Tag Archives: Shooting

The Streets don’t really love You!!!

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I wanna take ya on a tour to Gangland…Nah, son, this ain’t Graceland…
…People die of everyday violence…killers & hustlers move in silence…

…All y’all little Niggas think ya real hard…
…until you’re found buried in a junkyard…

…You think you got what it takes to stay turned-up…
…but, you’re no match for the Big-Dogs: still a pup…

…These dudes are serious…they not playin’ no games…
…they on they grind: twenty-four hours & seven days…

…Don’t think cause they play cool, they won’t shoot…
…they’ll run in your crib, gripped-up & ready to loot…

…They play for keeps…this ain’t the game for lil’ boys…
…they got guns that shake the block wit a lot of noise…

…38’s, 45’s, Mac-11’s…
…AR-15’s…AK-47’s…

…Drivin’ down streets wit the windows down…
…they pickin’-off pretenders & all the clowns…

…The fake ones are always caught off-guard…
…all ya left wit are tragic deaths & deep scars…

…Countless funerals and burials your family’s going to…
…because you rep’d a “Thuglife” you thought was true…

…You thought you were invisible, no one could touch ya…
…until the Angel of Death came to ya and said “I gotcha”…

…But, too late, now: your life ended way too fast…
…the last sound you ever heard was a gun’s blast…

…The Streets didn’t protect you or keep you safe from harm…
…they let ya get stung by the venomous Ghetto-Bees’ swarm…

…What the Streets did for you is get ya caught-up…
…that’s the price you paid to for tryin’ to be tough…

…So, this was our tour through Gangland…like I said, it ain’t Graceland…
…live your life with a different plan…stop being a Thug, start being a Man.

Gareth Bryant/2014

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Children in Connecticut, children anywhere: They’re all children!!!

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Connecticut Shooting pic

This recent shooting tragedy in Connecticut, where almost 30 persons, Human beings, mostly children, were savagely cut-down by gunfire, reminds me of the malice that occurs the world over. There are places in this world, where people would probably say, “Almost 30 killed, and that’s it?!!! We get that in about 1/2 hour, everyday.”. It’s very morbid for me to even put that out there, I know. But, for a lot of people, in places like Somalia, Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, these atrocities occur on a daily-basis, and much like what happened recently in Connecticut, most of the victims, at least 70-90% are in fact children.

My question, without getting into the possible-motive of this horrible act, is the following: When we hear, by word-of-mouth, or read news papers/magazines, or watch T.V. news, and we see these atrocities in front of our very own eyes, do we really make a distinction between those children & these children, as to say that a certain demographic of children are more precious than the other/others? This is obviously a question that we would all have to honestly answer for ourselves.

You, whom may be reading this may get defensive & say, “Of course not…children are children!!!”. However, if your heart bleeds less for children in Palestine, because these people are mostly Non-Jewish, or less for children in Somalia, because they’re largely Non-Arab, or less for children outside of your native countries, because they’re not citizens or your native land, than this is a hell of a pathological problem. We don’t want to admit this, but, we do pick favorites, especially when it comes to tragedies, and especially if/when it involves religious, ethnic, or national factors.

Each & every one of us have ties to all of the above mentioned. For example: there have been many Syrian & Palestinian relief-efforts, to help them in their hours of need, and rightfully so. But, when is the last time that we’ve raised money for people living in fear, poverty & oppression, countries like: Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Togo, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Angola, Jamaica,  Dominican Republic, Cuba, etc.? Why are we not quick to jump on the charity band-wagon for nations such as these?

Some of the answers are very simple:

1. General lack of global-concern for our fellow man-

It’s very easy to just go with the flow & support an effort, which is fueled by so much back-end/backroom politics & is shoved down the throats of the world, as a result of specific propagated agendas. But, what if we were to just step-back and be charitable to/for a nation that hasn’t really ever been focused on in the public-sphere, but, whose people are still in desperate need of urgent assistance? How about we try that. We won’t because we generally don’t see the relevance of it, because they’re not in the spot-light, or because they don’t share our respective religious, ethnic or national commonalities.

2. We are only reactive activists-

Many of us raise funds & go to rallies for justice & all of this good-stuff, when it is deemed popular to do so. But, what about when no else is talking about things that need to be addressed? It’s very clear, to me, that many of us are only followers, who just allow the whim of the day to dominate our activeness like a helpless leaf in the river: it’s just goes with the follow, where it decides to lead it…that’s exactly how we all are.

