Redefine the Monster to Define Yourself in Today’s Society (Part 1)

There has always been a time when African Americans had to become violent. Take on for extended periods in our struggle with an aggressive nature. From Cato to the Black Panther Party to the not so moral street gangs in the 80’s until now.

This is a new “culture” in America. No longer are we in the gansta rap age that NWA, Onyx, M.O.P., Scarface, big mob organizations across the U.S., the Tony Montana vibe or the savage lifestyles that took place in cities like Detroit, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Brooklyn and Watts. The wild days of cocaine cowboys and rampant openness of the drug world in Florida was like an oasis of crime and drugs. But, the fallout from that era are thousands of convicted felons and tens of thousands on probation and parole.

Fact – African American make up 13% of the U.S. population, but comprise 47% of the country’s prison population.

In 2002, an African American historian studied the prison population and its racial numbers. The findings…
Males incarcerated – 2,019,234
African American males – 818,900
White males – 637,700
Hispanic males – 68,000

That averages out to 4,810 black males incarcerated for every 100,000 in the population, compared to 649 whites per their 100,000. Our numbers now show that 23% of African American males are either in prison, county jail or on probation/parole.

That lifestyle and mentality is to be more aggressive than those who enslaved you. It’s coming off the Black Pride Movement of the 70’s. Those power moves of Public Enemy’s music, Tupac’s Thug Life cry, the rise in popularity in street gangs like the bloods, crips, and latin kings. Supreme team, a new age lawlessness in the urban communities demanded its pounds of flesh in the form of young black lives. Further deterioration of our communities continued the self-destruction pattern of breaking the family bond and even family connections.

Now, you have 30-45 year old men and women with little to no social skills (and naw, I ain’t talkin bout P.O.F. skills). I mean real social skills. Can you present yourself in public?

New American culture; times have changed while you were away. It’s a softer approach to life “in America”. I know the fight rages on in some hoods, but the vibe of life is geared towards a more civil life. You have to be more socially accepting of other lifestyles, i.e. the change in the majority’s treatment of gays in society, on t.v. and all over pop culture. There’s even stiffer gun and aggravated assault laws to curb the violence. The unacceptable attitude of the community for open, blatant violence is the new norm. Black communities are joining together to STOP or at least push it back in the shadows. Street life!

What does that mean for the young man/woman recently or soon to be released with one or two strikes against them? “Setting up licks” or “pushing a package” does not translate well on a job resume. What about those whom have neglected to educate themselves on this computer run world. You cannot even fill out a job application anymore without basic computer skills. The days of walking in and picking up an application are fading out!

Redefine yourself!

You must change. “It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change”. I use this quote from Charles Darwin again and again and it has always been true. If you just maintain your stance of life as it was at age 19 or 25, you will fail in the area of growth. You may exist, but with purpose for someone else’s means. To live on your terms and give to life what you’ve been gifted to give is life in balance. Today’s life is compassion, understanding, forgiveness and to live and let live.

I know the violence against young black lives is still FACT. I know discrimination is still ALIVE, but know it’s a last pitch effort to the old world mentality offended by the “change” in America. The fact that we have an eight year black President is a stance against their ever slipping hold on the direction this Country is headed.

But, my focus in this is for the redefinition of life of those falling away from our nation. We’ve talked a lot about the problems that plague those at a cross roads in life. Those whom feel “this is my last chance”, I say all you need is one shot! In this part one, I’ve sounded the alarm of the issues you might face if you are a part of new age of gangsta, thug life to now. What bridge is there to cross? In part two, we will discuss real, concrete self-help approaches and how to re-direct that monster to live in this mild society.

Always be your brother – KJS

DOC Prison Release