Al Tabar

"I’ve watched my brothers go in and out of prison. That’s not for me."

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Listen to Al Tabar

You want a long life. When you choose gun violence, you limit yourself. We might live 80 years. You don’t want to cut that to 17. You don’t want to be 70 behind somebody’s bars. For most of my youth, I’ve watched my brothers go in and out of prison. I knew that wasn’t the life for me. Even though I don’t have control over some of the bad situations I may find myself in, I’ve learned that I do have control over what I choose to do about them. When young people see something over and over it becomes normal for them. We have to change the culture in our community because right now what they see over and over is guns. They also see people working hard – like my mom who works about 80 hours a week – yet we still live in the projects. Then there are killers and drug dealers working way less than 80 hours, but they have everything young kids might want. Kids here aren’t seeing doctors and lawyers as models for success. They’re in neighborhoods where people who are violent get all the things they want – and they think that’s what a person needs to do. But it all comes back to the long life. It’s amazing to see young people from all these different communities in the PLC  – not just adults in city hall – who have the power to make decisions about what happens to us.