alienation, but also may be turned down for a job if that person has a criminal record. In the article, Putting in Work: Black Male Youth Joblessness, Violence, Crime, and the Code of the Street, Joseph Richardson and Christopher St. Vil (2015), explore why and how 15 young, Black male offenders detained in an adult jail, used violent crimes to gain a sense of control and make money on the street. To put in perspective the 'why', in recent decades there has been a shift towards computer work and other white-collar jobs that requires a degree of education, which confines poor people to other types of jobs (Richardson & St. Vil, 2015.) Of the 15 participants studied, the average age was 16 and every participants was African American associated with youth gangs (Richardson & St. Vil, 2015.) Amongst the participants, a 'resume' and 'reputation' was built by going to jail or serving time the same way murdering, robbery, and hustling was part of their job—even as young as 12, these boys were performing violence to gain notoriety and respect on the streets. Stated by the authors, this phenomenon in a theoretical framework: "youth respond to endemic joblessness by employing specific empowerment strategies to achieve self-efficacy that can be helpful in alleviating oppressive situations" (Richardson & St. Vil, 2015, pp. 91.)                           
On the other side of the intersection of race, class, gender in the context of crime, Gary Giroux (2008) of What Went Wrong? Accounting Fraud and Lessons from the Recent Scandals, brings to light scandals within Enron, Tyco, and many other large companies, where affluent, White, businessmen participated in white-collar crime. Within Enron, debt was hidden, nonexistent profits were booked, prices of gas were manipulated and set at the price they wanted, and fake companies were created, and the list of fraudulent activity goes on (Giroux, 2008.) In 2001 before Enron declared bankruptcy, one tactic the company used was to give $55 million in bonuses to executives while firing 4,500 employees (Giroux, 2008.) Later, "over 30 Enron executives and employees were indicted by the Justice Department" (Giroux, 2008, pp. 1225.) One of the few Enron employees faced a 10-year prison sentence, and others faced long sentences (Giroux, 2008.) The company Tyco used ADT's Security Services 'Bermuda registration' to hide foreign earnings, and taxes were evaded; and the company Adelphia made false documents, hid money, and "cooked the books" so-to-speak (Giroux, 2008.)  
In retrospect, the greed within White collar crime compared to the survival within street crime, shows the racial inequality in America. But also when considering who gets a more severe punishment and who committed the most crimes and damages, we also see the disparity for people of color in the criminal justice system. As mentioned repeatedly throughout the paper, people of color are disproportionately incarcerated and serve longer sentences, while financial fraud committed by White, affluent males serve less time if at all. One could say that society has legitimized this type of masculinity performance because of the interest and envy associated with accruing millions of dollars—even if that means earning it fraudulently.                
 In concluding how we can change the system in White collar crime, is by forming a diverse staff of women and people of color. Also, there needs to be internal investigations taken seriously when whistle blowers come forth. In other words, there always needs to be a search for truth. In the article Race, Wrongful Conviction & Exoneration (2011), one way to better the system is for the police to search for truth, instead of arresting any Black man who closely fits a victim's description. For example, the law stating that once convicted, individuals have no guaranteed right to post-conviction DNA testing is unconstitutional and should be changed. mass incarceration and police brutality are a reflection from the Jim Crow era. Consequently, police who murder unarmed persons should be sent to prison for the same sentence any other American who committed murder would be serving, including revoking license and firing officers that abuse their authority. 
Secondly, something that needs to be explicitly reminded to the public is that citizens pay for people to be in prison. In fact, prisons, juvenile justice programs, and parole and other corrections programs make up about 4 percent of state budgets (roughly $49 billion), and these costs have grown in recent decades as states send more people to prison and leave them there for longer sentences ("Policy Basics", 2015.) The public is so concerned where their taxes are going, and thus they should be concerned when they are funding a prison system that wrongfully convicts people at a rate of 6% ("Policy Basics", 2015.) This also means that the prison system has failed to catch the real perpetrator who may still committing terrible crimes of rape or murder. The public should be more concerned with perpetrators of murder, violence and rape. When you consider that most who are incarcerated are drug users, it seems that the prison system has failed when they were supposed to be finding the king pin. From one perspective, there should less of a focus on criminalize drug users and focus on getting them treatment.  
Working from the criminal justice system, as explicated in the article Breaking the Blue Wall of Silence (Cottler et al., 2014), "The women involved may be equally unwilling or unlikely to report PSM to the authorities out of fear of retaliation, of being blamed, of not being believed because of their substance use history and criminal justice involvement, or of being arrested and charged with prostitution" (pp. 342.) These findings should call attention to law enforcement for internal investigations of their own officers and view the women in these cases as victims of the police officers' abuse of control, protection, and power. When framing prevention of racist attitudes, policing, and other systematic forms of oppression and racism, we cannot so easily fix problems within the laws, and perhaps start at socialization. For instance, prevention measures at the level of high school and college should expose students to microaggression examples and integrate knowledge about common microaggressions of non-White groups. When recognizing different treatment of non-Whites, also have students recognize the commonalities all people share and the importance of equality and justice by looking at your own interpersonal feelings of how you want to be treated.  
As previously stated throughout the paper, people living in concentrated urban areas of violent crimes segregated from services, opportunities, and community support, may be at risk of victimization or even influenced by deviant behavior in the community to make money through unconventional means. These areas also tend to be heavily surveillanced as well, where even the mentally ill or innocent people have a high chance of being incarcerated. People living in the most dire of circumstances look for a control in their life, whether that's performing masculinity, selling their body or drugs; and in a hegemonic society, this could include various deviant or risky behaviors. Considering this, there is a need for a socialization processpreventing the cycle of poverty and mental illness by mobilizing coalitions and political advocacy to create community, or school based services, to break down barriers for those at risk youth (Anawenze and Zubari, 2013.)                                                                      
                                      
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References 
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Chaney, Cassandra, & Robertson, Ray V. (2013). Racism and police brutality in America. Journal of African American Studies, 17(4), 480. 
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Burch, T. (2015). Skin Color and the Criminal Justice System: Beyond Black-White Disparities. Politics & Government Week, 395. 
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Polgreen, L. (2015, June 21). From Ferguson to Charleston, Anguish About Race Keeps Building. The New York Times, p. A17. 
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Smith, Earl, & Hattery, Angela J. (2011). Race, Wrongful conviction & exoneration.(ARTICLES)(Report). Journal of African American Studies, 15(1), 74-94.