A: I am very grateful for the smallest things in life now. Something as simple as an orange is enough to make my day. I wake up and I thank God for another day of life. I learned to meditate while in prison, and my best communications with God have been while meditating. I try to meditate for a few minutes just to begin the day mentally prepared for what life will bring. I then work out, I am in the best shape I have ever been in life. Although years have been taken away from me I do not intend to look as such.
A: If I have to describe what I do I would say that it is activism. As a former elected official I know what officials think they know, however, as officials we often do not see past the dog and pony show. I can show you now what’s past the dog and pony show, you’re not going to like it. I want to bring light to injustices that most people are not aware of, including elected officials. It is one thing to say that the government is abusive and unjust, and it’s another to be able to speak from personal experience and to prove it.
A: The last book I read was “Meditations” by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. I chose to enhance myself while in prison physically, mentally, spiritually, and philosophically. Two quotes stand out: “Disturbance comes only from within – from our own perceptions,” “Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, that’s when he has you in his spell.”
A: I believe that the veil has been lifted at one tentacle of law enforcement that has abused their power for so long, and that is police brutality. By no means do I generalize all police officers though, let that be clear. This trend for people of all races to come together and start exposing this abuse is incredible, something I have never seen before, but I hope it continues. However, police brutality is only one small part of the system, we still have the prosecutors, the judges, the prisons, the probation officers. They all form part of a chain that leads to mass incarceration of the black and brown. The injustice of minorities in this country should not be dependent on the latest technology to capture the abuse. What else are we missing that we do not see? What else needs to be changed in this country, besides eliminating “Aunt Jemima” syrup and “Uncle Ben’s” rice?
A: Find your zone. I believe that just as athlete’s have a zone where they become unstoppable on the field, any leader who finds theirs can work for hours on end without getting tired, without realizing how much time has gone by, and continues to strive for perfection. The other habit I have learned these last few years is to empathize with those who choose to hate, you do not know how much they may be suffering inside which causes them to attack. Once you learn how to do that, nobody can slow down your productivity by negativity alone.
A: That if you let your assets and your money and any fame you achieve define you, then when life takes a turn for the worse (as in this pandemic) and takes all that away who are you really? Know yourself and know your worth independent of any of your success. “If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” – Sun Tzu
About Will Campos:
Will Campos became the first Latino to serve on the Prince George’s County Council in the state of Maryland in 2004 at the age of 30. He was in county office for ten years before running for the Maryland State House in 2014. His tenure ended abruptly his first year as a Maryland Delegate in 2015 when he became the subject of a federal investigation in which he was prosecuted and sentenced to federal prison. However, his experience as a minority in the judicial process gave him a point of view of the outright inequality at every step of the way by our federal government that he could not have known as a public official. Campos has firsthand knowledge of what it is like to be a minority target, how unfair and subjective on race the prosecutorial system is, how race matters in regard to sentencing guidelines and procedures, and the outright abuse of power by this government at all levels and especially in prison.
While in prison he learned about all the ways in which the government makes it a point to mass incarcerate the black and brown population of the United States. He saw the unquestioned autonomy of the Bureau of Prisons and the lack of accountability that gives them free reign to do whatever they want to prisoners.
Campos wants to use all of his experience from his years in government and what he has learned through his own detriment to lobby those in power to make a difference for people of color. “We need to make changes to eliminate mass incarceration, it has become a luxury trap for the modern American government.”