IT’S MY BIRTHDAY AND I CAN CRY IF I WANT TO!
That’s right! I’ve lived to experience my Thirty Ninth Birthday. The Big 39 this December 6th 2013 of course, some of you with your Grincherous hearts may not care and just so you all know I take no offense. However everybody and I mean everybody that has ever experienced a birthday has a old chapter to finish and a new chapter to begin In their lives. Birthdays are literally and figuratively a uncanny series of hieroglyphics into the lives of each individual that explains who we were and who we are. We came from and where we are going.
Thou there is a coherence theory about birthdays too, we tend to reflect on the highs and lows of that year. Some have a prosperous birthday filled with a year of laughter and joy that one wish to not end, others have a birthday that we curse the day we were born. I had the latter on December 6th 1998, the year and birthday that the tragic events lead to my unjust arrest, unfair persecution and my current wrongly conviction that landed me on Texas Hellish-Death Row.
In fact; from 1999 thru 2010 I did not celebrate another birthday. Never told anyone it was my birthday. Did not care if anyone acknowledged my birthday or not. Cause for me, every year my birthday came around it was like pouring gasoline to an aggressive lit fire that emotionally pissed me off all over again. I didn’t have ‘buyer’s remorse’ nor was my anger an admission of guilt. No. Rather a remembrance of all that I lost. All of the lies told on me just for media convenience. I don’t play victim, but victimization has played me and that honest view pissed me off to the fourth power year after year. Tear after tears. So for the most part I cried each year on my birthday alone.
For one to grow up and mature logically takes more than having peach fuzz on your genital area (all you young folk out there that ‘think’ they are grown…Pay attention!!! To truly mature, it takes time, Takes a few birthdays to live a little, make mistakes and learn from those mistakes made. Growing up incites a change mentally. In days of old, dogmatism was ideal nature. Maturity can only live in a existence where each person agrees to let dogmatism die. To see the world in an array of colours and not just black and white. I can truthfully tell you all that; for me my maturity manifested with my interaction’s with friends from all ages, races and nationalities. People who has shown me so much love, that I couldn’t help but to grow to understand that I have a purpose. A deep desire to grow, evolve and embrace a social decorum that surpasses vanilla rhetoric. So, now when my birthday comes around I can enjoy it, and if I should shed tears, my tears are those of ‘joy’. Joy of being alive. My ‘joie de vivre’ moment, because the reality of that night on December 6th 1998, too which my fan base of haters are too immature to accept is; I’m accused of killing two people who were a part of a group of four that was trying to rob and kill me.
I’m on Death Row; True, I want to be free and sleep in the comforts of my own bed and home. I want to educate my children (and grandchildren) and watch them grow in the now. I want to be there to do for my aging mother. I have many wants that are factually my needs- though you don’t hear me complain much now. I’m not content, nor do I view myself as a schlimazel. I’m highly optimistic and my optimism grows more and more with each upcoming and passing birthday. I get it now, I see beyond self-pity parties, and understand that you blow out candles on your birthday cake and make a wish because you are celebrating that singular moment in time that you can never ever get back. A moment that you have every intention of celebrating again a year later. And within that year you would have grown in some capacity and changed somehow. Children will become teenagers and teenagers will become adults and adults will become elderly. Many phases to ones birthday that will mark evolution upon us all. In hindsight, it’s a Beautiful Thang!
I can still remember this photo my Mother keeps in her photo album of my fifth birthday. I was a chubby cheek kid (good looking, nonetheless) hovering over this small cake my mom brought from Piggly Wiggly’s deli. It was a white cake with thick icing that still makes my mouth water now that I nostalgically think about it. The candle was shaped into a number 5, marking my fifth birthday. My eyes were closed (making a wish) as I blew out the lit candle.
Who knew?! Who knew that 34 years from that singular moment that I’d be alive to make another wish on my birthday. That thought alone tells me “It’s MY BIRTHDAY AND I CAN CRY IF I WANT TO.
Written by Charles Mamou December 2013
SAME SHIT! SAME DAY!
“Ahhhh!!! There is a God” I said to myself relaxingly while extreme hot water from the shower, nozzle pounded upon my bended bald head and nude body. It’s not that we have steamy hot water to shower with all the time. Most of the time it is warm, lukewarm or ice cold. So when it’s hot like this, I have to take advantage of it, feeling all the stress and anger oozes out of my exhausted body. I love it! Even if it’s only a moment without longevity. A moment that comes to an end within forty minutes or so. Which is my highlight of my isolated days.
After my shower I am escorted back to my cell. I’ll put on some hygiene products, wash my dirty clothes and sit idly on my bunk and gather my thoughts that often run amok on everything that is going on in my world and others world. From a male officer complaining to me that he hates his job and hates his wife cause she refuses him sex, to female officers who are so insecure about themselves that they ‘need’ a encouraging word or two. It’s like I am their fuckin psychiatrist, when it’s really me that needs the therapy (lol).
It’s been said that “insanity” is the act of doing something over and over again, expecting a different outcome each time. That being said, I suppose I (and others here) are insane to a degree and just failed to acknowledge it. In fact; every day I wake in this God forsaken place I expect to experience something different from the redundant existence that I clairvoyantly know so well. I can tell you what’s for breakfast (rubbery pancakes that for whatever the reason gives me a headache. So I haven’t eaten them in seven years). Lunch will be some type of noodles with artificial pork or beef meat, and last meal will be one of the many ‘mystery meals’ this prison serves as a cost effective solution to meet TDCJ budget cuts, i.e pea-pot pie (which is only green peas and cornbread) or one of the many watery stews that smells like something out of Nickelodeon’s Barf’s burgers joint (yeah I had to take you all back to the old school …(lol) Granted prison food isn’t supposed to be gourmet meals. I’m not saying this but it is always an issue when death row inmates are fed differently and lesser than any other inmates on the same prison.
After seeing the bullshit being served, you best believe that I will get mad, look into my locker box for some commissary to snack on, then entertain the repetitious anger talk with other inmates over the run who is displeased with the slop we were served, and not once will any of us stop to realize that we had the same anger talk yesterday at the same time about the same bullshit food. The same talk we shared for the past months and even years.
Mail Call will come every night around nine. The officers will ask our name and TDCJ number for identification and make asinine comments like “I wish someone would write me. You guys (DR) have it good. Three meals a day, fan mail and you all never have to work”
Then I’ll fire back saying, “Wanta trade places? Cause trust me, I’ll take your problems over mine any fuckin day. “Then they’ll pause briefly with a calculated quizzical look on their faces. They’re trying to find a way to justify their dogmatic statement without warring the imaginary seen Dunce hat. But they can’t, and they all quickly recant their previous trade off statement for a more realistic and honest take. “Every time I see how you guys live, I thank god I am free”
I’ve been doing this Texas isolation death row shit since 1999 and its beyond old. It’s the same shit within the same day around here. As King Soloman once quoted “Nothing is new under the sun”
“Someone pass me one of them fuckin electronic cigarettes***
Excuse me. I’m back. Every now and then I get caught up in one of my Rick James moments; drifting off while I drive (lol)
It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post, Not that any of you would care or even noticed, It’s not that I was wining rave reviews or awards for my dishabille banter, but there is one short ass lady from England (whom I’ll leave anonymous, who actually sent me a letter/jpay every damn day, encouraging me to write, to get out of the funk that I was funking up, she’ll use words like, Bloke, Fag, poppy, shite , bacon and peanut butter sandwiches- words that mean totally the opposite from our American understands and words I have no clue as to what she saying. I hadn’t wrote her in months, and she writes daily, How pathetic is that on my part, Not that I don’t appreciate it cause I do, but I know Free world folks has no real clue as to what it takes to function within the depths of environmental insanity. REAL TALK There are days I actually pray not to wake up in the morning. But I know I am not ‘done’ on this planet yet. I know if nobody else gives a damn about me, I know my kids do and they need me. So I wake up with one eye open first, say a prayer to get that damn demon off me, Get up and brush my mouth and come to the door to cuss out an inmate or officer matters not ho. Then I will bless them afterwards lol.
