This one is for you.
You say, “I’m a street kid.”
But I have news for you, I’ve seen where you live……..and that ain’t the street.

On the opposite side of reality shows or Music Television, and opposite the flash of popular thug life, and on the other side of gangster hype lies an unglorified reality of what comes after.
Right now, a young man is sitting inside a small jail cell. He waits to be seen by a judge, and then the court officers will escort him downstairs to another cell where he will sit with the others that cannot make bail.

Perhaps they will bring him a dry bologna sandwich on stale white bread with a small carton of warm milk. By this time, the young man will look around and certain facts will be clear.
Perhaps, he will understand that inside the cage where he waits for a bus to take him to the county jail, there will be an understanding that he, himself, is now the minority.
He will understand that the diction in his voice, or the way he pretends to speak with an ethnic slang, which does not become his pale European skin, will not earn him any friends.

He will come to the understanding that no one in the cell cares, is afraid, or will be impressed by his story.
This is the side the television never shows.

The clothes he once bragged about will change to a single outfit…probably an orange one.
This is when the young man realizes the price he has to pay. This is also when he understands his weakness. The walls close in and the air seems manufactured and stale.
This is when he learns about fear, and how truly helpless he is.

But again, this is not the side we see on reality television.
On the other side of the gangster culture are the painful realities that close each night in the booming sound of a heavy door.

Think about it:
Right now a 15 year-old boy is seeing his father for the first time after being sentenced.
In ten years, the boy’s father was not there to take him to the park, or play catch, or teach him how to ride a bicycle.
In ten years, the boy’s father has not been able to say even the simplest things like, “Goodnight, son,” or “Good morning.”

Right now, a 15 year-old boy is handling the damage of the gangster culture.
And there is a word for that damage; it is called “Irreparable.”

But you won’t find this on reality television. There is no script here. There are no producers to barge in and save you. I call these shows a form of soft-core pornography.
It turns you on because you never see the other side.

I bet you can see it now though
My advice to you is try to sign a P.C. (Protective custody)
Pull a medical; say you’re suicidal and you’ll be in a cell by yourself.
If they give you meds….don’t take them….tongue them.
If you can, sell them off so you can put money in your commissary.
Take a plea
Take a deal
Take a haircut and change your friends
change your style, change whatever you can,
but remember one thing;
middle-income Long Island is not the hood
and you are not a gangster…

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