War Zone


Street Commando is a metaphor.  Never do I take for granted the soldier's journey to put their life on the line for their country and our freedom.  In order to be equipped in this modern day USA battlefield you have to be equipped with the tools of survival.  They are not your grenades and guns, but rather your mindfulness, intelligence, access to quality information, digital skills, and tenacity/courage to follow your dreams.  The #streetcommando can eradicate the opposition with his brain, not his brawn.  I do not use being a minority as a crutch but yes at the same time people have no right to judge the black race in this country if they have never walked a mile in their shoes.  You don't know what it's like to be profiled or have someone feel fear or anxiety by merely being in your presence.

I think it is time for a call of action to the men/women in uniform of authority.  What happened in Ferguson, Missouri keeps happening and should never happen.  The facts and opinions are still coming out about what transpired in the shooting death of an unarmed African American teenager Mike Brown in broad daylight in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014 by police officer Darren Wilson.  Authority figures tend to use their power in an abusive manner at times.  All men/women in uniform should look at this case and decide if they are interacting/encountering civilians in the proper manner.  People are people and sometimes manner and respect can go a long way so that violence does not escalate.

And to the youth and black youth, as an African American male in the United States, I have had my fair share of run ins with the police.  Here is what I think.  Sometimes it is not necessarily a black male thing, sometimes it can be a YOUNG black male thing.  There is definite suspicions and curiosity when it comes to encountering the youth.  As a youth you tend to talk back, get slick at the mouth, and attract the wrong kind of attention to yourself by the clothes you wear, or trying to look cool.  Does this mean you should have to pay the price with your life?  Of course not.  But a man has to know when its best to live to fight another day.

And officers/authority figures need to take more time and educate themselves on the communities that they patrol.  How about getting to know families/minorities on a personal level, and not just what you see on ESPN, CNN, Fox News, and the radio stations and movies because the stereotypes that are constantly perpetuated in the media are often far from the truth.

In this dark time I pray today that the masses come to peace with all the civil unrest currently in the wilderness of North America.

I have decided to respond and not to react.  Education will be the platform that I would like to use to effect change.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Sometimes all I can do or be is the change I want to see in the world.

No, I'm not a politician, lawyer, nor law enforcement but the pain still runs deep and to the core.    If one thing THE WIRE taught me its that when you are on the other side of the law, when a mistake is made you end up dead or in jail.  When you are the law, its usually handled internal or some discipline code.  That is the reality.

But you can't go busting your fist against a stone wall.  That's what the man wants you to do.  Trust and believe there is still much work to be done but smile that there has been a multitude of progress.

Love conquers all and just know that without hope there is no reason for living and on this day I choose to live and progress and let's all be better today than we were yesterday. #salute #streetcommando #gladiator #alllivesmatter #USA

Location: Little Haiti, Miami, Florida

Photography: www.orinary.com

Model: Director of Business Development Aygemang Clay