As young Rahim sits quietly on the stoop outside of his grandmother’s apartment building, he watches as cars on the road and people on the sidewalk pass in front of him. His adolescent mind wonders what exciting places they are headed towards. He questions himself: Why are they driving so fast? Why are they walking with such purpose?
The many ways of sending young Black men to prison is ever changing and new, improved techniques are being discovered daily. The latest way to send young Black men to prison is to groom them early in the system and what better place to do that than in the school system. The young Black man has to be taught that his place in life is to be subservient to the system at hand and if they are not, there is a place to drive this point home. They have to be taught that the mistakes and miscues they make come with certain but unique consequences. Consequences that might not apply to other races, the behavior of students is not addressed only punishment, which breeds distain for authority and sends a bad message to the child.
Family Loyalty is one of the most challenging issues for many people to deal with. Oftentimes, people who struggle with the separation of personal responsibility against the “tug” to meet family obligations end up living conflicted lives. These people are often shamed into “going the extra mile” for a family member based on a sense of obligation to ancestral binds instead of following their practical intuition. The true victims in these relationships are the ones who cannot pull back from trying to solve every problem that plagues their family members.
The war on drugs might as well have been a war on the black community the tactics of some local and national politicians helped create this façade of a war. During this so-called war on drugs, many within the black community have been the casualties. Combined with the problems of the war on drug movement are the sentencing practices that were born out of this war. The mandatory minimum sentences that put young men and women away for a large part if not the rest of their lives are overwhelmingly disproportionate to their counterparts.