Letter from a prisoner

“Voting has gotten us mass incarceration and voting has gotten us a Donald Trump!”

November 7, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


The Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund received the following letter from a prisoner.

Dear P.R.L.F.

Sincere greetings and respect,

I am now at a new facility. Just before I left I received the copy of the book you sent. You asked us to read it and write something for the promotion of the book next month. I hadn’t really had time to read it as I was packed up and leaving.

In the brief moments I took to glance at it before leaving however, it looked very interesting. The people are in dire need of understanding this racist and capitalist system. I hear people saying, “You must vote, your vote counts!” Count for what?! Yes, at one time many people [thought] that our votes counted. But one could easily make the claim that our votes at this point would only further add to our oppression. Voting has gotten us mass incarceration and voting has gotten us a Donald Trump! So what might further voting get us?! At one time people thought the world was flat, at one time many people thought slavery was O.K. I believe one of the reasons why we are in this mess also is because of our inability to see this system for who it is and what it is. With every election we think “Change is coming this time”. And it did. But just not the kind of change we wanted or expected. The question also could be asked, “Did Obama produce a Donald Trump?” Could his inability to courageously make the structural changes needed produce a Donald Trump? So does our vote count? The question should be asked “Not if our vote ‘counts,’ but does our vote matter?” “Counting” votes means nothing if it doesn’t matter. And up until this time in our history, I can’t see where any of our votes EVER mattered.

We also hear, “Vote with your heart, vote with your conscious.” America has never had a “heart” or a “conscious” for its poor and oppressed. But we are asked to have one to vote. Hypocritical.

Well I hope I’ve said something beneficial. Your newsletters and books are very educational, inspiring, and motivating. And thank you for giving a voice to the voiceless.


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