In lieu of our scheduled story, a few words from Molly Miller
Editor’s note: We had a nonfiction story by Molly Miller lined up for today, but she asked us if she could instead do something which we think is relevant, generous-hearted and useful, and hopefully helps make some small difference. Over to Molly:
In light of recent events, I’ve asked the lovely Jellyfish Review editor Chris to skip the scheduled publication of my creative nonfiction piece. Instead of taking up space in folks’ newsfeeds with non-BLM content, I’d rather use whatever platform I have to help spread the word of some wonderful people who are using this moment to create change.
First, a thank you to Stop Solitary CT. Please check them out. In March, I lost a close friend and ex-boyfriend to suicide during the eighth year of his incarceration at Pendleton Correctional Facility. He was mentally ill prior to his arrest, and prison made him sicker. While my experience was and continues to be difficult, the worst part was learning how unspecial David’s situation was. I don’t think most white people in particular understand the extent to which American prisons torture people on a regular, systemic basis. Stop Solitary CT helped me find my voice and taught me more about the ways incarceration destroys lives. And during the pandemic, incarceration is a potential death sentence. Many prisons have attempted to quarantine sick people by placing them in unhygienic, inhumane solitary confinement or “isolation” cells. Not only does this do nothing to slow the spread of Covid in prisons; it is psychologically damaging. Stop Solitary CT has been calling on the governor to act since mid-March.
If you are able, please give to a bail fund. I am particularly grateful to The Bail Project for their work in my home state, Indiana, which is also the state in which David died. CT Bail Fund does amazing work, too, in the place I currently call home. The UN released a report in February that detailed the deplorable conditions of Connecticut detention centers in particular, so please support the CT Bail Fund however you can.
If you aren’t able to safely protest or give financially, there are creative ways to get involved! For example, comedian Zoe Amira has pledged to donate all ad revenue of this video to various bail funds and organizations. Thank you, Zoe, for this genius move.
Thank you to the prison abolitionists who taught me all I know, especially Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, Alec Karakatsanis, Leonard Peltier, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore. Read their stuff.
Lastly, to all the Black people in my life, whether you are my friend, an artist I idolize, or somebody I admire on Twitter from afar: thank you for being you.
An Indiana native, Molly Miller is a queer, disabled writer based in Connecticut. She has a BA in English Education from Purdue University and an MFA from Southern Connecticut State University. Molly writes about trauma, depression, the Midwest, farm life, friendship, pets, and occasionally murder (as a treat).
Molly will have work with us later this year.