I'm not the mentor type. I'm not warm and approachable, just ask teens I talk to at New Orleans Youth Study Center. The title is a nice way of saying it's our juvenile detention center and business is booming. I've avoided these pow-wows with Millennials the criminal justice system because, as I told them on Day One, " You don't give a *blank* and I don't give a *blank* either. "
Trademark indifference to adult sympathy had me draft this talk entitled, " You Can't Afford Trouble " many moons ago. It was filed away in my mind, never to be used. Bro Al Mims, New Orleans #1 Crime fighter and Mentor, is also chaplin of my organization, SWS: Security Within Self Urban Fellowship. He asked me to accompany him to the Youth Study Center. Since uniting prevention advocacy with protection ( my preferred posture ) is SWS goal, intellectual honesty demanded I go.
I see a circle of smart, some very smart, teens who may succumb to their generation's love of confrontation, annihiliation and incarceration. I remind them to discuss burial insurance with their mothers- a weekly hint about the untimely end bad attitudes lead to.
From bail, lawyer and supervision fees to frantic fundraisers for funerals of unruly youth, my blunt message is, they can't afford trouble.
I told you I'm not the mentor type but today is a time for tough love- minus the love! We can't afford to baby urban youth already turned against us. When they realize they can't afford their attitudes is when real reform, from within, begins.
-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist and SWS: Security Within SELF Urban Fellowship founder. @nadraenzi on twitter.