It has been brought to my attention that our Deaf and HOH readers cannot understand the video of Felix, we put up last week. To aid in their understanding, I have created a transcript of the entire video. This video is part I of a series that we will be rolling out over the next 2 months. I will include transcripts on all future installments.
JR: Felix, Felix. We want to get a feel for how you live here.
PB: We want to get how you manage here, in prison.
FG: Oh, the deaf people here? Alright. It’s very very hard. Very very hard. For Deaf people. Man. Here, I’m the only Deaf here. The only one. It’s hard. It’s hard to talk with hearing people. Man, how do you say it? You can’t communicate. You can’t. You go…
We are victims.
Can you hear the guards? Can you hear them?
No. See this hole? My ear? This hole? And then behind the ear. The sound – over here. It came out back here, and cut out back here and cut out back here.
I have a hearing aid… this – this is to help.
Tell me right now – what is wrong. What’s going on? You’re upset.
They give the other people clothes. I’ve been here 4 – 12 since I arrived here. No clothes.
No tee shirt, no boxers, no socks – nothing. This morning I came in and I see the assistant war[den] passing. Very, very nice. And I tell him, look man. Since I arrived here? With nothing. They’ve given me nothing! Nothing! The other people have it. The prisoners – they control the clothes. I can buy them… or… but I can’t – I’m not going to – I’m a Christian. I’m not going to exchange sex for clothes. And buy clothes. I’m not going to do that. I don’t do that.
So, this morning? The officer said – yesterday, the officer – I said, I have an interview – I have an interview with some people. I need some clothes. And he said, oh – I can’t help you. Can’t help you. And this morning I came out with just this. No boxers, no socks, no tee shirt – and he strip searched me and he gave me socks and boxers. But the other people? Well, they have – they have tee shirts – they have boxers, socks.
So, I gave it to him. I showed him. I said, it’s been a long time.
You can’t communicate with people. They talk… how am I supposed to understand what they’re saying? I can’t and so I miss things. With the others – when there’s other Deaf people around you – it’s easier. They help each other. If you’re the only Deaf person – and you’re in the room and they call for chow – to eat – I miss chow. I missed out.
They call for count – and I’m out – I can’t hear the count.
You can’t hear count?
So, the officer comes, and he scolds me. Hey! How?
You can’t hear count – therefore the officer scolds you.
And I can’t eat chow. I missed out. I stayed hungry. I have no money. And I try to go to court – to help me. And before – I had equipment. I put it back here on my hearing aid. You plug it in back here – and then the part that goes in my pocket so I can hear. It amplifies the sound for me. I had it before. For many, many years I had it. And the officers? At the camp? They said, let me see that. And they saw the piece that goes into my hearing aid – and the part that goes in my pocket. They said, what’s that?
I said it’s my family – they’re very poor – but they helped me. They bought it for me – to help me because I don’t have an interpreter. And there’s proof that I am supposed to have an interpreter. Because when you’re in the institution – but they don’t do that.
So… I have to try to help myself. So my family got that equipment for me. And the officer said, let me see it, and he stole it. He took it. They destroyed it – they said they destroyed it. I wanted to mail it home to my family – but they took it and destroyed it. And now I have nothing! Nothing! For many, many years I’ve had nothing.
You were in a general population?
General – yes, yes.
You were in a dorm? A dorm? Many beds?
Yeah. At first, I was in a dorm and there were many beds. Many people sleeping all around. For Deaf people – it’s hard. Both ways. It’s… it’s… how do I explain it? If a Deaf person’s alone? You have nobody – nobody to help you – nobody. Deaf people help the other Deaf people. We help each other. But, if they see a person fighting for his rights – or trying to get something – they separate you. They did it to me. I… I was alone. I couldn’t tell myself…
So then they come. The other people – they come – and they steal our things. They assault us. They try to rape us. I got raped. December 14th.
Felix. Felix. Tell us.
Felix. Take a deep breath. And… and tell us. You haven’t told anybody. You can tell us.
I… if I… I told them. They don’t care.
