Fate – A short film

 

Fate Film 1

Dear Friends,

I just signed the campaign: Serving Life w/ Hard Labor w/o Parole for $20 of Marijuana.

It would mean the world to me if you could also add your name to this important issue. Every name that is added builds momentum around the campaign and makes it more likely for us to get the change we want to see.

=> Why is this important?

Fate Vincent Winslow a 47-year-old African-American homeless man who acted as go-between in the sale of two minuscule bags of cannabis (worth $20 total) to an undercover cop, Winslow was sentenced to life in prison without parole based on other “strikes” that were 14 and 24 years old, respectively, one of which he received was a drug-related charge at 15 years of age. The white dealer in the transaction, who was also identified by the undercover officer, was never charged even though he was found with police evidence; a marked $20 bill.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/homeless-life-in-prison-wee…

A petition for a Fate Vincent Winslow’s release through Color of Change at Organizefor.org. has been created. Korstiaan Vandiver in conjunction with a Youth Community Center in Los Angeles, mentoring a marijuana drug prevention film project for a group of wonderful high school students, together, they were able to obtain the court case document from an appeal easily and with articles, and decided to do a short film to deter youth from marijuana drug used based on Fate — racial profiling and ridiculous sentencing such as Fate’s and many others.

They reached out to Fate at Angola and the Assistant Warden got involved. He told them he wouldn’t allow them to talk to Fate and that he was saying no to any media. He then began a series of untruths that created red flags. They became concerned for Fate after that conversation and started calling his former lawyers and the ACLU for help and answers.I was burdened with a heavy desire to get this man out and others like him. By signing and sharing this petition you can help. President Obama has already pardoned 2 men with similar sentences during his term. I also wonder whether Korstiaan and his students’ rights were violated by being denied a conversation with a non-violent offender and how many others rights may have been also in an effort to help Fate.

“Obama has now commuted more sentences than any president in almost a century. That said, thousands of inmates remain in federal prison for nonviolent drug charges, many of them holdovers from the draconian sentencing laws that came out of the war on drugs. In 2011, then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced a new clemency initiative, claiming that 10,000 inmates “were potentially going to be released” as a result. But 562 is a far cry from that. And as Mother Jones has reported, dozens more are serving life sentences without parole for marijuana-only crimes, a group of people whom advocates view as an obvious choice for the kind of clemency reform that’s been promised.” (One marijuana lifer, Ramon Gonzalez, had his sentence commuted…)
http://www.motherjones.com/…/obama-just-freed-another-214-i…

ACLU Blurb
Fate Vincent Winslow was homeless when he acted as a go-between in the sale of two small bags of marijuana, worth $10 in total, to an undercover police officer. During an undercover investigation in Shreveport in September 2008, an undercover officer approached a white man named Mr. Perdue and Winslow, who is Black. The officer asked Winslow for two dime bags of marijuana worth $10 each and promised a $5 commission for Winslow, who says he accepted the offer in order to earn some money to get something to eat.
Winslow says he bought two $5 bags of marijuana from Perdue and sold them to the undercover officer as dime bags worth $10 each. The undercover officer testified that he witnessed a hand-to-hand transaction between Winslow and Perdue and that he paid Winslow with a $20 bill and a $5 bill. When officers arrested Winslow, he only had the $5 bill on him. Officers found the marked $20 bill on Perdue (the white supplier), but did not arrest him. According to Winslow, at trial, the 10 white jurors found him guilty of marijuana distribution, while the two black jurors found him not guilty (the state of Louisiana does not require a unanimous jury to convict and instead allows convictions by 10 out of 12 jurors). He was sentenced to mandatory life without parole as a fourth strike offender. His prior convictions were for a simple burglary committed in 1984, when he was 17; simple burglary in 1994, when he was 27 (he was accused and convicted of opening an unlocked car door and rummaging inside without taking anything); and possession of cocaine in 2000, when he was 37 (an undercover officer tried to sell him cocaine, which he says he did not purchase)

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Opportunism : A Love of Fate

One popular belief system of the ancient Stoic philosophers known as ‘Amor fati’, or ‘love of fate’ is of great importance during these current times, especially for millennials.

The philosophy posits that every event is discerned as fated to occur. When one complains and strongly protests against circumstances, one falls out of balance with the natural state of things; one wishes things were different.

