Advice to a Poor Black Muslim Youth (part 5)
In this post we are going to talk about some of the obstacles you are likely to face in your effort to improve your condition. Understand that what is happening in inner city black America is little more than a low-intensity genocide. No, black folk are not being rounded up for gas chambers, but there are sectors of the society profiteering off of the ignorance and misery that is far too common in the hood. Bobby Joe, Billy Ray, Cletus and many more folks upstate have mouths to feed. Given that many of the factories and industries that at one time formed America’s industrial strength have been shipped to foreign countries, the people upstate have few options for work where they can earn livable ages… other than working in the prison-industrial complex. For the prison-industrial to flourish, however, it needs a steady supply of raw materials. In other words, it needs to have plenty of convicts—and an astronomically disproportionate percentage of them look like you. Like the logo of the rap group, Public Enemy, you are in the crosshairs.
Given this to be the case, the wise thing to do is to stay out of trouble—and avoid places where trouble is likely to happen even if you aren’t into doing illegal activities. The point isn’t about what should be or what is fair. The “system” ain’t fair—get over it. The point here is that you have a mission: you need to save yourself by improving yourself and that includes using the halaal means available for you to get out of the hood. And God-willing, when you get out, you can reach back and try to help those who want to be helped. But first you have to try to save yourself.
The economy is tightening; the prisons are being privatized; and the general state of the ghetto is one of increasing moral disintegration—this is not a place where you want to remain, much less a place where you will likely be able to raise pious children. We have already seen the carnage: the Muslim youth who have become drug fiends and dope dealers, the Muslim youth who are the habitual fornicators and their illegitimate kids; we have seen the Muslim youth who are getting locked up; we have seen the murderers—and those who’ve been murdered. We have even seen the open apostates. We have seen an entire generation of African-American Muslim youth who have been largely lost to the streets—because they failed to escape the vortex of this ghetto culture. Few have made it out—but it can be done, and you should strive to see to it, in-shaa’ Allah, that you are amongst them.
What to do? Have a nose for trouble. If the dope boys are on one end of the block, well, you walk down to the other end of the block. You know your neighborhood—you know where trouble is more likely to happen. You don’t want to catch a stray bullet, and you don’t want to get caught up with the goons in a drug sweep when the local PD makes its slave raid to catch chattel for the prison-industrial complex. As we said in post #4 https://facetofloor.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/advice-to-a-poor-black-muslim-youth-part-4/ get up early. Take care of your business in the morning; the low-lifes usually sleep late—it ain’t like they gotta get up and go to work. If you can, stay off the street after sundown, especially on the weekends. We know that in the evenings the satanic jinn become much more active—and so do the satanic humans.
It should go without saying that you should not get involved with drugs and alcohol. Part of the reason we talked about taking care of your health is that, God-willing, you will have no desire to put poisons in your body that will mess you up physically and mentally. If you want to “get high,” learn how to eat properly and exercise. You’ll feel a lot better—without the drawbacks—than what these drugs can do for you. Not only is consuming such drugs and alcohol forbidden in the Sacred Law, selling and purchasing them is forbidden, and when a person consumes them, they are likely to do something stupid—something that will lead to doing something that will give the police a reason to throw you in jail. Also, if you get caught with drugs, this is another reason to find yourself caged up like an animal. Again, the prison-industrial complex is fueled by fools who refuse to exercise self-control or common sense. You are not a fool; you are a sensible disciplined young man who wants to go on to achieve great things.
Don’t catch a weapons charge. The laws are set up in many states now that if you get caught with an illegal weapon in the city, it carries a much greater penalty than if someone in a rural area or the suburbs were to get caught with the same. Your martial arts training, if you don’t flaunt it, will go a long way, God-willing, in deterring harassment from the neighborhood goons. Granted, where you are may be very violent and you may feel safer carrying a pistol, but you have little choice: in the hood, cops randomly stop and frisk folks on the regular, and if you are carrying a concealed, you are looking at jail time. Also use wisdom in dealing with the police. Do NOT mouth off at the cops—don’t give them an excuse to “find” something in your pocket. Your willingness to try to follow their orders has nothing to do with being a punk—it is about understanding power dynamics: the cop has the club, the gun, the badge, and the power of the State behind him. Fighting with a cop verbally or physically is not going to improve your situation—it will only make things worse.
“The apparel oft proclaims the man….” People will judge you by how you dress—whether you like it or not. If you dress like a knuckle dragging street corner drug dealer, then you will attract the attention of the police and of other drug dealers (read that anyway you wish)—even though you are not doing anything wrong. You don’t need that in your life—you have more important things to be concerned with. Given that you are not looking to impress the hoodrats, there is no real need to be walking around wearing the latest rapper costumes. You’ll save a lot of money not trying to keep up with the newest ghetto fashions—that money can be saved so you can get a computer (with an internet connection) or books, or health foods, or martial arts classes, or other things that will contribute to your self-improvement. When you are not decked out in the Sunnah, dress more conservatively—and you can find lots of good quality clothes in some of the thrift stores.
Also, get your driver’s license! Many young men get caught driving without a license and end up with hundreds if not thousands of dollars of legal fees because they got pulled over without proper papers. If you don’t know anyone who is willing to take you out and give you lessons—or let you borrow a car to take the driving test—then go to driving school… yes, it costs money—but, then, you are saving your money because you are not squandering it on a BET wardrobe.
If you are following the commands of Allah, then you will avoid much of the trouble your peers get trapped in. Apply the basic principles of Islam and common sense: exercise self-control; don’t get caught up on the material things others may have: be content with what you have—and value knowledge and discipline; don’t find yourself wasting your time; don’t steal; don’t damage other people’s property; obviously, you are not going to rob or break into people’s homes; flee from fornication; don’t do drugs or alcohol; don’t waste your money on flashy clothes (or a flashy car) or other trifling material things. The Sacred Law of Islam is not only for your benefit and salvation in the Hereafter. By obeying Allah, you will avoid much misery and suffering in this life, as well. Fear Allah and be steadfast and sincere in following the Commands of your Lord so you may excel in this world and prosper in the one to come.