If you were to add the legal woes to my daily anger (having spent six figures of my pen-pals money on some lawyers). You’ll understand it’s the creation of a nuclear emotional tsunami of confusion and lackadaisical wants that desires to do nothing except sit on this iron bunk (which I am currently doing) and reminisce on what I perceived as past ‘good’ times, fond memories that ill be honest and admit that I still lust for ( I won’t lie, I was a mutha fucker out there in that world) Memories that are precious to me In a confusing way. On one hand I liked the flamboyant lifestyle I had. On the other hand such flamboyancy leads to dead ends. And dead ends currently created the same shit same day reality that I am stuck in, at this present moment.
See in truth nothing every changes for me and in hindsight for you too. Got a letter tonight from one of my daughters mothers and she writes me once a year at the same time around the holidays telling me the same ole lines, “Hey we miss you, remember when we did this, that and that and this…. Wish you were here”
See words are recycled redundancy, If you mean what you are saying, then be more than words, otherwise its just insane talk, talk that I don’t value no longer, its old to me, it’s the same shit same day to me.
And let me tell all you little boys out there something that is chasing after my daughters, I WILL BE FREE SOON, Then again I’ve said that before too. It’s the SAME SHIT! SAME DAY!
Written by: Charles Chucky Mamou/ Nov 2013
JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON?
Optimism was all up in here (America) with then –Senator Barack H Obama’s historical November 4th 2008 Presidental election victory. You all do recall the ‘timeless’ photographs of a weeping ninety something year old woman who cried out, “I can now die in peace for Dr King’s Dream has finally come true”. Black and White Americans hugged tightly with one another as thou they were auditioning for a remake of Spike Lee’s movie “Jungle Fever” Folks black folks talked about repartitions, rap concerts on the front lawn of Pennsylvania Avenue even changing the Presidential estates’ color to a dark brown: The Brown House.
Of course America’s infrastructure power comes from the minute minority of political minds that banks on the naiveté of the politically uneducated voters out there who knows nothing of politics thou somehow manage to deceive themselves into thinking that they know everything there is to know. People who vote cause its their civic duty or Right, or because they favour one color (Red) over the other color (Blue and vice versa. Some vote on the pocket that holds their lucky rabbit foot or whatever limited deceptive analogies they conjure up to appease their blind naivete. But all those who are keen on the nature of Politics ‘knew’ nothing had really changed except the name of the chief and the color of his skin. Thou, ask any O’Mallory (Irish folks) and they’ll tell you “Ahi. Obama ezz one of us”.
Be it as it may, there was a spike in open miscegenation’s and interracial marriages; or for you Gay folk; unions and partnerships before some states allowed same sex marriages. White folks felt liberated in their usage of the N-word and freely said it openly; in the same free way Muslims are quick to offer bean pies in fellowship. Blame it on the Hip Hop culture and all of their dogma. Many pointed to change in race relationships because white guys that had a good looking black chick by his side was instantly certified ‘Hood’, the way many of you see Robin Thicke. White women grew asses to fine that Black magazine publications paid top dolla to have them pose for them. I for one am not mad at them. Everything seemed to finally come racially together, right? The New Normal became a post racial America.
Then came that dreadful day in Florida’s 2012. On a cool night were somehow a walk to the store, plus skittles, plus a Gatoraide, somehow equalled a 17 teen year old kid being murdered. By 2013 the killer,. George Zimmerman, was aquitted. Trayvon Martin remained dead and that recorded cell phone scream would become a infamous battle cry for a renewed racism in America. Or as the Political minded people would say “Nothing was renewed; for nothing had ever changed”.
As sad as Trayvon’s murder was, I’d like to bring your attention to a little fourteen year old boy names Emmett Till, he was murdered by a few ‘George Zimmermans’ simply because he whistled at a white woman (before interent lusting of the Cocos of the world was exceptable) My historical flamboyant knowledge could name a hundred little boys and girls that was murdered unjustly in the 1960’s alone by cold heated Caucasians. In every case the murderers was aquitted or was never arrested.
Perhaps many of you would criticize my contrite nostalgia as outdated news. Thou I would argue one should never forget the past in order to prevent the same mistakes in the future. Having said that, I could name thirty people who was murdered in this current century by Law enforcement or uncivil stand your ground citizens. Maybe more since Houston, Texas has had 4 cases already in 2013 alone. One such murder that really tugs at my heart happened in Detroit. A little girl Alyana Jones only 7 years old then, was sleeping peacefully on the sofa of her home when police burst through her front door startling her awake. Police stormed in with infrared assault rifles. One officer aimed it at her, then fired several times. Instantly killing this innocent child that was made into a angel. Of course the officer will say he was scared for his life. Scared of a 7 year old child that held onto a doll for protection from Monsters. Some children die with skittles in their hands, others die holding dolls, Justice?
I’m reminded of Oscar Grant who was gunned down because the officer said he ‘thought’ he was using his taser, not his high powered gun. In Grand Coteau, La, I recall a guy I personally knew by the name of Chhse, who was murdered by a dozen or so police officers that all circled around him. My point is, we all have a story or few of knowing a unarmed someone(s) who was murdered by the poice, or some overzealous citizen that support the Tea Party and thinks what Sarah Palin says is law. People are being murdered because they ‘look’ dangerous cause they wore a hoodie or wore their pants down off their butts, or because their skin bore the wrong color.
Many professional athletes and celebrities of all races came out against the equital of Zimmerman. Many regular folks wore “I AM TRAYVON” T-shirts and took to the streets by the thousands all over America’s cities peacefully protesting what is clearly a mockery of America’s judicial laws and continuance of arrogant injustice. So much so , the President of the United States spoke publicly saying” if I had a son he’d look like Trayvon “ “Then President Obama went a step further saying “Growning up, that (Trayvon incident) could have been me “(of course, had it been a re election year for the President I doubt he would have spoke out in a nexus relative of he and Trayvon…..Politics)
However; when the President said “The American Justice system is a flawed system but its still the Greatest system in the world” I was left deflated and mentally bruised. Are you fuckin serious???
America’s Judicial system may not be the worst but it sure like Hell isn’t the best, not even in the world’s top 5 of all nations. If anything the American system has always been at its best when messing over the innocent, the wrongly accused, people of color and all races that live along the poverty lines. The Constitution does not universally offer rehabilitation, but it does support slave labor for inmates. Check the books and see for yourself. A Perfect system that supports slavery of any kind is no system at all.
It may be the ‘best’ system for the rich who can pay for justice as they see it, but it’s the poor and people of color who always suffer injustice. And why is that? In this country? Is it the lack of wealth or political capital? Or something as simple as being poor and liking skittles?
The philosopher Thrasymachus said it best “I proclaim that might is right, and justice is the interest of the stronger… The different forms of government make laws, democratic, aristocratic or autocratic, with a view to their respective interests; and these laws, so made by them to serve their interests, they deliver to their subjects as ‘justice’ and punish as ‘unjust’ anyone who transgresses them. And by his own words. If Thrasymachus were alive today he would condemn ‘anyone’ who would say that America’s judicial system is the best in the world. This same ‘Best system’ failed Trayvon, failed Aiyanna,. Failed Oscar, failed the thousands upon thousands who were murdered unjustly by those that society’s elite deems unjust and the estimate millions plus that sits in a prison cell beyond reasonable ‘punishment’ just to appease Corporate investors, who has invested billions into privatized prisons. They have to keep the prison population full at all cost, Is this Justice?
