We are still human

Submission from an anonymous fellow worker suffering anonymously at Wisconsin Secure Program Facility. The above was published in Issue 5 of Voices from Beyond Wisconsin Prison Gates, published in Summer 2018. The rest of the issue is available here.

We are called abusers, abominations, anti-socials and animals.

We are labeled degenerates, dummies, demons and dupes.

We are the forbidden, the forsaken, and the forgotten.

We have empathy, emotions and very little equality.

We have issues, imaginations, illusions and insecurities.

We are belittled, battered, bruised and betrayed.

We are demeaned, degraded, discouraged and disrespected.

We are harassed, humiliated, rarely seen happy.

We are pawns, profit, we are prisoners.

We can be cool, calm as well as collective.

We can be peaceful, pious, passive and patient.

We can be humble, humane, and hold our heads up high.

We strive, we struggle, we sacrifice and self analyze.

We are white, black, brown and mixed.

We are your sons, fathers, brothers, uncles, lovers and husbands.

We are not who they say we are.

We are still human…