Our own enemy

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Feb 20, 2014
It’s said birds of a feather flock together.
 
I never knew how true that is until I went to prison.
 
I already had friends in prison and it didn’t take long for my friends not in prison to join me.

Prison was an awakening experience.

Every statistic concerning blacks and the prison system was right in front of my face. I could no longer deny 1 in 3 blacks will experience jail; 1 in 15 black children have a parent in prison; blacks make up 40.2 percent of the U.S. prison population and 78 percent of blacks who leave prison return within three years.

I was witnessing it first-hand.

The relationship between the United States and people of African descent has been an unfair arrangement since before the birth of this nation. Europeans brought black people to this continent as a commodity. Since having to abolish slavery, they have found ways to keep us as profitable commodities by capitalizing on our ignorance, stupidity and indifference.

In 2014 this country has more black men incarcerated than were ever enslaved. Fact is, the only reason the government keeps building prisons is because we keep filling them.

With knowledge being as easily accessible as it is today, ignorance, stupidity and indifference are not unfair handicaps that we are oppressed into accepting; they are choices. We are choosing the less successful road that leads to prison, addiction and un-natural death because it has been endorsed as cool by an influential subculture.

It’s just that simple.

Prison didn’t sneak up behind me one night on Huntington Avenue and build a fence around me. I landed myself in prison doing things I knew were wrong.

You’re not being rebellious against an oppressive government by not obeying the law. You are, however, giving those who want to see you fail exactly what they want. What part of your incarceration or un-natural death sabotages efforts to keep youoppressed? What part of you not being involved in active citizenship is an advantage to you, your family or your community?

I have heard if at first you don’t succeed try, try again, but in my personal opinion, attempting to succeed by re-adopting a lifestyle proven to be consistently unsuccessful seems stupid.

Realizing what has been done to us in this country since the civil rights movement has only been successful due to our cooperation, led me to just one option: Change for the better.

Last thing they want us to do is change for the better. They need us illiterate, distracted, intoxicated, misguided, intimidated, irresponsible and battling each other. If we weren’t, they would actually have to share this continent.

We have to utilize our skills in a legal positive manner ending this epidemic of mass incarceration before we are an endangered species unable to be found in the wild and prisons turn into zoos displaying the 21st century negro.

Take a moment to consider what we would have if we could have directed the young men and women we have lost down a positive path before it was too late. We have lost countless valuable members of our society.

Our young entrepreneurs, masters of marketing, production, packaging, distribution, management and sales spending 20 years in prison getting paid $16 a month to work in a chow hall or curled up on a bedroom floor with a bullet in the head because they only applied their talents to risk life, limb and freedom trafficking drugs.

Our young leaders, charismatic, passionate and articulate serving life in prison because they started a street gang instead of a movement.

Our young warriors, strong, fearless and abundant never tasting freedom again imprisoned for violent acts against they’re own people.

We are not without black leaders. Our leaders just so happen to be asleep, as are the majority of our population. There’s a Huey Newton, Malcolm X, Angela Davis and Joanne Chesimard born every hour, needing only to be fed, nurtured, protected and developed.

Not only have a percentage of us decided to forfeit this game called life, we dance to music celebrating our forfeiture, we encourage others among us to forfeit and we inspire those who look to us as role models to forfeit as well.

Let’s make it clear: Forfeiting is not an option by uniting, progressing, prospering and meeting all who oppose us halfway.

Harriet Tubman once said, “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves”

The alarm clock is ringing people; time to wake up.

Comments

From the Grave

When are black people going to realize that the most affluent people in this country actively make an effort to keep ALL non-affluent people down, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc? Why? Because they have the erroneous belief that abundance is limited, and they have no intention of sharing. And some of them are just a$$holes.

gyrocartfluffikins

Let me assure you of something. Rich people don't sit around worrying what "ALL non-affluent people down". Why would they? You give yourself too much credit.

