Black People : Reginald Blanton Part 2

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ledda, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. Ledda

    Ledda Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Death Salivates, By Reginald Blanton TX DR

    October 27th 2009
    Execution Date
    by Reginald Blanton2pm. 7-16-09.I just woke up. I had slept for exactly 8 hours. I am a night owl. Yet, I was not rejuvenated. I did not feel balanced. I told myself that something was happening in the Universe. In the distant dark galaxy of my being I felt something approaching. I’d had an earlier hunch but dispelled it with my exhale. I grabbed all my senses; all of my energy and brought them inside, concentrating it. Concentrating on soothing the waters of what I thought was a turbulent mind-body. Here I was, doing the same thing today. An hour went by. I was frustrated because my meditation yielded very little. I decided to conclude my meditation with the Tripod Pose, a Hatha Yoga posture where I ease into a headstand, feet in the sky, while focusing on my breathing. This pose is designed to calm your mind-body. I felt it might do the trick. It has always worked in the past.I heard the gate pop. Then there were jangling keys as somebody made their way upstairs to2 row where I was encaged. I brought my attention back, like, “Get back over here!” Like that. Then my sense went back outside. “Blanton! What are you doing? The Major wants to talk to you,” said the Sergeant. I eased out of my posture and into another called Child Pose before getting up and telling the Sergeant I had been meditating and needed some time to brush my teeth. I brought my attention fully back and noticed that I was nervous. I knew what it was. ****! I knew what it was…I gave the Sergeant my jumpsuit, sort of spun while shaking out my boxers to try to keep from having to degrade myself by stripping completely naked and having to turn around and spread my…well, you know. The Sergeant wasn’t tripping today. He told me to just come on. I didn’t like that. He was being a (little) nice. That was not a good sign. Not good at all…****!We get out in the hallway and he asked me if I knew what this was about. But it was the way he said it. He said it like he knew what it was about. ****. I told him I did. I saw the nurse and asked him if he had my morphine shot. Ha, ha, um, ha, *ahem*. That did not make me feel any better. I tried though. I just decided to stay quiet the rest of the way.We get in the Major’s office. I sit down and cross my legs, looking him square in the eye, all sorts of emotions flowing through me: Anger, embarrassment, sadness…”What’s up, Major?” I asked. In a slow and somber tone he told me that I had an execution date and he was going to explain a few things to me and have me moved to Death Watch. He said that he’d just found out himself. All I could see in my mind was my Queen. All I could feel is what she would feel. I thought I was going to be sick. I tried to hide it. I knew what time it was. I knew this was coming. And after the march we just had outside of the courthouse in San Antonio, I knew that the D.A.’s weren’t going to hesitate to immediately set a murder date for me. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. It just wasn’t. Maybe I was naive. Me, the “realist”, naive. The courts were going to see the injustice and refuse to let me be railroaded. Yet they railroaded me. It was like the many stories I’ve read about battered women. She’s getting beat by her husband. She knows that he’s going to keep on beating her. He’s vicious. She knows he’s going to stop. He’s a good man.Everything was suddenly happening so fast. Everything was surreal. Yet I had been preparing for this for 9 years.No! You cannot prepare for something like this. You just can’t. 28 years young. Just the other day that one officer cried when she found out how young I was; how much I remind her of her own kids. I hate too much life where the said only dwelt death. I have too much life pouring out of me to prepare to die. Die? Die for what?! Ya’ll are trying to kill, wrongly, a loving, beautiful man. Not a killer. Not a monster. A man with a family. A beautiful, loving wife. A beautiful, loving step-son. My Mama. My people. My people need me. You are trying to steal me away from the people who need me.The Major tells me about the number of witnesses I can have; talks about a last will. A last will, ya’ll! A “last will”?! What about my will to live?!The Major talks…I drift in and out of even being there at all. He talks about disposition of any trust funds, disposition of personal property. He talks of my last meal; how they won’t get me any lobster or shrimp, or T-bone steak. He was trying to make light of the situation. But there was nothing “light” about it – at all. It was heavy; heavy like my consciousness. “Lobster ?! I don’t give a **** about