Featured Story, Hustling & Hip-Hop

Uncle Fridge’s Pulpit

fridgeStand Your Ground

As a convict that is soon to be an ex-con I have to worry about laws like stand your ground and so on. But first I’d like to extend a shout out to my brother Tim Richardson on his release from this shithole we’re doing time in! Tim is a righteous brother that used what I used to get out the feds, a combination of hard work in the legal library, a dose of prayer and a serious commitment to living his life with love in the forefront and community service close behind. My hopes is that he continues our class (My Brother’s Keeper) out there and expand it’s scope as well as keep his promise to the shareholders that support our endeavors in here from the kindness of their hearts. That said let me continue.

This month I have to present a forum on and about the victims of crime for an organization in here that asked for my help, I’m flattered to say the least. As a person that has victimized his fair share of people and has been a victim of crime myself it’s going to be uncomfortable because I’ve done this subject in front of hardened criminals and outside guest alike in the state and feds…I’m blessed because I can walk the line between what’s considered Gangsta shit and “soft” shit because I’ve walked the walk and talked that talk in front of my peers so they know I’m not selling them up the river, nor am I going to put them in danger of embarr­assment, I usually fall on those swords so the crowd won’t leave, ha!

But the thing is this. The Stand Your Ground legislation is aimed at the minority in this country. How? The imagesthat dance across television daily, hourly, nono-secondly show young and old minorities, namely us and some Latino’s as the aggressors no matter how white America acts. Take the Ese homie in Texes that shot the white dude. That ass is in jail! Florida doesn’t convict white men that kill black men on the charge of first degree murder no matter what the evidence says. But that sister went down for a double-saw-buck for standing her ground, hope she stays free now.

We all know the double standard that has dogged us since the boat ride over from the motherland. But as a big-black unfriendly lookin’ muthafucka, what am I to do? Not walk anywhere a white person is at? I can’t carry so much as a firecracker (literally) without fed charges following. It’s the Deep South again for us. When whites walk on the same   sidewalk as you, nigger get in the street!

That’s a bit extreme, I know… Or is it?

The victims we’ve created with our actions as street niggas and whatever you call a white street dude, are coming home to roost. Is the erection of these laws the result of criminal activity solely in our communities? No. A couple years ago The USA Today did an article about this subject. The results showed that whites commit crimes at a rate proportional to the national census. But society has assigned us our roles. So black men will sadly be catching the majority of these stand your ground bullets. I’ve never been one to prey on those not in the dope game. I’m old school. But we’re all on the menu. I advise all minority men to watch your six and walk carefully because the Columbus, Ohio news outlets are filling up with S.Y.G. black bodies already.

As for the victims that we as criminals have caused and for the victimization many of us has suffered from others I pose a question. What’s next? I believe in atonement for one’s transgressions. I’m not particularly sorry for anything I’ve ever done to law enforcement. They started pulling guns on me for carrying my mother’s groceries home in 1983 so fuck them. But to all the floks I sold dope to I’m sincerely sorry for that. I knew better, but was unable to take the few talents I had to the next level like so many of us in the struggle. I never agreed with selling that shit so quite naturally when I got in the game at age 12 (late bloomer in my time) it was me the “anti” that turned up as one of the biggest assholes out there.

I attempt to atone for pushing poison by sharing the gifts given to me by convicts that love without asking for it in return. I offer the gift of mental emancipation to brothers of all hues in here and on the street. I offer guidance to the homies in hopes that we can reverse our course. I offer charity from what I have to those without. And even though I understand that being a street nigga at heart is at my core I’ve learned to live with it like a limp that is second nature. In last week’s MY Brother’s Keeper class I taught that you can’t un-smoke crack, you can’t undo dog-food, you can’t be un-molested as a child, you can’t un-shoot or be un-shot. We can only move forward and learn to develop ourselves regardless of what happened to us in life. It’s not about bouncing back. If most of us bounced back we’d be bouncing back to being some bullshit. It’s about moving forward and up. Forgiveness is hard, man. I hate the snitches on my case with a burning passion. Always will. But sometimes forgiveness is simply avoidance, you dig. Sometimes it’s reconciliation. But not matter how we view it we have to do this for self or it will eat you alive and rot out all your good. I’ve been brewing in a crucible of hatred for 19 years, nine months in the joint and even longer before prison. Simmering in malice is no way to live…

I leave it at that.