Dear Ms. Rodham Clinton:
See I even remember your “maiden” name. However, you know nothing about me, yet I receive dozens of emails from your campaign daily. The reason I am on your mailing list is because a month after I was officially released from the custody of Bureau of Prisons (I was on home confinement wearing an ankle monitory thus still in BOP Custody) I sent your campaign $11 as you paved the way to being the Democratic Nominee.
I did not want to feel the “Bern” because personally not only did it smack of straight white male privilege (let’s all be clear Bernie Sanders is riding on the shoulders of all the white male presidents and their privilege that came with such a status—something President Obama did not have). I realize that the hateful comments and linking you to your husband who violated a young woman and then let her suffer the trauma of his abuse—was/is not you. I have had to listen to my friends tell me I am confused about supporting you. However, my reasons are complex. First of all, the reason that Black men received the right to vote before women was sexism. Frederick Douglass was an outspoken advocate for voting rights for women. However, he was also a sexist and explained that first Black men should have the right to vote and then he would fight for the right for women to vote. I see you in this light.
When you launched your campaign for the 2008 democratic nomination I supported you up and until the 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. Why? Because you made a comment about some White man doing more for the civil rights movement than Mr. King. You lost me Ms. Rodham Clinton and I am happy that I gave my support to President Obama. I was a free woman then and had extra cash to donate.
Now I believe it is your turn. Yet you are turning me off. Do not get me wrong. I am going to vote for you because the only other choice is that Sociopath, Orange, bad comb over Donald Trump. I will vote for you because if I don’t vote and Trump wins I am a part of the problem. I will vote for you because if I vote for some third party unknown person this could cause problems and sadly Trump could become our President. I will vote for you because no matter how much White Privilege you have, and racist things you have perpetuated in the past, I know that you are a woman and sexism is alive and thriving in this country. So, yes you have my vote.
What you don’t have is my support. For now that is. I will not campaign for you. Someone phoned me the other night and I explained to her what I am about to explain to you. And I will not be giving you any money in hopes of winning a visit with you. I deserve a visit from you so that you can learn something about women in prison and when we return home.
When I gave you those $11 back in February 2015, I was making barely $500.00 a month at a very part-time job. Since that time I have waited for you to speak out about women in prison and the conditions we suffer under a male constructed system that is run and operated by men. You have said very little.
I had a fairly high profile case. Was tried in the courthouse where my ex who was the complaining witness was a sitting judge—no venue change for me. I received poor counsel as Judge Cannon (appointed by your husband I believe) threatened any attorney that mounted a true defense for me. In fact my attorney was awaiting the approval for his application at the DC Superior Court as a magistrate judge and Cannon told me that he had written a letter of recommendation for my attorney. My attorney Dorsey Jones, told me flat out, “I will not cross examine your accuser to impeach her.” My attorney was caught by one of my witnesses agreeing with the prosecutor not to put on certain evidence in my defense and when this information was given to Judge Cannon he ignored it.
Judge Cannon sentenced me and stated at my sentencing hearing, “You have borderline personality disorder and you cannot be helped.” Yet I do not have this disorder and even if I did, why would he become Judge and Psychologist. He ignored the probation department’s recommendations that I receive therapy and no jail time, as this would be the worse thing for me as there was so much evidence of the childhood abuse I had survived and the domestic violence perpetrated against me by my ex-husband.
And yet I spent over four years incarcerated, received very little treatment (for what I do suffer from—Complex PTSD, Acute Anxiety and Major Depressive Disorder)—I am a trauma survivor. I was bullied by officers, sexually and physically abused by fellow inmates and no amount of silent screams could help me. My intelligence was seen as a threat and I often found myself in the Segregated Housing Unit (SHU) locked up while already being locked up, but isolated from phone calls, emails and assistance. No one spoke for me. When I was not being unjustly punished in the SHU, I was often on suicide watch. No one spoke for me. Now, no one speaks for my fellow female inmates in this current climate of criminal justice reform.
President Obama made a big show of visiting a Federal Male Prison and to-date he has not publicly acknowledged that women are the fastest growing group of inmates and are usually the primary caregiver of school age children when they go to prison. No one with power such as you has spoken publicly on a national level about what I call the Trauma-to Prison Pipeline for women and girls. No one like you has even visited a female prison or jail.
Thus, that $11 was given to your campaign and I walked instead of taking public transportation, as that was my weekly money for travel. That $11 was given with hope that you, a woman, would take up our torch and begin to speak for us. Instead, silence. You have an opportunity Ms. Rodham Clinton. There are so many women who have returned home and who are still incarcerated that need your support. Will you show your support and speak for us? Who Speaks for Me? I’m free now and I am still often silenced
Survivor, Mother, Advocate