This young Haitian guy Stevie, but calling himself Hyena, came back to the unit after spending 40 days in the hole.
He’s 21 years old but when I tell you he looks like he’s 12, I mean it. He’s shorter than my 13 year old daughter and weighs about 100 pound soaking wet. If we were free in the world together, I’d take him right to my Princesses middle school to beat up all the little boys that want to be her boyfriend.
Hold up, that was the over protective father, triggering my past gangster mentality taking over.
Anyway, Hyena lost his mother in the earthquake that devastated Haiti and came to live with his uncle in Brooklyn. It didn’t take long for the lure of the streets to take hold and he’s since found himself as a member of the Cripps.
Charged with armed robbery, the Feds offered him 10 years on a plea deal.
He came to my cell, asking me for advice.
“Eddie, ten years is like life,” he said with his strong Haitian creo accent.
“That’s how it seems now, but your young, you’ll be all right. Take that!”
“You say that like it’s nothing because you have over 13 years in already.”
“No” I corrected, “I say it like it’s a good deal and if you think about going to trial, they’ll knock your head off with twenty years or more.”
“Well, I’ll go to trial and they’ll have to give me that!” He said.
I’ve heard this argument many times before and I recognize it as the fear talking.
I also understand that he’s looking towards me for advice because he’s scared for his life.
“Hyena, your running around on gang time. You just got out the hole and your chasing the next high smoking all that K-2.”
“I been a Crip before I came to the Feds and I’m Cripping until that day I die. I get high all day cause there’s nothing else to do.”
“There’s plenty to do. Your not making the choices to do it.” I said continuing, “You have to want better for yourself and that means you’ll have to do change.”
“Change for what? They want to give me 10 years!!” He said leaning forward in the chair, running his hands through his mini-afro.
“First of all, if you start changing now, you won’t loose your good time and you’ll be home in like eight years.”
“Listen, this is what comes with the lifestyle your choosing, so get used to it. You want to be a gangster, bust your gun, wave your flag while throwing your little hand signs, then be prepare to do more time after that because you’ll either be killed or come back to prison, those are the consequences.”
“I want like two or three years,” he said like he didn’t hear what I just told him.
“That’s easy to say but the way your thinking and the actions your taking in here are attracting a different result. Take that little bitty 10 years, hopefully it will be enough time for you to wake up and live your true potential.”
Standing up, offering his hand, shaking his head he said, “Man, you say take 10 years like it’s nothing. I can’t hear that right now.”
“You don’t want to hear it, but I speak the truth to the youth!” I said as he turned and walked out my cell.
As much as I would like to grab Hyena, sit him back in the chair and talk to him until he’s ready to change, I know that he has to want better for himself first.
He has no idea that the patterns of thoughts he’s entertaining are setting the laws of attraction in motion to draw his experiences.
He’s convinced himself that he’s a Crip in his mind and speaks without understanding that our words have the power to become the results of what’s spoken. Hyena can’t see the logical conclusions of the path he’s currently on and when I was his age, neither could I.
I try to discourage those headed on that path, but in the mist of doing time, it’s a difficult barrier to conquer.
Instead of focusing on how much time I’ve done or have to do, I pay attention to what I’ve accomplished and my future goals.
Right before we locked in that night, I passed Hyena my “Day in the life with coffee and Paradise” book.
He gave it back this morning, having finished it since it’s only 30 pages.
“Does life really work like that?” he asked.
“That’s a question you should be able to answer if your honest with yourself. Think back to how you were thinking in the past and what lead to where you are now.”
“I like the way you break all that down with the laws and principals. Do you have something else to read?”
And so it begins.
One of the challenges with writing about current events while in prison is that unforeseen obstacles can delay my post even more then the slight delay system I’m dealing with in having to have a third party post on my site. This post is almost two weeks overdue because the day I went to type it out, two MS-13 members attacked and stabbed a member of a rival gang on my unit, triggering a chain reaction of events throughout the prison.
In the past two weeks while I’ve been locked in my cell much has gone on with the continued neglect of Puerto Rico due to the hurricanes which is Donald Trumps “Katrina” moment. I kept waiting to hear one of the Puerto Rican entertainers pull a Kanye West and state “President Trump doesn’t care about Puerto Ricans!”
Instead of caring support, he sends insulting tweets. Two days after Haiti’s earthquake, there were 20,000 American troops deployed to help a foreign country. It took over a week to deploy half that amount to Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States. In two weeks time Haiti had 300 U.S. military helicopters deployed to transport the sick, deliver water, food and supplies. It’s been over two weeks and Puerto Rico has received only 40 military helicopters to assist in their recovery. The brutal attack by Trump on the female Mayor of San Juan who was only trying to get the help that citizens of United States deserve once again reflects the character of our President.
Although I was prepared to write more thoughts on the Puerto Rico catastrophe, the recent Las Vegas incident is now overshadowing all else so I had to mention the Puerto Rico condition which affects the lives of millions of Americans. I’ve written a separate piece on Las Vegas.
