Dr. Connie Omari:
Therapy Matters, where we are breaking generational curses with a black fist, is one of our prison jury episodes. And I am going to give some feedback about my experience with the criminal justice system in hopes that it will help you to free yourself from whatever emotional, psychological, or other types of prisoners that you might find. So today’s topic is humility.
So I’m going to talk about how going through the criminal justice system helped me to become more humble, how I had to basically be humble in order to get on the other side and get the best possible outcome, and help with the hopes that, you know, you can be inspired and use this for your own self-benefit in a career. I like to start this off by referencing Proverbs 11:2, which says stay with cubs wisdom. And I think that’s so important because, as you all know by now, I was prosecuted because I chose to run a program that was not set up on a firm foundation to start with. So we’re not going to go into all the different incidents with that. If you are more interested in that information, you can look at this video here, where I’ve broken it down in more detail. But essentially, when I ran the program that wasn’t set up to begin with on a strong foundation, I ended up lying to the federal government, and lying to the federal government is a crime.
And I was prosecuted and served for four months in a federal minimum-security prison. Share that with me, though, because, as you can imagine, this was a very, very difficult time for myself, for my family, and for my career. And I was really upset. I am not a fraudulent person; I didn’t set out to commit a crime. I was actually able to show that and demonstrate that to the federal judge who was presiding over my case. It just seemed like a really horrible place to be. And I spent a lot of time, if I’m honest, being very, very angry with the government and realizing that I’m just really being resentful for even trusting the government, putting my money into a government-funded program, and putting my faith into the program for fobbing the people that I involved on behalf of the government into the governance program. I mean, I was really, really angry, and for a long time, I upheld the position that, well, if you hadn’t done this, then I wouldn’t have done this. So in other words, as the evidence was able to prove and show, and I’m sorry, not as a child citizen, that the crime actually occurred as a direct result of the flawed paperwork, I was very angry with that. I felt that the government had failed me, and government films made people feel that the government was really responsible for this.
And I felt like even though I committed a crime and even though my crime was a lie, you know, you’re talking about this one lie and all of the lies that were okay. Let’s just bring it down. So we can say that I’m the only person who went to prison for making false statements related to healthcare matters. I was able to prove that the lie that I committed was, with all due respect to your response to the government’s lie, that they were going to pay for this place to begin with, and they gave me a clear definition that I was to follow. And I did follow that definition. There was no way that I could have known that when it was time to get payment, they were going to ask for additional information because that information was not made available to the public before I actually began services. So nobody would have been able to know that; you know, that’s just not the way it worked. It was a fraud and a flaw in the design. It was supposed to happen that way. So as far as I’m concerned, the government lied first, and you have 33 witness statements. All 33 of these witness statements have been filed with the FBI, which is also stating what the government said on the paperwork. So with the lie and the deception that I told you, no, I did one thing, and I did it in accordance with the paperwork that I originally had available to the FBI, which comes with different paperwork, which is the paperwork relied on by all 333 of my other witnesses. So they all get it, and we talked about this at trial: how is it possible that, you know, the FBI was questioned about the bias of the investigation against me? That was a lot because, you know, had the questions been asked in accordance with the questions that I get access to, it would be very, very consistent.
So is that the government lying initially on the forum, then the FBI lying in the investigation, and then the FBI lying on the stand? I actually have paperwork showing that. Now put a copy of the deck here showing where the FBI actually had to recant their testimony against me because the information that they provided at trial was not, and then, of course, you have the media going on and on. I think it’s about some media outlets during the first part and then another, like three or four, who talked about it the second time. So anywhere between 10 and 12 media representations of this incident exist, none of which will actually reflect what happened in the courtroom. So what they did was take part of the prosecutor’s argument, which, of course, the prosecutor has argued is going to be different from mine. That’s why it’s a case. And that’s why we had to go through the process and go before court so that we could get a final decision.
Obviously, the prosecutor wanted, even after everything, two years; I only got four months. It’s very clear who the court went with, but nonetheless, you have the prosecutor’s argument all over the news. So that was another lie. So when you think of all the lies that were told, and mine was the one line that was actually used to show was done to benefit the clients, with which the system kind of failed in terms of setting a program correctly, um, you can imagine I was pretty, pretty hot, you know, I was pretty, pretty upset, never been in any trouble, never had anything on my record, never had any problems, really. And to find myself in this type of hot water because I trusted the government was expensive, it became very clear that I was in over my head, that it did not matter how I felt, it did not matter who was right or wrong in this situation, as it relates to who started it, the ultimate issue boiled down to the fact that I lived through it, so I did have the option to walk away and very well could have walked away and abandoned 18 women and children and left them homeless, left them without resources, left them without food, and left it without all the things that I was able to prove the money went to. But I could have said, You know, what people forget is that the government, you know, set up this program incorrectly. I’m definitely not going to lie. And that would have been the hour, obviously. I chose not to; I was interested in that type of operation, and I wouldn’t have started a project to begin with. But I digress. That was an option, and that was a legal option for tomorrow. It was an ethical option. But that was a legal option that definitely would have prevented him from getting prosecuted.
