Saturday, November 4, 2017

Staying in Touch With Islam




Bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim.Al-Hamdulillah
STAYING IN TOUCH WITH  ISLAM by Rufus West a/k/a' Muslim Mansa Lutalo lyapo
 Date: October 25, 2017
          From September 6, 2001 to July 3, 2007, I was entombed at the Superrnax Correctional Institution. Prior to that experience I never felt comfortable with physical contact with other people, especially strangers.  In certain social circles, however, I was required to at least participate in a certain handshake or it could be perceived- by the other person as a sign of disrespect. When I was at Supermax the only physical contact allowed was when staff would hands –on escort me in chains  to places within the prison, or via some violent encounter. Under these limited circumstances I learned to hate.being touched to the point, where it felt normal.
         When I was released from Supermax, 1 experienced a sense of paranoia and extreme apprehension every time someone would extend their hand for me to shake due to concerns that they were, trying to get close to me in order to cause me physical harm, and also because it just felt very abnormal. The person who initially helped me-begin-to deal with this was Ms. Peggy Swan when she came to visit me at the Columbia Correctional Institution, She just walked up to me and hugged me for what seemed like an hour. My mind resisted but my body felt tense. It felt unreal because for years the only time I've ever seen her was on a small monitor behind a glass window, and hoisted about 8 feet in the air via something called a "televisit" at Supermax. I still feel very uncomfortable about coming in physical contact with other people but it's not as intense as it was when I first got out of Supermax.
           If I had my way I would live the rest of my life without having physical contact with anyone.
However, according to the Sunna (Way of life) of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), it is
recommended for Muslims, myself included, to make "musafaha" (shaking of hands) when they
greet each other. According to a Hadith (sayings by Prophet Muhammad) (PBUH), it was related that
"Every time I met Rasulullah 'sall-Allahu 'alaihi Wa sallam,' he would make musafaha with me."

           Musafaha is two people attaching the palms of their right hands to each other, in a manner
wherein the sides of their thumbs contact each other. The handshake which is done by holding the
second person's fingers in your palm, and which is in fashion today, is a Shiite manner of handshake.
 The sunnat fashion,' however, is ..when you meet your Muslim Brother and as both of you utter the
words 'of greeting, to attach the inner parts of four of the fingers of your naked right hand (without
wearing gloves or any other kind of wrapper), to the outer part of his right hand, towards his thumb.
 Affection spreads from the veins of the thumb. As two Muslims make Musafaha, they exchange
brotherly affection. This is another example showing  that Muslims should love one another and
  avoid separatism." (Source: The Rising and the Hereafter by Imam Ghazali,)
          It is because of this information I found myself forcing myself to shake hands with people regardless of my personal feelings. And it's worth it. I mean, before embracing Islam I felt compelled to shake hands with people to stay in touch with a certain organizational code, whereas now I only shake hands for the sake of staying in touch with Islam.
Salaam,
Rufus West, #225213
a/k/a
Mus1rn Mansa Lutalo Iyapo
P.O, Box 19033
Green Bay, WI 54307

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Latest Parole Hearing Fiasco

Lutalo's latest photo 7 17

 After much expectation and  hope, another "overcooked" parole eligible prisoner is denied parole for no good reasons. Lutalo. (Rufus West), is a litigator and helper of any who come to him. Like many other litigator and advocates guilty of money crimes,he never gets out of Maximums. Here is his parole commission report: The supposed infraction for which he got the conduct report was because he led his religious group when asked by members to substitute for missing leader. Some crime- the wrong person was notified. And this guy may not even be released when his MR comes.