In the Polk camp, there was a lot of Deaf people. It was no problem. For over 20 years there. No problems. Nothing. We helped each other – the deaf people that were there. But they changed the camp. And sent all the Deaf people around. And they took me and sent me to Austin City. They put me at the worst of the worst. It was up where they call IPOC. It was the worst of the worst. And the officers came from the wing, and they put me wa-ay in the back. They put me in a room with a Black man who’s there over 40 years. Over 40 years.
And then, my first day there… I came in and I saw the people. They were all watching me – Oh, he’s Deaf – and they come in – and I had to shower – and I went to the room, and I came out – and people were standing there, watching me. And they said, oh, he’s Deaf – he’s Deaf. And I couldn’t help myself – so I went back to the room. And then I told myself, I can’t do that. I can’t do that. I need to help myself first. I can’t show fear. I can’t show that.
So I came back out of the room and I went to the shower. There were 2 showers. There’s a hall – it’s about from here to there – and it’s dark. There’s no lights. It’s dark. And there’s a sheet – between the two showers and you can’t see the other and no one can see you in there. And I can’t hear. So I go in, and I start the shower – and I’m looking over here – where the door was at – and I’m showering – and I keep looking, because I want to get out fast because there’s another man over here, and he’s behind the sheet, and I don’t see him.
And he reached through the bar and got me around the neck – and I started fighting and fighting – and I couldn’t get his arm off – so I started to pass out and just before I passed out I saw another man coming through the door – another prisoner – and he started punching me and I fell and passed out. And he raped me. And I don’t know how many times. And I finished and I stayed in the shower a long time – like an hour – I didn’t want to get out, because I was scared.
When that was finished, the other prisoners said, it’s count time – it’s count time. I said OK, so I came out – then I went around – and I went in my room – and I stayed in my room over 4 days. I didn’t come out. I didn’t eat. I didn’t talk to anybody – or anything. And finally, they woke me up at the morning and told me I was moving. And I said, oh thank God – and I got my things and I moved. To the North Floor – up there – and I stayed there. On the North Floor, Chapter 6 – about 1 week – and then they woke me up again. They said you’re going back. Had to go back to the Polk. Ugh. So they sent me back.
So then, they stopped at…uhm… the West Unit. And I called. Finally, I got a phone and I called my lawyer. I said, please, please come visit me. Come see me. So she came and I told her what happened. And there was an investigation.
And then nothing.
Deaf people – I think – before when I was at the Polk camp, I tried helping the other Deaf people. And I was never thinking that it would happen to me. Over and over and over again, almost 30 years – over 30 years – and I tried to help them get past it – because I never thought it would happen to me. But it happened. It happened. And now I know what they go through.
I know my life has changed. Now, I live in fear. I am always looking around. Where are they? It’s really hard. It’s hard.
[Illegible – a reference to the time running out]
[Illegible – another reference to the time]
Felix. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you very much.
Uhm… there was another incident that happened to you in reaction to a medical [Illegible] in trying to commit suicide.
When I was born – my mom and dad – they didn’t want a Deaf kid. So they kicked me out. I was living with my grandmother and grandfather. We were very, very poor. And my sister – and my brother – They robbed somebody. And me? I want family. OK? They robbed somebody. And I lived with my grandmother. And they came back. They had jewelry all over. Gold things…
Felix. You’re talking about the crime.
I’m talking about after you were raped. You hanged… you tried to hang yourself.
Oh, I think… I was thinking how things were before. And I asked my sister – did she tell the truth? No. She never did. Always, always it hurt. And I was writing and writing – and I tried to get my daughter – and we were apart. I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I hung myself.
Then I went in – I went into the medical – to get meds – it’s at another camp. And the nurse came around – and we were arguing – and I didn’t understand what she was saying. She said something, and I was confused. And then the officer came – and then he grabbed me – and then took me back. And the nurse, and the officer – I didn’t understand what they were saying – and the nurse took me and she got right up close to me – And I had to move. I was in confinement. And the nurse said, you better hang yourself. I said, no that’s wrong. She said, you better. Be better for you if you hang yourself. Or when we come back, we’re going to kick your ass.