Burke R. IV
REPRESENT JUSTICE X JR: TEHACHAPI
Name is Burke Robinson IV. Raised, born and raised from Los Angeles, California and been incarcerated since I was 18. I'm now 26, I'm turning 27 in a couple more days and it's been a drastic experience being incarcerated at such an early age to the point where I'm at now. The most drastic change for me would be my spirituality and a combination of me making the best decisions and choosing to be a better individual for myself as well as for my family. And that's what I strive to do and thus far been doing okay. But I was my worst enemy, my own worst enemy and I just had to figure out a way to hey, man, you got to change and it starts with you starts with the man in the mirror. And I mean, it's not, if you want to change whatever you want to do in life, you can do it. It's all up to you. If you put the hard work and it's going to show. That's what I've been doing.
In African culture, they believe that whatever you was dubbed from birth your name given, they believe that’s your destiny. That’s why a lot of African names have meaning to them. I gave you my government name, which you know, by my parents, but my Muslim name is Islah, meaning in Arabic betterment, improvement, reparation, you know, just the things that I strive for and speaks about my character who I am today, and I think that’s you know, has definitely helped me whether I believe it or not, but it’s definitely has helped me to manifest a different persona than the norm. You know, but I mean, it’s not an overnight process. I still, you know, have flaws here and there but I’m working on myself, I find peace within myself. I could not have said that a year or two ago.
And It took me a while to get to this point because the day I caught this case and I was in the county jail, I was 18. I remember thinking to myself like I’m here with grown men, you know, I don’t feel like a man yet. I’m still young. To me, I’m still a kid doing kid things.
Amidst it all I was having suicidal thoughts. Even you know, try, attempted suicide, didn’t work. Yes. It wasn’t meant to be, you know, how I feel that I have a purpose and have a calling I have to answer to and that’s what I’m doing but I can actually say today I’m very much at peace with myself. So everything is falling into place of my prayers being answered, have a lovely family, a strong family support system. They helped me get through what I’m going through.
And that’s just me speaking, you know, openly, I didn’t have time to plan for this. I’m sort of an introvert to, like, you know, this is all right, I could talk to you face-to-face. But here in front of the masses is offline, and nerve-wracking. I’m always getting the jitters, maybe because I have anxiety. Maybe I tend to overthink things, but I’m more comfortable now just let you know if I feel comfortable talking to you personally. It’s a cool feeling. It’s a cool feeling.
To sum everything up to sum it all up, I believe I deserve a second chance being that this is my first adult case and I was an adolescent at the time making immature choices. I was out of my mind at that early stage of my life and all the stages I took in order to grieve that I took to get to where I’m at now. I see things differently, and I’m bright. I’m bright. So I just, you know, want the world to know that Change is possible given the right circumstances and it took all it is for me to be sentenced to 105 Years to Life for me to realize that, hey, it’s time for you to wake up. You can’t make the same mistakes that you were doing in the past because that’s self-destructive. And I know for sure that I’m ready for society, I’m ready to live, you know, a successful lifestyle and what success means to me as you know, having a 9-5, having a family to call your own, you know, car, house, you know, just hanging with my mom all day, taking her out to certain places doing what she wants to do for that day. You know, same for my dad, being a brother to my sister as well as my brother, and just take them to dinner, just little things is that you know, I value not cherish, just little things. It might be little things to y’all because y’all get to do them every day, but to me when I say little things it has much more meaning than just the words. Little things could be just doing family reunions. I mean just so many things. It’s just so many things I want to do just just go out to eat different places, travel different states, different cities, different countries, to have a my family of my own. I have no children. I want kids. I have a fiance. I’m blessed to have her in my life, found my wife and just do it, just do a lot of things just enjoy each other’s company.
And those are things that I yearn for it and I’m going to get if I just continue to stay on the right path.