For a number of years I’ve been a staunch advocate of prevention programs, but it’s obvious that new gold mines are called institutions of incarceration where the inmates are just housed. Formal education and the opportunity to learn a skill craft are almost nonexistent, and once they are released rehabilitation kicks in. Where was the rehab while they were locked up?
The outrageous statistics of the percentage of Black men incarcerated are printed and discussed everyday and a multitude of reasons given to some are valid but too many are excuses. The time is upon us that all of these people who run afoul of the law can’t be helped—much less saved, and too many people fool themselves that everybody can be saved. A number don’t want to be saved. In fact, large numbers fanaticize their lifestyle. I’ve heard them brag about how they got over with the ladies, burglaries, robberies of honest people and dope dealers and laugh at honest hard working people.
I believe the sentencing guidelines should be changed. Too many people are being jailed for possessing two rocks, but we need to work on the mindset that too many people believe small dealers are not hoodlums selling death and destruction, but young men who just can’t find a job that pays $50,000 a year. There are even some people, who stick up for a dealer until the dealer sells drugs to their sons, daughters or grandchildren.
I am totally opposed to the legalization of drugs and you cannot equate drugs with alcohol and Prohibition. A number of people, particularly those with low self-esteem, will be curious and with no legal ramification many will try drugs. You would then have a generation of legal drug addicts.
Let’s ask ourselves how did the majority of us refuse to get involved, and if you smoked a reefer never allowed cocaine, heroin, crack to be a part of your life. It is mandatory that those of us who were raised in the same neighborhoods and sometimes the same parental situation have demonstrated by our lives that we have the conviction and moral and physical strength and have the audacity to say to young people starting the third grade “that you are somebody and if you work hard and prepare yourself nothing can hold you back.”
It takes more strength to walk away from that which you know is detrimental to your well-being than to become an active participant. THOSE OF YOU, WHO WERE ABLE TO SAY “NO” ARE THE STRONG ONES, the weak ones are those who brag they did time in the joint, sold and used drugs, prostituted their sisters, and took part in other illicit activities.
Please help the youth at Kingsley Association.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)