Okay, I know this looks bad. Let me explain. . .
This picture was taken yesterday at a DARE program where I had the opportunity to speak to the 5th grade class of South Street Elementary. No, I was not arrested yesterday. But the fact is, 11 years ago I was arrested. Those shackles were the grand crescendo, the “EPIC FAIL” of my young 18-year-old life.
Yesterday's program let me share my story in a way I haven't before. It was surreal. I distinctly remember in junior high a DARE presentation was made at my school where an inmate in an orange jumpsuit shared his own "epic fail" story about drugs ruining his life, and ultimately landing him in jail. That junior high version of me thought I was so different from that inmate, and that I would never go to jail.
Yesterday it all came full circle.
I was the one standing up in an orange jumpsuit, pleading with these young people for their futures. I feel like I am a lifetime away from my experience with drugs. The spell of deception has been broken and all I see is the reality of the death it carries! With stories of friends' funerals and images of families broken to pieces in my head, my passion to fight the war for the hearts of these young people is fueled by everything I know is at stake.
As I look around Opelousas, I see a deep oppression the dope game has had on the people that live here. A self-inflicted slavery, it is championed by music, culture, and especially those trapped in it. Misery loves company.
I'm praying for the liberation of souls in this city. I am ready to go to war for it, my brothers and sisters.
Would you pray and fight with me?