We are preparing a campaign that highlights the contradictions here and makes clear that the DOC neither rehabilitates prisoners nor make society safer. FFUP works with a lot of youngsters who are shoved willy-nilly out of prison after having no treatment of training and with no support on the outside, These are the  "Truth in sentencing" prisoners and there are no resources to help these youngsters because of the overcrowding of the system caused by holding 2500plus older, ready -for -parole- prisoners  like Lutalo. In the coming days we will make this clearer and will be linking Lutalo's and other parole blogs to information on just how corrupt the DOC really is-

now for the parole document, first , in jpeg and  Below that, scanned to word:

PAROLE COMMISSION ACTION
OFFENDER NAME IDOC # FACILITY' NAME AGENT #
WEST, RUFUS P. 225213 Green Bay Correctional Institution 31003
[3301] TIS No 980 No

RECOMMENDED ACTION TAKEN:Defer to MR - PMR NEW PED MR/ES
03/0512019 RECOMMENDED ELIGIBILITY
DATE DATE ACTION TAKEN:03/23/2017 HEARING TYPE
Parole Review

If you are recommended for a parole grant release, the time frame within which you shall be released, as established by the Chairperson of the Parole Commission, shall be reflected in the grant order.

GENERAL REASONS FOR ACTION TAKEN
1 You have developed an adequate plan. but will need Agents verification.
2. Your institutional conduct has NOT been satisfactory.
3. Your program participation has NOT been satisfactory.
4. Release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public.
5. You have NOT served sufficient time for punishment.

COMMISSION COMMENTS
This is your 2nd incarceration and at they age of 45, you've served approximately 22 years and 11 months of a 28 year sentence structure CS to your forfeited time. You served time for PTAC OVWOC and paroled in May 1993. The PTAC OVWOC entailed you using part of a scissors to start a vehicle and stealing it. You were in an accident with the car. In August 1994, while on parole, you concealed your identity and held a gun to a female's neck while demanding her purse. After she met your demands you told her to turn around and run. Today you denied robbing the female. You forfeited 1 year 9 months for the PTAC OVWOC and the new sentence of 28 years for Armed
Robbery is CS to the forfeiture time. In addition you were sentenced to 6 years CC for FIPOF. You have a prior hx of Theft from Person and OVWOC.

Your poor adjustment so soon after release from prison and while on parole is concerning. More time should be served to address the seriousness of your actions. Your institution adjustment is not acceptable. In January 2017 you received a minor and a major CR. The major CR resulted from you indicating you were given permission to lead the religious service group which had not occurred. You received 120 days DS for Disobeying Orders and Lying. Prior to that your last CR occurred in 2015. You haven't been able to achieve reduced custody as a result of your difficulty adhering to rules and boundaries.

Today you indicated you deserve parole because of your growth and mentoring of others. You believe the DOC/Parole Commission focuses on your deficits and fails to recognize your attributes. As explained today, your conduct, both positive and negative, is weighed into a decision. You develop the materials in your file through your actions. You must demonstrate a consistent pattern of positive adjustment and cooperation to overcome your setbacks.

You're subject to PMR and running the risk of being held beyond MR if you don't meet the expectations of a PMR review. You're expected to complete all identified programming and transition successfully to minimum community custody with work release in order to mitigate your risk to the reasonable level required for a discretionary release. To your credit you've completed AODA and education. There are unmet tx needs of Anger Management and CGIP. You were enrolled in AM, however you were terminated due to lack of effort in 2014.

You propose living in Broadhead, WI with a friend which eventually requires agent approval. A release from maximum custody, without programming completed and without having prepared for a return to the community by demonstrating successful adjustment in minimum community custody with work release, would pose an unreasonable risk.

According to WICS, there are outstanding financial obligations of $309.50. The Parole Commission expects satisfaction of your financial obligations as it further speaks to your attitude toward the crime. To your credit you've saved $600+ which should aid your return to the community.
**The length of this deferment requires Chairperson approval.
Commissioner D.LaCost


Monday, January 2, 2017


 