But I still wanted to also share what I wrote prior to being locked two weeks ago which may read like old news but I still think is worthy of a read.
President Donald Trump never stops giving us incredible opportunities to express who we are in response to the tweets he sends out and the statements made, not only at his rally’s when he’s specifically speaking to his fan base but when standing on the world stage in front of the leaders of the United Nations where he actually threatened to commit a war crime saying he would “Totally destroy North Korea” prompting their equally crazy leader to respond with similar threats. This is reality TV at it’s best!
Now Trump calls on the NFL owners to “fire any son of a bitch…” that peacefully protest the injustices in America by taking a knee during the National anthem in unison with the movement started by quarterback Collin Kaepernick, which resulted in him being blackballed by the owners of the NFL organization, in an attempt to silence his voice.
The first Sunday of football games after Trump’s directive resulted in over 150 players locking arms or taking a knee in solidarity which isn’t disrespecting the flag or our country, it’s actually reminding us of the freedoms that the flag is supposed to represent.
I’m not surprised that Trump thinks since athletes are paid large salaries by these team owners that they literally own them and they lose their constitutional rights, especially when expressing that right goes against his overall agenda, clandestinely stated with slogans of “Taking back our country” or “Making America great again.” At least Trump is blatantly honest in his opinions that a black man peacefully protesting by taking a knee while the national anthem is being played makes you a “Son of a bitch.” But as long as you’re a white nationalist, marching at night holding tiki torches shouting “You will not replace us!” resulting in a woman being run over and killed, the president stated his opinion saying “Some of those are good people.”
NFL owners were forced to recently come out in public support of their players because of the Presidents statements and tweets. Collin Kaepernick probably feels those owners are a little late, especially when they were in 100% compliance with assuring that he no longer had a job in their organization. Maybe if he chooses to fight dogs on the side or physically abuse his wife, he’d at least earn a couple of million as a substitute quarterback, but to peacefully protest the undeniable injustices in the black communities of America wasn’t going to be tolerated. Hopefully, one of these owners will come to their senses and have the courage to offer him a contract, particularly since he’s a better quarterback than some of this seasons starters.
The president injection into this football topic is possibly a masterful distraction from other significant issues such as the third failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans, who for the last seven years did everything to criticize our health care system, haven’t taken the time to create a better comprehensive program equal to the needs of all American people. There are no perfect Health Care policy’s, but there are systems in this world that work and can be improved. The biggest problem America has concerning Health Care is that it’s based on a profit margin, which automatically institutionalizes discriminating practices between the have’s and the have not’s.
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimel entered the health care debate after his newborn son had to receive open heart surgery and he realizes that if he wasn’t so well off financially, his infant son wouldn’t have received the same quality of care, and there is something inherently wrong with that. We live in the richest nation in the world, yet can’t come up with a method that provides equal and adequate health care for all? The truth is that we choose not to by continuing to allow pharmaceutical manufacturers and health insurance conglomerates that make hundreds of billions of dollars in profits dictate the rules to the game. I’m sure those same companies can still do their research, provide adequate health care to all while continually earning enough to provide for a luxurious lifestyle.
Or could it be it wasn’t the health care issue, but a distraction from this Russian investigation? President Donald Trump is exposing how the laws in America are applied differently based on who you are. Being a guest of the federal criminal justice system for the past 13 years, I’ve witnessed and experienced what little evidence is needed for a successful criminal indictment. Government officials have been caught lying under oath and changed their stories after their lies have been exposed. The FBI director in charge was fired by the President who was under FBI’s investigation.
This Russian debacle isn’t a republican or democrat issue, it’s an American one and it would be hypocritical to lay all the blame on the Russian government for succeeding in the manipulation of our elections. Let’s not forget when the Palestinians held democratic elections and the leaders of Hamas won. Instead of respecting the rights of the Palestinians choice, regardless if we agree with them or not, the United States chose to physically put in place a government and president of their choosing, not of the people.
But the problem here in America is that those in the Trump administration, prior to him being President, actively sought help from a foreign government to gain an advantage in our American elections, which is treasonous. That’s been admitted to by Donald Trump Jr, after months of denying that any meetings with Russians took place once that meeting was exposed.
How deep does that rabbit hole go? We have yet to know, but if there was half as much evidence in a regular criminal conspiracy, because this is what it is, not a collision it’s a criminal conspiracy that would have seen swat teams deployed kicking down doors, assets being frozen and anyone who knew anything being charged with a statue that carried a mandatory minimum sentence to force them to talk regardless of the role they played. This double standard of the law is just what it is and nothing new.
Who knows’s what’s going to come of this Russian investigation, the racial discussion from the NFL protest, health care or the two psychotic egomaniacs both threatening nuclear global destruction? Only God.
