I posted this earlier on my Facebook after answering yet another parent’s email claiming to be oh so concerned about their child’s incarceration:
Maybe at first read it seems at odds against a class analysis but I don’t think so. First, it’s an observation about this gesture that is nothing more than that on most occasions. If they really had put this much concern into their child’s needs as individuals that don’t involve them as projections or extensions of themselves, they might have a better clue as to what they were getting up to in the first place outside of all the other entrapments of class society. All too often these parents want to curse at people who are actually truly concerned about their children in ways they can’t even imagine.
This is not to say I don’t communicate with people who are genuinely concerned about how their adult children have been caught up in the system; I do all the time and truthfully I’m just looking to get those concerns off my desk and onto the next person who can affect their position in a way that I can’t. It’s just my job, but I can’t do that effectively without the correct information. Just the facts ma’am. What I can do with those basic facts to create a quick sketch for the next rung creates a ripple effect that can not only affect the individual prisoner but those in similar situations. Such is the law.
Today I was forced to answer three emails from mothers wailing about their children. Conspicuously absent from these emails, like so many I have answered before, was basic identifying information about the adult children these supposedly concerned parents somehow left out. Do you know that if I get a sniff of information about a mistreated prisoner I track them down in minutes to determine their location, their conviction and sentence or the information about what they are being held for? I piece together names I cannot fully understand over the phone and match them with other information that is sometimes broken up in translation to make sure we have an idea about what they are going through. No one will slip through if I can help it, and if I am not present, someone else does. So it’s not as if I’m special; I am not only paid to do so, but I find it the only correct way to treat people forced into such conditions. But I could not do that for three people today based on the information given to me from the alleged only people on earth who care for them.
There were at least two lying whores who recanted and courtrooms full of obviously well-compensated indigent defense attorneys colluding with the state to lock up their beloved adult children they could not fucking name in an email. But they sent the email, they gnashed their teeth in doing so, and with my stock response, they can moan to their church folk and the grocery clerk and whoever will listen about how worthless we are and how much we work with “the system” to keep their children away from their bosoms.
My status was meant to cut deeply as far as how quickly I can see through so-called parents like this. I know the type well, and it’s not them I’m worried about — it’s who they’ve failed. They are the missing link in class struggle and with all the time they waste cursing at people like me, like many others who spend an inordinate amount of time in school for the predictable compensation we can expect, they could put to use to protesting sheriff’s departments and presiding judges and many more offices that are still in fact beholden to the communities they try to rule on behalf of the very rich. They care nothing about all the intricacies of what happens to one once he or she falls prey to the state. They are on the lookout for more easy prey to chew up and spit out. Not today babe, not ever. But give me his or her damn name, how long ago you regretfully squeezed him or her out, and let me do my fucking job. No, I don’t want to see your baby in jail either.