 
"THE NEW NORMAL"
for Ms. Kim and Ms. Maday
by Rufus West, #225213
November18, 2016
Bismillah Jr Rahman Jr Rahim
(In the name of God, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
I want to begin with a parable called "The Perfect Heart."
One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart, for it was perfect. There was not a mark or flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.
Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, "Why, your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine." The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating  strongly; but full of scars; it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right, and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.
The peopled stared—how can he say his heart is more beautiful?, they thought. The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine; mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."
"Yes," said the old man, 'Yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love—I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges—giving love is taking a chance.
Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for those people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"
The young man stood silently with his tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old, scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore, but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his.
 When I did the Restorative Justice program in 2008 at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, the facilitators, Reverend Jerry Hancock and Judge Geske, had three survivors of crime come in and share their experiences: Mr. Tim—who had been awakened to his home being burglarized; Ms. Tanya—who was robbed and pistol-whipped at a drive through A.T.M.; and Ms. Pat—whose son was murdered. Yesterday while listening to Ms. Kim and Ms. Maday share their experiences with me on the second day of the three-day Restorative Justice part of the Green Bay Correctional Institution's Challenges and Possibilities program, I realized that all of the aforementioned survivors share a common bond: being robbed of their 'normal' forever. Consequently, they are compelled to live a new normal.
               In 2008, when the survivors shared their experiences with me I listened with my ears while shielding my heart. Many of us who have been exposed to incessant crimes in the ghetto, learn from the cradle that our environment is not abnormal—but normal. In fact, I was taught that any period of days without crime was not normal. This psychological indoctrination or brainwashing took root deep within me as a child easily, considering the overwhelming exposure. Surely, children are like wet cement... whatever lands on them makes an impression.
The photos of my son that you will soon hold in your hands will forever be my new normal. The challenge for me is not to allow it to swallow me up, thereby resulting in my spiritual demise. So, I hold on to the Rope of Allah, not with one hand—but with both hands like the frog holding on to the neck of the bird trying to swallow it.
            With every fiber of my being, I believe that everything ultimately happens by Allah's Will, and that Him allowing me to meet Ms. Kim and Ms. Maday, and experience this three-day Restorative Justice experience is a blessing and has been very therapeutic for me because I don't know how to let someone know that I need to get something off my chest. I know that listening to their heartfelt experiences has softened my heart towards them more because the murder of my son has resurrected my ability to empathize more from the heart—which still feels like it's laying at my feet, shattered in a zillion pieces as I endeavor to pick up every piece. Sharing your heartfelt experiences with me has helped mend my heart in ways that I'm unable to articulate. For that, alone, I am grateful. Even if I never see ya'll again I want ya'll to know that I extend apiece of my heart to ya'll and pray that Allah will continue to allow you to not only share your experiences—but also guide you in your new normal.
In closing, I would like to share a piece with you that I wrote:
"Nine Months to Make: A Second to Take.":
Sitting here ruminating on the time span that it takes to create a baby. About nine months is the expected time span from conception until the baby is actually born. Within that period, however, the child's limbs, organs, fingerprints, intellect, everything is being created. Meanwhile, the mother carries the child inside of her cradle of humanity, which stretches dramatically to accommodate the tiny person being created inside of her. Consequently, the mother experiences physical and psychological changes that the father is unable to imagine. Actually, the father is spared these changes that the mother endures!
              The mother experiences the pain of contractions, and pushing her child into this world through a hole in her body about 10 centimeters round. Meanwhile, the father is awe-struck, yet duped into believing that he is actually helping by repeatedly telling her to "Push!" when she already knows to "Push!" (Bless his heart.) Newborn babies are nurtured by their mother, while the father looks on in amazement at the human beings that his drop of liquid helped create after nine months. 
              While it takes nine months (i.e. 275 days, or 6,000 hours, or 396,000 minutes, or 23,760,000 seconds) to birth a child into this world, it only takes one second to kill the child. The obvious disproportionate comparisons associated in this context should appeal to the instinctive nature and sanity of humanity and galvanize us as a human race to abstain from killing each other. Self preservation is mankind's second Law of Nature.
On June 3, 2016, my son, Richard West Gray, was assassinated. I didn't find out about it until July 1, 2016. That same bullet that killed him literally killed a part of me and his mother. Having said that, it's impossible to ignore the myriad of unjustified deaths that have resulted from mass shootings, cop killings, killings of cops, and the fact that the number one cause of death for Black men between the ages of 18 and 35 is homicide. Likewise, it's also impossible to ignore the thousands of unjustified deaths that have resulted from bombs, chemical warfare, stabbings, etc. Every person killed adversely affects the person's parents. Every person killed is somebody's child who took about nine months to birth. And while I'll be the first one to point out that the Black man's death rate is disproportionate in comparison to White men when it comes to homicide, I will also be the first one to widen the lens in order to point out that senseless killings are a human tragedy, not exclusively a Black one. The very word "human' is all inclusive as 'hue' covers every shade of mankind's skin complexion. Thus, as a human race, each person must shoulder his or her individual responsibility of self-control in order to protect humanity from one's insanity. To do otherwise would be irresponsible and uncivilized.
 
