Tag Archives: Violence

Why I’m Against War: A Military-Veteran Speaks

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Author’s-Note:

Abdullah Colon, whom I met online, has welcomed me as a Brother. With us united by our Islāmic-Faith, we’ve gotten the chance to learn more about each other. I’ve had the great opportunity to have him educate me as per his Military-Experience as a Muslim, which he’s also graciously allowed me to interview him based on it.

GB: How long have you been a Muslim: are you a Muslim-Revert, or Born-Muslim?

AC: I am a Muslim-Revert; I became a Muslim when I was 17 back in February of 2000 in El Paso, Texas.

GB: How long have you served in the Military, which National-Military, which Armed-Forces Branch?

AC: I was in the Military from September 2001 to September 2006. I was in the United States Marine Corps.

GB: Have you ever seen Live/Active Combat, and if so, how has that made an impact on your practice of Islām?

AC: I was involved in Combat Operations during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. My Unit earned a Combat Action Ribbon. It has impacted my practice of Islam in the past. After being in combat, I came home and began to rely upon Islam as a way of dealing with my PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Some days were better than others. Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed, other days I isolated myself in the Mosque.

GB: How has Military-Life shaped your Worldview of Peoples whom are Native to the Places where Military-Conflicts take place?

AC: I think that Military life has made me sympathetic to indigenous people’s rebellions and their insurgencies. I saw death and destruction first hand, up close and personal. I saw what we did and I understand why people wanted to attack us.

GB: What has been the Pros & Cons of the Military-Experience?

AC: Pros and Cons of Military life are many. Let me start with the cons: I suffer from anxiety, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I see the world through jaded lenses. I have a very pessimistic outlook. What I witnessed and have done weighs on my soul deeply. As for the pros, well I think being pushed past my mental and physical limits was a good thing. Other than that I didn’t learn much that would be of any use in a civilian environment.

GB: When did you make the Decision to become Active in the Veterans against War Movement?

AC: It was in 2013 that I decided to join Iraq Veterans against the War. It was after having a discussion with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamid Ali that really made me realize that I needed to get involved in an active way against American Imperialism.

GB: How has War generally influenced your Perception of Life & Death, or has it at all?

AC: War has influenced my perception of life and death in a big way. I feel like death can seize us at any moment. Death is real and always near!

GB: Are there any regrets. Is which have, in terms of being in the Military?

AC: I think that I have many regrets, but at the same time I owe my intestinal fortitude, ability to run toward a threat to my training and experience in the Marines.

GB: As both a Muslim & a Minority, who’s literally placed their life on the line via Military-Service for the United States: what’s your Views regarding the Anti-Muslim, Anti-Immigrant Policies being promoted by the Trump-Administration?

AC: My views on the anti Muslims and anti immigration policies are that they all come from the same satanic source of white supremacy. This is why white passing Latinos (Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio for example) can support the policies being pushed by the Trump administration and those of us with brown/indigenous features will hit up the front lines against white supremacy.

GB: How are you able to cope with knowing that you’re the Member of 2-Demographics within the United States which are constantly targeted by Bias & Bigotry?

As for dealing with being part of of two demographics of folks that are being assaulted in Trump’s America-The way I deal with it is through Islam: prayer and good deeds, being a good person based upon what Islam teaches helps my mind & soul attain ease. Also, training myself by: lifting weights, martial arts, boxing, etc. & just keeping the body strong just in case I have to get down. Keeping the company of good people and making alliances with folks that care about the struggle.

GB: What would ultimately be your Advice for any Muslim who’s either currently serving in the US-Military or has aspirations of joining the Ranks of the US-Military?

AC: For Muslims who are currently serving, I say get out! Do whatever it takes to get out of the military.  For those that want to join, I say don’t do it.

GB: Speak more in detail, regarding the Iraq Veterans Against The War: its purpose & objectives, goals, etc. Also, tell me about the Advocacy for bringing Deported-Veterans back to the United States.

