REAL FREEDOM STARTS IN THE MIND: The Jihad Fontanilla El Interview

What is freedom? Many people in our community are under the impression that freedom is being able to buy that new car you want or purchase a home in a “better” part of town.
While on the surface those things may be true, taking a more thorough look at the system and how it operates will show you otherwise.
Getting a clear understanding of where we stand as a people first starts with debunking what we’ve been taught is the truth.
During our Interview with the author of the new hit Book “The Freedom of Slavery,” he was able to break down a lot of these misconceptions and provide much-needed clarity and as well as food for thought.
We also spoke about the relationship with his father & what he learned from him. Why he felt it was necessary to write his book & much more!


So, tell me where you grew up?

I grew up in a city called Portsmouth, Virginia. If you’re not from the area or not familiar with Portsmouth most people are more familiar with Virginia Beach or Norfolk, Virginia. I’m about 15 minutes away from both of those cities.

m Our area is basically called Hampton Roads and it consists of Seven Cities which includes Hampton, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Chesapeake. It’s a bunch of little cities that all make up one big city.


Okay, talk to us about the Dynamics of your household growing up?

I grew up in a single-parent home with my mom. She was definitely a loving mother and we didn’t have a lot as far as financial stability is concerned but we had a loving home.

My mom passed away about three years ago. She always took care of me and tried to keep me out of the streets and lead me in the right direction. I also had a lot of aunts, grandparents, and uncles that were positive influences in my life as well.


You didn’t mention your father in that equation, was he around?

I don’t remember my father ever living with me, but he was always involved in my life. Unfortunately, he was on drugs and alcohol, so he was tied up into that type of Lifestyle. This went on until I was about 14 years old. I thank God that he cleaned himself up and got off drugs. I haven’t seen him drink as much as a beer since I was 14 years old.

He actually went to rehab to get cleaned up now he is remarried and doing good. He was always around but he was never in the household and he was tied up in the drugs too. That kind of took away from his effectiveness as a parent but he was always there. That was a good lesson for me. I learned from him and not from what he was telling me but what I was actually seeing him go through. That taught me a lot about what not to do and we still have a good relationship right now to this day.

He was always cool but once he was able to clean himself up it made our relationship better because he could be a better person and truly be who he really was. My pops is definitely a good man and I’m happy we have a good relationship today you know he lives maybe 15 minutes away from me.


It’s good to see you guys have a solid relationship after everything you been through together. Do you have kids?

Yes. I have adult age children as well as school-age children. I had my first child when I was 15 years old. He has children now as well so I’m a grandfather too. I also have a 4-year-old daughter so I had to grow up fast.

Thinking about everything you went through as a child. What are some of the things you’ve learned that you’re going to make sure to share with your children?

When you’re dealing with children and raising children there are always teachable moments, you just have to take advantage of them. When I was younger I never like to read. One day, I was with my aunt and we were in the shoe store.

There was a young man in the store who worked there, and he was really clean-cut. While in the store we engaged in a conversation and he suggested that I read the autobiography of Malcolm X.  I was about 15 or 16 at the time and my aunt got the book for me.

As I said, I didn’t like to read but once I started reading that book, it opened my eyes. It’s the first book that I read on my own and wasn’t forced to. I read it cover-to-cover. Even though I was running around in the streets when I got home at night I would read that book. Just reading Malcolm X’s story made me want to seek knowledge.

So, this is what I impress on my children’s mind. You have to be willing to learn to succeed and self-education holds more weight than forced education. I encourage all children, and when I say children, that includes all the children under God from ages 1 to 101 years old to continuously educate yourself and learn something new every day.

And really the key is just to be interested in interesting things. If you know for yourself, no one can fool you. Knowledgeable people are always in a position to take advantage of the ignorant.    

I’m not a Christian but I will say this, in Hosea 4:6 it says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. It doesn’t say lack of belief. It doesn’t say lack of pride. It says my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.


Your right, obtaining knowledge on your own is definitely the key. So, speaking of knowledge, you wrote a book recently: The Freedom of Slavery. Tell us about the title and what inspired you to write the book?

