I hate thug culture.
But I think that ex-thugs might actually help save our inner-city communities in America.
Specifically, I am talking about the seemingly untapped brilliance of otherwise corrupt drug dealers and gang leaders here in our American inner-cities.
At the recent Clinton Global Initiatives America meeting (CGI America), I spoke about my vision for the re-winning of America, and it centers around our newest innovation with HOPE Business In a Box, Powered by the Gallup-HOPE Index. The example I gave while on stage at CGI America was not a traditional one. It was one of an inner city drug dealer.
As we were talking about the power of the American idea, small business, entrepreneurship and the thing we all need now — job creation — the simple question I posed to the audience of more than 1,000 assembled dignitaries and leaders from across the nation was "what do you think a drug dealer is, if not an unethical American entrepreneur?" I went on to make it clear that the whole idea of drug dealers and the gangs I grew up around in Compton, California and South Central Los Angeles actually turn my stomach. That I believe drug dealing to be immoral and unethical, and that "there is a special place in hell reserved for anyone who sells death to their own people, in their own community and in our schools." That said, they may be immoral and unethical, but if someone is a so-called successful drug dealer, one thing they arenot is dumb.