Saturday, December 10, 2011

A one-way ticket to prison...

The work force offers plenty of careers to choose from.  Some people know exactly what they want to do before graduating high school or college.  Others take a little bit longer to figure out what they want to do to earn a living. 
But at what point does a person figure out that they want to sell drugs for a living and earn a one-way ticket to prison?  What makes a person choose one of the most dangerous, unstable, rickety, and insecure jobs in the world? 
The lure or desire to make quick money in order to buy the newest clothes, wear the shiniest jewelry, or drive the nicest cars can be tempting.  But there has to be more to selling drugs than that, right?  What would make a person choose an occupation that guarantees them a one-way ticket to prison?
There are those who glamorize that lifestyle without regard for the consequences.  A lot of rappers fill their lyrics with over-hyped stories and erroneous tales of how much money they make, and how they move dope up and down the interstates, or how they ship kilos of cocaine across the ocean.  Lies, lies and more lies.  These guys will say anything to sell records.
Some rappers will even explain in their lyrics how to sell drugs without getting caught, how much they pay for a certain amount of drugs, or give details about how to do certain things with the drugs in order to make more money.  Funny thing about that is I don’t remember hearing any of them talk about how dangerous it is to be involved in the one job on earth that will guarantee a one-way ticket to prison and possible an early trip to the cemetery.
Drug dealers are constantly looking over their shoulders, sleeping with one eye open, can’t trust anyone, not sure if they are selling to an informant or an undercover cop, worrying about somebody robbing or killing them for their money or drugs, and more importantly risking their freedom.  And for what:  a new pair of sneakers, or a set of rims for a car?
These guys aren’t telling you that when you get caught (because there is no if, you will get caught) you are going to be in a jail cell with real life, hard-core criminals.  Men that prey on younger men and take advantage of them in ways you don’t want to imagine.  And if you think young men aren’t being raped and sexually abused by other men in prison, think again.   
I don’t care who you are and how smart you think you might be.  You are not smarter than the last guy that got caught.  The so-called best of the best like Stanley “Tookie” Williams, Frank Lucas, Rayful Edmonds, Leroy “Nicky” Barnes and “Freeway” Ricky Ross (the real one, not the rapper), were all caught.  The system will eventually catch up to you and you will serve time in prison.  There is no escaping that fact.
Something is going to go wrong because there is no honor amongst thieves.  If your homeboy gets caught, he is going to snitch on you in order to get a lighter sentence.  The police know exactly what’s going on and who’s doing what.  Your friend that just got out of jail is now the guy that’s going to set you up and sell you out because he’s now an employee of the state and federal law enforcement officials. 
Military boot camp is where a person can go if they want somebody to constantly yell at them, tell them what to do, when to eat, when to go outside, when to use the bathroom, or when to go to sleep.  Prison offers the same things, but comes with a slightly different benefit package.
Instead of having your education paid for, receiving medical and dental coverage for your family, traveling the world, or collecting time for retirement; prison in turn takes away your freedom, denies you the right to vote, and forces you to answer YES to the famous, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” question on an job applications.  The job market isn’t that big to start with and being an ex-convict makes finding a job even harder. 
Remember, your personal freedom, liberty, and independence is not worth giving up for the chance to make a quick dollar. 
Originally published by the Charlton County Herald on April 6, 2010

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