We’ve been told that one of our greatest human resource is our willpower, our decision-making => our discipline.
Most of us wouldn’t be where we are without hard work or the ability to change our circumstances.

And so, we come to expect that the world will always respond in kind. That it will do what we want. That things will more or less go our way.

To the young and ambitious, Acceptance is the hardest piece of advice to follow. A bitter pill to swallow.
It is hard because it means tolerating things we don’t like, it feels weak, it feels like one has quit, it feels like defeat.

What am I supposed to do, just let things be?—YES!

The tendency to adhere to this faulty and damaging belief that things must be the way we want them, or must be the way we expected ultimately accomplishes very little to nothing at all. Energy/life is wasted!

More importantly, it prevents the acknowledgement of a crucial paradigm shift: Working with what actually is, seeing things as they are, converting all circumstances into opportunities, making the best of every situation, being fluid in our approaches, free in our thoughts, listening to demand and creating supply, willing to take new directions without fear of failure.

Amor fati => Love of fate => The art of acquiescence => what can’t be cured must be endured.

THE MESSAGE: One doesn’t have to like it to work with it-to use it to one’s advantage. It starts by seeing it clearly and accepting it unconditionally. Amor fati – a love of what happens, because that is our only option.

The world around us is what it is. The events that happen are what they are. The people in our lives do what they do.

Accept them. Understand them. Empathize with them.

A man or woman who believes this cannot be hurt by anything or anyone.

realist

Bundle of Joy

I tried so hard to make him see sense, but Cecil refused to listen to my good advice. In the end, I had to be very fierce with him for his own good. I arranged for extra tuition and every evening I inspected his exercise books to make sure he was concentrating on his studies.

He did study hard, a pious boy, but still, when I went into his room, I found small drawings scattered all over his youthful chamber. It was difficult for me to hide my anger. After everything I had told him he was still painting like a messianic madman. My only son! Here I was making money so that he could have a good life, but all he wanted to do was paint like an absent-minded simpleton. He told me that he wanted to share his feelings with the world because they are so strong. I tried to control myself but he was so obstinate. I called Cecil into our living room and said,

“I have noticed you are still painting, even after I forbade you to!

Cecil just looked at the ground in silence.

“Cecil, I am talking to you.”

I could feel my anger rising.

“Why are you disobeying your father?” I asked angrily.

“Dad, you say we should follow our talents. Painting is my talent.” Cecil answered.

“Talent? You think painting is talent? You should follow a talent that will bring you a good life. You are not going to have a good life through painting. I have already told you. You should become a lawyer.”

“I don’t want to be a lawyer.” Cecil replies.

“Listen to me, Cecil. You know nothing about life. Without a good education and a good career these days, you are nothing, do you hear me?” I shouted at him. Cecil said nothing again. In the end I was so angry that I unbuckled my leather belt and started whipping him, yelling,

“Today I will teach you a lesson you will never forget. Obey your father, respect your father and follow you father’s advice. Otherwise you are nothing. I will not let my son be a nothing, never, never, never.”

Cecil just stood there and said nothing. He just flinched every time I hit him but he did not cry out at all. I felt my blood beginning to circulate faster; I started trembling with incorrigible anger, and begun whipping my recalcitrant son harder and harder until Cecil’s mother came out of somewhere and started screaming,

“Help, everyone help, he is killing my son.”

She grabbed my arm and tried to stop me, screaming at the top of her voice. I stopped. Cecil still said nothing. I recovered my breath and waved the belt buckle in his face,

“Now let that be a lesson to you,” I said, trembling and breathing hard. “If I see you painting one more picture that will be the end between you and me.” Cecil walked out.

My heart was pounding in my chest as if it feared that my soul wanted to carve its way out and run off out the front door. I looked at my wife, and she looked back at me as if she did not recognize me. We looked at each other in the half-light of the setting sun, searching for words that did not exist. For the first time, I realized that I was growing old.

After that particular encounter with Cecil, I never really saw my baby boy painting again. In fact, I hardly saw Cecil at all. Oh yes, he greeted me in the morning with the customary ‘Morning Pa’ but that was all. Whenever I came home in the evenings, Cecil was never to be seen. If I asked his mother, she replied, “He is doing his homework.”

Every day!

“He is doing his homework.”

And if I tried to insist that he come out of his room, she still repeated, “He is doing his homework. Isn’t that what you wanted?”