3. We are generally very internally biased-

It’s very easy to stick-up for someone whom is of the same religion, ethnicity, culture, nationality as you. But, let’s examine how often we actually jump out the window, to help those whom are outside of ourselves, our circles/cliques, or our (religious, ethnic, cultural, national, etc.) communities. We will find that it’s so much more challenging and that it’s a lot easier to give lip-service than to commit to action.  I mean, of course, it’s natural to want to help your own; but, at the same time, why do we not view our entire Human family as our own? Why do we make distinctions, based upon religion, ethnicity, culture, nationality, when the things which people anywhere/everywhere have entitlement to, as to who deserves what and at which time? Whenever, if ever someone is in need of something which is crucial to the preservation of their lives, then it is upon all of Humanity, to make sure that all of Humanity has all that is necessary for their general well being.

Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said it best, “None of you believe, unless he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”.(an-Nawawi) Unfortunately, most Muslims, think that this only applies to other Muslims, but think about it: We are, in fact, all Human brothers & sisters, by virtue of the fact the we all have the same common-ancestor…and, no…I’m not referring to the Great-Apes…I’m talking about the first Human beings, Adam & Eve (Peace be upon them both). We are all from them, and they are the parents of Humanity.(Qasas-ul-Anbiya’/Stories of the Prophets, ibn-Kathir) And, also, we know from the general character & actions of Muhammad, that he treated all people with a sense of respect, mercy, compassion, love, dignity, and as Muslims, we are obligated to follow in his footsteps, but, alas, we often don’t.

Let us learn from tragedies like this and learn to appreciate the fact that all of the creation of Allah has purpose, rights, relevance, significance, and beauty, and that whenever a tragedy that takes the life of any of Allah’s creation, that it’s not something to make a joke out of, or to think that it is deserved, especially in the case of murder. It doesn’t matter whether those murdered were Muslims or not; it doesn’t matter whether these people were Black or not, it doesn’t matter, whether these people were from wealthy families or not; it doesn’t matter whether it was only 20 something persons killed, or thousands upon thousands, killed in a war-torn nation; it doesn’t matter whether this tragedy happened in a suburb in Connecticut or in a bombed-out city in the Muslim-World; it doesn’t even matter whether the children killed in this tragedy were born to Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindhus, Jains, Shamanists/Tengrists, Animists, Atheists/Anti-Theists…what happened was a tragedy…what happened was a massacre…what happened was murder, and murder is a sin & crime before Allah, and Allah will hold those who sin against Him & His creation, on the Day of Standing.

Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on the Sikh Temple shooting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin:

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When people think about Wisconsin, they usually think about cheese, not murder, especially when these murders are xenophobically motivated. This Summer will be known for a lot of things, and unfortunately, murders will be at the top of the list, of our 2012. First, it was the gruesome murder of Trayvon Martin, then, the recent, well-known, Batman movie tragedy, and, now, it’s a copy-cat kind of massacre, that has swept across the American heartland, in Milwaukee, WI. And, personally, I feel & fear that this is going to continue for some time-These copy-cat murders are definitely on the way, and our Federal government needs to do something substantial, in order to properly protect its citizenry.

It’s just really sad how much people don’t value the Human worth of others, soley because they ascribe to a different religion, or come from a different place. I’ve often questioned myself, as to how violent our world is now, and am deathly afraid of raising children in this modern age. I don’t want my children to be victimized by violence, just because they’re Muslims, or just because they’re Afro-American, or just because-I want not my children to be subjected to live in fear of being killed or arrested, because they don’t fit the prototype of a white cast member of 90210 or Gossip Girl. They should be able to enjoy the right to live just like any other Human being. But, unfortunately, there are people, still, within the borders of our United States, a nation of migrants immigrants & more accurately, foreigners, who still have the nerve to view others as undesirable foreigners, who stand as a threat to the American way of life. These string of tragedies have proven one thing to me: We, the people of the United States are not united in any way at all. We all love to proclaim this esoteric, and utopian facade of freedom, justice & equality in America. But, where was the freedom to live & be left alone for people like Trayvon Martin, or the victims of the Batman movie massacre, in Aurora, CO, or the victims of the Sikh temple massacre, in Milwaukee,WI?

The major problem is that racial/religious-profiling has not been dealt with as seriously as it should be. There definitely has to be greater resources expended by local, state & Federal governments, to ensure that people living within the borders of the United States are safe. And, just making gun-laws more restrictive is not going to solve the problem, for several reasons: One, illegal guns have always been smuggled in the United States, for decades, and the United States, at different times in her history (like in the case of the Iran-Contra Affair), has actually benefited from gun-smuggling. Two, the right to bare arms is part of the U.S. & state constitutions, and for you to infringe on those rights, you would be infringing on certain freedoms that are part of the legal fabric of our nation.

