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

pntbutterandjelly

>>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.

santown419

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.

pntbutterandjelly

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.

pntbutterandjelly

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.

Sincerely,
PB&J

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.

PagingSanity

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
SanduskySlayer

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.

commonsense1969

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

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