a last meal! A last meal?! A last meal is the farthest thing from my mind.” But this wasn’t what I wanted to say. I said it, yes. But it wasn’t what was just beyond my ability to put into words. It just would have been wrapped in phrases with the words: Love, Justice, Passion; Sun and Supernova; Consciousness, Soul; Infinity, Eternity.Words like that.Worlds like that.The Major talks about disposition of “Remains”. He kept talking but “Remains” kept echoing in my mind. Remains? Remains? Remains of what?! I guess the Major say my confusion and specified “body”. My thoughts went back to My Queen; my precious wife.Baby…The Major, wo once told me I talk too much, talks. The Major, who I once told, “You would rather me talk to you than to not talk to you at all,” talks about my last commissary spend. He said I can spend $150 two weeks from the execution date. I was outraged! I am not going to put $150 of money I don’t even have into their pocket as something of a going away gift; that’s provided I can manage to stomach any food at all. “I’m not trying to spend $150 two weeks out on my commissary!” I said. The Major told me that he was only letting me know what my options were. Those were my options? My options?! That’s that problem: They are constantly limiting my options. If it’s not going home to my wife’s sacred embrace then it is not an option for me! If it’s not living then it is not an option for me! I am a man and will define my own options, my own destiny, worth more than a hundred and fifty bucks.Finally, the Major talks about the so called last special visits and how they would happen.“Mama was taken off my visitation list”, I said without trying to say it. It just spilled out with some of the anger. They took Mama off my visitation list last year to torture me into telling them who brought the cell phones into this unit – one of which I had used to call Mama every morning before she went to work to tell her I love her. They took my **** Mama off the list because of it, we she did not violate any visitation rules.“are ya’ll going to put Mama back on the list?” I ask. It was more like, this is the least you should do for me in light, yeah “light” of things they were trying to take from me:“Gimme your freedom!”“Gimme your mind!””Gimme your Mama!”“Gimme your LIFE – “ Whoa, whoa, whoa. Now you’re just asking for too **** much.The Major looked at me for a moment, in silence, taking the measure of a man that was containing himself, and Lord knows how. A man whose words were filled to the brim, no – brimming over, with all that I was containing; with ALL, EVERYTHING spilling everywhere from the eyes of my words, those windows.There is just so much in me. Just so, so much…The Major told me that he couldn’t promise anything, but that he would talk to the Warden and see what he says. Just for that brief moment, that brief moment we shared in silence, I could tell he gave in to his humanity. For that brief moment he and I existed beyond the veil. But, just as brief as that moment came, it went. His authoritarian, take-take-take-and-only-give-when-it’s-to-his-advantage programming kicked in. I could see the change. He said, if it were up to him, and he decided to put my Mama’s name on my list, under these exceptional circumstances, and he stressed “exceptional circumstances”, if I were to get a stay of execution, she would be taken back off the list. Sick. Because I saw he was thinking a bit too much, I asked him to set the meeting up with the Warden and allow me to be there with him. The Warden needs to hear the words from my heart, not the Major’s words of suspicion and some obsessive desire to control. Back to my pod and cage. How was I going to tell him? I have known him for 9 years. 9 years! And now I have to tell him this. I sat at the foot of my bunk, leaning against the wall between Obie Weathers and me. The little loose metal bar that plugged the whole went all the way through the wall; I rattled to get his attention. I put my ear to it to hear his response. When he answered I began to tell him about everything that had happened. I managed to tell him that I was given a date for October 27th, as well as what he could do but from that point on my words slowly faded away as I slipped into the depths of an ocean of tears that I struggled to push back. And I drifted…as my mind drifted back to the first moment I met Obie; my first day on the tank after wrongly being thrown into Bexar County jail for this horrible crime in 2001. Then, various experiences he and I had shared over the years, one after another flooded my mind. ..Suddenly I gasped, somehow able to push back the ocean of tears. I backed away from the wall to breathe and gain control. Then my mind went back to where my mouth left off at. I didn’t want to give him tears. They have had too many of my tears already. No! They weren’t going to get anymore! I was going to be strong. But I felt so weak. And Obie felt it. He said it. “It’s all just knocked the air out of me”, I told him. “But I’m focused”, I added as feeble as it may have sounded. “Obie, it’s just so messed up”.