“Imagine with the heart and fearlessness came real ingenuity.”
For me growing up, I was born in the year 1987, a time when Crack Cocaine was in full swing. Everyone was selling drugs, so much so, you would have thought it was a legitimate 9 – 5. Luckily for me, I didn’t grow up in a household where narcotics was sold. But I did live in a community where people bought and sold drugs. Young people who ranged from middle school to their late adulthood were selling drugs. As I got older, the trend didn’t slow down, it kept steady. And a next generation was running toward the narcotics business full steam ahead.
So in my mind, I said to myself, “What would happen if these young males could harness that skill?” “Harness that skill and put it into real business ventures.” They have the heart and the fearlessness to persevere, but they want the fast money. And that’s what makes it difficult to get these young men to turn their lives around. The addiction to the fast money. Only problem is that the few guys at the top make big money. The ones at the bottom take the most risk and make the least amount of money. But the guys at the top started somewhere. And it was somewhere, at the bottom. So if these young guys are willing to climb that ladder, why not the legit ladder.
Yes, the money is quicker, but when you factor in the time spent hanging around to sell. Then you take that and calculate the odds of you dying or going to prison, it’s not worth it. So my next question is, “How do we steer young men from selling drugs.” You’re obviously not going to reach everybody. But the goal is not to reach everybody, it’s to show them there are options. When you are an outsider looking in you say there are options. But living there, you know there are some people with no choice. I would love to see the ability to choose. If you choose that live, so be it. But you have too many choosing that life that are not in a position to have to sell drugs.
Let’s say we are able to harness that street entrepreneurship, what could we do with it. Well, we could build and sustain a stronger civilization. People looking in say, “These are nothing but common thugs.” But if not for informants, the DEA and FBI would have a tough time busting drug dealers. The organizations are so tightly nit, that informants are needed. They run multimillion operations under the radar. And the leaders do so without showing their faces. I wouldn’t say these are a group of thugs. They have plenty of education, but with no place to put it, it will be used for bad. Who could be the creators of America’s next innovative idea, now becomes public enemy number one.
A major aspect in reaching the next group is through after school activities. With so much of their time taken up, there is no time for breaking the law. You can start to wean-out a lot of what could turn into the next criminals of tomorrow. Issues you run into with this is political. And so many people feel the politicians are a contributor to the madness. In the end, what do we do as a community. One generation dies and another is born and the same game is played. You would think a lesson is learned from the prior generations. Yet, these young men join, they sell, not knowing that they are next. The next group to go to jail, never to see freedom again.