“You look up and see the bottom”

“Is it possible that somebody has clearly done nothing wrong and his violated in his fundamental legal rights is found guilty by a hateful judge who just ignores that?” “That is often the case: judges are political here and very sensitive for publicity about being soft. You could go to the supreme court, but these do not accept a lot of cases and when they do it will take years.”

Gloria and me are talking to a lawyer about the case of Nanon: a lady in California wanted to help and made a website about him. He did not ask her to do it and there were about 34 “likes” in total. Now he’ll get punished for it and is already found guilty. Punished for what others do, outside.

The strange thing is, that it is his legal right to have media visits: from papers, radio, television who will publish it. And that he wrote numerous books. And that people write about him and even perform a theater-play about his story, like Bryonn. Or give him an International Award, like No Offense did.

So, there is no way one could legally hold Nanon responsible for all of that. But thats exactly what is happening. I am familiair with these mechanisms: wardens, incarcerated people and their families know too. So when the warden says you will be punished for something done by somebody outside it automatically causes deadly silence around incarcerated people and their cases on the internet. It is called “self-censorship”. Nanon says:

“I am dealing with this since 25 years, in every possible way. I will not back off and I will insist n my legal, human and civil rights”. “If they go low, we go high!”, Michelle Obama said. And I realize: Nanon is not the one looking up, seeing the bottom. He is the one standing proud straight on top of the bottom.

Second day with T on death row. Harvey brings some beautiful poems. tells stories and we evaluate the debate between “secretary Clinton” and “Donald”. We talk about writing and collecting and bundling stories. T, Nanon, Alexander (from Russia), Bryonn, Toon, me.

“How does one define a successful life?” I ask him this question. “Well, there are a lot of rulers to measure succes: money, status, position etc.. But I think love makes the difference. When they asked nobel-prize winner Martin Luther King how he wanted to be remembered he said:”as a man that tried to love somebody else!” We get further into finding answers.  T : your succes in life can be measured by what you have overcome in your life. A bad childhood, addiction, psychiatric disorders, trauma ‘s, setbacks…….being incarcerated for 39 years.

The most successful man I know suddenly realizes that the visit is already three hours on its way. In the blink of an eye it is four hours: “you’re time is up, sir!”

Gloria in the oldest Vietnamese restaurant of Houston. This grand-grandmother and activist is such a sweet friend and a real warrior!


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