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Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member Part 29

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Many developments have taken place since my capture and incarceration. Kershaun has given up dealing drugs and has come into the New Afrikan Independence Movement. He and his wife have had a child, which I think has contributed greatly to his awareness. He now travels throughout the country giving lectures on the all-powerful trappings of gang activity and the gang life. He and I are still the closest in my family. Tamu and I got married just months before my incarceration and we had another child: Sanyika Kashif Shakur. Crazy De escaped the gas chamber and was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He's still dedicated to gangsterism.

One of the most important things to occur was the Rodney King beating, which is not unusual given the current relations between the New Afrikan community and the police. The unique thing about the incident, though, was that it was filmed by someone from the community and shown by the media, which says a lot in itself. For me, it was not so much the beating itself that hit home, but the repeated sight of it actually happen ing in all of its ugliness. The obvious helplessness of Rodney King as he was pummeled continuously by the robot-like gunslingers, despite the fact that he was clearly submitting: This summed up for me the condition of the New Afrikan man in this country. Rodney King could have been any New Afrikan male in America. He could have been my son.

This incident also brought the realization of my powerlessness crashing down upon me, and with it, my rage and appetite for destruction rose. It was while in this mind-set that I clearly overstood the agitated rage meted out during the 1992 rebellion in Los Angeles, which was truly surprising to me. I wasn't surprised that it occurred-that was inevitable. But I was surprised by the swiftness with which it unfolded. Some people say that the participants burned their own neighborhoods, which seems as crazy as saying that the Vietnamese destroyed their land to route out the Americans. The point I'm trying to make is that the businesses that were destroyed were not owned by the people who lived in those communities. They were owned and operated by folks who live in the suburban areas. The services that they were supplying were provided at astronomical prices, and the products were often inferior. No matter how many Toms try to paint a different scenario, there was a collective consciousness among the oppressed that is evidenced in their selection of targets and items taken. As a victim of exploitation I know the mind-set of the average rebel who took part in the burning and expropriation of goods.



What it boils down to is an overwhelming sense of inadequacy: the invisible man syndrome. The contributing factors are complex and many, and no singular person or group has the absolute solution. From what I've studied and seen it would seem that this country's 130-year-old experiment of multiculturalism has failed. Perhaps it was never designed to work. My fear is that an atmosphere is developing here similar to that in Bosnia and Herzegovina, due to the failure of positive multicultural existence. My personal belief is that separation is the solution.

The majority of Crips and Bloods have come together under the banner of a cease-fire, an effort which I applaud. But realistically, it hasn't accomplished the objective, which I believe was sidetracked by the open media coverage. Before there can ever be Crip and Blood peace there must be Crip and Crip peace. As evidenced by the accounts in this book, the number-one enemy of Crips is other Crips. This fact must be addressed before any one Crip set can come forth with an offer of peace to the Bloods. Although the cease-fire is still holding in Watts, where C.J. from Bounty Hunter and Tony Bogart from PJ Watts first organized it, other parts of South Central are still conducting their "talks" with fullies, body armor, and pagers. During the writing of this Epilogue, two Eight Trays have been killed, reportedly by Rollin' Sixties, bringing the Eight Tray death toll to thirty-two.

And what about the children? What do we tell them, or our wives? How do we come to grips with the fact that this thing has gotten way too real, out of control like some huge snowball rolling down a hill, threatening to smash and kill all in its path, including those who originally fashioned it? Time is of the essence, and every thinking person with a stake in life-especially those involved in the fighting-should put forth an effort, something more concrete than a "media truce," to deal with this tragedy. The children deserve to have a decent childhood where they live. They shouldn't have to be uprooted to the suburbs to experience peace. We cannot contaminate them with our feuds of madness, which are predicated on factors over which we have no control.

end.

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You're reading Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Sanyika Shakur. Already has 85 views.

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