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Watching the Primaries from Behind Bars

The Beat Within, Commentary, Various Authors Posted: Mar 04, 2008

Editors Note: Are young people behind bars counted as part of the surging politicized youth contingent thats made so many waves this year? We asked young people between 13 and 19 years old whom they would vote for in the primaries and whether they think felons and immigrants should have a right to vote. The authors write for The Beat Within, a weekly publication of writing and art from the inside. IN STORES NOW -- Illustrations from the Inside: The Beat Within (Hardcover)

Our votes dont count
I dont think it will make a difference if immigrants could vote, because even as American citizens, I feel like our votes dont count. All of our votes just go to the Electoral College. All of the votes of the people are popular votes and the Electoral College votes are the ones that actually choose the president. So whether we are convicted felons, immigrants, or U.S. citizens it doesnt make a difference.

Im just so proud
I think that the world be a much better place if felons could vote, due to the fact that they are human also. They just made a mistake that does not mean they are not human.

I know Im going to vote for Barack Obama. Im just so proud that the black culture has finally stepped up tremendously. It felt like we didnt really exist in the white world but due to people like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and others we now have a voice for me, as a black, Puerto Rican and Cuban woman. I still feel like the black community is rising up. If all the people that died for the black race were still alive and realized that they died for voting and standing up for their rights, and now theres a black man running for president, they would be more than happy. They would feel like all that they have tried to make right for the future and their kids has finally come true.
-Sha T

Hillary Clinton
If I could vote, I would vote for Hillary Clinton because she would help out the immigrants and the public schools.

If Everyone Could Vote
If everyone could vote, the world would be put in the ground. If people vote not knowing what they are doing, just voting for someone they dont know about, then they are going to mess everybody up.

Some things that Ive heard are:
Osama bin Laden is more popular in Saudi Arabia today than George W. Bush is in America;
The president knew the attacks on Pearl Harbor were coming; he did nothing. He had to sacrifice American blood so he would be justified in testing out the Atom Bomb;
George W. Bush knew of the terrorist plot to bring down the two towers; yet, out of greed for oil money, he did nothing;
Our nation feeds us lies so the rich (those few at the top) not only maintain their positions, but get even richer.

I no longer trust the government system. What is worse is that I am so blind that I dont even suspect such shady business. Of course, I dont know if what Ive heard others say is true, either. The idea, though, that the president is only a figurehead, a dancing puppet or someone who would think nothing of killing so many innocent people is shocking. But as they say, love of money is the root of all evil.

What Id Do As President
If I became president, weed would be legal and dope would be legal until 5:00 in the morning. All the white police would be fired, an all the brothers would be rich.

If I was president, I would eliminate the KKK forever. And if I was president, I would go to New Orleans and put the whole city back and give New Orleans $1,000,000,000,000,000 million dollars, so they could love yo boy, Fat Pat.
-Fat Pat

As President, Id Help The People
I would vote for myself for president if I could. Id make myself rich. Id buy a lot of property, set everyone free from jail. Id make jails different better food, better people. Id have real food like fried chicken, turkey, ham, yams, and sodas to drink. Id have the people who run the jail not keep the kids in their rooms all day. Id give them an hour of phone time every day. Theyd get more visits, and less time up in here.

Id make our jobs pay more. People who come from different countries, like Mexico, would get treated the same way, and get the same money for their work.

Homeless people, theyd have somewhere to go. Id build houses for them. People who were hurt by the Hurricane Katrina would get new houses, $2,000 each, and could live free for a year.

Drug addicts would get put in a drug program until they feel better.

Babies would get special treatment, new clothes, a better bed to sleep in when theyre in the hospital. Theyd get free milk, baby food, and their medical care would be free.

Schools would have higher educated staff. Teachers would get paid more and students would get to go to school for free, through college.

Id stop the wars, because thats how people get killed, and they can be with their family.

For kids like myself, Id try to help them stay out of trouble, get em better discipline. Id stop making guns and selling em to people in the streets, and try to stop the violence.

If everyone could vote the world would be dumb because people would vote for dumb people like Bush.

No Voting Here
Im hella mad, because basically coming in here has stopped me from voting. I turned 18 on Jan. 31, 2008 election year! Ive been waiting for years so I could vote Bush out of office. Now Im hella mad because Im in here and cant vote.

If I could vote it would either be Obama or Clinton. Basically, because Obama is about helping the troops and Clinton because it would be good to see a woman in office.

The only reason I wouldnt vote for Clinton is she wants to stop producing video games that are violent. Video games dont tell people to buy guns. Why not try to get guns off the streets!

I would have to vote, but look where Im at. Oh well, four more years to go. Hopefully I will be able to vote then.

Obama 08!
If I could vote for president, Id vote for Barack Obama period. Hes not fully black but he is as close as its going to get. But even if he becomes president Im not sure how could he help me or the things that are happening in the streets. I dont know, even if he became president, how could he help minorities?

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