Prison Politics:

In case you don’t know prison politics is a heirarchy of prisoners that is followed. There are cars, that is a metaphor for gangs and there are leaders amid those groups and there are followers. The leaders are known as shot callers. I am sure that if you have ever watched shows like Lockup or gangland you will know these terms loosely and at least understand the premise of what they are.
So I got to thinking about where I am, in Washington state there are politics but they are very loose and based on social status and how well you get along with others. Most of the time. There are different custody levels in prison and the maximum security prisons tend to be the most political. Where a leader makes decisions about there peoples conduct and what to do to them if they don’t obey.
It was created perhaps in the 70’s or maybe even the 60’s or maybe even earlier to protect the weak in prison. The thought process was that if the weaklings band together then no one will take advantage of them individually anymore. So they band together. This is a decision based in fear and weakness. It takes a real man, a real leader to stand alone and in the face of danger or whatever the challenge is.
This got me thinking, prison gangs and politics is nothing new. It’s not like the next guy in line is doing something creative. He is following someone else who created that pathway. However long ago. It’s not like he is impressive or a good leader or a good mentor or someone who can be looked up to. Despite the perception that he is in control, he is confined to an unoriginal attitude and a pathway that was predetermined and predefined. Some leader.
A real leader is someone who stands for what is right for the good of all people. I have people that I have love for. I have people that I can relate to better and more often then not. But when I think about leading and making differences and mentoring others there social status doesn’t come into play, what comes into play is do they need help and is the help they need right? Can I help, if I can’t do I know the right person? These are real leaders. I am ok with being hated for what is right. I am ok with every single person in this place not liking me because I won’t tolerate there political agenda. They aren’t anything but a bunch of followers and that is what ultimately led them into prison in the first place, isn’t it? If they are gang bangers they followed the pathway of the big homie. When they come here, the same attitude is kept.
There are strength in numbers, you can’t dispute that. But is there greater strength in fortitude? Is it better to be respected for unrighteousness that righteousness. When you die are you going to be lying there on your death bed really thinking about the men you led into darkness? Are you really going to be proud of that? The only differene that you made in life is the men that you led into being more destructive and hate-filled and that is your claim to glory, that is your idea of leadership? Sounds like there is no difference between any gang and the KKK. Real good fellas, real good.
I refuse to be defined by that box. I am a man who thinks on his own. I will not allow someone else to dictate how I react to anything. I am a man who thinks on his own and I am not afraid to stand on my own for however long it takes. I just don’t care. When I die I will forever be ashamed of this pathyway that led me here but I refuse to be ashamed of the path that I am on now. I won’t go on a pathway that is shameful, I have a choice and my choice is to be a better man and I will lead whoever I can to that path. Regardless of the consequences. 
Would you believe that DOC fights me on that?

With Love

jeff utnage