A paint brush or a gun? We decide.

Crime in urban America has taken a toll on how we live in our communities. Think about Chicago, Baltimore, and St. Louis; metropolises that have poor districts; are not progressing. Gun violence has normalized homicides, murders, and many other violent conflicts. Senseless killings have been our common themes. For these reasons, local news stations have been accustomed to broadcasting these horrific events.

Guns or cultivating the talents of our youth? We decide.

History Teaches Us

How do we get to bring disenfranchised on the right track to success? Where are the programs that Booker T. Washington advocated? Washington argued that minorities should take all type of low paying jobs; in turn, we would have a voice (i.e., a labor union voice). My father once told me, “A fast nickel is better than a slow dime.” In other words, some money is better than nothing. Work is essential, and finishing projects bring in gratification. Work is good for the soul. Time should never waste in self-indulgence and resentment.

Inclusion of all populations truly is the ultimate goal. What happened to the melting pot experiment? Diversity is what makes our country unique. With this in mind, we should accept any work to help live our lives. For instance, working at a fast food restaurant is sufficient. Until we save enough and learn enough to open our own business, all minimal or low-skilled is just a means to an end. We should not sketch ourselves in stone for one position of employment.

Only together we can make our country great!

Work with what is being offered. Take those blue-collar positions until you find something else. In the “ghetto,” we need universities that teach a trade. Academics have failed many college graduates. Many students suffer from debt and unemployment — a dire situation for many college students; living in an inflated 21st century. Where living for necessities demand more income. And great careers are slim pickings. We are intellectuals that cannot create for ourselves. Did universities teach us that we are too good to mop floors or paint walls?

Alternatives

Schools that teach young people to be electricians, plumbers, framers, masons and other skills that are mandatory for real estate redevelopment. Are essential in our economy. Canvass these downtrodden communities; there we will find a plethora of abandon buildings, homes, and storefronts.

Society spends on average $40,000 housing a prisoner (the majority are lower-level-non-violent offenders). Why not give that person $40,000 to learn a trade they can use to be productive for their rest of their lives? Why not help people become independent and not be the responsibility of institutions (i.e., prisons). We send our fellow human beings to prison, and we feed them, we clothed them, and we even tell them when its time to take a shower. Is this rehabilitation? Or this instilling a form of dependency characteristics?

Criminalization of Humanity

Nobody wins in war. The war on drugs has been probably one of the worst public policy in our U.S. history. Therefore legislation both at state and federal levels need to write laws that treat drug addiction as a mental disease. The longer we keep criminalizing drug users, the more we destroy families in our communities. Once we treat drug addicts with dignity and respect, societies will change for the better.

My Brother’s Keeper

The story of Cain and Abel; how one brother murders the other out of envy. We need to eradicate our desires for self-enriching. The worldly goods will not benefit us in the hereafter. Providing work for our brothers and sisters to sustain their lives will be rewarding. This a reminder to the writer, I have lost that. We need to get back into the markets and dictate a progressive change in our forgotten communities. How can we be ambassadors for the world; when we are fearful of failing?

Go out and seek the bounties of the markets. Go out and risk your time to make neighborhoods safer and vibrant. They are waiting for us to come back and build. Think about Noah’s ark, that ship can be symbolic of many projects that are waiting for us to create. That home that has been abandon for many decades can be the next Noah’s Ark. The newspaper company you always wanted to start, can be the next Noah’s Ark. The new small business you ever dream of can be the next Noah’s Ark. We need to start believing in our selves. Get out of your comfort zone — a constructive criticism for the writer first, reader second.

Bullets or Paint

If you have an opportunity to start your own business; what are you waiting on? We need to take the initiative. We need a business plan. The more we invest in our communities, the more we can create jobs. Having a strong economy will benefit the whole of society. The choice is ours to create businesses and legislation that makes sense. In essence, do we manufacture more deadly guns, or do we create a society full of artists? I like the world to be full of color.

Learning to Love one another is the key to Success.

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