What our President should have said is what Oklahoma city Thunder center, Kendrick Perkins said, “America justice system is a joke”.
Plain and simple.
You have men and women who sit on Death row awaiting execution that had never killed anyone before but because they were convicted under temerarious laws such as Law of Parties, the government admits these inmates never killed anyone but because they knew or know the actual killer some how they deserve the same punishment the actual killer get (under the law,. Many times the killers get a life sentence and the co defendants get the death sentence) Or you can go to prison on False testimony influenced by crime stopper’s reward money aimed at the poor so you say what they want you to say and you get a few thousand bucks. Nothing worst than a snitch than a lying snitch influenced on greed. SHOUT OUT TO MY LYING SNITCH, TATA.
Justice for Trayvon, isn’t obtainable. For historically, justice has never came free of charge in this country. You can buy what they media and your supporters may declare is justice in ‘favorable outcome’ but if you cant afford the price of this faux Justice you will experience the torture emotional and physical that is inflicted upon those that can not defend themselves properly against a barbaric and insane American Justice system.
May all the Past,Present and sadly to acknowledge –future Trayvon Martins of this ountry find Justice in this unjust American society. Somehow. Until then, as it was said “May ever man be for himself and God be for us all”
Justice for Trayvon N#c%*s PLEASE DON’T KILL MY HIGH!!!
Written by Charles Mamou July/august 2013
Charles Chucky Mamou 999333
Polunsky Unit. d/row
3872 FM 350 South,
“SO YOU THINK’ RE A CHRISTIAN”?
It always raises a laugh out of me when folks say “You need Jesus in your life” after they find out I’m on Texas Death Row. Now I wont even deny my beliefs within the great man, Jesus, but for all Christians- Don’t we all need Jesus in our lives? No matter ones current situation?
I recently received a letter from an old friend that I had not heard from since 1998. She’s a religious woman’ now (lord knows she was a freak back in the days and I thank god I knew her way back when) ..a Christian. She’s happily married and the mother of a teenage son. She said she had no idea I was on Death Row and thought I had simply received a few years in prison and was about to get released. Until she saw me on Facebook, she wanted to know what could she do to help me get free and or help to comfort me somehow.
God Bless that Christian woman.
You know if I had a nickel.. ok, maybe a hundred dollars for every time someone comes to me and says they are a Christian and will pray for me because I’m on Death Row; id be rich, prayers is cool but prayers without substance is dead:
Matthew Chapt.25 vs 35-36
“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty,
And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger
And you invited me in. I needed clothes, and you took care of me.
I was in prison, and you came to visit me”
When I ponder the meaning and value of what Jesus was trying to install into his followers’ minds, I don’t see many images of American Christian faces. I see the faces of foreigners, who are Agnostics and Atheists. People from other countries who don’t even believe in any existence of any god, Philanthropists who rather use science to explain complexities of this worlds supernatural phenomenons, than to submit to an overall idea… a belief in the existence of the almighty Jahveh.
I suppose my decade-plus of incarceration has made me somewhat of a xenophile, too which I warmly embrace. I am a appreciative human being towards their kindness. Humanity has a mega purpose within my life; within the way I now think and within the way I perceive people. Many of you have heard multiple preachers say “Give me my flowers while I am alive to enjoy them, not when I am dead and gone.” I feel the same way, in that if you all care about me, then figuratively send my flowers now (be apart of my life) otherwise keep them. So to all you ‘christians’ out there I am puzzled as to what it means to you to be a Christian.?
I’ve read the bible at a minimum ten times, front to back. Studied multiple facts of religion, e.g. Islam. Hinduism, different faiths of Christianity. Even took Theology course at Dallas Baptist college and was ranked first in my class, until I lost interest. So I have a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about without being verbally ignorant nor judgemental, when I tell you that those (foreigners ) that display characteristics of being a Christian based on what the bible says an is, don’t even believe in anything the bible says nor its origin, and yet these strangers fed me when I was hungry, quench my thirst when I was thirsty, clothed me when I was nude, visited me in prison when I was lonely and invited me into their lives/homes as if I was a blood relative. They believe in my innocence because they believe in me. They believe in my freedom because they believe in the laws of humanity as a whole. To pick up a fallen brother/sister when they have fallen and seeks to rise up again. They are builders of life not destroyers.
I have a male friend from Germany who speaks No English, has never visited me and he only writes once a year (its difficult to express himself in English) but he has been paying my legal fees for years now. Something he volunteered to do on his own. All he ever writes is “Focus on success and you will be free” And believe it or not I believe his every word.
I have friends from England, Canada, Norway, Australia, Asia who don’t have much but they write me weekly just to make sure my spirits are lifted by their kindness of thought. I am a stranger and they treat me like a family member.
In 2011 I wrote several formal letters to a few Mega churches, whose leaders carry world renown names. Preachers from Houston, Dallas, New York, La and a few other locations. All I asked was that they reach out to some of these condemn men and women here on Texas death row,”prayers is cool and well needed but an encouraging letter would be great for moral” NO ONE HEARD ANYTHING.
Not that I am mad about the wasted money I spent mailing them letters, cause I’m not. But you’d think the teachings of Christianity would have driven them to act in some kind of way. I’m mindful of a story in the bible within Luke Chap.10 vs.30-37( I’ll paraphrase)” A man was going to Jericho to buy them new Air Sandals, when some jackers attacked him, taking all his money and leaving him for dead. A priest saw him and figured the dying man musta done something wrong to deserved fate and turned the other way-ignoring aid. A Levite (a homeboy,friend, or brother) came to him, may still be around to do him the say way, so he decided to mind his own business. Then a Samaritan (someone who don’t own this dying man anything, nor related in any way) came along and out of compassion for any fellow man; against all odds and danger went to help the dying man.
I’m mindful that this story was told with the example of showing the readers that the priest and the Levite as considered to be Christians. The Samaritan was not.
Trust me I can understand how many of you don’t want to have anything to do with a person that is on Death Row. The stereotypes would make anyone to take a pause. Being on Death Row is more about the Politics involved than the crime. But whatever you take or don’t take from this message, understand the meaning cause its not about me, solely. Many of you have family in prison and has never sent them a card, nor paid them a visit. I employ you to pick that pen up at this point and write them. Being in prison isn’t a disease, it just mean for some of us we made a mistake against society and others actually did nothing wrong to be incarcerated.
SHOUT OUT to Suedee, Pop, Kendal, T-June, and Stewart Brooks who is about to regain his Freedom. Make me proud.
Personally, I don’t care what’s your faith, as I’ve stated that many of my now friends and international family do not even pledge allegiance to any branch of religion, I love them dearly and would stand before God to vouch for them. However to all those who think they are Christians, if you gonna throw God in the faces of the incarcerated or the wordly uneducated, or wear Jesus on your Sleeves, THEN BE ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS and not pretentious sanctimony.
Written By Charles Chucky Mamou
OH HOW THINGS HAS CHANGED!
My first experience of life on Texas Death Row came on November 17th 1999. Like many others before me and after me who were uneducated about the ‘process’ of being a Texas Death Row inmate, I thought that my arrival here (then Ellis Unit) meant I would be executed/murdered on the spot. Naïveté has its own psychosis too. My emotions were a mix bag of Anger, fear, loneliness and complete confusion, not knowing should I begin to fight my captures (T.D.C.J’s officers) at that point and begin screaming defiant profanity laced obscenities such as “before I go, I’m taking ten of you dick suckin muther fuckers with me”! Thankfully, it never reached that point. Instead I was taken out of the van shackled as if I was just sold and brought straight from the 1620 May flower slave ship. I recall the feeling of having the invigorative sun rays beam across my sullen face. A missed feeling that hadn’t been experienced in seven months at that point. I recall entering from the back of the prison where general population inmates were showering, lined up so close to one another in the nude that it was penis on ass cheeks that juxtapose one inmate to another. My first thought from that sight was “I wont be showing no time soon. Not like that.”
