Incarceration nation

There Comes a Time

By Kevin Cooper

History has shown over and over again that there comes a time when people who have been historically oppressed must, for their own survival, and that of their kin and kind, start to look at things in a whole new light. 

Things such as redefining certain words and the meaning of those words. Especially when the people who first wrote and defined those words have been proven to be hypocrites, because those words do not apply to the people who are being oppressed! 

Words like democracy, equality, justice, liberty, humanity, inclusiveness and all the words within the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the United States Constitution, just to give some examples. 

The old meaning of these and other words have been proven to be extinct, and most, not all, but the majority of the people who brought those words to life have been oppressors. 

There comes a time when oppressed people get tired of hearing things such as, “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game” that really matters. When we all know in truth and from personal experience that the game is rigged, and rigged against us minorities especially. If the past helps to make the present, we must make damn sure that this present doesn’t make our future! 

Our present, just like our ancestors’ past, is all messed up for us oppressed people, and we are collectively catching hell! So there comes a time when oppressed people do get tired from not just being oppressed, but also for all the different forms of oppression that we each face and have to deal with in our everyday lives. The scapegoating, being murdered in the streets, tortured and executed in death chambers, being victims of police brutality and murder, being Cointelpro-ed, Patriot Act-ed on, sent to inferior schools, and not given a real opportunity to make it within this classist and racist society. Being the last hired and the first fired, being unemployed, and underemployed. As well as all of the rest that happens to the poor people and minority people in America! People are tired of living in rundown houses that are for the most part unlivable, but it’s all they can afford. Tired of being homeless and then being blamed for being homeless, even when it’s not their fault. Tired of being hungry in a land of plenty, and on and on and on.

Yes, there comes a time when the status quo has to go, when these oppressed people can’t take being disrespected anymore by anyone! They get tired of false hope and empty promises, and they see that things aren’t getting any better, and in some cases only getting worse for them and theirs. When they see with their own eyes that history is repeating itself to their detriment, and the powers that be continue to ignore their plight and act like nothing is wrong, and if there is something wrong it doesn’t make any difference to them. 

There comes a time in each and every one of these oppressed people’s lives when they just can’t, or won’t, take it anymore! When these people get tired of praying, pleading, begging, crying, reaching out to the empty hearts of the powers that be, a change is going to come!

If anyone honestly opens their eyes, hearts, minds and ears and truly sees, feels, learns and hears exactly what’s going on in this country today and understands why, they will have to get involved to make this country a much better place for everyone!

When that time finally arrives, and it will arrive if it hasn’t already, the movements that are starting, growing, protesting, demonstrating by the concerned people of this land of different cultures, skin colors, religions, sex, sexual orientations, classes, will continue to get larger, stronger, louder and more determined to make this country live up to all it claims to be!

This country doesn’t have to worry about others coming from other countries to hurt us. This country is hurting itself already from within, with all of its isms and prejudices in all their various forms! America is doing itself more harm than good by hurting its own citizens, which is making them turn against this country.

There must come a time when America changes its way and includes all of its people and not just the chosen few. America is once again faced with a Shakespearean question, and we once again want and need to know how to answer it since its reality has again been exposed for all to see. 

“To be, or not to be? That is the question.”

To be all that you said when you put it on paper all those years ago! To be true to your word that all of us are created equal!

Kevin Cooper is an innocent man on San Quentin’s Death Row in California. He continues to struggle for exoneration and to abolish the death penalty in the whole U.S.

Write to Kevin Cooper at:

Kevin Cooper C-65304, 4 EB 82

San Quentin State Prison

San Quentin, CA 94974