My name is Rufus West and I approve this message.
 
 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

On The Death of His Son:Three Offerings


Bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim,

"SOMETHING" MORE THAN JUST PAIN

               By Rufus West a/k/a Muslim Mansa Lutalo Iyapo

August 10, 2016

When a parent loses their child they experience a "something" that is more than just pain. It's unparalleled to anything one can imagine. Actually there's no word for it. It's just the worst feeling ever that has been, and continues to be, my daily experience. The only feeling that I can compare it to is the feeling I have right before I wake up after being shot in the head, knowing I'm going to die if I don't wake up at that very moment. That feeling is so novel in a conscious state and can only be compared to something that happens in a dream or a subconscious state. It's so horrible that I do everything in my power to wake myself up. To be clear, it's not the physical pain of being shot, but some unexplainable bad feeling that's somehow associated with

the cosmos of one's very existence on the verge of becoming nonexistent. I think it's a combination of extreme fear mixed with "something" that's more than just pain. This is just a microscopic percentage of what I

can compare to the feeling I experienced on July 1, 2016, upon receiving notice via "snail mail" that my beloved son, Richard West Gray, was assassinated on June 3, 2016. Not even the death of my mother 26 years ago to a seizure is equal in comparison to my reaction to losing Richard, and I was extremely close to my mother. (Needless to say, I have yet to find an experience parallel to the bad feelings 1 felt upon learning of her death.)

To this day I'm still trying to fill some of the gaps in my memory for the first 72 hours after receiving the news about Richard. What I am certain about is that I cried, no, I sobbed . When I was able to calm down from sobbing, a clinician would ask me to talk about him. My attempts to do thus would result in me breaking down again. I sobbed so much that first day that an inmate (who has never lost a child) commented that the reason that I cried so much is because I haven't cried in years. Pretty presumptuous on his cart. He couldn't see that the reason why I cried so much is because of the fact that my son was murdered. My tears for Richard don't start with my eyes. The tear start from my chest and, rises up to my eyes before pausing briefly at my neck' like someone's choking me so that I can't breathe.. My body trembles,and I'll make a noise to distract myself from that "something" more than just pain. At first I cried so much that my whole body ached, especially my eyes and head. As the days turned into weeks, however, I cried less frequent to where now I find myself crying when I look at his photos or when I ruminate on the fact that I will never be able to enjoy his physical presence ever again. I'm doing my best to try

to lock his death up deep within me somewhere because the feeling that cones with it has no cure. It gets so bad sometimes that I often feel like the only way to escape it is suicide. As Muslim, I know that it's against Islam to commit suicide and. that Allah's punishment will he severe. Yet, every so often I feel myself weighing its pros and cons. There's no pill or cure for what I'm experiencing. I just wish there were words that could articulate what I'm experiencinq on a daily basis.

No, I'm not going to kill myself. People walk past my cell every day, while some stop at my cell for one reason or another and they don't have the slightest idea of what I'm going through. If they were to ask me I would only tell them that I'm going through "something" more than just pain.





