The raw truth based off my observations and experiences.
How can you live in America and not be a social justice activist by default?
I often wonder how after 28 months home from doing 19 ½ years in prison, how I’m an activist. Am I qualified to sit on the national committee for the Millions for Prisons Human Rights March? Should I have stepped into a membership position with the Close Rikers campaign? Would it have been better if I kept my head down and just got myself together for the next 3-5 years? Especially since 3yrs seems to be some magical number that stats say 67 % of people who are released from prison reoffends within that timeframe.
I had to take a long hard look at myself, meditate, and clear my mind to the point where no thoughts exist. The Daoist masters call this state the “No Mind”. When I am at my calmest state, I am the most dangerous. I see everything as a mathematical process. The clarity I gain after meditation is the greatest resource I will ever have.
Sometimes I ask myself…am I human? And why the things that most people fear when it comes to the so-called establishment I don’t? Then it becomes clear… it is the love I have for myself. I want for myself what I want for my brothers and sisters. When I was imprisoned I fought and filed two legal cases on behalf of the 5% Nation of Gods and Earths (NGE). My adversary chose to label the NGE an STG (Security Threat Group) at first, and then a gang. That means I went from some type of terrorist threat to a gang member. This is the moment I became an activist. This issue affected me and thousands of others; I was an NGE activist.
I learned a valuable lesson in the power dynamic of the haves and have-nots. I could have said “fuck it” did my time and maybe made parole earlier than the 11th time I went up. But what type of man would I have been?
I did not seek out or even know the two issues I am involved with had organizations that dealt with it. When I was asked to play a part in the movement, I knew intrinsically what I was supposed to do. I accepted the challenge when I could have made the excuse “my money not right” or “I am working on securing a solid foundation for myself”. If I had done that then what type of man would I have been?
Glenn Martin from the “JustLeadership” organization has a saying, “Those close to the problem are closest to the solution.” I concur. I realized I have the empirical experience and insight to address the issues I am involved in. Too often we shrink from our responsibilities as community stakeholders. We take the position:
The only question is…why are you not involved?