For our annual event Night Out for Safety and Liberation, we asked our friends currently incarcerated inside San Quentin to share what safety means to them. You will find some excerpts below.
For me, safety is a unicorn galloping through a meadow, playfully chasing a velociraptor. No lone wolf in sight. It's a world without bullies, where the insecure are rushed to feel secure. A world where school shooters can't exist, because we've never let them sit alone at the lunch table. We've invested in them, and they have invested in us, and as Martin showed us, we've all recognized the interrelatedness of all communities. It's a world in which the effects of trauma are treated, not criminalized. It's a world in which the idea of caging another person/animal/orientation would be ridiculous.
I could go home tomorrow, land my dream job and my dream partner, but I will never know safety until everyone is safe. Safety is a world where 535 men would never think to sit in Washington D.C. and debate what a woman can or can't do with their bodies. Or just who is a woman. It would mean equal pay, equal rights, equal resources. Education would be so much of a right that our most talented educators would flock to the least educated comers of this world. Speaking of which, safety must include a reality where no one will ever be taken away at gunpoint or have their family forcibly ripped apart because they are "undocumented.” Simply put, safety is a world without oppression. It is a world in which life is valued more than commodities.
Sadly, I see far too many velociraptors and far too few unicorns. One day though, the unicorn and velociraptor will lie down together, and we will create safety for all. Why? Because we must.