Our own enemy

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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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

Have a nice day.


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

Raoul Duke

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

JMOP's picture

"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.


Another I would add:

"Up From Slavery" - Booker T. Washington.

Lotta wisdom.

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


"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.


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.


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.


Action speaks louder than words.



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)


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.


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.


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!



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 ?


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.


@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.


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


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's picture

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.


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.



If only blacks can understand than whites trying to help is useless. Are you really saying that ?

So let's just throw away all the progress that had been made because it doesn't make a difference unless you are black.


Whites trying to help is NOT useless. My issue is when whites try to act as though all experiences are the same. I am Black and I do not fully understand the struggles of other races nor do I pretend to understand totally but I can easily relate to their struggle. The same can be said about gender. Men can't fully appreciate the struggles of women because they are men and vice versa.

JMOP's picture

Why the capitalization on the word blacks? Were you shouting?


I was putting the emphasis on me, just one Black!


The problem with America today, is the fact that people refuse to take responsibility for themselves. In the 20's, the government failed the people, causing the worst depression in U.S. history. Did the people cry out for revolution and a fall of the government? No. Did the people sit around complaining that the government failed them? No. The people got up and went searching for work. They blamed themselves for their shortcomings. In a time where the government actually caused the nation to fail, the people blamed themselves.
In todays society, people sit back and complain that the government is not doing enough for them, and asking "why is the government trying to oppress us". Slavery is over. Civil rights have taken leaps and bounds, but we will never overcome this "racist oppression" Newell speaks of until society starts taking responsibility for their actions. Maybe instead of looking at the amount of blacks incarcerated, look at the amount of blacks committing crime. Contrary to urban belief, police do not go around looking for African-Americans they can pretend did something illegal. They just jail the ones that do wrong. Take responsibility for that, do not blame it on the cops.
Furthermore, we will not overcome "racist oppression" until society stops crying "hate" every time an African-American thinks something was racist. Recently on MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry made racist remarks to the family of Mitt Romney because of their African-American grandson. Did the Romney family go cry "racist"? No. They forgave Harris-Perry and moved on. This is what we need in order to overcome "racist oppression."

Take responsibility.

Take responsibility.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -JFK


Very well said! :-)


You do realize welfare was started because of the Great Depression. JFK's family directly benefited from a criminal enterprise. MHP's panel's comments were inappropriate but not racist. How many times was a black person accused of a crime by the person that actually committed the crime? Many! Also, there's innocent people in jail of all colors. Let's not forget about the cop that accused two blacks of pointing the gun at him. That happened right here.


I checked for Mr. Newell's LinkedIn account, but, couldn't connect. My reason for checking is to see how many organizations he is part of whose aim is to be a change agent for black youth. Perhaps his column gets wide distribution in the black community, but, if it does not I have to wonder what the point is in writing for the Register? It strikes me that his target demographic likely does not frequent the Register web site.

Lima has Bradfield Center and Cheryl Allen Community Center for the purpose of taking on such societal and individual problems. If Mr. Newell has no knowledge of these places he is certainly welcome to make the trip, both institutions would be happy to meet with him. Establishing similar centers (if none exist) in Sandusky would give him the voice he claims is vitally needed.


It's already been asked, but I will reiterate:
Who is this They?
"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."
I don't know anyone who wants to keep good, honest, hard-working people on the down and out, much less be part of "this epidemic of mass incarceration".
It's simple for blacks, whites, rich and poor...if you don't want to go to prison, don't break the laws.


I believe in personal responsibility. Life is not perfect. But, we can all improve our life.

If we need to blame someone lets just blame God. Color and race are in his hands. Good luck with complaining to him.


The mug shot of Mr. Newell on the offenders' site tells a very different story at the time, Hopefully he learned his lesson. If people are still going to use slavery as an excuse for entitlements, then there will always be racial clashes. A person has to want to be educated. All kinds of education is available, not just formal book learning.


Who is this guy and why does the SR let him spew his hatred?

