What’s up Beat and Beat Readers!

by Thomas Weed

It’s me, Thomas Weed, once known as Confusing Mind so many years ago when I had the opportunity to participate in workshops ran by Matt and Michael. Now, over a decade later I find myself serving a seven year 8-month sentence because well, I guess I still hadn’t learned my lesson.

Having touched each and every part of the criminal justice system, I’ve seen first-hand how broken it really is. From Juvie to Group homes, to County  programs to Prison. Entire novels have been penned by far greater minds than mine, mapping out the school to the prison pipeline. It’s a given that life is unfair.

As much as I’d love to say we all have an equal chance to succeed, the simple truth is that this is not so. The underclass is at a disadvantage, straight up. So basically, if you were born into a poor family, raised in a shitty neighborhood, or look suspicious to a clean cut white man with a badge or a cellphone then you need to try extra hard and work that much more to avoid the cuffs and this is coming from a white man who is color blind.

I have come to realize that our role is to make somebody rich either by making low wages, pushing other people’s wares, or as an indentured servant property of the state. Cattle or cattled. Coming from the greatest of creation, this is a hard pill to swallow.

No joke, I wish I could’ve been a Panther because they had the answer. Well, aside from the whole racist white devil business. In reading the ten-point bulletin, I like to replace black with poor. The idea that we can all come together to elevate our stationing life is such a powerful concept that it keeps me from losing hope. By educating, supporting and nurturing each other, we can potentially shut down the entire prison industrial complex. It’s not easy though, because there really is a war going on and some of the most strategic minds to ever walk the earth are against us.

Sadly, all the weapons employed against us aren’t even secret. Divide and conquer, gives us the poisons to kill ourselves, dangle a carrot in front of our face that can never be reached. These are simple concepts that an amateur tactician employs to disrupt an enemy.

But my eyes have been closed for 32 years. I’ve been stuck in a vicious cycle that I’m finally just now beginning to notice, let alone know how to escape. I wish I knew back then what I know now. How many times have I heard this? Well, I know it now, and seeing as how I strongly believe that we need to be connected in order to succeed, then it’s my duty to reach out to the younger generation.

This is why The Beat Within is so important. So that we can reach down and give some love, support, encouragement and knowledge. So that we can give an outlet. So, WE can listen and communicate. So, the youth of today never has to live the life of the youth of yesterday. Because take it from me, life has so much more to offer than I’ve allowed myself to live, and I don’t want to wish these lost moments on my worst enemy.

Anyways, in closing, let me just say that I’m very glad to have stumbled back upon an issue of The Beat Within, and I hope that I have an opportunity to become a regular contributing member again. Doing what we must to make things right…Well as right as possible once the damage has been done. Until next time, I send my love to all the readers out there.