So I think that means there’s probably some type of law about abandoning women or children too. And so you get my point: I’m in this really, really chaotic situation with the government. And I’m not happy. But like I said, at some point, it became very clear to me that it’s not about whether or not I’m happy; it’s about where I’m finding myself and what I have to do to get the most out of this. And that’s when I realized how important it was to be humble. Because I went in there and said, You did this to me; you started this year; the reason why I’m the prosecutor, etc., as you can imagine, that obviously would not have gone very well because the same government that was responsible for setting this program up correctly or not is the same government that I needed to rely on to help me get out of this with the best possible outcome. Okay. So these are some of the tips that I use for this. At the end of the day, I want you to think about how this applies to your life. Okay? Sometimes you’ll be in situations where it doesn’t matter if you’re right. It doesn’t matter if you know; the answer doesn’t matter. If somebody wronged you, it’s going to take some discipline, some wisdom, and some just effort on your behalf to silence them.
A lot of times, evidence will speak for itself. And I believe that’s what he did. In this case, I didn’t go in there with an attitude; the judge just kind of went by the evidence, and you could kind of see that that’s what happened. But had I gone in there and been very nasty, very arrogant, and very condescending, then it would be easier for her to say, Well, hey, well, maybe she is a fraud. You know, if she can talk to me as a federal judge this way, I wonder what she could have done to those girls, what I’m going to do, what she could have done with the business, and things like that. So sometimes there’s a scripture that I find and quote, and I think it’s very, very powerful. And it says, Let your actions speak so loudly that no one can hear what you’re saying. So at the end of the day, it was important for me, despite my frustration, despite my anger, and despite my disappointment in the government, to be very, very clear that my actions spoke for my teachers at the time of the crime. I did that, and I was able to most effectively get that message across when I made the personal decision to be humble about the situation. Here’s how I practice utility during one of the biggest fights against self-reflection.
The first thing I did was practice self-reflection. It was so important for me to think about my goal. What did I want to happen? Did I want to make a point to the federal government that the government should have set up the program? Right? Sure. I think anybody would know that that was important. You know that that should have happened, and that’s what’s supposed to happen. If things are set up correctly to begin with, it will prevent domino effects like what happened to me from happening. But that’s not what this was about. Okay, not at this point, now that I’m working my way through it and getting him on the other side. And yes, I’m interested in promoting advocacy, change, education, and letting people know what can happen, how this happened, and how important it is to set up government programs correctly. But at the time, I wanted my freedom to preserve my ability to be home with my children and my ability to have as limited exposure to the products of the criminal justice system as possible. So the first thing I had to ask was, What do I want to come with this? Do I want to set a president and just, you know, let them know how angry I was and how frustrated I was to be nasty and disrespectful in court and come with all of the consequences that come with that it wasn’t ready to accept that? Or did I want to self-reflect and say, Okay, this is what I want to cover; what rules do I need to play by so that I can make this as least intrusive for myself and my family as possible? That’s when I chose to go hunting. I had to listen actively; I really had to listen to my attorney.
And it took me a while because I had to go through quite a few attorneys to get to one who could take this case up with me. So once I realized I should take the case up with him, I would still get frustrated because he would still remind me of my responsibility to follow the law, irrespective of what the government did. And so I had to listen to the value. Okay, I’ve established the fact that the government is, what the value of being able to actively listen is, what I did wrong, and how my actions contributed to some of the challenges that this had, and there were many. For one, I wasn’t able to give the clients that I was trying to serve the type of program that I wanted to, because at the end of the day, you know, anytime something is based on a foundation that’s not firm, that’s not strong, it’s going to have problems. So my idea was to help these poor women and children get stabilized and get food, shelter, educational resources, psychoeducation, psychotropic medication, and all the other things that they need so that they can get independent jobs, an education, and things like that. But how can I go to the source that I was using to do this if it wasn’t on a stable foundation? So there was something to be said about me not being able to have a firmer foundation, and that is my inability, or my ability, to decide whether to practice active listening. I’m actually here with my attorney.