As chaotic as the world appears, I never lose sight of the fact that life is based on a Universal spiritual system. That’s difficult for many people to comprehend, especially in the violent conditions of a Penitentiary where your faith and goodness of life and God is constantly under attack.
But I’ve long ago learned the secret power of not having to prove myself right, admitting when I’m wrong and accepting that I don’t know the answer to a lot of things. Yet I do know that God is all there is so regardless of how divided America or really humanity as a hole may appear to be, there is an inseparable unity that we share which is the Divine energy of life. That’s the first fundamental principal I try to keep at the forefront of my mind, which isn’t always easy when interacting with gang members or correction officers who don’t recognize the divine essence within themselves.
I’ll admit it took a lot of work and spiritual soul contemplation to expand my conception, detaching myself from what appears to be and trusting in God’s overall plan. I know that sounds a bit cliche, but my faith and conviction of God has given me the ability to accomplish far more then when I felt I had to do this life thing on my own. So regardless of how much political turmoil there is, don’t loose faith in your higher power and rely on your spiritual relationship more, that may be the reason things seem so chaotic on the outer world, from failing to recognize the divine essence of life which we all share within.
Gangster Turned Guru
I was honored to be interviewed by KC Loesener, CEO, and founder of P.A.R.C. Magazine.
Their July 2017 issue is highlighting discovery and focus’ on subject matters where others have dug deep and discovered something about themselves and overcame or brought certain challenges to light.
My book Voice For The Silent Fathers shares how I overcame my personal challenge of being a young father and street gangster who’s son was gay.
Please take a few minutes to read the article and share with anyone you know might benefit from reading it. I would also love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment.
It’s all about how we think, how we respond and how we learn!
Aug 22, 2016, 12:07 PM
As I wrote in “Voice for the Silent Fathers”, the acceptance of my son’s homosexual lifestyle didn’t happen overnight. There have always been steps in my development and growth. Once I acknowledged and accepted that my son was gay and let him know that I loved him none-the-less, it didn’t mean that my growth process was complete. I set limits on what I did and didn’t want to know and although my son wanted to discuss certain things with me through the years, he was able to recognize that I was still growing in my responsibilities as his father when it came to his gay lifestyle issues.
God bless him for being so sensitive and understanding. As those boundaries began to widen and expand through the years, I realized how much he valued my opinion and insight when it came to discussing relationships. That was another milestone we crossed that again made me recognize that I was making it more difficult than what it was. Drew continues to allow me to direct where the flag post go when setting the boundaries and is always congratulating me for having the courage to speak up as a father of a child in the LGBTQ community.
We correspond threw e-mails and speak once a week every Sunday at 7 p.m. and about a month ago he mentioned that he re-connected with his first true love, you know….that “One” and that he was looking forward to him coming to visit. Each week as the date for the visit approached, I could hear how excited and happy he was because things had just been going real good between him and his friend. I gave him my fatherly advice with taking it slow, don’t expect too much and don’t get distracted from all the positive things he’s been achieving ect… and he assured me he wouldn’t.
The much anticipated weekend finally arrived and he told me how great it was on our scheduled Sunday 7:00 p.m. call as he expressed that his friend was leaving in the morning.
“Where is he now?” I asked.
“Oh, he’s right inside” Drew answered while sitting on the outside porch eating and ice cream as we talked.
“Well put him on the phone” I said.
“What!?” the shock of my request was clearly evident in his tone.
“You heard what I said Drew”
After a slight 3 second pause he said “OOO-Kay” as I heard him opening the front door saying “My father wants to talk to you.”
His friend got on the phone and we had a nice pleasant conversation. He was polite, friendly, and understood when I explained that I knew he was in my son’s life in the past, but at that period of time I wasn’t to receptive to what was going on but now I look forward to meeting him. I could tell that he was shocked at our conversation, and when Drew got back on the phone he said “I can’t believe you!!” because I completely caught him by surprise.
I know that my son was proud and of course a little embarrassed as all children are when parents want to talk with their significant other at every age. This is the man that my son cares about and who makes him happy so since I care about my son’s happiness, it’s only right that I embrace whoever he chooses to share his life with. This includes his other friends also.
Honestly, I always knew this day would come but I would just block it out my mind. After getting back on the phone with Drew and sensing another breath of relief that his old man has crossed another mild stone, it made me feel happy and proud of myself for just how far I’ve come.
Eddie K. Wright
Just became a #1 Best Seller!
Download the e-book is available for FREE on Amazon.com through Sunday, July 31, 2016
SYNOPSIS: I am currently an inmate in a Federal Prison serving my 12th year of a 45-year sentence! If I can find peace and happiness in this type of environment… How is it that people in the ‘free’ world can’t? What is it that I know or what woke me up? I’ve been asked these questions thousands of times and now, following a conversation I had with an inmate, who’s asked these and more, I’m ready to share my thoughts on what I’ve learned with YOU!