RIGHT TO REDEMPTION’S TENETS
The group of men who would become Right To Redemption (R2R) came together about 5 years ago to concentrate our collective attention, will, energy, and imagination on the issue of life without parole. We pledged to work towards nothing short of the abolishment of the sentence. But we knew that others had committed themselves to the same cause in the past, as well as the present, and have not been successful. We also knew that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, and that “if you always do what you did, then you’ll always get what you got.” So after much discussion we collectively agreed that our approach would have to be different this time. We had to get down to the very seeds from which the way we approach the issue grow. Mindset and language were two of those seeds. The way we thought and spoke about the sentence had to change. The sentence had to be properly identified for what it really is. Something that represents death should not be called “Life.” We knew it wasn’t death by injection, but it was just as fatal. It was death by incarceration. It has become a guiding principle for R2R that language is indispensable, even vital.
Mindset is intricately and almost symbiotically related to language. For however we think and feel will always, no matter how hard we try to disguise it, come out in our language. So we made a commitment to detect and address any sense of entitlement within ourselves. We could not, if we are not actually innocent, think and talk as if we have nothing to apologize and atone for. Many of us have caused a great deal of loss and pain in our communities and we could not continue in good conscience to be dismissive of that.
Reflections on Ghani
Ghani… Kempis Ghani Songster, My Friend, My Comrade, My Brother!!! He’s the second original member of R2R to regain his freedom. Ghani played an integral part in our growth and development as a committee. His wisdom, insight, and compassion is unmatched! The man that you all out there are now getting to know is someone that I’ve admired for more than a decade! I’ve never been one to gave praise to anyone but god, but in a few instances I have, and this is one of them! Over the last 6 years, as we struggled to find ourselves as a group of men serving DBI with multiple thought process’ about what has, needs and will be done. He always found a way to put things in the proper perspective. Whether by simply summarizing all of our thoughts or by pulling a quote out of nowhere from the likes of Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, W.E.B. Dubois or Malcolm X to bring us all to a point of clarity!
Now Ghani is out in the world sharing the same wisdom, insight, and compassion with all of you. And no he has not forgotten us! He’s committed to advocating for his brothers and sisters who are still hanging in the balance. Doing all of this while reconnecting with his Family and starting a new one with his Beautiful Wife Monáy! Who by the way complements my brother in every way! I’m extremely happy for you!
I can go on on about my brother and how important he is and has been to us on the inside. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts and reflect on the wonderful human being who once again walks amongst you and who will undoubtedly be a productive member of society, and his future contribution to not just our communities, but the world will be memorable!!! So to My Friend, My Comrade, My Brother… My Allah continue to Bless You!
By Donnell Saadiq Palmer, R2R Co-Chairman
I AM HAPPY HE IS FREE. HIS FREEDOM REPRESENTS OUR FREEDOM. I MISS HIM AND WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE FAITH IN HIS DIVINE NATURE TO CONTINUE THE journey that HAS been dropped in his lap.He is one person that developed his humanity in a way that most people in prison have not reached.. Each human soul is traveling along the road of higher consciousness. But all men and women know that there is higher knowledge than what we have been programmed to accept. My friend has been blessed to continue the road of life and he is more than qualified to represent our humanity in the best form, without becoming a materialistic slave .The return of the missing women and men cannot be brought for a few moments of lights. Ghani is a man who will keep the torch and the light of our plight alive and on the right course…
I must admit I miss our profound conversations. Always we shared our ideas and I appreciated his brilliance and spiritual advancement. I always urged him not to follow the path of the old school plans in the jail, but be bold and creative and curve new methods, the old ways are not working. I told my friend to go home and cut a new method, ways, and tactics and be courageous and Allah will lead you. He is our voice.
Some human beings stand out, above the crowd in ways that are magnificent. This observation is not a small feature in his growth but a testament that God can touch any of us wherever we are. Men who leave prison and continue the struggle are human beings with a touch of divine spirit that recognize. As a Muslim I believed that Allah blesses us and helps us through other human beings and forces we do not perceive . I miss my friend, nobody can take his place. I still walk pass the cell he was in and I catch myself and remember he is home! May Allah continue to hold him close and bless him and his wife. Happy days for him and his family forever more.
AS SALAAM ALAIKUM
By Charles Karim Diggs, R2R Member