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So I was not sure what I should discuss on my BAN Monday blog today but something has been bothering me that I think I should share. For the past few years my Sunday night show has been called ‘Lock Down Love.’ I get hundreds of calls from men & women who have loved ones that are incarcerated and want to tell them I love you and I miss you. Not until recently did I realize that ‘Lock Down Love’ wasn’t a favorite of every ones. I have heard negative statements such as: ‘It’s hurting our race and holding us back’ and ‘Why are we letting these Ghetto girls give shout outs to their boo who is a committed felon?’ Frustrated after speaking with friends about this issue, I considered revising the show and later that week I received an email from a woman that stated:

‘Cherry. Words can’t express how much I appreciate your Sunday Show Lock Down Love. While I listen to you as often as I can (I work in the evenings so I can only really hear you on my day off) I MAKE SURE I tune in every Sunday! My Husband and child’s father has been incarcerated for a little over a year now and recently he has been locked in his cell for 23 hours a day. With my daughters school schedule and my work schedule it’s hard my daughter and I to go visit. I’m working two jobs and can barely afford to take care of my child so I don’t have any extra money to put on his ‘books’ so he can’t even make phone calls. I call into your show every week with hopes of getting through (I have a few times) Just so I can tell him how much my daughter and I love and miss him. I know to some this may not mean much but to him and I it’s all we have right now. I just wanted to say Thank You and let you know that Lock Down Love has kept my spirits high. Please keep up the good work.’

WOW! This letter touched my heart. It made me understand and remember why I created ‘Lock Down Love’ to begin with. So this week I’m banning JUDGEMENT!  I feel the reason that I have received any negative feedback from ‘Lock Down Love’ is because people choose to JUDGE not only the caller but also the inmate. It’s easy to call a women ‘Ghetto’ that wants to tell her man who’s locked down she misses him on the radio but what if that’s her only way of contact with him.

I began to realize that what may not inspire one listener may give hope to another. Should we keep the inmates away from their loved ones via radio? Would you want something like this to be made available to you if your loved one was incarcerated? I WOULD! Let’s stop judging one another and consider knowing the entire situation before we form our own opinion.

Cherry Martinez

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