From: WALTER EDMUND BOND (37096013)
Date: 8/29/2018 9:52:55 AM
Joe Jordan- So your bi-sexual, do you identify as Queer as well?
Walter Bond- I don’t have any problem with the title ‘Queer’, but I guess I use the antiquated term ‘Bi’ mainly for two reasons. First, just to be specific and second because it took me decades to really come to terms with my bisexuality, so it feels as though I’ve earned it. There were many years I struggled and tried to be straight and there were just as many years where I struggled and tried to stay gay. Always on either side of the fence were people, both straight and gay, that well meaning or not tried to influence me to pick a side. And that just did not work for me.
For example, I worked for years in Denver for a gay-owned and operated company that specializes in adult products. I was even in a couple gay adult videos myself. But if my employers (a bunch of misogynistic old queens) would have found out that I dated women. I would have been stuck at the lowest levels of the job if not politicked out of the company all together. And of course to many straight men any type of homosexuality just marks you as “gay”, for good and always.
J.”g”J.- When did you realize you were Bi?
WB- Before I hit puberty. Somewhere around 10 years old.
J.”g”J.- What circumstances lead to you coming out?
WB- I came out in 7th grade and it was basically because I wanted to be honest with my friends and the world around me and quite honestly, to try and find a boy that I could have a relationship with, which I did 🙂 At the time I felt a lot of turmoil about my sexuality and I thought that maybe being out about it would alleviate that. I wish I could say it did but it took me many years of wrestling with the closet before I made peace with myself.
J.”g”J.- What has it been like being Bi in prison?
WB- It hasn’t been like anything, I haven’t been laid since 2010, ha ha ha! I mean prison is a place with way higher rates of disease than the streets and no availability to condoms. I can wait a couple more years until I get out but then…… Your all gonna get it ;p
J.”g”J.- Do you have any advice for queer youth in prison or on the streets?
WB- Whether incarcerated or in the world my advice is just be yourself, don’t put labels on it and don’t ever feel like you can’t change. Changes in tastes including sexual can happen from time to time, roll with it.
J.”g”J.- What drew you to anarchism?
WB- Well, back in 7th grade me and a couple friends started a little group called A.S.C.C. (anti-statist counter culture) We mainly made these hand made collage style flyers with little anarchist quips and one liners and we would pass them out to all the places and people we hated. I guess my initial attraction to anarchism was through punk music back in the day.
J.”g”J.- Have your politics regarding anarchism changed over the years?
WB- Yes, hugely! Actually during this last 8 years of incarceration I have been reading and studying and have grown in my ideas and general intelligence so much that I am sometimes embarrassed at how I did not question certain idiotic ideas I have held in the past.
For example, the ridiculous and fucking idiotic ideology of so-called ‘vegan hardline’, with all it’s hyper masculine religious protofacist bullshit! I became enamored with the band Vegan Reich back in the 90’s and allowed myself to get taken in by the hardcore and unapologetic stance that they embodied. Unfortunately, this warped much of my thought when it came to Animal Rights and Straight Edge.
But in the end I was chasing a ghost. Nobody can be so brutally self-disciplined, internally and externally, as to be able to actually live your life without masturbating, eating only raw fruitarian diets and beating up anyone (or everyone) that has ‘unclean’ thoughts or actions. It wasn’t until years later I learned that this is all just another form of the old fascist 3rd position crap that infiltrates and syncetisizes already existing movements.
J.”g”J.- Do you identify as part of the left?
WB- I have no problem with anarchism’s long history on the left as libertarian socialism, anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho- communism, etc. Let me start there. I think some of the most intense and insurrectionary forms of anarchism took root in these classical times in the movement and I think to left anarchism’s credit it has a more serious body politic of theoretic and practical organization.
These things while maybe appearing to be dry or irrelevant today are still, I feel, very important. For Anarchism to be serious it needs to have answers about how we will live and organize whole societies of millions of people. This means workers, teachers, care for the elderly and sick. It does us no good in the real world to tell someone that has a real need for care don’t worry we’ll use our spontaneity when the time comes. The classical anarchists, the red anarchists of yesteryear, while being fixated on socialism and it’s terminologies were serious thinkers and this is important.
That said, what I do not support is those today that out of the sake of nostalgia and safety want to simply recreate and act out the same regressive movements of the past. This is not the late 1800’s anymore, the picket line has been crossed, the unions sold out, communism betrayed and largely irrelevant, and capitalism high jacks everything it touches from punk rock to feminism, to veganism to , you name it. Post-left anarchism has a lot more to say and do with what is relevant to the struggles of today but it needs to become a lot more serious in it’s thought.
For instance when I read the words of Sacco and Vanzetti I am reminded that being the radical of the radical socialists and ferociously anarchist at the same time, need not be mutually exclusive. So, to get back to your question, yes I identify with the left, but I do so only as an Anarchist. And one I might add one that has 5 arsons on his record as is doing this interview from a CMU counter-terrorism prison unit and not from a book circle in some cozy manicured squat.
J.”g”J.- What are your feelings on sometimes “violent” expressions of what is technically “anarchism” (Nihilism, Eco-extremeism, Etc.)?