From the Grave

Who said anything about rich people?

Contango

Re: "the most affluent people,"

Unsure of your use of the term. Kindly define.

From the Grave

I think it's clear~you just want to argue.

Contango

Re: "I think it's clear,"

Well obviously it's 2 to 1 and I asked 'nicely.'

Just looking for clarification.

If you can't or won't answer - have a nice day.

(I don't argue. It's a waste of time. I often attempt to debate with thinking people. Hence the reason more often than not for my questions.)

From the Grave

2 against 1...okay. That pretty much answers your question.

Contango

"Affluent people" aren't the same as "rich." Right....

Have a nice day.

pntbutterandjelly

@ From the Grave; "Greedy a$$holes."

Raoul Duke

"F--- the doomed"~Richard M Nixon

JMOP

"Last thing they want us to do is change for the better. They need us illiterate, distracted, intoxicated, misguided, intimidated, irresponsible and battling each other. If we weren’t, they would actually have to share this continent."

Who are they that you speak of? The government, whites? You are talking in past/present tense.

Speaking as a Caucasian with Native American blood, I could qualify for free medical, housing, college, and land. Guess what? That was something I never suffered through, my great, great grandparents did. I'm not entitled, or bitter. I'm an American hardworking tax paying citizen of the United States of America, making positive contributions. That's how I see myself, that's how I live.

Glad your doing better for yourself. Wish you would've had a different outlook on life when you were younger like you stated.

Coram Deo

Yes was wondering too just who is the "they" you speak of. No matter though who "they" are as you stated, the choices you made were yours and yours alone and understanding that was a quantum leap in the right direction. Living in the victimization mode only keeps a person from ever rising above his mistakes and circumstances. Love the Harriet Tubman reference. Truly our prisons are often of our own making, more mental than physical. Clearly you are making better choices and that takes courage. You sir are made in the image of a holy God who sees you with unlimited potential and infinite worth. Just as Harriet Tubman believed that God orchestrated her escape to freedom to help others come to freedom, He has a good plan for your life too.

A good book I'd like to recommend if you can get your hands on it is a book called "Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It" by Star Parker. She's an awesome woman of color who founded the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and is also a syndicated columnist. Her personal biography is amazing. Godspeed.

Contango

Another I would add:

"Up From Slavery" - Booker T. Washington.

Lotta wisdom.

Unfortunately, the W.E.B. Du Bois wing currently has the microphone.

gyrocartfluffikins

"giving those who want to see you fail exactly what they want"

Huh? Who gives a rats !ss what you do? If you want to end up in prison, go for it. Don't blame white people for supposedly wanting to see you there. Really. I don't care. Stop blaming others. That'd be a good start.

YouMustBeJoking

JMOP,hit the nail on the head. You have NO entitlement, you were NOT a slave , so stop looking for pitty. Just because your racist and you are simple minded in trying to justify your pitiful life because you are a certain color, is the very reason ALL people will continue to look down on you and laugh at your constant whining. Here is an idea, stop complaining and making excuses about why you are the way you are, it has NOTHING to do with someone you have never met or known being a slave. So get over it. You are not even entitled to an opinion on the matter, because there is no truth nor facts in you blog. I didn't have a say in what color I was going to be, but I deal with it and I don't blame anyone. One last thing, heres one thing you and everyone else has in common, not one was a slave.

Contango

Re: "With knowledge being as easily accessible as it is today, ignorance, stupidity and indifference are not unfair handicaps that we are oppressed into accepting; they are choices."

@ Mr. Newell:

Excellent observation!

The piece reads like a manifesto. Good work.

phroggy

Action speaks louder than words.

arnmcrmn

http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF...

Truth about white on black crime in America, that of the 53,019 homicides from 2005 through 2010, white-on-black homicides accounted for only 3.9%, while black-on-white homicides were 8.77%. White-on-white and black-on-black homicides accounted for 44.14% and 43.18%, respectively.
A white person is more than twice as likely to be murdered by a black man than a black man is to be murdered by a white man.

