People are scared to deal with the youth. Don, and other brothers are not afraid to deal with the youth....This is part of what King Dave stood for.”
One reason that some Disciples believe that King Dave's approach will be useful to reduce Chicago's violence is based on what he saw as the root of the problems, as explained by a Black Gangster Disciple Nation (BGDN) member, Frederick Little (Sensei):
“If King Dave was here today, he would be totally appalled...not just about the street level, but on the home level. [King Dave thought] the street level is a reflection of what is going on in people's homes. Parents adults, guardians, are getting high, smoking, cussing in front of their kids; not checking their behavior back and fourth to school...”
Sensei encourages that any effort to use King Dave's approach to address Chicago's violence must use one of his most effective techniques, the door to door approach:
“David Barksdale would go knock on people's doors, [and say], 'This your son, this is your daughter, let me tell you what they were doing.' You not gonna get smart with him, and you will not get smart with the Don, Larry Hoover and so on. You will reflect the way they talk to you.” Sensei added that being a true Disciple entails, “staying away from drugs, being disciplined, staying in school and advancing yourself, being gainfully employed and taking care of your children and family. This is what we have to return to doing.”
Michael "White Mike" Morris is a younger Black Disciple who never met King Dave, but believes he plays an important role in keeping his vision and mission alive: “My role is to educate and instruct those who do not know; present the truth to them. It is important to know what the Disciples are about if you want to do good. I tell the community that we are about being involved in the community to help those around you, those you have love for, and standing up for what you believe in.”
Other young Black Disciples believe that if understood and used properly, the teachings, vision, and mission of King David can have a major impact on reducing violence in Chicago:
“Everything that came from the teaching of Black Disciple Nation, guides me in my every day life, by me being able to use the knowledge of the 6 pointed star” says eighteen-year-old Keyren Finch (“Trey”).
Trey continued, “The guys out there my age, if they are able to adopt the teachings, and adopt and use them in their everyday life, there will never be as much killing among the brothers, because we are about love, loyalty...and understanding in a brotherhood...”
He advises other young men: “Don't look at the other person as your enemy unless that person is presenting themselves as your enemy at that time. You should be able to respect a person as a man first, before anything. It is not about who they are... It is about mutual respect.”
One of the toughest tasks that Don Dirk has ahead of him is to address the number of Chicago shootings and killings that occur and involve the name of Black Disciples, sometimes he claims, only in vain:
“You have those who have gotten into the Black Discipline Nation because they cool with another member of the BD Nation. You have those who are perpetrating the BD Nation and they bring a dissension to people in our name. They are making us look bad. Some might be paid to do these things. Some of them may be doing this because they want to get us back. But everybody that call themselves BD are not true BD, and they are the ones causing the problems.”
Don Dirk believes that the first step to this process of peace on the streets, is to gather the true believers of King David and involve them in a sort of re-orientation that will revive the original intentions of creating peaceful and prosperous communities, without the drug and violence problems of the past.
“True Disciple teaches us that a man is known by the manner in which he carries himself. A real Disciple will be respectable, honorable, loving, and kind. We are bringing that back for the good of all of our communities and people. We begin by promoting peace [on the streets], so look out to know more about it and support what we are doing.”
Dr. Peter K. B. St. Jean is the Executive Director and Founder of Peaceful World Movement, an adjunct professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Governors State University and University at Buffalo Department of Sociology, and CEO of Quality of Life Solutions, Chicago. He is also the author of Pockets of Crime: Broken Windows, Collective Efficacy and the Criminal Point of View.