“I know. It’s…nightmarish. It’s-it’s…surreal”, he said.“I know I have so many brothers around here watching what happens to me. I have preached to these brothers time and time again over the years to not give up on themselves despite how hopeless the situation seems; to fight for their lives; for their Humanity. And now this. I don’t want this to reinforce their fears. I don’t want them to say, ‘See! Look at what happened to Reg. It doesn’t matter what you do, they still gonna kill you.’”(silence)“I don’t accept this date. I’m not trying to hear it, Obie. They’ve got me messed up! With everything I am, EVERYTHING I AM, I’m going to fight this. EVERYTHING I AM!”After telling him I love him and that I had to get my things packed, I left the wall.The officers came back to the section. Lights came on. The gate popped. They brought the little cart to carry my belongings. And I thought to myself, so much for easing off the section.I didn’t want anybody to know that I was going to death watch. I didn’t even want anybody to know that I was even on death watch at all. The only thing I wanted them to know is that I got my life back. Not that they were about to take it away. It was all completely humiliating and sick all at the same time.My stuff was packed. I backed to the cage door to get handcuffed, took a deep cleansing breath – and stepped into the run. Fighting back that ocean the whole way, I went down the run and woke Tony Medina up. I cringed at having to wake him to this. He came to the door rubbing his eyes. I told him that I was moving to Death Watch and that I’ve got a date for Oct.27th. He looked at me and the only thing he said was, “That’s ****** up”.His neighbor was standing at the door, Juan Reynosa. “You moving, man?”“Yeah, they gave me a date for Oct.27th…”“Ah man, that’s ****** up! Man! ****…keep ya head up”.“A’ight ,man, a’ight,” I said. Tears were beginning to breach the levees. A deep breath. I stepped on.Joseph Lave hollered at me from the other end of the run. “What cell ya going to?”“14 cage”, I reply.“You know, that’s my old cage!”Joseph was just off of Death Watch and, for whatever reason, made it off.“Yeah, I know. And I’m trying to come back just like you did!” I said.“Already!” he laughed. “I’ve been busy but I’ll get with you.”I was in front of Obie’s cage. We looked in each other’s eyes for a moment. I could tell he was taking measure of me. I let him. I wondered if he could see through me. I wondered if I was hiding what I truly felt as much as I thought I was.“You’re ugly.” he said.Though I was thinking you know **** well I’m not ugly, I couldn’t help but smile. “I’ll catch up with you,” I said.“A’ight.”As I was coming down the stairs, I hollered at another prisoner I knew I on the row. And with a smile that smiled through his words, he said, “Holler at me.” I thought to myself, why is he smiling? Would he be the one who sends my wife flowers at my funeral to entice her into responding with a “Thank you,” so that he could respond and try to get her to write again? There are vultures like that around here.“I’ma holler at the whole world!” I returned to him as I walked of the section.Another brother hollers at me from another section – in Swahili. I tell him, “October 27th!”“”Ahhhhh man!” he gave.And shut the door behind me.When I got to Death Watch the whole vibe was different. There are eight people over here right now. I’m not saying that they were happy to see me. But it was like my company comforted them to some vague extent. A faint beam of light that found a thin layer of clouds; as thin as a layer of ice that this beam of sunlight stepped upon and fell through.All of this was mere layers of ice I had to work through. Underneath all this lied the iceburg: How? How can I tell my precious wife that her husband, her baby, that she hasn’t even had the chance to properly and officially marry yet – has an execution date? How can I tell my queen this? I want to just cry in her arms but I cannot even tell her like that. I’m disgusted with the State for even putting me in this situation. How do I tell Mama that they have set the date to kill her baby? (Tears) The weight . God, the weight. I have to tell them. I hate to tell them. My God! I have to.Baby, my precious baby, I love you with my soul. Baby, you know this. (Tears) They set a date for me to die. I despise this day, My Queen. I despise having to tell you this. I despise putting you through this. All I can say is that you are m Queen-Self and I vow to you that I will fight this fight with all that I have. I will not allow them to take me away from my Heaven: You, Queen. My life. My Heaven and my Life. I will have you, My Queen, I will.Reginald Blanton


