Black victims, LGBTQ victims, shooting victims: all June musing topics of this prisoner advocate

As an advocate doing my best to help the incarcerated---men and women who are unable to help themselves---news stories about crime and crime victims, racial discrimination and suppression, and the idea that all of us are not created equal, have been capturing my attention this month. 


Today, for example, marks eight years since a gunman opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and leaving 53 wounded. The June 12, 2016, massacre was one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history!  Yet, progress in dealing with the issue is slow, indeed. The Center for American Progress reports that voters are increasingly recognizing that gun violence is a serious problem, and that weak gun laws are driving the rise in violent crime. “When state legislatures repeal effective gun laws, such as those requiring a permit to purchase a firearm or to carry guns in public places, violent crime increases and communities becomes less safe. Elected officials who claim to support law enforcement continue to weaken state gun laws that make officers’ jobs more dangerous.” 

Gun violence was responsible for putting many of my friends behind bars. 

Preacher John Pavlovitz: Human beings' capacity for inhumanity is staggering. 


Juneteenth National Independence Day is a national holiday, and is celebrated on June 19. It commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. The holiday's name is a blend au of the words "June" and "nineteenth", as it was on June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas at the end of the Civil War. 

And yet, according to the ACLU, more than 30 state legislatures have introduced bills to limit the discussion of racial history in a wave prompted by the emergence of critical race theory. Besides that, over 300 books by predominantly Black authors discussing race, gender, and sexuality, were also banned in the last year! 

Racial discrimination is rampant in our judicial system, as evidenced by a list of disparities that we see in our office. 

Preacher Greg Boyle: There is no 'them' and 'us.' There is only us. 

Pride Month 

Humanity for Prisoners lost some financial support, after indicating, during Pride Month,  that we do our best to be loving and affirming and supporting of queer people behind bars.

We unashamedly follow the advice of Pastor Pavlovitz: “The aspiration to be allies and advocates and activists for justice is a beautiful one but we need the courage to act in such a way that we receive a bit of the turbulence the oppressed receive. If we seek to be allies, we need to be willing to place ourselves between people who are simply trying to exist and the prejudice that would not allow them to.” 

We do our best to fight for humane treatment in prison of gays, lesbians, and transgender persons. 

Father Boyle: The wrong idea has taken root in the world. And the idea is this: there just might be some lives out there that matter less than other lives.

Our message to all clients behind bars: You matter!

Doug Tjapkes re these topics: Complacency is a sin.







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