Next, I had to cultivate a learning mindset. So I had to learn. I did that by understanding that. Oh, gosh, there are so many lessons. One is where my skills are best. Maybe I don’t need to try to be creative; I have a creative mindset and structure. And a rule-regulated program doesn’t mean that I’m a fraud. But it does mean that, you know, if rules are so strict and reserved that even when you are breaking them in order to do the right thing, development, preservation, and being away from my children are not worth it for me. So that’s something I can learn. Another thing that I haven’t been honest about is that I had to think about why I chose to work for the government to begin with; there were some limiting beliefs that I had that contributed to that. For one, everything about what I do in this podcast and all the work that I’ve done in the past with low-income communities and marginalized communities really speaks to the underdog, and I believe that the systems that are in place really don’t serve us very well, as this program kind of kind of demonstrated. But yet, here I am investing all of my money, all of my resources, and all of my time into this program that’s funded by something that I can do to help black people on many different occasions.
So why would I do something? If I really, really believe in myself and what I stand for in the work that I’m doing, why am I putting myself in a situation to be judged, criticized, and prosecuted, basically, based on values that I already know exist and were founded upon? Did we really consider whole human beings compromised for every five black people that made up three overall risks to the US Constitution? So come on, why would I think that the same programs that were designed based on that mindset will be helping our community, but yet he still put all his money into them and did not know what to do when I found myself in a situation where they weren’t working? And what can I learn? How can I be a better person in the future so that things like this don’t happen? The only thing I have to do is be mindful of the temptation to be arrogant and self-promotional. I don’t like those qualities in other people. So I know somebody wants something from me, but if they’re pointing at me, judging me, and saying, When did you do this? Or, you know, even if they’re right, because my child does a lot, sometimes I fail her in so many different ways. And she hasn’t quite developed the Chambal mindset and mature mindset; just because it’s something every day, I say, I’ll keep hitting me off. And I didn’t really know how that sounded until my eight-year-old said it, so I got all over her. She says, Mommy, you say it too. And it just really, you know, registered with me because I’m like, wait a minute with that stuff in public right now; maybe I do say that I need to address it at another time. But right now, you’re saying it. It sounds very inappropriate coming from an angel.
So please, I’m sharing that with you. Because it just goes to show you how important it is to make sure that you’re not being prideful and that you understand yourself. And you understand how to present yourself and how to show up before people look at you, especially when you need something from them. I mean, it was just to see me as somebody who’s very humble, somebody who’s very apologetic, somebody who’s very remorseful for having been in a situation, and I was able to achieve that by not being arrogant, not being self-serving, and showing empathy. Another thing I was able to do for my case was show the judge all the different areas of service that I had done: I had fed the homeless; I had given shelter to the homeless; these were not things that I had to do with the money that I had; London was not geared towards movies. In the heart, I took people’s children and mentioned that I had a doctor’s appointment, helped him get jobs, and helped him get a healthy disability that he would not have had it not been for online services. So that’s a way that you can show your ability. So think about more areas in the home for humility, training, and how much service to accept and learn from one of the things that I had to do. And I didn’t have to do this; I chose to do it. What’s called the allocation of allocation is where you essentially take ownership of a crime and apologize to a federal judge. I did that because I did something right, wrong, or indifferent about the owner, and I was running a program that I needed to release at some point. I didn’t know it wasn’t suitable at night, so I couldn’t do what I wanted to do with the girls. Because I had to take responsibility for that. And I had to show remorse for being in that situation. Because that wasn’t the outcome, I had to treat people with respect.
And I’ll be honest, I went through several different attorneys to get to the one that I actually got to, and there were a variety of reasons why other attorneys weren’t, but one of them was because there were times where I would just get so frustrated with the situation that I might have said something that was not very Doctor Ohish, or, you know, when you’re facing 10 years, I’m telling you that impulse control like that, that’s desperate birds, okay, that’s very hard to come to terms with when you have that type of pressure. That being said, I had to, you know, learn that if I wanted people to empathize with me, hear about me, and work with me. Yes, it is their job to play. I mean, people are human beings, which is natural. For someone who is good if you yell at them, you know, or if you call them a name, or if you disrespect them. I mean, you know that it’s hard to give somebody the best defense when you’re doing those types of things. So I had to learn kind of just how to contain a lot of my emotions and a lot of my feelings for the betterment of this discipline that I want to share with you guys. Life is, you know, unpredictable; we never know what hand we’re going to get in life. If you had told me 10 years ago that I was going to go to prison for saying this to the federal government for over half a million dollars, I would have thought you were crazy. Despite having done it, sometimes I still become crazy. And it’s sad. I can’t believe that happened. It absolutely did happen. And it’s something that I have to live with. And it’s something I’m using to share righteousness and love in other people’s lives in the hopes of helping them as well. So I want you to come to terms with your own mind. Think about your own experiences: what is it that you need in order to get the situation’s opposite argument that you’re having with your significant other? What about your boss without yourself? How can you humble yourself? Think about how my experience can be utilized to help you also level up. Alright, everybody, thank you for your time. I really appreciate you joining me on this lesson.