Even more astounding considering how many more white people there are than black people.

Ever hear Al Sharpton condemn this wholesale slaughter of a single race? Me either. (Dr. Torch NOSF)

Smile33

Mr. Newell: You do make several great points about crime, and kids growing up learning those crimes instead of doing something positive for themselves, however. It's time to acknowledge it's not just one race who is wrapped up in crime, it's all races. And this country as a whole needs better Role Models for these children and young adults.

Unfortunately, there will be people who will always make things about race, which is unfortunate because it's time to move on from black, white, mexican, asain, etc. I'm sick of people making everything about race. Why can't we just start acknowledging people as well... people! If families and parents start raising their kids right, we wouldn't have so many issues with the younger generation. I fear it will only get worse if we continue to teach our children entitlement, discrimination of race, and crime. As a whole, whether in our community, state, country, we need to start making a difference and exemplifying admirable and respectful characteristics and decision making for the younger generation. That way, they will know what is acceptable and not acceptable when they are older.

donutshopguy

Today there is no one to blame for your place in life but yourself. With a black man as President all is possible in regards to race.

Stop making excuses and put forth the effort to change your life.

Strong independent people don't make excuses they rise above them.

deertracker

A Black president means very little. I highly doubt we will see another one in this lifetime. Some do make excuses but some do not. Please do not suggest all things are equal because they are not. Most people know this and many do rise above the obstacles. Black History month is there to remind Blacks and others the contributions made by Blacks and to encourage Blacks to succeed.

A premature baby almost never grows at the same pace as a full term baby! We'll get there!

donutshopguy

Deer,

After numerous discussions with you on many subjects I have come to the conclusion that you are a "glass is half empty guy". Are you happy or encouraged with anything in your life ?

deertracker

You have grossly mischaracterized me. I am definitely a "glass half full" kind of guy but I am also a realist. What is true happiness? It's relative to who you are. I am not discouraged by anything but I choose to see the big picture clearly.

slightthroat212

@deertracker....you are correct about one thing....success to each person is measured through the eyes of the beholder, not only through the eyes of those who witness what they are seeing.

The Big Dog's back

Ahhh yes sprinkles, trying to project yourself onto others.

Simple Enough II

You are probably correct that there will not be another "Black" President as Obama is not an African-American now is he. Now if some joker comes along and blows smoke up everyone's butt like he has, while never accepting responsibility for his choices and administration well, yeah, I hope they don't get elected.

JERRY from SANDUSKY

Only you make your own bed only you can change what side of the bed you get out of get a life while you're at it get a job

deertracker

From the grave makes sense to me. Everyone want blacks to turn a blind eye to the realities of racism. I agree, there is no need to blame anyone for the past but it really is hard for certain people to achieve that so called American dream. They don't build prisons just because WE keep filling them. They build them to fill them. When a society would rather invest in prisons instead of education no one should be surprised at the present outcome. This is not about slavery or entitlements. Those of you that insist on ignoring the generational oppression that still exists simply don't want to see the obvious. Ignoring it does not make it go away. Black people have to accept that their journey to success is going to be very challenging and just deal with it. Don't get me wrong, it is not always easy for whites but the struggle is far less challenging. Stop blaming the parents. As kids get older they choose their own path. My dad was a WWII vet that had to raise nine kids alone after my mom died and he did a good job but the same challenges then are there today. Most of us turned out just fine but not a lot has changed and the youth today want an easier path.

JMOP

I respectfully disagree with the statement as regards to this not being about entitlements or slavery. It is said between the lines. As he stated "they" are oppressing blacks, as if they will not or cannot do for themselves.

deertracker

Oppressing others is done to make sure you stay on top. Of course BLACKS and others can do for themselves but it is the opportunity or lack thereof that can create the oppression. I really believe you can only truly understand what it is like to be black only if you are black.

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