However, still, there has to be ways in which people, whom are criminals (felons, etc.) never have access to arms. But, they do. As in the case of the murderer of Trayvon Martin: George Zimmerman had been charged with two separate felonies: “resisting officer with violence” & “battery of law enforcement officer”. Although when these two charges were dropped, someone should’ve red-flagged this guy, when he went to purchase some guns. And, unfortunately, he was not, and because of this lack of proper background checking, a young Trayvon Martin is now dead.

Likewise with the murderers of the Batman movie massacre & more recently, the Wisconsin massacre, Wade Michael Page & James Eagan Holmes, respectively-How did these guys get their guns?!!! The failure of gun-control is not the result of lack of laws regulating it, it’s a problem in which race, class, and regional residence play a significant part in who gets guns & who doesn’t. For example, if you’re a white man, living in Arizona, the likeliness of you getting harassed about buying & owing a gun is a hell of a lot less, as opposed to being Afro-American or Latino, living in a major city, like New York, Chicago, L.A., etc., regardless of the fact that those living in a major city may very well have clean records. But, because of their ethnicities, and where they live, they’re automatically red-flagged, when it comes to arms possession, which is not right, not, fair & not democratic, period.

My stance is that the main problem & solution to gun-violence, whether it’s in the slums of Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Miami, or LA., or in the posh, polished, suburbs of places like Beverly Hills, lies exclusively regular everyday people just like you & I. It is we, the people of this nation have the moral, ethical, and legal responsibility, to not just change things, but, to improve things & not just for ourselves, rather, for our communities & our country.

Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on Trayvon Martin!!!

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I am Trayvon Martin!!!

It could’ve easily been me gunned down, like a dog, because of the color of my skin.
Law-enforcement would protect the murderers and give no justice to my kith and kin.

I am Trayvon Martin, too.
This could have been you.

To them, I’m just another Nigger, they would gladly celebrate my death, caused by my killer.
It’s the same the world over: the oppressed are criminalized, while the tyrant is made winner.

I am Trayvon Martin, too.
This could have been you.

It’s truly a shame that I must always live my life as a living target, with a bull’s-eye on my chest.
I’m constantly placed upon the edge, walking on eggshells, this keeps me paranoid & stressed.

I am Trayvon Martin, too.
This could have been you.

Why is the Black man always on the endangered-species list?
It’s like it’s my destiny, to forever be victimized in this matrix.

I am him and he is me.
It is truly a sad reality.

Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on the Street-Life!!!

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Author’s note:
The following poem is inspired by the realities of the street-life, which is unfortunately, often unjustly & unnecessarily glorified by media, via T.V. & film. This is a poem, which deems to compel people, especially the ever-impressionable youth, who may read it, to seriously contemplate the consequences of a gangster-life.

Lookin’ down the barrel of dat Gun!!!

Yo, son, the drama is so real, in these streets, out there.
You had betta be conscious of Allah & have some fear.

Yo, this street-life is not a joke.
This shit will change your scope.

Lookin’ down the barrel of dat Gun is no fun!!!

I know, cause I done really been there.
These streets are mean, better beware.

It’s not okay to seek to live the life of a gangster, because your life will either be ruined or it will end.
You will either end up dead, or in prison; either way, your life will be wasted, just for trying to blend.

Lookin’ down the barrel of dat Gun is no fun!!!

Attempting to be what ya see in a movie, or on a T.V. show will get you caught up.
All of this could be avoided, if only you were yourself, instead of tryin’ to be tough.

Tryin’ to be dominant in these streets never works for anyone, it’s a very savage environment.
Success in the street-life is very often short-lived, it makes people both reckless and arrogant.

Lookin’ down the barrel of dat Gun is no fun!!!

Now, just imagine, a snub-nosed .38 Special is pointed 6 inch. from your face.
There is nothing you can do, can’t run or hide, there is no safe haven or space.

You’re stuck where you are, you’re breathing really heavy.
Your life flashes before ya eyes, and everything’s all blurry.
There’s only a last-minute second to think about what could’ve and should’ve been.
But, alas, the one with the gun, who’s holding ya life in his hands, decides to cash in.

It’s the end of the road of the street-life; we’re left askin’ why & how.
All of a sudden, the finger on the trigger pulls, and all you hear is…
…BLA-KOW, BLA-KOW!!!

As the smoke clears, there’s nothin’ to see, but the flow of tears.
But, by the mercy of Allah, you’ve manage to make it outta here.

This is the danger that lies ahead, for all the wanna be gangsters.
For those who choose to pursue the street-life, will you not fear?

Gareth Bryant/2012