AC: For more information regarding the IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against The War) go to: http://www.ivaw.org/mission-values-and-vision

As for the advocacy regarding veterans who have been deported, we are in solidarity with them. Many of those veterans are members of veterans for peace. Our organization IVAW arose from VFP (Veterans For Peace). Many of our members are both VFP and IVAW members. Many of us work with the campaign to bring the deported veterans back to the United States.

GB: What can People like me, as well as others who will read this & get a glimpse of your Story: how can we help People like you in your Struggles coming from a Military-Life & reverting to a Civilian-Life once again?

AC: I think the best thing is Community-Support. Having a community to transition to-Being in the military and being in prison are similar. Veterans are able to transition into prison life with ease. You go from one governmental institution to another. I’m speaking from experience. So having a muslim community to come back to is amazing. I was basically homeless when I came out of the Marines. It was living in a broken down RV in a ‘friends’ backyard. It was a Muslim brother (Afro-American) that took me into his home…fed me and took care of me, even when I was sick, like I was just like a member of his family: a recovering Alcoholic who credits Islam to saving his life.

Well…you’ve most definitely given an insightful Interview, regarding this Chapter of your Life-Journey. My hope for you is that Allah constantly/consistently bring you closer to a space & place of Inner-Peace.

Gareth Bryant/2017

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The Rwanda-Syndrome:

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Author’s-Note:

Allah says in The Qur’ān, “And, don’t allow your Hatred, against any People, prevent you from behaving justly.”.(Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.8, V.5)

Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said that Allah said, “Oh, My Servants!!! Verily, I’ve made Oppressed Forbidden even upon Myself, as well as between you. So, do not oppress one another.”.(an-Nawawī)

In light of so many Events around our Planet, detailing the constant & consistent Oppression of People, whom are Desperate to be heard, to be listened to, to be helped-Sadly, much like the Carnage which took place during the infamous Rwanda-Conflict, in 1994, C.E., there’s seems to be absolutely zero Change, in terms of how the International-Community chooses to respond to Conflicts which yield levels of Destruction which can’t be defined in any ways other than: Inhumane, Genocidal, etc. And, you’d think that the World would’ve learned from the Errors of Rwanda, as the Nations of our World just stood by and made us watch in agony while they did nothing, as nearly a Million Human-Beings, along with countless other Thousands were: tortured, maimed, raped, murdered, starved-out all in the name of Power & Domination over the Other.(For more Information concerning International-Genocide: http://www.genocidewatch.com)

Ever since the 1990’s, C.E.: there’ve several Nations which have become war-torn, in which untold Millions of Human-Beings have become the subject of Theft, Rape, Murder, etc. With these blatant acts of Genocide being witness before our very eyes, we’ve stayed glued to our Social-Media tools of Communication & Observance, (TV, the News, the Internet, YouTube, etc.) to remain “Aware” of what’s happening. However, unfortunately, that’s largely all we’ve done as a Society is just sit-back and watch, as Multitudes of People just like us: Humans perpetually suffer unjustly. It’s almost as though we’ve become so used to Carnage, that it’s now just another form of Entertainment.

Also, it seems as though the “International-Community” conveniently waits for Conflicts to get at their worsts, before anything substantial is actually done, in order to significantly dispel Oppression around the World. For example: for those of us old enough to remember, the Conflict in Rwanda from beginning to ending was nothing short of the many things which were imposed upon Human-Beings during the Reign of the 3rd-Reich during the WWII-Era (1939-1945, C.E.). The World said “Never Again”, pertaining to the World’s-Nations sitting on the Sidelines as the International “Bullies of da Block” push People around. But, the World hasn’t kept its Word, to maintain Justice for Oppressed-Peoples around the Globe.

Just like what occurred within Rwanda, there’ve been a string of International-Conflicts, either caused by Religious, Ethnic strife between Peoples of the same Nation or imposed upon them by Bullies whom profess to be the Defenders of Freedom…Justice…Equality.

