Friday, May 24, 2013

The San-Man Speaks…Why I Continue to Write for MB6

ADMIN NOTE One of our regular writers Bill Van Poyck has had a death warrant signed with a scheduled execution date of 12 June 2013. Many avenues are being worked on and his attorneys are filing briefs for a stay of execution.  We are not giving up hope that Bill's sentence can be commuted to a life sentence where he could be released for time served (26 years), getting him off death row. Please sign the petition on Bill's website HERE and spread the word. Thank You.

Here is a video update on Bill's case.

By Santonio Murff

Family (Everyone of the righteous heart, mind and works is my family),

My name is Santonio.  Family and friends have always called me “San” for short.  San-Man is a nickname I earned by being a knock-out artist.  I am now knocking out ignorance with The San-Man Speaks pieces.  I’ve seen it all and done most of it in and outside of these barbed wire fences.  There is very little that you can miss me with when it comes to this concrete jungle I’ve been residing in for nearly two decades.

In my 39 years here on earth, I’ve done a few things that I regret, but absolutely nothing that I am ashamed of.  So I’m an open book.  You have a question, I’ll answer it truthfully. I’m going to give you the truth as I see it, as I’ve lived it.

If you can’t stomach honesty, then you’ve come to the wrong man.

My fiancé “Tender,” a very beautiful Christian woman, recently went to Minutes Before Six for the first time.  She was shocked and appalled by some of the comments left in response to my writings.  “They totally miss the message,” she said.  “They write as if my sweetie’s a bad person.”

Sometimes, I have to remind her that “her sweetie” once was.  Sometimes I have to remind my readers that I’m not anymore.  One visitor called my PEN-award winning essay, Retired from the Game,“creepy” and “disturbing”.  The dozens in my writing community found that one a head-scratcher.  What is creepy or disturbing about a love story?  If it’s the setting (prison), then I’m sorry Bro, but it happens often.

Banging for a Solution, another PEN winner, was called inane and dismissed as implausible.  Well, I guess my life and thousands of others across this country are inane, because those are our realities.  That was no movie, Bro.  That was my life, my community, my friends who lived it and died for it.

Ice Cream and…stuff certainly don’t mitigate the killing, but it is definitely influential upon young impoverished minds.  Not everyone who makes the adolescent mistake of joining a gang is a killer.  Most are simply trying to survive that environment that you speed through during the daytime and avoid at night. You see, Bro, they live there!

One need only do some research on the “6109” (Rollin’ 60’s and 19 street) or “CMW” (Cedar Grove, Motown, and Wilkaland) truce in Shreveport, the Jordan Down/Watts truce in California, and the Hoova/Tres truce in Fort Worth, to name a few, to see the plausibility of Banging.  All orchestrated by OxGx gang members!  One need only look to the influence of Stanley “Big Tookie” Williams, who after nearly three decades on “The Row,” had the power to start or stop the rioting with his execution.  Educated and elevated, even with his life being erroneously taken from him, he chose to stop the rioting and leave a final message of peace and redemption! 

Banging was about getting to the youth before they’ve been miseducated; before they’ve embraced that negative self-destructive lifestyle; before they’ve taken a life and been sentenced to die at the hands of the State.  In Banging, I gave you the reasons why the gangs thrive and the only solutions that have worked.  If the over one million strong Crips and Bloods across the globe today is any measure, criticizing and condemning them, looking them up, and killing them off have been dismal failures as far as solutions go.

I fail to understand how obviously compassionate people who fight so valiantly to save the lives of the men and women on Death Row don’t seem capable of seeing the potential in these children and fighting as vigilantly for them before they reach such a precarious state of existence.  The baggie clothes, the scowl, and the weapons may fool you.  But, you take all of that away, and what you’ll usually find is a child searching for love and acceptance.

No one is running around joining gangs at 20 – 30 years of age. I know some are beyond disrespectful.  Some commit heinous crimes.  I understand that you are afraid of them.  But, people, these are still children.  And they should not be given up on.

If you can only find it in yourself to see the potential, escape your fears long enough to lend a hand, we can turn the negative into a positive and do a whole bunch of good before it’s too late.

Tender asked me why do I continue to write for MB6?  “Because they care enough to read it,” I told her.  I doubt very many of you have ever been in a gang or prison.  Ya’ll probably don’t know a single certified OxGx (honorably Inactive) to open such a dialogue with.  So, if I must get trashed to keep ya’ll talking, so be it.  Maybe I’ll hit the right cord with just one of you and you will carry the message back to the majority who matter… and they’ll listen and realize that they are not all bad people.  That most, if educated and given half a chance, are really good people.

That is my dream anyway.  And, that is why I continue to write for MB6.

Join the Righteous Movement!

Santonio Murff #00773394

Robertson Unit
12071 FM 3522
Abilene, Texas 79601


Maggie Macaulay said...

Glad that you continue to write for MB6 and that the negative comments and criticism have not discouraged you. Similarly, I'm glad the other writers continue to contribute despite the lack of comments they receive. It must be quite disheartening when there is no feedback whatsoever. So, given the considerable number of readers which MB6 now has, maybe we could all do a bit more to support and encourage the writers via the comments section, before they lose heart altogether and give up, which would be our loss really. I plan to.


Anonymous said...

This is the first post I have read on this blog. Let me say that I am blown away by your style of writing and the depth of your thoughts.

This quote right here really hit home with me:
"If you can only find it in yourself to see the potential, escape your fears long enough to lend a hand, we can turn the negative into a positive and do a whole bunch of good before it’s too late."

That is something that I can live by.

Even though you are in one of the harshest environments a human can be in, and you have been cast away by society. Keep spilling your thoughts on this blog. I am just one post in and my way of thinking has already been affected. I cannot wait to dive in to all of your other posts.

Barbara Grant said...

Hi San-Man,
Just wanted you to know you are a great writer and are truly blessed with supplying the words to help people understand how they can guide children in the right direction before they are driven in the wrong one. Thank you so much!