Mr Newell you should have brushed up on your history when you were in prison. The very first slave traders coming out of Africa were black. Yes, black African's were the first slave traders as they were easily able to befriend the African people and then offer them for sale.

Just a couple other things to keep in mind:

"The illegitimacy rate among blacks is 72 percent,..." Why is this Mr Newell? Is this the white man's fault?

Another good question to ask yourself Mr Newell:

"Whose fault is it to have children without the benefit of marriage and risk a life of dependency? Do people have free will, or are they governed by instincts?"

These points and many more good ones are brought up by Walter E Williams, a black Professor at George Mason University.

Mr Newell each and every person has the right and ability to live their life as THEY see fit. Yes it is true that some individuals may have a tougher road to due to race, religion and ethnic diversity but the strong will survive and the weak, well, we see every day what happens to them.


The truth is that criminals choose to be criminals. There is no other way to state it. Criminals must take responsibility for their actions, plain and simple.

But as far as "racism" goes, it definitely is a two way street. Ask some graduates of SHS about the officer of recent time, Dana Newell (Dana is now the lead detective for SPD). On multiple occasions, Dana threw the book at white kids for doing the same things he would slap the wrist of one of the black kids. He was as racist as anyone can possibly be, but no one says anything to him. Why? A white person crying "hate" would receive nothing more than laughter.


Prdjudice and hate are taught from one generation to the next and have nothing to do with anyone's color or lack thereof. I am colorless.

I find it interesting that there are no dedicated months for other races. Why is that? Could it be because people of a certain darker color can't decide what they want to be called. First they're negro, then coloreds, then blacks and now they're african-americans. What a bunch of nonsense! They are having an identity crisis pure and simple and brought it upon themselves so get over it already. Pick a color and stick with it for crying out loud.

Part of the problem as I see it, are the movies and how they stereo-type people. The Godfather trilogy made gangsterism cool and look at all the Clint Eastwood movies and that violence. No one seems to get the message that crime does not pay.

Choices have consequences, no matter what color one is. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. The culture has been changed to accept violence as entertainment and yet we expect different results by thinking that our younger generations are going to do better. Better than what?

One only has to look in the mirror to decide what type of person you want to be and color has nothing to do with it!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I can agree with the sentiment of this post, but disagree with the specificity of the audience. It's not just a problem with one race. Any and everyone will fall into the gears of society and its systems if they don't learn thinking skills, literacy, and the reason for laws/morals (not just the laws/morals themselves). Just as well, those same systems can't hope to save someone who doesn't have the ability to be saved by developing the things mentioned above.


The question that has been asked numerous times is who were you referring to as "they" in your racist article? Damon, you have commented on here in the past, so why can you not answer the question? You have referred to yourself as, and I quote "illiterate, distracted, intoxicated, misguided, intimidated, irresponsible", facts are that you are also a sex offender as well as a FELON. Now I am in no way making an assumption, just asking a question, who are "they" and also if everyone thinks you are a racist coward, are YOU?


Mr Newell, you article applies to ALL young people today and not just to young people who happen to be black. What worries me the most about young people today is that many of them let opportunitiies pass them by as they wait for something to be handed to them. The world just isn't like that. You must work for what you want and life isn't that easy. They want life to come to them, instead of them jumping into life with both feet. You learned to do just that. A hard lesson learned, but you learned the difference between right and wrong, working hard and not just taking. Good for you.

I hope if even ONE young person learns from your experiences and what you wrote and it takes hold, and that persons inspires two more and they inspire two more...perhaps it will make a difference. One can only hope.


>>slighthroat212 << I love your last paragraph. One of my sayings when parting with company is, "Be safe. Be healthy. Be happy. Be wise. Be prosperous and then...pass is all on." Passing it all on is what helping others is all about.

Dr. Information

eeeWow. Whites are more than 2x likely to be killed by an African American? Wow, racism at its best.


No your racism at its best.

Dr. Information

Now how is my post racist. Posting that blacks kill off more whites, even when there are more white people in America? Come on child, if this was the other way around, oh boy, you'd be going Al Sharpton on here.