So, the title is essentially a play on words. I just want people to think about the word freedom and what it really means, as opposed to the word slavery. The point being, just because you’re not in whips and chains and we don’t have cotton fields doesn’t necessarily mean that one is free. The most efficient method to enslave someone is basically to deceive them and that’s pretty much what it’s all about.

Now, think about this. Wouldn’t it be a perfect situation if you were a slave master and you had slaves that actually thought they were free? That would be a perfect situation, right? Well, that’s exactly what we have going on today. This is the reason I wrote this book. People need to know what’s going on out here, so I felt I should put it in a book. I’m contemplating writing another one, it’s just so much that people need to know.

In your book, you mention the term “Modern-day slavery”. Tell me what you mean by that term?

So, many people are under the impression that slavery was abolished in 1865. That is not 100% true. The truth is, the institution of slavery was never done away with, it was just updated, revamped, and streamlined to cover the whole masses of society. The methodology of enslaving people has been updated and the first method of enslaving people is to gain control of your subject’s mind.

If I control how you think I can control all your following actions and you will be on autopilot. When I talk about the mind I’m talking about the composition of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and your purpose.

Unfortunately, before and after slavery was abolished in 1865 melanated people were at the bottom of the barrel. The same situation exists today. It’s our people who suffer the worst and are the main food source that feeds this creature we call the system. It’s conducted in the way that goes unnoticed.

You really have to take a look at the economic portion of slavery. The truth is, 78% of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck. If that’s not slavery, I don’t know what is. Brother, we are 21 trillion dollars in debt.

If you ask the average person on the street, they don’t know who the debt is owed too or when will we be paying it back. It’s sad that taxpayers don’t really have a clear understanding of where their tax dollars are going. You have registered voters who don’t really understand who or what they’re voting for.

So, the bottom line is, we are dealing with a society of people who are attempting to function, benefit, and prosper but they don’t have a coherent understanding and awareness of how the system operates.

When everyone gets a chance, I want you to get a reputable dictionary and look up the word slavery. If you look it up in the 8th Edition of the Black law dictionary, page:1422. The first definition is “A situation in which one person has power over the life liberty and fortune of another” and the second definition is “The practice of keeping individuals in such a state of bondage or servitude”.

However, when you continue reading and you come across the smaller print which is called “The expert commentary” and it’s the part we need to pay close attention too. It gives keys to what was going on when they were trying to make these changes. 

It says, “Slavery was a big problem for the constitution makers, those who profited by it insisted on protecting it, those who loathe it dreaded even more the prospect that to insist on abolition would mean the constitution would die of mourning” that’s basically telling you that the framers reached a compromise of sorts and coincidentally, the word slave or slavery would never be mentioned in the constitution and they made it a point to safeguard this peculiar institution from the abolitionist.


Wow. What goes on in our society is much deeper than people think. Ok, last question. What do you think our community needs to do differently to get a better understanding of our situation in this country?

We have to educate ourselves. Education must become part of our household culture. Another thing, and I know everyone says this, but we have to work together. Not just talk about it but actually do it. We have to become less fascinated with how we can spend our money and more fascinated with how we can invest our money and bring that energy together as a collective.

Also, rejecting information based on the fact that it’s foreign to us is a problem. I’m not saying you should automatically accept everything you hear either, but you can’t make a sound decision on whether you accept it or rejected it without further investigation into the subject.

One of the main things our people need to understand is that we must unlearn before we can relearn. Many of the incorrect concepts, traditions, and ideas that we hold onto are preventing us from receiving our rights…. which is freedom.

We are miseducated to the point that we are taught to look at everything from the wrong point of view, the wrong perspective. That happens socially, politically, economically, and spiritually. So, if you ask me what we can do differently, I would say damn there everything. (laughs) We have to make an honest effort to do better and be better. If we do that as individuals, coming together as a collective won’t be a problem.


Connect With Jihad:


@Jihad Fontanilla El




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