Let’s take a look at some examples of the Rwanda-Syndrome:

 

  1. Somalia

 

  1. Afghanistan

 

  1. Iraq

 

  1. Syria

 

  1. Libya

 

  1. Mali

 

  1. Sudan

 

  1. Nigeria

 

  1. Central African Republic

 

  1. Burma/Myanmar

 

  1. Palestine/Israel

 

  1. Yemen

 

For Decades, Nations such as these have been torn apart by Conflict, both internally amongst themselves, as well as the Conflicts being catalyzed, arguably even promoted via Western-Colonization, Western-Influence, etc. Whatever the Reason doesn’t really matter. What matters is the fact that these listed Nations have been struck with Conflicts which have completely either broken-down their entire Societies or has left Millions Dead, Maimed, Raped, Displaced/Homeless, Starving, Diseased, and yet there’s been little to nothing done to concretely put an end to the Oppression the Innocents of these Countries are forced to face. Which comes back to my Point, regarding us being self-victimized by the Rwanda-Syndrome: as a Globally-Connected Society, one would think/assume that there’d greater Efforts by the International-Community to resolve such Conflicts. But, this is clearly yet to be seen.

My Question is this though: how many more People have to actually succumb to these types of Atrocities, before we actually get it, that these are Human-Beings who don’t deserve to be treated like this?!!!

Gareth Bryant/2017

Evolution is White-Supremacy & White-Supremacy is Kufr/Disbelief:

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Evolution is White-Supremacy & White-Supremacy is Kufr/Disbelief:

IMG_20170819_082950_735For anyone/everyone who’s ever studied Biology: Science of Life/Living, you know fully well that Evolution, specifically Darwinian-Evolution/Darwinism is the Leading-Agenda pontificated within the Scientific-Community. And, it’s absolutely no Accident that the Scientific-Community is dominated by Atheists/Anti-Theists, White-Supremacists, etc., thanks to Charles Darwin authoring “The Origin Of Species”: his Work concerning Evolution. Evolution directly supports/co-signs this Pathological-Ideology, that in spite of the Claim that Human-Life didn’t begin in Europe, even according to Evolutionists, somehow Europeans “evolved” to become Superior to any/all Non-European Peoples, because the only Reason why the Claim that Human-Life began in Africa is even pontificated within Evolution/Darwinism is because, according to Evolution/Darwinism: African-Peoples evolved from Primates, and then all other Peoples evolved from African-Peoples. And, this is fueled by the Disbelief in Allah: a Divine-Creator who created all Human-Beings on equal Spiritual & Intellectual footing.

Gareth Bryant/2017

 

Circumcision vs. Mutilation: is there a Difference between the two?!!!

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Circumcision in Islām is of 2-Types:

1. Male-Circumcision-

Male-Circumcision consists of removing the Male-Prepuce/Foreskin, exposing the Head of the Penis.

2. Female-Circumcision-

Female-Circumcision consists of partial or complete removal of the Female-Prepuce/Clitoral-Hood, exposing the Clitoris.

Both Types of Circumcision are known to possess Precedent within Islām via the Qur’ān&Sunnah.(al-Bukhārī, Muslim) Circumcision is not Mutilation of the Human-Body, as Anti-Circumcision Advocates dishonestly propagate to be the Case, simply because Islām never textually condones Mutilation of the Human-Body in any way. Also, Circumcision isn’t some Archaic (many would even dare to argue “Barbaric”) 3rd-World Custom, as many would attempt to classify it as such. Rather, the Islāmic-Origins of Circumcision actually begin when Allah commanded Abraham (Peace be upon him) to establish Circumcision: to circumcise himself, along with all Male-Members of his Household.(Qasas-ul-Anbiyā’/Stories Of The Prophets, ibn-Kathīr) And, thus proving that Circumcision not only predates the Revelation of the Qur’ān, but that it also is predicated by Revelation which Allah imposed upon Abraham: the Friend of Allah…the Father of the Prophets.

