My trusted assistant in Atlanta, SirJames Buchanan, told me about this crazy yet brilliantly planned and executed robbery of ATM machines at a Georgia Motor Vehicle office in Atlanta.

The crime was all over local news, planned and executed by young African-American young men. Of course, they will get prosecuted and will serve time in prison, as they should. I never endorse crime as a pathway for anyone. That said, what I continue to say is that these young men — be they drug dealers, gang organizers, or criminals like in this instance — are not dumb. These are smart young people. Very smart. They just have horrible role models, horrible family and community environments, and little aspirational opportunity in their lives. I am convinced that if and when they know better, they would do better.

I believe in this generation, but we must help them begin to believe in themselves. And to stop using their brilliance, talents and skills to break into Georgia Motor Vehicle families.

This is my vision and plan for Project 5117. See what comes next at Operation HOPE.

John Hope Bryant

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