By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington and justin adkins
Peace and Blessings!!
On Thursday- October 25th, 2018 dozens of protesters assembled outside of the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and they were demanding safe housing for Transgender Prisoners who’are currently housed at the County Jail. There have been too many violent assaults of trans prisoners who have been thrown into cells with men who seek to degrade them, dehumanize them, and sexually assault or even rape them!! I’m mad— as hell. I spent most of my childhood in the City of Pittsburgh and I’m proud of that.
However, I have a message for the Mayor of Pittsburgh and ALL members of the Pittsburgh City Council: What if you were the parent of a Transgender humyn being? What if they went to jail for something like unpaid traffic tickets or drinking in public or some innocuous offense?? How would you feel if your loved one was thrown into General Population at the Jail and they were beat up badly and sexually assaulted?? Wouldn’t that hurt you?? Aren’t we better than this? remember when I was a Kid in the City of Pittsburgh and we had a Bad Ass Baseball Team–the Pittsburgh Pirates were Incredible and Willie Stargell was Our Super Star!! The Black Female R&B Group Sister Sledge had a smash hit called: WE ARE FAMILY!
Everybody in the City was feelin that Song and we looked out for one another!! Yeah, I’m talking to PITTSBURGHERS Now!! You should listen to me!!! Transgender people are fantastic humyn-beings and we should be sensitive to the fact that a Trans Prisoner can easily be victimized in the wrong setting. I think we can create safe housing for Trans Prisoners which is not Solitary Confinement!! I’m currently housed in one of the most oppressive prison systems in the United States-I’m in Texas! And although the State of Texas leads the nation in the amount of citizens it incarcerates, Texas has begun to comply with Federal Law and has respected the RIGHTS of Trans-Prisoners to be housed in a Healthy and Safe environment. The Prison Rape Elimination Act better known as PREA is not just for Texas Prisoners it also applies to Pennsylvania Prisoners!! The Allegheny County Jail is out of Compliance and out of step with the evolving standards of decency in a MODERN HUMANE SOCIETY!! PROTECT AND RESPECT ALL TRANSGENDER HUMYN BEINGS!! Get your act together Allegheny County Jail!!
WE SHALL NOT REMAIN SILENT–Dare to struggle, Dare to Win, ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!! (ALL the People).