When I entered the Hall leading to Death Row’s housing I recall getting light headed, an eerie dizzy feeling. On the floor was a food tray with a piece of chicken, a whole leg-quarter, sitting on top of it and at this point I had not eaten in a full day, so you damn right I wanted that piece of chicken. Once the door opened, my perspective on what I was facing opened to possibilities also. I heard laughter and hope within the voices of the condemn men. Many announced my arrival, “New guy on the Row!” soon after about one hundred dollars worth of snacks, food, hygiene, and writing supplies was generously gathered and given to me as a welcome care package. No words could ever express how affable the vibe was ‘back then’. When I was allowed to go to group recreation, some guys played basketball, others played hand ball or chess or dominos or cards. Some gathered in groups and held bible/religious studies based on their faith. There was singing and honest tears of remorse and conviction that was liken to a Holy Ghost revival. It was so powerful to me that those guys were the reason I picked up my bible and spiritually found myself, cause I wanted to feel the way they felt- spiritually.
Then in May 2000 came and all that changed. I say changed because Ellis Unit did not exist anymore for Death Row inmates, as all 427 D.R men were all transferred to the now names Allan B. Polunsky Unit. Where we were housed alone twenty four hours a day in solitary confinement. Gone was the group recreation and the television and all group activities. I recall one guy saying “It’s like being buried alive”
Correspondence became more in demand than ever. In fact; you may say that writing became the DNA to our sane existence. Some guys became friends to some big names like, Danny Glover, Bishop Tutu, Jesse Jackson, Sister Helen Prejean, Mick Jagger’s ex wife and a slew of celebrities wrote and visited guys on Texas death row. Many others who were not celebrities but had equal impact on many inmates lives, wrote often. I recall that ever week I had at least five new friends wanting to write and there was no pay web sites available. Back then I was ignorant and lazy and did not respond to any of their requests. Big mistake, I now know.
One day this older inmate from Dallas stared screaming, “Within five years this place (Tx. D.R) will be a house of madness”. A few days later he died in his sleep. In fact that year of 2000 many guys just dropped dead in their cells. Now I would dispute that after five years I didn’t see the exreme doom and gloom as the guy predicted. However I wasn’t looking to see it either. I was in denial, though such madness was ever present.
2000 also made news in Tx for breaking the record of most executions (40) in a single year. But for me it was June 2000 that made me realize exactly what the ‘struggle’ was all about. I caught my first summer cold in June of 200, My first nephew was born on the 16th of June, my cousin, Nina went to the Army on the 27th of June, but it was June 22nd 2000 that I’ll remember the most. The day of Gary Graham aka Shaka Sankofa’s execution/murder date. I didn’t know much about him, only that he said he was innocent (even his trial judge petitioned to spare his life over his doubts of his guilt). He was well respected and perhaps the most celebritized Texas Death Row ever. Very bright and articulate, and very much a self preservationist. The week leading up to his final day on earth, he physically fought any officer that he was near. The way he saw it, “If you were wearing the blue and grey uniform then you meant him harm, and he made it memorable for all those that was on his opposite side.
Hundreds protested for days outside this prison, across the street with signs showing support for Shaka Sankofa, Media vans with huge snazzy satellites posted on top, came to sensationalize what many thought to be a modern day lynching. Three dozen or so death row officers that month quit, wanting no part of judicial executions.
Thousands crowded the small street in front of the infamous slaughter house in Huntsville, Texas at the Walls unit where Death row inmates are hauled off to lay on a gurney and be injected with liquid poison to end life. The Klu Klux Klan was there, along with members from the New Black Panther Party. About a hundred of heavily armed state police, local police, prison officers and military personnel was also present to ‘keep the Peace (did you catch the ‘satire).
At some point hundreds of Sankofa’s supporters attempted to cross the barrier. I saw a photo in the newspaper of a fallen lady, trying desperately to cross over. That photo shot softened my ignorance towards the plight of these people who came to save a ‘Life’ a innocent life, because they simply believed in the ‘struggle’.
Unbeknown to everyone was that Sankofa was enduring his final struggle inside the execution chamber, He fought to the very end. Because he was willing to endure the same beating all of his supporters outside was enduring.
Days later jet magazine had a funeral photo of a quiescent Sankofa laying regally in a gold plated coffin, captured in their ‘Best photo’ preview. Thousands came to pay their respects to a man who was murdered by a Injustified system.
Back on the Row guys would protest every execution day. Some would fast, some would create a riot, leading to physical confrontation with officers, and some gave a moment of silence. No matter who did what or how the fact remained that our Death row society was united as one body of altrusistic solitude. Everyone was keen on who had dates pending, and offered some type of help or aid that each was able to offer. That’s how things were …Then”
Fastforward to ‘Now’, thirteen years later and the halls of death row is quiet, unlively even. Haggard faces now wear ‘D.R’ labelled jumpsuits, Nearly three hundred men and women has been executed/murdered since my arrival. Good men, like the extremely funny Kevin Kincy, the kind hearted Derrick Frazier, the knowledgeable Roy Pippen, the coolest guy ever, Donnie Miller, the gentle Bob cook, my kinfolk Milton Mathis, Big Jack and lil jack and on and on and on. The shit never seems to stop.
2013 has already began at a fast pace of judicial carnate, taking the lives of Carl Blue, Ricky Lewis, Ronnie Threadgill and a few others, Men I’ve been knowing all of my incarcerated years. Men who encouraged me to keep fighting for my freedom. Men who clothed me when I was nude. Fed me when I was famished. And listened to me when everyone in the freeword played deaf to my existence, gone is the freeworld support that we once had and to some degree we took for granted. No more celebrity pen pals. No more eater penpals in numbers that once filled every inmates mail call box. Gone is the unity that once solidified death row inmates as spiritually formable. Gone is Hope that baptized us with the endurance we needed to move forward daily. Gone is the altruism; only a faint residue remains. Gone are so many redemptive souls that could have made a positive change within society given another chance.
Perhaps that guy from Dallas who predicted madness was right. Perhaps the isolation has molested every ounce of inspiration from each of us. Perhaps a symbolic Dorthy of Oz can come into my life and teach me how to get Free. Perhaps my sadness evolves from the nostalgic memory of How things has changed.
Charles Chucky Mamou 2013
Is your friend a ass???
I told my neighbor I was about to write a Religious blog called “is your friend a Ass? And he burst into laughter. Apparently saying Religion and Ass as a simile doesn’t compute spiritual enlightment: But in this case it does. Granted ‘ass’ can mean many things within different arenas of explanation. Within this current blog/article the word ass is meant to describe a Equus Asinus. Which simply mean a ‘donkey’ for all you benighted folk (smile)
Yes I am writing about a long eared, slow, patient, sure footed domesticated mammal that was used as transportation before cars and trucks came speeding along. To be direct, I’m talking about the donkey, mule, or whichever you want to call it; that’s found in the bible of Numbers chapter 22 verses 21 – 41. This donkey had a owner by the name of Balaam, who used a form of astrology to present as magic. Moab’s king had hired Balaam to put a curse on the people of Israel-God’s people. Balaam put a saddle on his donkey and then mounted it, ready for their journey. Somewhere down the way the ‘sure footed’ donkey veered off the road’s course into a field. Balaam’s foot was crushed by his now scared donkey that accidentally backed into his masters. A pain stricken Balaam began hopping on one foot cursing like a drunk sailor and then struck his ass, hitting it with his walking stick, then hit it again and again.
