Chad Grant: “Open Letter to a Friend”

Open Letter to a Friend


Dear C—,

Are you well?

I think of you often and would write or call more regularly than I do if I could find time.

Things have been rather busy for me lately ever since I’ve been going to school.

How are things?

I’ve been watching the news and reading and doing a lot of thinking. I feel that education should not be limited to four walls and a desk, or books for that matter.

The last book I read was called Are Prisons Obsolete by Angela Y. Davis. The book goes into detail about the prison industrial complex, and how prisons are big business for corporations. Prisoners are looked at like a commodity; they produce goods for companies, and get paid next to nothing. The author goes into detail about racial profiling and the history of chain gangs and the links between chain gangs and slavery.

Although the author doesn’t hold a strong argument as to why prisons should be abolished, she gives alternatives as to how we could make things a bit better. Some of what I read seemed relevant with what is going on in the media with the killings of black men by the police. Things like this have been going on for quite some time now; it’s just that now it is in the limelight.
Capitalism needs to have a lower class in order to survive.

The work force which drives the American economy is losing momentum to outsourcing thus places such as Detroit (Motor City) have gone under due to a lack of jobs.

Underfunded schools within the urban community only add fuel to the fire. Education is a commodity. The schools pay the teachers, and if there are not enough teachers the children lose out. They lose out of a future, and turn to crime or drugs or whatever they can. The effect which it has upon the poor working class in America is the same as it was over 100 years ago in Industrialized England.

This is what Karl Marx was talking about when he wrote The Communist Manifesto.

Now what we have in America is a great divide between rich and poor. The country is in debt, and it seems as if there is no hope.

What happened was that the CEO’s of these companies invested their money in assets, when in the past they would invest it back into the company and the company would grow. They don’t do anything productive with it anymore. This is a capitalist surplus disposal problem. Tax those clowns!

You hear about cats like Mark Zuckerberg writing off millions of dollars in taxes for a house in Hawaii!?!

Things like this are what Bernie Sanders was so disgusted with.

As the night progresses, and regurgitates what the day held apprehended in the pit of its gut, I sit in my room with the television on, at a moment when one finds love, or career, or both, and settles down with his/her companion to make a family. I cannot seem to wrap my mind around the concept.

How can one go through four years of college, get a job, a house, and settle down?

We know where it leads, art dies with capitalism.

It’s what Marx called alienation.

We live, and we die, we are alienated from our craft. I’ve always had an ounce of hope for America, but as the days wain so does my hope.

But I digress, as the intention of this thesis is not to bring you down, but as a reminder of where we are.

I was gifted a book by an acquaintance of mine, the title is Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson. I had always wanted to read it, but finances or time or whatever permitted otherwise.

I really wanted to take my time with this letter. I would have sent it sooner but I’m a perfectionist, my therapist, as well as a few other people say that as well.

I will leave you with a quote, “Women hold up half the sky.”



(Featured image by GeorgeLouis at English Wikipedia; used under CC BY 3.0)

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