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Since this Discussion is particular to Female-Circumcision: it must be noted that the Islāmic-Allowance of Female-Circumcision is in no way akin to Female Genital Mutilation, because of what I’ve already mentioned prior, pertaining to Islām never condoning Mutilation of the Human-Body & by virtue of the fact that there’s no Islāmic-Texts stating that Female-Circumcision is Mafrūdh/Mandatory.

Rather, Female-Circumcision is something which is Mubāh (Neutral/Optional), as is proven within the following Text:

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Now, based upon this particular Hadīth/Prophetic-Narration, it’s Clear that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) never mandated nor abolished Female-Circumcision, yet only advised/warned, commanded that it must not be done in an Extreme-Fashion. Based upon what we know concerning FGM, it’s obvious that this is the Extreme-Fashion in which Muhammad set out to avoid & forbade from taking place.

There’s very blatant differences between Female-Circumcision, which is Islāmically-Acceptable vs. FGM, which is Mahrūm/Islāmically-Prohibited, by virtue of the Harm which is caused by it. In fact, in Islām, we as Muslims are commanded to avoid Harm at any/all Costs. (Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.2, V.195; an-Nawawī)

The following Diagram proves my Point:

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Let’s review the above Diagram (B.  Type I [A. Prepuce removal only]): it paints a Clear-Picture, that B. Type I (A.Prepuce removal only) is the only Islāmically-Acceptable form of Female-Circumcision, and therefore could never be FGM. The other Figures  within this Diagram clearly describe/define that these other Types are not Circumcision; rather, these are Types of Mutilation/FGM. In the Modern-World: I must agree that most Places Worldwide where Female-Circumcision takes place don’t use proper Medical-Technology, nor Sanitary/Hygienic Tools and/or Facilities to conduct Female-Circumcision correctly, according to Islām. So, under these Conditions, coupled with the Reality that Female-Circumcision isn’t Islāmically-Mandatory anyway, I do advocate that Female-Circumcision generally should/must be discontinued in Places where there’s no proper Facilitation that Female-Circumcision: 1. Won’t be done correctly, according to Islām…2. Could/would result in Dangerous/Life-Threatening Health-Risks for Women. And, unfortunately, there’s enough Evidence that Female-Circumcision (1. Based upon Unhealthy-Methods of it being done…2. Dangerous/Life-Threatening Health-Risks) should/must be discontinued.

In Islām, if something isn’t Obligatory: if there’s a higher Probability that Muslims won’t be able to maintain it and/or do it correctly, not only is it Islāmically-Allowable to discontinue it (depending on what it is), it would also then be Islāmically-Mandatory to discontinue it, if the Harm resulting from it becomes greater than its Benefit.

The following Hadīth gives us Precedent, as to the Islāmic-Allowability to discontinue something which is not Mafrūdh:20170802_183904In Conclusion, let 1-Thing remain Crystal-Clear: Female-Circumcision is in no Way akin to Female Genital Mutilation. So, do not…I repeat, do not continue to allow Ignorant/Islāmophobic (Muslims and/or Non-Muslims) People attempt to treat Circumcision and FGM as though they’re the same Things, because they’re clearly not akin to one another at all. And, stop allowing them to promote this Fallacy that FGM is supported by Islām.
Gareth Bryant/2017

Melody of Madness:

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Winter is no longer cold…I’m no longer young.
Confusion in my life…the War hasn’t been won.

Carnage fills my heart, like war-torn Syria.
AIDS & Ebola ravage from Rwanda to Libya.

The rise of Atheism immersed in Academia.
The demand for Petroleum from Saudi Arabia.

America uses ISIS for their warmongering devices.
Depletion of the Earth isn’t on anyone’s focus.

