Words of wisdom from community leader, Khalid Elahi
I remember the moment I shifted my thinking and decided to go full-fledge into the bowels of the streets. It started when I was listening to older individuals talk about how easy it was to get money. How there was nothing to it. They didn’t tell me about the indictments, the envy, the cost of an attorney, or the percentage of people who are caught by the police and sent to prison or – worse than that – who lose their lives or cause someone else to lose theirs.
I vividly remember one individual who got out of prison and glorified it. He made prison sound like a place you must go experience. He talked about it like the path was all paved and somebody like me would flourish there. He was one of the most damaging people in my life because I believed him. I didn’t have a fear of being locked up, so I did what I wanted in the streets.
I call it the great manipulation because this cat never told me that when your two feet enter San Quentin, you feel like a slave on the auction block. You are ordered to strip butt-naked in front of several other men, ordered to bend over and cough while they look in your crack. You feel raped because everything that’s happening is against your will.
It’s embarrassing to tell you about that part. But maybe if I do, it will keep some of you from having to go and be disrespected – or worse, disrespect yourselves. These older men leave out a lot of parts to the story, so beware. This is just one aspect of the great manipulation. We haven’t even talked about the effects of a bullet when it runs through the human anatomy.
Be smart. How well you listen determines how long you live.