In light of growing regional and national attention on the inhumanity of solitary confinement, which was recently examined in a congressional hearing, we’re printing a short missive sent to us recently by a politicized prisoner on solitary in Butner.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name by birth is Samuel McCrae III, my Muslim name, Waheed Wali Abdul Haqq. It is truly an honor and a blessing to know someone cares about the acts of dehumanization, oppression, and injustice of this prison system. I’m a voice that needs to be heard, a victim that needs to be helped, and a man of God seeking mercy every day.
Just to be brief on the tools of dehumanization and destruction that this system uses: I have been infraction-free without any behavior issues, and I remain inside of a cell 24 hours a day based on an incident that transpired three years ago. The board who heard my case, and hears every other case, is an uncompassionate institution that wants to program the minds of men. They told me to “be good” and “sit for a while longer.”
What am i sitting for? Am I sitting in here to learn a lesson, am I sitting here to be rehabilitated? No, I’m sitting here to be programmed into a dependent lazy zombie, so when i reach society I’m terrified of everything that moves, due to sitting in a locked closet for so long. This is cruelty. They have no programs to help, and we get one book a week. To separate a man from knowledge, family, society, and self is to kill a him spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
I am by the grace of Allah able to rehabilitate myself, but what about those who aren’t, who have no support, belief, or strength? What about the fact that we are thrown on solitary for years to be punished until we have become animal-minded? Take a dog off the street and throw him in a closet for one month, and think of the effect it would have. Now picture a human in a closet for six months or two year, 24 hours a day.
I take full responsibility for my actions, but how much do I have to pay? Do I have to pay with the loss of weight due to the lack of proper meals? Do I have to pay with the mental abuse and physical brutality of mace and boots from the guards? Do I have to pay with days of becoming ignorant and dysfunctional due to the lack of sunlight, nutrition, exercise, and, most importantly, interaction with those other than the eight different personalities and characters I had to create just to reach a level of contentment? This incident is three years old – what must I learn? What must I suffer more?
The system is the criminal – the robbers of sanity, the molesters of mail, the killers of a sane mind. They are slave masters of a plantation, here to kill and destroy.
I have so many issues with mail (one time it took my wife three weeks to get a letter, and upon her reply I was treated like a gang member for receiving it), that I am sure that me writing these words to you is going to cost me dearly. Look inside here and you will see a nightmare.
Revolution is Progress,
Until All the Cages Are Empty,
Waheed Wali Abdul Haqq