Verse 28: Balaam answered the donkey. He said “You have made me look foolish I wish I had a sword in my hand, If I did I’d kill you right now”
Verse 30: The donkey said to Balaam “I’m your own donkey. I’m the one you have always ridden. Haven’t you been riding me to this very day? Have I ever made you look foolish before?”
“No, Balaam conceded.
The story goes on to say that God opened Balaam’s (spiritual) eyes and he saw the Angel of Death holding a sword ready to kill Balaam had he sated the course and crossed the Angel’s path. Balaam now in tears realized that his trusted donkey ‘saved his life’ The ass saved his master by protecting his life.
Which brought me to a recent visit I had with one of my friends and long time supporter, that I’ve known for 10 years now. I love her platonically and except her as apart of my family. We are realist and structure our friendship free of prevarication. So moments into our conversation I noticed she had lipstick on her teeth and it became a distraction to me because I knew she did not know, So I told her and she immediately rose up in a panic and went to the bathroom to clean it off. When she returned she smiled at me in a thankful manner , then said “you are such a ass”.
My mind returned to Balaam and his donkey and confidently I agreed with her assessment that I am a ass. I refuse to have my family look stupid in public. Just like I refuse to stroke another’s ego with lies just so they feel good about themselves. I know my REALness is like a shot of warm evervlear whiskey raging down your sensitive throats. Too hard to swallow but I didn’t become a so callously truthful while in prison I was the same as a free man. The only difference was I was free and folks respected my input. Now that I am not free, folks discard my realness like a used McDonalds wrapper after the hamburger is gone.
I have family members on both sides of the fence who refuse to write to me, visit me, or even acknowledge my existence. Why? Because I do not lie for them and make them to appear to be the saints that they are not. They have not done anything for me all these years and never even offered a wooden nickel, My well off family members want me to ‘beg’ them for aid. Not in this life time.
I’ve had childhood friends who literally laughed and mocked my exile fro civilization. Dudes who were only relevant because I made them relevant. Dudes whose lives I saved from death more than once. Dudes who slept in my beds and vice versa. Dudes that I grew up with all my life. These aren’t people I knew or met on the internet, chat line, or some pen pal website. These are dudes that I once admitted as ‘Brothers Keepers:
I tell my homies who I grew up hustling with under the unemployment tree,,, Homies that go wayyyyy back to the days of Ice Cube, Big Charlotte, Myra and all the rest we use to trick with. I’m talking about homies that I drunk Jungle Juices with, while eating boudin and hot beer on the railroad tracks. Back in the days when we went in clubs like Lexus, Plt Stop, M&M, Carriers 88 and owned every club we put our foots in. I’m talking about “Those Homies”. I tell them “Man if you haven’t got rich by now in all these years I’ve been gone, then you hustling to get hustled. Get a job. Live right. “and they tell me that I’m tripping. That somehow I’m not real no more. That prison life has made me talk crazy, and what they fail to realize is I’m living … whether ‘existing’, under the worst conditions in all of America’s prisons. I tell my homies these things out of love. Not hate. I tell them these things cause I don’t want them to go through the hardships that I am going through. I may make it look easy, but trust me its not. I’m a mirror to their short comings and because I tell them the truth. I’m an Ass.
I am on Death Row to the false testimony my first cousin, Tata, testified to and he wasn’t even there. A man I clothed in the latest name brand styles. A man who I loved once more than a brother. He drove my cars, lived at all my homes. Had sex with some of my ‘side –pieces’ and other women that I had arranged for him to be with. We partied every night like Rock stars before any of them current celebrities started talking about buying up the bars or making it rain. I was doing that for us back in the mid 90’s and he never had a penny to his name. I remember Tata telling me once, “kinfolk I’m living like a king just being around you”
So imagine the heartbreak I felt seeing him on the witness stand for the State of Texas helping them rob me of my freedom and vampireously seek to end my life. For years I hated what he did never hating him, and during those years I was so miserable I teetered with insanity on a daily basis. Until one day I rationally stopped crying over spilled milk that had dried up and evaporated before my eyes. My life has never been defined by ‘a moment’ within my life. I’m greater than the sum of haters.
So I forgave myself centred aunts and unles. My family, my childhood friends, Tata, my homes and most importantly I FORGAVE MYSELF, for my own ignorance that allowed me to become vulnerable by my own carnal actions. Being the Realist that I am, I know that I am just as much to blame as any. And because I freely chose to forgive cements the reality that I’ll never ever forget!
So is your friend(s) today a ass? True friends won’t give you alcohol to drink, and hand you car keys for you to drive. True friends wont hand you a gun to settle a dispute that could have easily been talked through. True friends wont ; lie to you just so you could feel good about yourself. And a true friend wont abandon you just because you have fallen from grace.
And if you consider me as a ass for telling you what’s real ….ha…ha…ha Ive been called worse and have lived just fine.
Shout out to all my Asses out there; my siblings. Jimmy Milton, Leann, Nina, Mike D, Anitra, and the Henrys, Knut Erick, Debbie, Geneva, Beast, Bamm. Head, Kendall, my baby moms (y’all still some strepitous heffas but I still have love for y’all … lol and respect greatly how well y’all have raised our children. Sedonia I still love you and I don’t know why. I knew I should have never ate your spaghetti and tomato sauce), Shout out to Kelly Rowland for that “dirty laundry” lawd knows we all got some. A huge shout out to all my German people. Germany has the greatest humanitarians on the planet. Never met one that I didn’t like. They the only ones trying to save my life beyond words and procrastination. Shout out to Sandie, A little British woman with good intentions and a big heart. I’m Praying for you and your health.
Shout out to Lanea I miss you baby gurl, Holla. Shout out to Dennis Dugas and wheres my muther f$&%@ money?. Don’t make me Nino Brown yo ass (smile) Shout out to Tick, Andrew Mallory, Ray Brown, Thunder, Bo top, Christina Mamou, Madear, Tammy Mamou, Big Jolly and all of my R.I.P click
Shout out to my children – stop acting like y’all mothers and write me before y’all make y’all Daddy mad, I don’t care how tall y’all get, my belt is still taller.
And Shout out to the Biggest Ass of them all:ME, cause I love me some me. I love who I am, I’m gonna do whatever it takes to regain my freedom that was stolen from me Believe that:
Charles Chucky Mamou June 2013
Taught me Something
Many of you perhaps have no clue as to who Baby Veronica is. I know I didn’t, until I read the Wednesday April 17th 2013 newspaper, too which this cute photo of a little girl named Veronica caught my attention. Sure, she looks adorable and innocent, but it was the fact that the U.S Supreme court was somehow juxtapose to this baby that heightened my curiosity. I read the article meticulously four times so that there would be no misunderstanding in what was written. I’ll admit, I am a junkie towards all U.S.S.C rulings. I find these justices ‘final’ opinions on cases both dumbfounding and gauchely at times; thou compelling nonetheless, because they all are still human beings in my eyes of Reality, Not fictitious gods like Zeus or Thor. But real flesh and blood. Men and women who all are as unique in ideology, as they are indifferent on social interpretations, to which each individual justice rule as a matter of their hearts and not written law, almost exclusively. Justices (judges) get it wrong too. They make mistakes, just ask Anita Hill if justice Clarence Thomas is ‘perfect’, or mistake-free (lol)
The case surrounding baby Veronica is a ‘adoption case’ surrounded by a 1978 Indian child welfare act; The child’s father is Native Indian. The mother, assumably is not and it’s the mother that gave up this adorable child for adoption. wont pass any judgement on why she did what she felt she had to do. I’m not perfect and have too many faults on my own than to criticise another. What I do know is that the adoptive couple cared for the baby for two years. No doubt they grew to love this child as their own during this bonding duration, Then the biological father of nine found out what his baby momma did, went to argue in Federal court, won a Federal decision and was awarded his parental rights and his child. The the adoptive parents filed a petition and it was back and forth., Until it landed on America’s highest court’s desk., So here we are.