Okay...I have to weigh in. The "oppressors" are the corporations. If we would all only just look at that reality...then maybe, just maybe...we, blacks, whites, browns, reds and any other hue...can finally band together and create a foothold on what is rightfully ours. "Untied we stand. Divided we ______."
Hatred, greed, bigotry and ignorance are such divisive weapons. They are the weapons we use against ourselves while the Industrialists laugh all the way to the bank. PLEASE (!)...stop blaming each other before it's too late. Are we (you and I) not better humans? Take your brother's hand and help him. Help him up. And when you do...we are all that much stronger. If we continue to bicker among ourselves over race, gender preference, religious preferences and all the other truly trivial matters...we are defeated. And so with that defeat comes the defeat of Democracy.
(I can't stand that person. Just look how tall he is.)
(I don't like people who have red hair.)
(People who drive Chevys irk me to no end.)
(I won't allow a Jewish boy to date my Mormon daughter.)
(If Mexicans didn't smell so funny....)
(I just KNOW that guy is gay. Look at his hands.)
(You can't really be a good Christian...you belong to the wrong church!)
(She must guilty. Look at her earrings.)
(Irish drink too much.)
(If their eyes are slanted...they can't be trusted.)
(Skinny people must surly be doing something wrong!)
(Psst. Over there. It's a person in a wheelchair. Don't make eye contact or say "hello".)
(That guy? Oh he's too old to know what's going on.)
(That girl? Oh she's to young to know what's going on.)
(If they live south of the Mason-Dixon Line they MUST be stupid.)

And so the misconceptions, mistrust, hate, envy and prejudices go on and on and on. If each of us continue to point out the vagaries and differences among us...we'll become islands among the throngs and a nation of 1.

I DARE each and every one of who have read this to take just one day and try, really try, to let go of your preconceived ideologies and strike up a conversation with someone who you "think" is, for whatever reason, an "untouchable". You may just be amazed at what you will learn about them and more importantly...about yourself.

"We have met the enemy and he is us."

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Your dare is accepted and fulfilled to bounteous fruition every day on my/community's part.


To Mr. Damon Newell: Good sir, Many here have missed your primary point. Many... but not all. You have made mistakes. You have paid the price for those mistakes. You have embarked upon a new mindset and attitude. You are still learning, appraising and evolving and you understand and accept that challenge. And, now...you are, in the best way you know how, trying to reach out to the youth with the lessons you have learned. You are sharing. You are teaching. You are trying to save others from the hardships you created yourself. "That" is a noble thing to do. I wish you the best in your endeavor.


The New World Czar

"There’s a Huey Newton, Malcolm X, Angela Davis and Joanne Chesimard born every hour, needing only to be fed, nurtured, protected and developed."...

There are also people like Michelle Malkin, David Webb, Thomas Sowell, Tim Scott, Walter Williams, Charles Payne, Deneen Borelli, and Clarence Thomas who continue daily to lead and make positive contributions to our society as a whole.


I am an educator, and unfortunately I see young people of all colors going down the wrong path. Much of it is because they honestly don't know anything different, and no matter what we say, we can't undo their own personal realities and what they go home to, day after day. It's agonizing to watch and not be able to convince them that they deserve better, and that they CAN do better and BE better. I find it heartening to read something well written like this from someone who took the wrong path and is not only fighting his way back from that bad decision, but attempting to help others to not make those same mistakes. Take heart Damon, there are still those of us who applaud your and other men and women's attempts to overcome the circumstances that they were born into. We don't just see a color or a crime, we see you.

SanduskySlayer's picture

The author fails to realize that America has become the worlds largest open air Prison. He makes this about race, rather than rights. The author is a whiny racist.


question: How long will it now take for black students to end the detestable practice of self segregation? An observation: How misguided the black student who accepts the idea that striving for academic excellence is to be equated with being “white,” when in actuality it is equipping oneself with the best possible chance for economic success. I believe King would have told them to look in the mirror – for it is there they will find the man most responsible for their ills." Mychal Massie

Coram Deo

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which they have overcome while trying to succeed. —Booker T. Washington