NEVER by Rufus West a/k/a Muslim Mansa Lutalo lyapo 7/20/16

The one thing that parents need to realize about making plans, is that whether they happen or not is completely out of our hands.

Time is a gift often taken for granted by those of us who live, it's only after, they're murdered do we regret not spending more time with our kids. Or telling them that we love them at least once every day, because we don't expect Allah to come and take our children away.

Presumptuously we believe that parents aren't supposed to bury their children, but statistically Black parents will more than likely bury their children. Especially if that child is a Black male aged 18 to 35, because the number one cause of death for him in this country is homicide. - At  the  hand  of  another with  the  same  skin color  who  doesn't  believe t hat Black lives matter. Because if he did - my son wouldn't be dead.

I never thought that I would be among those who were notified, that my beloved son named Richard West Gray had become a victim of homicide.

It never crossed my mind that I would be robbed of my vision, of a healthy father and son relationship with my son when I got out of prison.

I told myself when I get out that I'm never coming back to the pen, my first order of business was visiting my kids and grandchildren.

But all the things I've dreamed of doing with  my son for the past 22 years, will never happen and that's clear.

Never! That's clear.

Never,
 
 
                      NOW I KNOW
by Rufus West a/k/a Muslim Mansa Lutalo lyapo 7/1/16
A wife who loses her husband is called a "widow." A child who loses his parents is called an "orphan." When a parent loses their child to gun violence they're called ... there is no name for it. Of all the words in the history of man, there is no word to label a parent who loses their child; who has to bury their child.
Writing this caption my pen ran out of ink, unexpectedly  like your life ran out of time.Pausing for extensive periods in the middle of praying to break down in tears. The pain is too much! Why does this kind of torture exist? This pain - just when I thought I could start praying again the pain breaks me down again! Allah I'm holding on to Your Rope for dear life, because right now I'm definitely considering ending my own life! I know Muslims aren't supposed to kill themselves .... I feel like I'm already dead! I Feel Like I'm Already Dead! I FEEL LIKE I'M ALREADY DEAD! My heart shattered, pieces everywhere. Everywhere there are pieces - like glass. Bloody trails left by my hands trying to collect all of the pieces. Trying to collect myself. Trying to get a hold of myself. These photos of you in a casket don't even look like you! I don't recognize you at all! I need confirmation. Insha Allah I'll have somebody make some calls.
My body is weak. I'm a weak man trying to be strong. When I lift myself up a couple inches I just collapse back into the wall. I wish I could be this wall: hard, cold and just lifeless, As I write this I'm thinking for the first time about the coward(s) that killed you. Had to "ambush" you, so that let me know that you had something about you that made this coward(s) know that he had no win without ambushing you. It's still no consolation.
Every time I see parents on the news, crying over their child being killed, I would try to empathize in order to articulate to people why we need to stop killing each other, NOW' I KNOW!
I wrestle with the contradiction of not wanting anyone to ever experience this pain with wanting the coward(s) who did this to you to experience this with every child they have! I know that's not Islam.
I remember when you and your brother were just babies. Twins, not even a year old yet. I was wearing a red Adidas hat. Your mommy handed you both to me one at a time, I didn't know how to hold no baby. You two were my first born. She kept scolding me, "Watch their heads, Roofy!" I didn't know what I was doing, Here I was trying to maintain a so-called gangster, thug-type posture while trying to cuddle ya'll in my arms simultaneously. Both of ya'll were clearly vocal in letting me know that this ain't no "Diamond in the back - sunroof top - diggin' the scene with a gangster lean" situation. Like everyday – I had been in the streets all night. The next thing I know is that I'm being awakened by your mommy lifting one of you off of my chest, and then the other one. I hadn't realized that I had dozed off. Ya'll had fallen asleep on my chest. I told your mommy I had to leave. Before 1 left she told me that she took a picture of us sleeping and that it was the only time that she saw me look peaceful. My mentality, however, is I need to get out in them streets. When she let me see the photo, as much as I tried to play it off, I knew that she would never get that photo back. And she didn't. I ended up losing that photo a few years later, but it's permanent in my mind's eye as lucid as if I can touch it with my hands.