WB- I am not a pacifist and I never have been. If I had it my way we would live in a peaceful world, I wish that. But we don’t. My experience with many so-called pacifists is that they are authoritarian in nature and practice. The whole movement must obey their high and mighty moral bullshit. or else they will be the first ones to snitch you off to the cops or feds. I don’t worry about the violence of anarchists, it is incredibly rare. I worry about the extreme violence that the state wields against the general population physically, psychologically, emotionally and mentally with impunity and malcontent and on a staggering institutional level.
J.”g”J.- So the Islam/Abdul Haqq thing, could you take us through the on again off again relationship you had with it?
WB- I became interested in Islam about a year before my arrest in 2009. Many of the people involved with the original hardline movement followed its founder Sean Muttaqi from the band Vegan Reich into Islam this was where my interest began. When I first arrived in the CMU at Marion I was shocked to find that most of the unit was Arab Muslims with so-called terrorist cases. I figured this was a ‘sign’ and that what better opportunity would I have to learn than in that place and at that time.
So I became a Muslim, I studied, I practiced and I did my best to be a faithful servant of the religious teachings. But at the end of the day I just suck at being religious! I started to feel as if everything, even the 5 daily prayers which are supposed to be a joy to a true believer were just another obligation, in a world of obligations that began to feel stifling to me.
Also, I am no good with orthodoxy of any sort. I like to come to my own conclusions. To believe just because I am told did not work when my dear old mother was trying to advise me as a child, let alone now as an adult. So I tried, then I got frustrated and left Islam, then I tried again, still thinking I might not have given it an honest effort. But no, I am not a Muslim, I am not a believer of any sort. It’s not in my nature and I felt like I was suffocating or drowning when I tried.
J.”g”J.- Did you take anything away from it, now that you are back to the dude we know and love?
WB- I learned some Arabic and I now have a personal understanding of what religious adherence means. I never had that before, having been raised in an irreligious home.
J.”g”J.- What is your relationship to spirituality now?
WB- None, I am an atheist, unequivocally. Actually, I’m a real nasty materialist. If it doesn’t have matter, than it don’t matter. It may seem odd to some but fully embracing atheism has had a very positive affect on my life. After my foray into religion I made the promise to myself to just try to figure out what’s real and do away with all the yearnings to wish things were the way I wanted them to be. Now, I think ultimately what is ‘real’ or ‘true’ is often unperceivable by us because we are biologically limited by our own perspectives. But just the striving and adjusting ourselves to what is, makes a huge difference.
Today I don’t have to be right, I don’t have to feel that I have stumbled upon information that is infallible. This means I can learn more, and more quickly because I am not standing in my own way refusing to admit apprehension or mistakes. And now I carry this critical atheist attitude over into other areas of my life, this calm resolve to internalize what is really going on outside of my own wants and conceptions, and here comes the hard part, with the earnestness to accept realities over my biases. Applying this to hard questions and difficulties in my personal life has not taken the sting out of hard times but it has made it infinitely easier to accept and get over those difficulties. I only have pay the emotional price once.
J.”g”J.- What are your plans for your ‘re-entry’ life?
WB- Well, I still have a couple of years to go, but as it stands now, I plan on going to New York City. What I will do for work at the moment I have no idea. so at some point probably around this time next year I will start trying from my prison cell in Indiana to job hunt in NYC. I had tried for years to transfer to a prison closer to the east coast so that I could at least start getting visits from people closer to where I will be touching down and thereby build my social network up. But no, the bureau of prisons is not concerned with me being close to family and friends. However, at the end of the day I will be just fine. I have the best group of friends a person could want and if there is one thing I know how to do it’s get started again.
J.”g”J.- What kind of support do you think you’ll need?
WB- Honestly, I don’t know. The first thing I know I’m gonna have to deal with is the shock of being out. I will have been in prison over a decade upon release and most of that time has been in CMU units which are tiny segregation units. The last time I was on a regular prison yard it felt overwhelmingly large for the first few weeks. So when I get out I’m gonna need to adjust, I’m going to need to keep good people around me I’m gonna need help getting back into the swing of things. And of course money, you can’t do anything in America without that.
J.”g”J.- If You could spend a week with anyone in hxstory, living or dead, who would it be and why?
WB- Hmm, form history…. I would have to go with Helen Keller because I don’t think there is any other historical figure I could learn more from in a week than her.
J.”g”J.- If There’s one persxn in the world right now you could wish out of existence, who would it be and why?
WB- Steven Pinker, There is not one thing about that guy that I can stand. From his irrational sense of optimism to his ivory tower writings from his ivy league university!……… I even hate his hair!
J.”g”J.- What is your favorite animal or the animal you most closely identify with?
WB- The wolf is definitely my power animal. Even here in the prison nobody calls me Walter, they all call me Wolf. My mother used to raise wolves so this affinity of mine really started with her.
J.”g”J.- Do you think there is any hope for the future?
WB- Absolutely! As long as there is resistance to tyranny, then there is hope my friend.
Thanks so much for the great questions Joe! I really enjoyed the opportunity to elaborate on some of these topics both personal and political. And thanks so much for your support and friendship through these years of incarceration. Lots of people come and go which is the natural course of things, but it makes the ones that stick around so much more memorable and special. Until next time, take care and I’ll do the same.