What I found intriguing is that the very conservative Justice Scalia, along with all the female justices favored and seem to side with the biological dad. But Chief Justice Roberts….um…well… he saw things…differently, and he should; after all he is also a ‘adopted’ father of two. So his ‘biasness’ is intellectually genetic. To rule in favor of Baby Veronica’s dad and the thirty five year law would mean his personal beliefs would be called into question with the Mrs, once he returned home. He can’t afford that, can he?
I don’t know who will get final custody of this child and I’d be a liar if I told you I cared, because I’m honest enough with myself to admit that I don’t care about any adoption case. Not one iota, as long as the child is cared for and loved, I see no problem. I do see a problem in how judges or justices rule based on their own personal emotions and views. How can you ever get it right when your Right is considered to be the next person’s wrong? In the Michael Morton case, then prosecuting district attorney Ken Anderson, felt Morton was guilty because,”he liked port, wanted more sex from his wife and often called her demoralizing names, i.e. bitch, slut, fatty, when he couldn’t get his way”
The smoking gun was the fact that Michael Morton admitted his failure as a sensitive husband and partner to his wife. He did not admit to killing his wife. Thou Ken Anderson just like justice Roberts, saw things differently. Twenty five incarcerated years later, the state of Texas paid Morton a million-plus in restitution (though no amount of money could ever compensate for his two decades and a ½ of losses he endued) and Judge Ken Anderson is now facing criminal charges for the manipulative wrongs he did to secure a in justified conviction in the Morton case. Anderson sadly said “There’s a strong possibility that I could go to prison”
Tell Bubba, Turk, or Back door Joe (his future cell mates) Your sad ass story, cause I don’t care and I am sure Michael Morton don’t care either.
In Travis County, Texas; 63 year old district attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg was placed in restraints in a courtroom where she faced DUI charges. Upset that she was treated like the same criminals she sent to prison., she began to act out by spitting, kicking and cursing at the judge and the bailiffs that hauled her ass off. She has that ‘criminal behavior down pat, huh?
Former county judge,. Eric Williams, is charged with Capital murder, along with his wife, in the killings of two district attorneys who had previously tried him for theft. Talk about the law taking matters into their own hands, all pun intended.’
So class what have we learned? America sits ‘criminals’ on the bench to sentence defendants. Judges, justices, Presidents, doctors, CEO.s, preachers and every flesh breathing human; all are not perfect. Humans rule by emotions more times than they rule according to the printed law. So how hypocritical is it for someone to sentence another to death as a matter of jurisprudence?
A vote will be made on Baby Veronica’s caretaking fate, and we know one adoptive father, Chief Justice, who will side with the adoptive parents. Cant say I blame him. He’s only being ‘human’.
Baby Veronica taught me how weak and reckless human emotions makes professionals that we as a society depend upon for leadership. The law that has been established has merit until humans feel that such righteousness of law is best used as they see fit, making the law merit-less.
In retrospect, the Death Penalty has never been about innocence nor guilt. It.’s about the creditability of the Justice and its accuracy. How human judges purposely put the I…N… before the word justice (INJUSTICE), and since it has been clichéd that Justice is ‘Blind’ (just look at the statue of justice that suppose to symbolize truth, fairness and integrity within American courts of law) which a statuesque blindfolded symbol is a depiction of blindness if ever. Perhaps Justice Stephen Breyer said it humanly best “These considerations are why domestic relations pose the hardest problems for judges. Our domestic relations judges, all by themselves every day have these difficult problems. If we could appoint King Solomon, who was the first domestic relations judge, as a special master, we could do it, BUT WE CAN’T DO IT!”
Personally speaking, the biblical King Solomon was a bad choice, because his flaws were biblically recorded. A flawed Justice seeks out a flawed King to make a decisive decision that stand the probability of being ‘flawed’. If our judges and high court justices find domestic cases to be difficult to decide then think just how much difficult it is for criminal cases-many of which has no evidence to help decide? Who’s right? Who’s Wrong?
By Charles Mamou April/may 2013
MOMMA ….. OPEN THIS
Happy Mother’s Day – Beautiful
Which every day should be a day to honor thy mothers, especially when you think about all the things they go through with their bodies and chemical emotions that range from puberty, menstrual cramps, pregnancy with all the stretching and tearing; to getting their hair nicely, to a range of things that us men could never fathom. I thank God daily that I was not born a woman, cause walking around for nine months with another life inside of me and having the guardian responsibility of that life … Just seem like a lot of work (lol)., Of course that’s just me. Its 2013 and there are a lot of gay guys out there that would love to experience the whole womanly ability. I’m not one of them.
The late R&B singer, James Brown once sung “This is a man;s world” and what goes unnoticed a lot is the second verse to his hit song “This is a man’s world, but it would be nothing WITHOUT A MOMAN’S TOUCH!” Women. Mothers, too often go undervalued. Which is sad.
My Mother’s name is Angelice Marie Johnson-Mamou, and she’s the most amazing woman and mother I have ever laid eyes on. Like most urban life stories, we grew up poor. My mother was a single parent and worked two – eight hour work shifts, and a part time job, six days out of a week, She worked that hard to be the sole provider over her household. Not that it was all needed because we could have gotten by with her working one full time job-maybe. But my mother wanted her children to look nice. As she always said, “Just because we are poor, don’t mean we have to look like it” So my siblings and I wore the expensive fila or B.K shoes, the 501 butter fly Levi jeans, and Geubeaux pants. We ate pretty good. Went on summer vacations. We had some spending change in our pockets for snacks and whatnots. All because my mother sacrificed and depended on no one else for help.
My Mother was also figuratively my father. She would put a leather belt to our asses with the quickness when we acted up and had the nerve to explain why she was beating our ass while actually doing it (lol) She would play wrestle with us and even paid to have the boys take up boxing lessons to toughen us up. She mowed her own lawn, fixed whatever had broke around the house. She cooked and cleaned daily before going to work. Thought tired, she still found enough energy to help us with our homework, and placed our neatly ironed clothes out for each child to go to school the next day.
When we were sick she would come up with some home made remedy that always worked, e.g. If you had a chest cold; hog lawd grease and warm honey is what she would give us, and whatever was in us came out. Trust me (lol) If we had a cold or flu., warm whiskey and tea with a dash of lemon juice would reduce the sickness instantly.
Fact is, I don’t have enough paper to write down all of the motherly-qualities that my mother has displayed day in and day out. From the moment I exited her womb.
Then this bullshit (imprisoned on Texas Death row) happened. I can not express how sorry I feel every damn day I wake, knowing the pain and grief my mother also goes through having her oldest baby in prison. I get nauseated just thinking about the reality of it being my fault that her life was changed in a instant also. She is also doing time with me.
Let me tell you why my mother lives up to her name, Angel. When she was on the stand testifying for me a juror sneezed and my mother stopped the court proceedings just to tell that heffa “God bless you” I on the other hand would have told that juror a piece of my mind, like “Kiss my mutha…”
anyway… This isn’t about me.
My mother never asked me, not once, about what happened that lead me into this judicial mess I find myself drowning in. For her she’s just glad I’m alive and I suppose some questions don’t need to be asked when there when there’s no relevance for a response. Sheppard’s know their sheep, and mothers know their children.