    http://www.petitiononline.com/reg2009/petition.html
     
  2. phynxofkemet

    phynxofkemet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I am truly saddened

    by your situation, and the obvious dire straits you find yourself in. You are so young, and are obviously a bright individual, who can express himself very well. I visited your myspace page, and my heart goes out to your family.

    I will sign your petition, not because I know that you are innocent, but because I oppose capital punishment. What stands out to me, is that your obvious aptitude in many areas would indicate that you could have been a very productive member of your community, so why did you choose to live a flamboyent life of gangs and drugs? You don't have to answer this, it's just something I'm asking myself.

    I will pray for you, and add your petition to my myspace profile.

    I am not American, and don't have an adequate overstanding of the justice system there, so I can offer no advice on that part.

    I don't speak for the Destee community, but I thank you for sharing your story here at Destee...
     
  3. mazimtaim

    mazimtaim Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I have signed the petition also. And I will pray for the brotha.

    But its hard. The state of Texas is just not where you want to be when confronted with Death Row. Have faith. . .we are always outnumbered. . .always outgunned.

     
  4. Ledda

    Ledda Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Phynxofkmt and Mazimtain....thank you both very much.
     
  5. CITIZEN

    CITIZEN Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Mercy

    Of all the states...Texas is the worst. From the Texas Dept of Criminal Justice:

    Texas leads nation in the number of executions since death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
    Texas, California, and Florida have the largest death row populations.


    I am no lawyer, but it doesn't sound like they have any physical evidence. Witness statements have been proven to be wrong MANY times. How many innocents will die, only to have someone else confess after the execution? Or DNA evidence is discovered, proving someone else did it? Don't the families of the victims want to know the real truth?

    Even the guilty can be reformed. Executions should be outlawed. It does not deter crime, it does not bring back the dead. It just ruins another family, and takes away a person's opportunity to change.

    What would the world be like if they never executed Jesus?
     
  6. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Sister Ledda ... Welcome Home and Thanks for Sharing ... :grouphug:

    I too read the story, and my heart aches for this Young Man. He is simply one of many that are marked for death.

    This is so sad, he is younger than my Son. This has to be a Black Mother's worse nightmare.

    I tell my Son all the time, please don't do anything to put yourself (us) in such a situation. As difficult as that may be, especially considering that oftentimes Black Men don't have to do anything to find themselves here, it's much easier than trying to navigate the other side. I have put years of blood, sweat, tears, and begging into my children, in hopes that we never end up at this place. What is a poor Black Mother to do, when facing the wealth of a justice system determined to kill her child. What is she to do? The thought frightens me, sending chills through my Spirit, aching for the Mothers that know it first-hand.

    As i read the story, i couldn't help but notice that it was his own Brother that was used against him. What a hurtful situation. It is indicative of where we are as a people. It is so sad. How can one Brother, go against the other? I ask this question rhetorically, for i know it all too well, and it's just terrible. We have essentially been stripped of the most meaningful parts of life, and it will take a miracle to collectively regain these things.

    While i'm reluctant to mention this, i can't help but notice that he is kissing on, hugging on, and all loved up on a white woman ... yet he's suggesting in his appeal efforts, that he was violated because white people were the jurors. The cliche that comes to mind is, live by the sword, and die by it. He has obviously excluded (in some capacity or another) Black People from his own life, choosing a white woman to be hugged up with, yet he now wants the Black People on his side, because it is the white ones that have marked him for death. It's all twisted up in a messy way, somewhat hypocritical. If they are good enough to sleep with, love, etc., then they should also be good enough to stand on your jury. Shouldn't they? I don't understand this part. I'm trying very hard not to be judgmental in this situation, for truly, we all have a right to be with who we choose ... but still ... something seems amiss about this part.

    Sister Ledda ... like others before me, i am against the death penalty, and hope this Brother makes it out.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  7. mazimtaim

    mazimtaim Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sister Destee, I didn't even do the research. Now I feel a bit silly. I too, do not wish to stand in judgment of the man. I wish him all the best. And I still will pray for his release.

    But the point you bring up is very valid. Racism is real in this world. And it lives despite our denial or our ignorance. One can stay ignorant or in denial at their very peril.

    Many of "us", march off happily to pretend we are individuals or just people who happen to be "Black". We try to move to "White" communities, intermarry, and pretend we have no obligation to our own until that ugly truth smacks us right in the face.

    And then, we want to scream racism. . .a fact that we simply never paid enough attention to until it was too late.
     
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