By Naomi Bonman
When we hear of our young Black men and teenagers deterring in the wrong direction, we give them the wrong response by turning our heads and ignoring them. They need solid advice and a positive, but raw message from someone, preferably another Black male, who has been where they have been and has or is experiencing the consequence. This will showcase as an eye opener and wake up call for many.
In lieu of making this happen is through a media platform entitled, Gangster Chronicles. Gangster Chronicles is geared towards giving current and ex-convicts the ability to share their stories, put an end to mythologies by unveiling hidden stories and reach the youth through literature. The roster consists of men who were leaders of well-known gangs, such as the Vicelords and Black Mafia, and even a man who inspired a character on the popular HBO series “The Wire.”
The first of three young men that I want to introduce is Rudy Williams. Williams was a notorious gangster from Baltimore who is currently serving 130 years plus life in prison for operating one of the most violent drug rings in the city’s history. During his 20 years of incarceration, Rudy has devoted all of his time to reading, writing and teaching youth that crime is a genocidal trap and not the answer.
Below are a few questions and answers from an interview conducted via email.
What was your life like before you got locked up?
My life was a bubble and a constant target of angry cops, judges and prosecutors. Having achieved the drug dealer’s twisted version of “The American Dream”, a false reality in itself from the git-go, I foolishly believed that I had insulated myself within my own tiny world of glitter, privilege and pleasure. I had to always be on my P’s and Q’s and never got caught slipping. One crucial mistake and it’s all over with, in either the penitentiary or the graveyard. So make the right choice, now!
I went to so many funerals that upon being introduced to someone I would look into his eyes and wonder if he would be the person who would kill me or vice versa; however, because I loved my mother, my wife and children so dearly, I always kept them in mind and conducted myself in a manner that all but eliminated the possibility of them having to bury me and come to my funeral, especially for some stupid s–t, like making unnecessary enemies.
I was extremely courteous and I always had to be at least one step ahead of others. Most of the time one step was enough, but not always. I was smart but not smart enough to quit while I was ahead. Thus, one day in the blink of an eye it all came tumbling down on me and the end result was a sentence of Life plus 130 years in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Prior to 1995, Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary averaged 16 murders a year. Half of them occurred on B-Block. If the Bureau sent you to Lewisburg, the Feds wanted you dead. If you was put in B-Block, they had a priority on it. I was assigned to B-Block for 2 years. My life is not one you should want to live. DON’T SELL DRUGS.
What led you to a life of crime?
I was lured into crime by poverty, boredom and adventure. I stole the things that I couldn’t afford; because school was boring, I played “hooky” and got sent away at age 13 to a juvenile facility that was actually a crime school. When I got out, I was a “real” criminal. Besides not going to school and shoplifting, I stole cars and did burglaries. I thought I was cool; I wasn’t cool. I was stupid.
What have you learned about yourself since you’ve been in prison?
In spite of racial discrimination, if I had given myself a chance, with the right guidance I could had accomplished more legally than I did illegally.
The Universe is a perfect sphere because every point on it is the center. No point is more important than others, and since every point is equal, no matter where you are, you’re always in the center of the Universe and the Here and Now is always the most important Time and Place.
The happiest people are not those who have the most, but those who make the most out of what they have. The worst disease is misery; the best medicine, happiness because the life of this world is short and will be over before you know it, enjoy the Here and Now while you can. Don’t let anything stop you from being happy. I have never seen a sick happy person. Have you?
What advice do you have for young boys and men who get trapped in the drug or gang war, and think it’s their only way out?
The Federal Government took over the so-call drug game long ago. They control it completely. They will let you make alotta money and then bust you so that they will look good on t.v. and in the newspapers to get promotions. By releasing snitchers back to the streets, they keep “the game” alive. Nine out of 10 persons dealing drugs are working for the cops. They have a government license to do what they do. When they get caught, they get a DO NOT GO TO JAIL PASS. The drug game is just a death trap to fill up the prisons and graveyards with poor people, especially Blacks and non-white Hispanics.
You don’t have to sell drugs to achieve your goals or to get the things that you want out of life. Money can’t buy happiness. If you don’t enrich your mind first with knowledge, money will become your worst enemy and your worst nightmare. You’ll be the constant target of larceny, jealousy, envy, flatters, con artists, and gold diggers; and of course cops, bandits and killers. No matter how smart you are, you will get caught and do big time unless you become a rat and snitch on your family and friends for a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE PASS.
The Feds will not let you beat it continuously and make it look foolish and incompetent. It will lie and cheat to put you in prison for a LONG, LONG, TIME, or you will be murdered, probably by a friend; however, if you truly believe in yourself, and give yourself a chance and work long and hard at something you enjoy, you can do anything you put your mind to.
I can name a billionaire rapper and 10 more who are close to it, but not a single billionaire drug dealer outside of Mexico or Columbia, so think about that the next time before you go make a drug deal.