By Demond A. Jackson
Personally.., over the years I’ve invested allot into the gang culture, street life, friendship, love, others and the betterment of self. Yesterday I had a dispute with a older comrade of mine. To make a long story short my comrade was mad at me for not allow him to partake in the MENSTOP re-entry/At-risk youth program I founded, which is currently being facilitated at F.C.I. Victorville II.
His anger caused him to gossip with committee member and staff about how he felt about me not allow him to play a leadership role in the program. I mean… ya’ll-all-know…how gossip works.”He says- she said” eventually get’s to the person being spoken about. Therefore, over the past week I’ve had this person and that person telling me “Djay what’s up with you and So-and-So?” I’m like “I just saw him today and he didn’t say anything to me.” Yet with all the people who came to me, about what my comrade was saying. I refuse to respond or feed them any information about how I personally felt Until yesterday!
I call my comrade to meet me , at his surprise everyone he had spoken to behind my back I made sure were present. I asked him ” Have I ever made you feel that you couldn’t talk to me if we had a problem?” His response was “No, but–I was mad at you Homie because… I felt like you were making it seem like I don’t possess the capabilities to partaking in your program. It made me feel like you were saying I’m to stupid to play a role in the program like some of the other homies.”
I allowed him to talk until he was completely satisfied and then… I gave him the business! I want lie to you… for this post I will not express the rawness in which I speak at time when I’m amongst…those who have came up in the streets the same way I have. Being soft spoken with a grown-ass…men at times, is like kitten calling a blood thirsty Pit-bull. It won’t get it.
So I spoke to him with no cut, no chaser profanity and all.
(Note: I’ve edited out the profanity to guard the youth.)
” WHY DIDN’T YOU ADDRESS ME WITH YOUR ISSUE FIRST! INSTEAD OF GOSSIPING ABOUT IT TO EVERYONE? WE ARE MEN, YOU KNOW BETTER. PLUS I’M NOT ALLOWING YOU TO BE INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAM FOR THE EXACT REASON WHY WE’RE HERE-NOW-HAVING-THIS-CONVERSATION! YOU’RE A SELFISH, INCONSIDERATE AND POWER PLAYING NEGRO THAT ALWAYS HAS SOME HIDDEN AGENDA. THE MOMENT YOU DON’T GET TO HAVE YOUR WAY YOU START SCHEMING AND CONNIVING TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR AIM INSTEAD OF JUST BEING REAL! THIS PROGRAM IS NOT ABOUT ME OR ANY ONE PERSON ITS ABOUT “US” INCARCERATED MEN SHOWING THE POWERS THAT BE, THAT WE CAN DO SOMETHING POSITIVE AS A COLLECTIVE FOR OTHER’S WHO NEED OUR ADVICE AND THE LESSONS WE POSSESS BY WAY OF OUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES!”
Long-story short by the time I was finished with my comrade…he couldn’t do anything but admit I was right. Even though he didn’t like it and the apology he gave me was half-ass. The truth of the matter was something he knew he couldn’t avoid. I’m just one of those individual who’s been raised to call a spade a spade and tell the raw and uncut truth regardless of what may come from it.
Reason being is: I’ve personally invested to much heart and soul into changing things about myself to become the man I am today.
That’s the thing about one’s personal investments. Majority of people fail to change in a positive way because of their personal investments in self. Believe it or not some of you or someone you know still does allot of ignorant shit, simply because they’ve invested so much time in energy through out their life validating their personal bullshit. That to change it would devalue everything, they’ve lead other’s to believe they themselves believed.
For example: Majority of older Gang members know that the gang culture currently is like living in a snake pit, with Cobra’s, Rattle Snakes and Garden snakes. At any moments you’re subject to get bitten some bite are harmless other can and will cost you your life or limbs. But the only reason they are still participating is because of their personal investments. Some have killed, risked life, limbs, friends freedom and family. To uphold their commitment to the hood and all it once stood for. They’ve got to much invested just to let it go. They are somebody in the hood verses being a nobody in the workforce and ect.
The same applies to those who have never done anything criminal in their life. They’ve got to much invested in the positive person they’ve strive to be to take unnecessary risk trying to make a few extra dollars. Dealing with the circumstance surrounding my comrade yesterday made me see how powerful our personal investment are when it comes to our choice of being right or wrong.
My comrade openly admitted to me that he was wrong and that at 50 homies I’m just to old to change. We embrace and left it at that. It dawn on me that the main reason why I had addressed my comrade about the situation and the gossip wasn’t because I felt it was so devastating that he was doing what he was doing, it was more about the fact that: I’ve got to much invested in being real no matter how hard it is at time. The investment in my personal integrity wouldn’t allow me to allow another day to go by with addressing the nonsense my comrade was perpetuating.
What have you made a personal investment in that may be hindering you from growing in a positive way? Or what personal investments have you made that keeps you committed and on being the best you can be at all times?
Assessing our personal investments is like checking one’s investment portfolio seeing which stock is worth investing more time in and which stock is a clear flop that needs to be sold or traded for a better stock. Because the truth of the matter is personal investments might have you staying in a bad or abusive relationship, dealing with individuals who intention are no good for you and holding on to persons, place and things you truly need to let go of.