Climate-Change…something’s strange.
Blacks still lynched, nothing’s changed.

Why do we exist in this World with such pain?
Why is apathy normal & compassion insane?

It seems like everything’s just upside down.
The Oppressor a Hero, the Victim a Clown.

I’m so conflicted…my emotions stifled.
No one’s genuine, everything’s a trifle.

The Law is blind, because Justice is absent.
Xenophobia reign’s supreme, no acceptance.

I’m sad and angry because my nation hates me.
I live in a country threatened by my theology.

What if the banning of Muslims gets approved?
How can I survive in a World that’s so shrewd?

I can only prepare for the coming of the destruction of all I hold dear.
The end is abysmal, dark, and near; we’re now all ruled by fear.

Gareth Bryant/2015

The Paris-Attacks!!!

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News-Flash-
To all who think that killing and/or maiming Innocent, Non-Combatant, Civilians, in the name of Jihad, Islam, is a good thing to do, well…guess what? You’re wrong & you’re not helping Islam spread…you’re causing People to run away from Guidance, you Morons!!! Your antics are merely painting an even darker image of Islam & Muslims, all across the Globe, which is inspiring even more hatred to be fueled. Your actions don’t raise the Banner of Islam, it in fact lowers it. Your taking of Life doesn’t advance the Ummah/Nation of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), it actually shames us. So, please, for futre reference: anyone impressionable enough to join any/all of these Groups, who advocate senseless violence again Innocents, please do yourselves, and the rest of the Believers a favor…just don’t join them. Acts of Oppression are never justified by other acts of Oppression. Do we resist the onslaught of Spiritual-Perversion in our societies…yes. Do we work to make the Din/Religion of Allah supreme…yes. Do we kill anyone/everyone in the process…no.

Gareth Bryant/2015

Lynchings without Nooses

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Protests Continue After Death Of Baltimore Man While In Police Custody

All across the United States, for the past few years, there’s been Unarmed-Civilian, after Unarmed-Civilian, murdered at the hands of Law-Enforcement. The reasons why these individuals were killed in cold-blood were never justified, the Police-Officers involved were always either acquitted of all charges against their victims, served with only minor-sentences, or not even indicted for their crimes against Humanity & Citizenry. When we observe these trends of violence, based solely upon ethno-cultural, socio-economic, socio-political circumstances, especially after the advent of the Obama-Era, an historic time in America where People have allowed themselves to believe that since there’s a Non-White President in the Oval-Office, that all is now right with our United States. But, then, ever since Obama’s been a President, it seems as though there’s been an even more blatant presence of Hate-Crimes against Citizenry, committed by Law-Enforcement, during the Obama-Years.

Which brings us to the title of this article: Lynchings without Nooses-Back in the days, from about the 1870’s to the 1970’s in America, the Noose was the most common scare-tactic & weapon of choice, for the racist White-Establishment in the United States, against all Non-Christian/Non-White Peoples, courtesy of the Ku Klux Klan. However, now, within the past 4-decades, it’s not been the Noose that’s killed significant numbers of Black/Latino/Non-White, Urban-Youth, instead, it’s been a Policeman’s Gun. Now, instead of People being fearful of the sight of a Klansman’s Burning-Cross, they’re afraid of the sight of a Policeman’s Badge.

From Florida, with the murder of Trayvon Martin…to Ferguson, MO, with the murder of Michael Brown…to Staten Island, NY, with the murder of Eric Garner…to Santa Rosa, CA, with the murder of Andy Lopez…to Cleveland, OH, with the murder of Tamir Rice…every channel you watch on the News, every article you read in the Papers, every Internet-Search: there’s something reported and/or written about yet another Person being shot/killed by Law-Enforcement. There’s several things wrong with this blatant “Open-Season” mentality, which Law-Enforcement has, when attacking Citizenry. And, I know that there are Community-Leaders, Politicians, members of Law-Enforcement, etc., who try to sweep this reality under the rug. But, things are just too obvious to ignore. And, the People who are members of the most demographically marginalized ethnic-groups in the United States are taking things to the streets, in almost every major city in America: there are rallies, protests, riots everywhere.