When I was homesick and talking ‘crazy’ my mother would literally force my baby mommas and children to come visit me; knowing that seeing them would lift my spirits, Whatever I needed, she still sacrifice to make sure that I get whatever I need. When I enrolled into college to take Political Science classes she scrapped up the money needed for the expensive books I needed. Everyone seems to fade in and out of my life, but the ‘only’ person who has never wavered a inch is my mother. Through thick and thin , she’s always there.
My Mother is beautifully amazing. I’ll admit … ha …ha that I can be quite difficult to deal with (dealing with this death row shit isn’t as easy as I make it appear). There have been, and no doubt will be times when I feel like giving up. Felt that I was better off dead. Then I look upon my gloomy cell’s wall for that small spot of inspiration: A small photo of my mother and me in the world. I have been having this old discolored faded photo since 1998. I’m in a tailor made suit and tie, kissing my mom on the forehead after Chardoina’s christening. That warm smile on her face always lead me out of the shadows of Death, every time I look at it. She’s my sole reason of why I fight so hard to get free, and you can bet your soul I will get free again-soon. My mother says it so, and so shall it be.
I love you Momma with a love that can evoke the fiery lava emotions of a active volcano. With a love that is as virtuous as poetic, that the Irish God, Angus Og, envies you. You are my life, my wealth, my strength, my Queen, and my sui generis mother could have been paired with me and been so perfect for me. I love you greatly.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY BEAUTIFUL.
To all mothers of the world I send each of you a spiritual hug and warm wishes on your Day, that is ‘every day’.
Written by Charles Chucky Mamou April 2013
Through the years I’ve come up with some sayings that I truly believe in, and sayings that has lifted me up and calm me during some of my most chaotic moments living in solitary confinement. I’d like to share some of my sayings that has been stored within my journal all these years, and give you all a sense of how I view certain things of the world. Maybe you will find them insightful, maybe not. Either way they are my proverbial sayings …
Just Pray! Pray even more when your prayers sem not to work. / C.H.M 2001
The best lovers are spiritual lovers./ C.H.M 2001
Sometimes the harest thing in this world is to live in this world./CHM 2002
Boldness is not ignorance, only assurance that we(believers) are one within
the one God we believe in./ CHM 2002
Wisdom that comes from a sincere heart will lead to a solid foundation. CHM 02
Wisdom is the true wealth of all mankind./CHM 2002
Each man must identify and define his own sins and answer his own convictions./CHM 2002
I get weaker as the days get longer and stronger as they day(s) ends./CHM 2002
Life places a heavy load on all humanity, but if you want to live, you have to continue to lift./CHM 2002
It’s our past that gives our future an identity,/C.H.M 2003
I’m A IMPENRISHABLE REALIST./CHM 2003
A enemy will love you secretly. A friend will hate you openly./CHM 2003
When you are aware of who you are it doesn’t matter what others say you are not./CHM 2004
At times the things that we feel is not from the suffering of physical pain but the development of our own submissive imagination./CHM 2004
Beauty is the creation of Self./CHM 2004
I’m a firm believer that you can find beauty in anything and anyone, as long as you can reason that beauty does exist.If you seek you shall find. IF you find it, its because you took time to look at it./CHM 2004
The moment we begin to value absence from a loved one is the moment we ourselves become absent minded./CHM 2004
Patience is a virtue and virtue is a sentiment to one’s patience. Not everyone possess such a will./CHM 2004
I suppose one can say that ‘change’ isn’t as rapid as one would hope and yet it isn’t as hopeless as we tend to believe./CHM 2005
I know the maturing of the mind helps to deal with the immature acts of the past./CHM 2005
Everything that Glitters isn’t Gold, and ever classy eye isn’t caused by good wine./CHM 2005
You don’t have to be intelligent to be wise. Just less ignorant./CHM 2005
The Supreme fuel that drives the human race into decision makings is contradictions. The base in which we do things this way today and eagerly change it tomorrow./CHM 2006
In today’s society we tend to place our trust(faith) in Religions and not in God. When this happens society fades away from the truth only to embrace truth-less realism. When such bifurcations exist, its like drinking from satan’s personal cup./CHM 2006
I want to be the air that you breathe, the breath that you seek, the reason why you yearn to be loved./CHM 2006
What is sanity without the added flavor of insanity? They must co exist together in order to explain and separate one from the other./CHM 2007
Chivalry is’t dead, only the knights who displayed chivalry acts./CHM 2008
Two or more in the face of humanity makes ‘friends’./CHM 2009
I’m so thankful for all God has given me that at times I tend to get forgetful./CHM 2011
You can not be a teacher of mankind, if you do not know every Kind of Man there is./CHM 2011
There is two religions of today’s world -justice and Injustice, One is the truth, The other is masqueraded as true, and so often believed,/CHM 2011
Society is so quick to dress up the injustices in the land while the amazingly snassy nudity of Justice continues to be wrong as to prornography and not cogent art that shames deceitful minds./CHM 2011
Written by Charles ‘chucky’Mamou, the philospher known as CHM
Every now and then I’ll hear something on the news that is so asinine that it makes me speechless, and that says a lot.
Don’t get me wrong, America is filled with intelligent people just as it is filled with dogmatic people too. You have folks who say and do things not to prove themselves correct, rather just to create a pretentious moment that’ll’ give them their fifteen minutes of fame. Just as there are people out there who simply ‘Tell it like it is’.
As a man who literally sits on Texas Death Row I am compelled to read everything I can get my hands on, be it different newspapers/newsletters, figuratively – tons of magazines and books. I also have an admiration for radio news, turning the dial every half hour on the hour scouring for updates on national and international events. I’ll admit I do not do so cause I am infatuated with celebrity or media news, rather I do so to stay informed and aware of all the ever-changing events that dictates ‘moments’ in history.
One such moment occurred the other day on the KPFT radio station. When an Attorney for Andre Thomas, was illustrating a new tactic by the Texas Attorney General that would attempt to go forward with the execution of his client. “The Attorney General is attempting to argue that my client, Mr Thomas is ‘Intellectual Insane; not mentally insane and therefore under Texas Law my client do not meet the criteria that would spare his life”
Intellectual Insane? “Damn!” I thought to myself. “That’s a new one. What’s the difference? I went to my massive volumes of dictionaries, three huge books – each over 2,200 pages of old and new definitions. I’ll admit, I’m not the brightest bulb in the bunch, but the smell of bullshit has only one smell and you’ll know it when you smell it. I’ve known of Andre Thomas, too which we nicknamed him Squirrel on the Row, since 2006. He was my neighbor a few times back then when we were allowed and able to share food and other items with a fellow inmate. I use to playfully, though very immaturely call him the rapper Slick Rick or Captain One-Eye; teasing him about his missing eye. He didn’t seem to mind my insensitive ignorance. So I assumed Squirell was a skinny kid with his right eye missing, pulled out by his own hands. Whenever I asked him why he did it he always retorted back to a biblical scripture, (Matthew 5v.29) “If your right eye causes you to sin, poke it out” to explain his actions. And I always blew his responses off, cause I know many people who misunderstand a biblical scripture and take it literally- not figuratively. Some folks go to the extremes, and he was one of them.
For the most part he was a quiet, thou seemingly hyperactive guy. More kid-like than man-like. Every now and then he’d shout out some nonsense that no one around him could decipher. It didn’t raise any of my alarm senses because more than half of Texas Death Row inmates yell out insanely or say something that is borderline Chinese lingo than elucidate. You just blow it off. Put your radio’s headphones on and mind your business. The nature of the Beast is that we are held within solitary confinement and such a state gets to us all, including moi; and makes us all a lil crazy at times.
