We talk with Michael Corbin, who teaches writing to prisoners in Baltimore. His article "Learning the Hard Way" is available in this month's Urbanite.
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We talk with Michael Corbin, who teaches writing to prisoners in Baltimore. His article "Learning the Hard Way" is available in this month’s Urbanite.
The Marc Steiner Show currently airs on The Real News Network. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Email us to share your comments with us.
Sent: Friday, November 04, 2011 12:03 PM
Subject: Fw: Congratz to my dear friend Michael Corbin (on his article “On the Outside”- Urbanite nov issue)- keep these articles coming for they draw attention to the prison and ex-offender problems and point out creative solutions, BUT… to sound a dissenting note, and it’s a big BUT. After being IN prison 21 months (in the federal system in 1920-71 for an anti war protest) and after 33 years of social work (like writer Corbin) at the Baltimore City Jail- I have seen the same article, the same statistics (roughly), the same conclusions, funded by the same sources AND with the same critical letters written in response by me since 1970!
The problem is, it is thinking in the same old tired box because until we have socialism and conquer racism in this country- the prison industrial complex will prosper- nothing will change- thus the article is not realistic. The inmate population is not a voting force, although we have some good efforts to register them at the City Jail (opposed by conservatives).
I like the spiritual side and the fact that ex offenders may find in Islam a bit of ventilation for their anger. As to jobs- I could advise ex-offenders on 2 other profitable paths they could take in stead of knocking themselves out trying to find jobs in a right wing country-even though it’s great if they can find one!
1- Consider certain sects in India where it is no shame to beg and live as simple and monkish a life as possible- serving others, 2 become a revolutionary and actually try to change society.
Otherwise, to paraphrase Bobbie Dylan, it ain’t a changin. Heck, these days even white middle class graduates can’t even find jobs.
I know these almost seem like flip and mean suggestions, but, I’m just trying to be real.
Fortunately, our country is so rich, that one can live around the margins better than it is possible to do so in third world countries.
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