It’s very easy for People who aren’t members of these marginalized demographics, and/or hail from well-appointed places in Life to say, “Stop the Violence”, “Stop the Protests”, Stop the Rioting”, when these same People aren’t the ones being subjected to the atrocities that their fellow Humans across the United States face on a day-to-day basis, which is Racial-Profiling. You can sugar-coat the reality of Racial-Profiling with Police-Officers “just doing their duty” all you want. But, the news-stories don’t lie. Year after year, we hear the same types of stories: Unarmed-Person shot by Police. This story has been told for decades, and generations. How many more funerals for Unarmed-Civilians have to be attended, how Fathers & Mothers have to mourn the losses of their Children to Police-on-Civilian Violence, how many more Police-Officers are going to either get acquitted of any/all crimes against Citizenry or not even get indicted for these crimes?

The voices of Citizenry can be clearly heard, yet Politicians, Law-Enforcement Agents, Presidents, refuse to listen to the complaints & cries of the People, and this is exactly how revolutions begin. Even with the recent indictments & prosecutions of the Baltimore Police-Officers who held Freddie Grey against his will, and caused him to die in Police-Custody. How far will this really go: will these Officers receive another slap on the wrist, courtesy of yet another puppeteered Kangaroo-Jury, selected to acquit yet another group of Police-Officers, to send yet another message that Law-Enforcement is above the Law? Until then, let’s all just keep in mind that Justice for all requires us all to be impartial, unbiased, and willing to fight to erase Oppression from our Societies.

Darren Wilson: Wanted Dead Or Alive

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Drastic actions, deadly reactions…
…freed by racist Judicial-Magicians.

Human life given no value because the victim is a Black-Youth…
…Michael Brown seen in the eyes of White-America as uncouth.

Darren Wilson, Cop in Question, snuffed-out a fellow Human being…
…he had him marked for Death, he was on his list from the beginning.

He himself is a cowardly bastard, preying upon the weak…
…no chance against his oppressor, he was way too meek.

This young man was murdered, because of the color of his skin…
…now the killer has gone free, insulting his kith as well as his kin.

But, he deserves to die, because of his crime against Humanity…
…the bogus Kangaroo-Jury who set him loose possesses insanity.

His time will come, either now or in the Hereafter…
…yet, he thinks that he can just walk with laughter.

Someone, anyone…take him down…
…destroy the arrogance of this clown.

Some may think that I’m an extremist, but screw em…
…just think of the community and lives he has ruined.

He needs to pay for his wrong…
…may his life not be at all long.

May he burn in Hell for what his hands have earned…
…may this be reminders for us & lessons be learned.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Who gets to decide what a Genocide or Holocaust is?

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There are those who would dare to argue that what’s going on around the World, pertaining to the proliferation of unwarranted Human-Life being mercilessly taken, that only certain types of carnage qualifies to be considered a “Genocide” a “Holocaust”, etc. Well, for those of you who may take this view:

Does it really even matter whether or not Hundreds, Thousands, or Millions of People were killed in one day, one week, one month, one year, one decade, one score, one century, one millennium? No, the point is that all these People were killed. So, in this case, it doesn’t really matter whether People suffered very unnecessary casualties in a year, or within a span of nearly a Century: Human-Life is Human-Life & Allah states that to kill even just one person out of injustice is just like killing the entire Human-Race.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.32) And, since this is the case, then, the unjust killing of any Human being, whether it be a Million, a Thousand, a Hundred, or just One, whatever: based upon what Allah, Himself, has stated, the killing of one Man is just like the killing of all Men, and that is a Genocide, a Holocaust, by definition.

Gareth Bryant/2014

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