I knew dudes who were old men by the time they were seven. That’s the age when little white kids are dreaming about fairy princesses and Cinderella and playing in tree houses and wondering whether they want two cars or four cars when they grow up. We didn’t have time for all that. Didn’t even have time for childhood. If you acted like a child, you didn’t survive and that’s all there was to it. Hell, you be walking home from school and up come some high school dudes who’d jack you up and take the little dime your mama had given you to buy some candy with. So what’d you do? Jump some dude who was younger and littler than you and take his dime. And pretty soon you started carrying a razor blade, a switch blade or just a pocketful of rocks so you could protect yourself as a man. You had to if you were going to survive.
White folks get all righteous and wonder why Black people steal and gamble. Same reason white folks do. We need money, because the society says you must have it to keep from starving. If you got it, you eat. If you don’t, tough. But white people are able to make their stealing and gambling legitimate. White man’ll sell you a $20 suit for $50 and call it good business. What he actually did was steal $30. White man’ll buy a watch for $5.00 sell it for $49.95 and call the difference, profit. Profit is a nice word for stealing which the society has legitimatized. Catholics go to church every week and gamble, but they call it Bingo. The Pope blesses ‘em, so it’s all right. The state of Nevada is built on a deck of cards and a roulette wheel, but that’s okay, ‘cause it’s white folks that passed the law saying it was okay. But you let us get over in the corner of the alley with some dice and try to make a little profit and here come the police, the judge, the jailer and the sociology student. We get thrown into jail for gambling or stealing. White folks go to Congress for stealing and they call that democracy H. Rap Brown (via commonright)