It's Like You're Sold a Dream

I lost my drive after my older brother Rufus was sentenced. I didn't care. I didn't trust. That was my attitude. Rufus was the father figure I looked up to. When he went to jail for the rest of his life, I started looking up to his buddies. A lot of them are dead or in jail now.

This is my family's story, but it didn't have to be this way.

Privacy statement. This embed will serve content from

When you're young, it's like you're sold a dream. I was in community college for filmmaking, getting to class on time every day. One time I even got behind the camera and practiced for broadcast. The director was telling me to move the camera through my earpiece. I tell you it was amazing.

But the dream crumbled. If you go to a doctor and that doctor doesn't help you, you're not going to trust that doctor. That's how I saw the justice system, the cops. They say they're there to serve and protect, they're there for law and order. But it was like they wanted my brother and me to go to jail. They threw us away.

One night I was on my way to a party, and the police stopped the car I was in. They told us to lie with our faces in the gravel while they looked at our ID. They said that I was driving with a felon, which violated my parole. I pleaded with these people. Why am I going to jail? What is it accomplishing? Nothing, but it's keeping me out of school. That really messed me up. I had to drop out of school. It was like crumbling. Like falling.

I'm not the only one. Instead of serving and protecting, the laws we have on the books throw people away. But I know the story could be different. These laws are made, and we can change them.

The only way I see to take a stand is for everyone to come together. Things would get better if the authorities would show people something other than harassment. Things would get better if people would speak against laws like the one that took my brother away for something so petty. Right now, the authorities see us as the enemy and we're looking at them as the enemy. But we've got to put the differences aside and come together on something good. You know what I'm saying?

I'm not thinking of myself anymore. When I hear my kids call me "Daddy, daddy," I love it. I want to tell them the things I had to learn on my own. I see big things for my kids. I want the story to be different for my kids.

Lance White and his son, Lance Jr.

It's time to reform mandatory minimum sentencing policies that are extreme, ineffective, and waste taxpayer dollars. One way we can rollback some of the mandatory minimums in the federal system is by urging Congress to pass the bipartisan Smarter Sentencing Act, which will give judges the ability to determine sentences that fit the crime. Click here to take action.

Learn more about mass incarceration and other civil liberties issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

View comments (3)
Read the Terms of Use

Freedom is Lost...

And the judges shall be judged by their own measure, this will ensure humans go to Heaven and not the monsters in control. My Father shall have no one in Heaven who did not love his fellow man and help them, it's not about punishment, that is what the Judges will incur for the lack of concern for their fellow man. The CIA ships in the drugs, sales them to make black ops money then locks up the victims of their crime and makes more money for the states using "for profit" prisons. And they REALLY think we would want them in Heaven with us??? May he have mercy on your greedy selfish hearts!


That's exactly how I felt when the two people who attacked me were found "not guilty based on insufficient evidence."
I suddenly stopped trusting the "justice system," decided that it was all to "benefit the criminal," and never really trusted it again. Not even when the second violent crime was committed against me and he WAS found guilty - mostly b/c the entire SWAT team saw him do it and it was a lot harder to say a person HADN'T been shot when there were bullet holes and spent bullets around me - but not b/c of me. If you ask me, they probably would have found him NOT guilty had it been my word alone.

So I know how it feels if only from the opposite side of things.


I wish justice were blind, but its not. If you are an insurance agent attempting to steal $1500 from one of your customers it is a difference of opinion, if you are a man who steals a sandwich because your hungry then we need to sentence you for years.

Why is our justice system so deeply concerned with the overt obvious criminal acts and completely indifferent to the predatory acts of businesses that cheat their customers out of millions of dollars every day.

Our society rewards smart theft.

Stay Informed