In hindsight; there are times when you ‘see’ someone act-out that goes beyond the emotional rubber band of loneliness or remorse. Sometimes you just know that this person has some screws missing in his brain. That day for me came in 2008 when Squirrel came to the day-room to recreate (a cage that is a lil bigger than the cages that keeps each inmate separated where all you can do is walk around in circles for exercise, Or engage in a shouting conversation just so another inmate can hear you clearly) He was pacing around in top speed,. His head was slightly lowered. He was in his own zone. A female correction officer must have noticed the oddity within his behavior and she asked him if he was okay. He went on to tell her he could play the (air) guitar well “Do you want to see?” he asked her.
Not sure as to what she was thinking or wasn’t thinking, She wanted to be amused and she knew a ‘crazy mofo’ would provide entertainment”sure Thomas play the guitar” she encouraged with a snide chuckle. He ran and jumped into the top of the Steele table that sat in the middle of the day room, then burst out a yell and a dance move that sharply resembled the move Michael Jackson, did in his ‘BAD’ video. Then he began to play his air guitar’, which was more yelling and screaming obscenities than a instrumental beat. He screamed some vexatious lyrics about a lost love that left him but still loved him.Then the prison suffered a power outage., The inmates around began beating on their cell doors and the more they did, the more louder Squirrel performed. His body motion revealed that he actually thought he was in a real concert. That the beating on the doors by inmates was actually a livid rock crowd impressed”, with his performance. The female officer playfully took out her flash light and shined it on Squirrel. He must have felt that it was his time to shine, because what he did next was non decorous. He stripped down until he was butt naked, still playing his air guitar while singing. Guys started cussing him out feeling disrespected by his antics. The female officer tried to get his attention, demanding he get dressed but he was neither here nor there any more. He was gone.
A few minutes later power was restored and the lights were back on. Squirrel jumped down from the table. He seemed discombulated. As to why he was nude. He coyishly put his clothes back on then began walking in circles with his head down the say he was before his performance began as nothing had ever happened.
Many psychiatrists (even those with half of a brain is better than a unlicensed T.D.C.J psyche – docs we have here on Polunsky) use studies and even science to determine why people do what they do. For the mentally insane there is no clue just more paper word to be filed and more theories to observe. However most will tell you that there comes a time whenever a mental patient does not get the proper treatment, do ‘Cross the Rubican’ (the point of no return). I can’t help but wonder If that day Squirrel did his best Non Jovi imitation, of that day he regressed for good.
A month later I went to the dungeon because I was a Bad boy. I was moved away from Squirrel who had grown into a state of silence, where he stopped talking and isolated himself that much more, I didn’t know of this at the time but Squirrel began cutting on himself with sharp objects.
Later that year, December of 2008 every inmate (well the ones who are sane enough to comprehend) on Texas Death Row was shocked to find out that Squirrel pulled his remaining left eye out and ate it in front of the officer who just so happened to walk by his cell, devouring his eye as if it was imported shushi. The officer would soon quit and seeked psychiatric help after witnessing an insane act that she’ll never forget..
Back then I did not know anything about Andre Thomas ‘legal case. I didn’t know where he was from. I knew little about him except that he never received any visits and he walked around soul less at times. He didn’t have much anything. So imagine my disbelief when I later found out that he killed his ex wife, two children and attempted to kill himself. My disbelief should come to no surprise as the biggest misconception there is is that all Death Row inmates get along and like each other, we dont. We are a society like all others and we are a society that engages in racial segregation, classism and prejudical division. Meaning Baby killers are treated more harsher than any other. However, there is room for logical, even psychological evaluation of all tragic acts. This is where I have grown. I try to see things from both sides before forming a opinion. As tragic and heart wrenching as the details of Squirrels case, I did learn more about who he was, where he was from and how in the hell his beautiful ex wife and angelic innocent children meet the level of brutality that no one should ever fall victim to. My research lead me to a small town in Texas called Sherman. When he was taught and raised by his mother and grandmother; both were medically diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenics.
By the time he was ten he began hearing voices in his head. When he asked his mother about those voices he was told he needed to be beaten to release the demons inside of him. Other times his mother encouraged him to talk back to those voices. Now just think about that previous scenario for a second…
A child is told to entertain voices in his head, as if they were real live people. A child’s mind is so malleable and fragile that as a young age adults can literally dictate who or what their child will be.
At age 12 he attempted suicide and failed. By thirteen he tried to saw off his arm with a butcher knife. Somehow there goes that biblical scripture again. Matthew chap 5 v 29-30. At the tender age of fourteen he began having sex with his ex wife, Laura Boren Thomas, who was his fourteen year old girfriend at the time. They became parents by the time they were fifteen. They had a baby boy, Andre Jr. Sex is emotionally complicated for adults, so imagine the confusion they had to have gone through. From all accounts Laura, though a child still, was the best thing that ever happened to Squirrel. But not even she could stop the voices in his head that kept encouraging him to do insane things. One such tragic and insane event took place 2003 where Laura, Andre Jr and Leyha was viciously murdered by the man who swore to love them…Squirrel.
Two landmark cases that the United States Supreme court ruled on was Ford v Wainwright when it was decided that states could not execute the mentally insane. In Panetti v Quarterman the same court made it clear what mentally insane means” A defendant must grasp that it is retribution for the crime he/she committed”.
Most recently, Texas Criminal Courts of Appeals judge, Cathy Cochran conceded in her opinion that Andre Thomas is, “Clearly ‘crazy, but ‘sane’ under Texas Law”
Do you all see the manipulative word play? See the letter of the law says you must be mentally insane to be spared execution, but crazy? The thought is “we all (society as a whole) are crazy” So being crazy isn’t judicially excusable.
Chief psychiatrist, Dr Joseph Black, who testified for the prosecution said that Andre Thomas diagnosis was created by alcohol/drug abuse. The only problem to this, if true at all, is that Squirrel was 10 years old when he first began hearing voices, which was way before he habit towards alcohol and a lil weed began, and when he pulled out his left eye and ate it, he was on Death Row for four years or so of sobriety and had no access to any alcohol nor drugs, so how would any bias state psychiatrist explain that? By saying that Andre Thomas is ‘intellectual Insane” Which means, so I came to find out, that he was manipulating his symptoms to created a judicial argument that he is mentally insane, that he is doing this to avoid death by execution. Again some folks just say things to be heard, no matter how stupid they sound.
I have a hard time believing that Squirrel is playing the system just to avoid being executed/murdered. When the reality is, that night he killed his family he stabbed himself in the heart too. The emergency personnel at the hospital saved his life then. In fact that was his second time he came close to fulfilling his suicide attempt, Trust me, Squirrel isn’t manipulating no one to avoid death when he spent his whole life running into death’s path. And I don’t care about a person’s high IQ or level of social or environmental intelligence, cause there are times in ones life when they loose something, be it their sense of humanity, their soul, or their sanity and they can never get it back. Andre Thomas was never lost because he never had a chance to be found, he may just as well be the most mentally ill person of this generation cause anyone who pulls his eye out, eats it with all of its ghastly taste and declares “It taste like chicken” is no doubt a crazy and mentally ill muther fucker! Plain and simple. And it don’t take intelligent person to conclude this.
Should Squirrel be free? NO! Should he be granted his wish to die, that he has been trying to fulfil for years? By Texas law and by the United States Supreme Courts order he should be spared and sent to live the rest of his life in a psychiatric hospital and treated. It’s the same understandings of the law that spared Andre Yates., James Holmes and other mass murderers, that claimed to be medically insane, and none of these other psychos ever ate any part of their body parts.
The reality is Andre Thomas aka Squirrel is the poster child of severe mental illness, and is simply plain crazy, and unintellectual insane.
Written by Charles Chucky Mamou March 2013