I remember when your mommy would take ya'll for a stroll in the stroller while I would be in my element running the streets. I would see ya'll during the daytime, or your mommy would hunt me down during the daytime. She would try to convince me to get off of the streets, to no avail. We'd depart. And then at night she'd come looking for me with ya'll. My homeboys in the 'hood would tell me, "Man, you know your baby momma is out here with kids looking for you?" I'd go looking for ya'll but she'd always find me first. She'd tell me that she needed to make sure I was o.k., and on many occasions she would bring me a styrofoam plate of home-cooked food just to make sure I was eating "real food" and not junk food. I would take turns holding you and your brother, and then I would send ya'll home so that I could get back in them streets.
You was 4 years-old when I got locked up. Twenty-two years of watching you grow from a distance through photos and letters. Twenty-two years of telling you that? Insha Allah, I'll be home soon if I get my case overturned or get paroled. You gave me a grandson. A grandson! A sign indicative of the fact that not only am I getting old in years, but also indicative of the fact that you're no longer that baby who fell asleep on my chest that day or the baby wheeled around in a stroller by his mother looking for me. It seems like I just blinked and you went from a baby in a stroller to giving me a grandson.
At first I wanted you to be like me. But after I embraced Islam and then matured into manhood I realized that I didn't want you to be like the pre-Islamic me. I wanted you to be better than I was by avoiding negativity and creating positive alternatives/opportunities for yourself. People who don't grow with you are unable to witness your growth in maturity. They only remember who you were and what you were by their last memory of you. This is what I was up against. Parenting from prison is one of those things that you'll, never know how well you did until it's all over and it's the end. Well, I will never know how well I've done because some coward(s) robbed me of that opportunity.
I feel like I've failed you because I should have been there with you instead of in here - in prison. As your father it was my obligation to support you by making decisions that would allow me to maintain a consistent physical presence in your life. I admit that I didn't do that and I am deeply sorry for fleeing from my responsibilities as a father. Quite frankly, I didn't even know what my responsibilities or priorities of a father were because it wasn't until years after my imprisonment that I grew out of boyhood into manhood that I knew what a man was. Children must not have children; only men and women because the child is the one who suffers undeservedly. You didn't ask to be born.
Killing myself right now would be a selfish act because my life never belonged to me once I had children. I have three kids left. Furthermore, it's against Islam. I never want to go through this again, Insha Allah I never will.
I am literally stuck in a physical void right now. I don't know what to do from moment to moment, so I sit here on this floor writing you my thoughts as they come, frequently pausing to wipe my tears off the pages or reflect on a memory.
Insha Allah I will have a future. I'm unable to clearly picture any future. All I know is I need to stay alive so that I can get out of prison ASAP. I need to look after my grandchildren, my remaining children, and people who love me. My inability to focus is preventing
my ability to strategize right now. I need to get out of prison. (Allah help me get out of prison!) One thing about asking, though, is there's a chance for denial.
There's a hole in my heart. Damn it hurts!
I know your mother's pain has to he excruciating as well. Your twin brother is also hurting but I hope and pray that he doesn't doanything vengeful against the coward(s) that could result in his death or imprisonment. Your other siblings as well are experiencing a lotof pain as a result of your death. Insha Allah I am going to find out who assassinated you. Allah already knows.
Well, it's 9:00 a.m., July 2, 20161 I've been writing pretty much since last night. I should probably try to get some sleep but my whole body hurts. Yawning every 30 seconds only exacerbates my headache and eye ache.
This sure is one Ramadhan I'll never forget. Insha Allah you are in a better place. I ask-that-Allah will protect you and keep you safe. And Insha Allah we will see each other in Paradise.