Former Rival Gang Members Unite to Curb Gang Violence

 

Two former gang members who grew up as bitter enemies are now working together to prevent other young black men from traveling down the same road. It’s a story that you won’t see on any establishment media outlet — but it is a part of the ongoing struggle to curb gang violence in black neighborhoods. 

Antong Lucky and Def D were two sides of the same coin: both came up in poverty and crime-stricken neighborhoods in Dallas, TX. Both of these men dealt with street violence since they were children and likely witnessed acts to which no child should be exposed. Both discussed losing friends and family members to gang life. 

During the 1990s, these two individuals joined their respective gangs and rose through the ranks. Antong was a member of the Bloods while Def D joined the Crips. For years, they lived that street life, until it caught up with both of them. They were both eventually arrested and served time in prison.

It was while serving their prison sentences that the two former gang members rejected their previous lives. Def D recounts thinking: “Man, nothing come out of this but death and prison.” 

After being released, Antong became a mentor at a local middle school. He decided to become a positive role model for the children in his community. Upon his release, Def D visited his former enemy to see if he could help. “When we talked, we embraced,” said Antong, recounting their reunion. “He was telling me ‘Man, I want to be a part of that. I want to help.” Shortly after, OGU (Original Gangsters United) was born. 

 

 

The organization was formed in January 2019 to keep young men from entering the same gang life that had killed so many of their friends and family members. Now, the organization has recruited other former gang members and is still growing. In the video created by Freethink, Antong explains, “We’re taking the original gangsters out of neighborhoods who have committed violence in the past, showing them how to go back into their communities to avert violence by mentoring teenagers.” He added, “No one knows how to keep a kid out of a gang better than someone who ran a gang themselves.” (By the way, the video is only five minutes long, take a look!)

According to Freethink.com, mentors working with OGU spend their time “hanging out with Dallas youth, looking for kids at risk of gang violence — or, rather, those most in need of a positive relationship in their lives.” They typically meet the kids in schools, jails, or homeless shelters. In this way, they can intercept these youths before they fall in with local street gangs. 

The unique relationship between Antong and Def D is one of the more compelling points of the organization’s story. It gives kids a concrete example of how two former enemies — who likely would have killed each other if given the chance — can become brothers working to improve their community. “It makes (the kids) say, ‘Wait. If they can get along, then why am I having problems with somebody?” Antong said. 

OGU has managed to reach over 470 youth in 2019. Despite being a new organization, they are already making significant progress. The majority of the children they mentor are staying away from gang violence. One of the methods they use to achieve these results involves having the kids they mentor participate in their work. 

These individuals, known as “OGU Grads” reach out to their peers. Their efforts involve gang mediation as well as street outreach. Because of this, the organization has already begun to expand into other states with one member working in Atlanta and another in Baton Rouge. 

Contrary to what many on the right believe, black Americans are working together to address the issue of gang violence in their communities. OGU’s story is that of black men coming together to prevent black children from making the same mistakes they made as youths. As with similar stories, it does not involve government intervention; these individuals are doing the work themselves.

But here’s a question: Did any major media outlet cover this story? ABC? Fox News? MSNBC? NBC? Anyone? Bueller? 

Why haven’t they covered this story or others like it? After all, every Monday it seems we are treated to the same depressing reports of Chicago’s homicide rates, right? Earlier this year, when Baltimore was in the spotlight, we saw report after report on its deplorable conditions. 

The media is all too willing to cover the suffering of the black community and the malfeasance of black criminals while ignoring what blacks are doing to change it. It’s no wonder that both the left and the right have such a negative view of black America.

Yes, I know what I’m saying doesn’t apply to every single person. But there can be no doubt that the media’s coverage of everyday black Americans is skewed in a way that casts them in a particular light. And media influence is a powerful force. Stories like these show that they’re only telling part of the story. 

Many black Americans, like Antong Lucky and Def D are working hard to make a positive difference, without relying on the state. This is an area of commonality that conservatives could focus on when attempting to reach blacks at the local level. 

The policies of Democrats are designed to preserve the conditions that make organizations like OGU necessary. But perhaps, with better leadership that doesn’t involve more government, we as conservatives can undo the damage done by progressive policies to inner cities. It’s worth a shot, isn’t it? After all, what the hell do we have to lose? 

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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