Monday, September 28, 2009

Animals in the street... Shame, shame, shame.

The video that is attached to this blog entry is disturbing. It is disturbing to me because it took place in the neighborhood just north of mine, because there are children involved, because no one seemed to care enough until the damage was already done AND because it was not reported on the Chicago news until the next day- after we all found out that the student that died was an honor student. I have a problem with the fact that these black children are fulfilling the stereotypes that people have of them. I have a problem with the fact that there is a police station down the street, yet there are no cops in this video. I am troubled by the fact that there are children TAPING this and screaming "daaammmmnnn" when their classmates get hit- like they are in a movie theater and this incident is somehow amusing.
These students should be ashamed. The gang members who started this melee in the middle of the street, turning Chicago into their own version of the wild, wild west, should feel ashamed- and be arrested. The police, who I generally have the utmost respect for, should HAVE to participate in more patrols when school gets out. The parents HAVE to raise their kids better than this. As a community WE have to do better than this.

Watching this, I am actually at a loss for words over the sheer stupidity of what is going on. I live in a working class neighborhood- it is not the best, but it is definitely NOT to worst in Chicago. We don't have to fight each other. I don't live in Boys in the Hood... seriously. Who does something like this? Now a 16 year old is dead, and lives will be ruined when someone gets arrested for this. Someone threw their life away in 3 minutes and for what? Are we so desensitized to violence that this shit passes for entertainment? Listen to the girl scream "zoom in" like this is a movie. This is NO FREAKING MOVIE- a boy lost his life. A boy, walking home from school LOST HIS LIFE. Think about that. He is never coming back, he will not turn 17, he will not graduate from high school... all so some stupid thug can claim a street in his neighborhood? All so some stupid jackass can brag that he has the biggest balls in the hood? Give me a break. A real man has no need to beat an unsuspecting boy who is walking home from school. Nevermind that, a real man has no need to be in a gang or fighting in the street like an asshole.

Here is my call to the "village"... Black people have to do better. Don't give me any excuses, because I don't want to hear them. There is no reason for us to PROVE to the doubters, haters and the racists that we are exactly what they think we are. Our ancestors died for the right to go to school and vote... they were still fighting less than 50 years ago. Those people are rolling around in their graves when they look down and see these types of displays. My grandparents did not get disrespected so that these assholes can beat an innocent boy in the middle of the street. My great grandparents did not suffer through indignities so that black students can drop out of school in record numbers, or so that black parents can do some lack luster job. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE???????

And I don't want to hear anything about the stigma of slavery, because I am black and I am tired of US falling back on the slavery issue. At some point we have let that shit go and move forward. The attached video is a leap backward. Even if there were some lingering effects of slavery or other socio-economic issues, in this video there are black children beating black children. We are attacking ourselves. I feel like Bill Cosby a few years ago- what excuse is there going to be for this behavior? There should be NONE. We have to start holding our youth to higher standards because- even if it is not fair- they are already expected to fail... already expected to fail. If we continue to allow behavior like this- this deadly, ghetto, repugnant, self destructing behavior- we are no better than our critics. We have to be better and the only way it will get better is if someone from our community takes a stand. Say something... do something. I am sure that I will catch some flack for this entry and I don't care. You don't want me to put you blast, do better. You don't want me to talk about you AND your kids, do better. You don't want me to call you an embarrassment? Do better. You don't want me to agree with your critics? DO BETTER.

My parents used to tell me to be different- I was and continue to be, so my advice to whoever is reading this: Be the exception, not the rule.


John Cappi said...

Jo--I am in tears. Thank you for your brave, and very real words. We should all be ashamed. My prayers are too ALL of them--lost children.

John Cappi said...

Jo--I am in tears. Thank you for your brave, and very real words. We should all be ashamed. My prayers are for ALL of them--every one of them is someone's son or daughter.

JJCatSteve said...

So, I read your blog before watching the video because I wanted to see what you had to say in its entirety. It's amazing what kind of image you can create for yourself based off someone else's reaction... my image was nowhere near as dispicable and horrific as what I watched.

Is there no other form of expression besides violence? Is there no other word people can use to describe a victim other than "Nigger"... I'm sorry, "Nigga"? Are there no other lives that can be senselessly loss other than young Black males?

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about this was not just the "DAMN" that was stated by the cameraman, but rather the laughter that followed. Did he realize he had recorded life being taken? Did he realize the life that was taken could have easily been his own? If we wait a little longer maybe it will be him, but it may not be on video for people to experience over and over and over again. Perhaps he'll be beaten beyond recognition by an acquaintance or another nameless face. Perhaps his demise will be met with no other witnesses around. Perhaps his body will never be found. This may sound a little harsh, but I don't believe it is more harsh than what we all have witnessed in this video. Acts of brutality and murder are acts of which most would and should be ashamed to commit... to be done out of the sight of others and the evidence to be hidden in some dark alley.

This riot of violence was done in broad daylight as if it were a comedy sketch: people were laughing, improvising with the nearest prop and full audience participation.

It saddens me that, apparently, the innocence has been absent from these children for awhile and the callous of hard-living and a "Kill or Be Killed" mentality has fully enveloped their souls. People who do these types of things have a hardness that is rarley softened but by the grace of God. I pray for the family of the deceased and for all of the children involved. I would love nothing more than this self-inflicted Holocaust to end.
-Julia Stevenson

Anonymous said...

Julia and LeeAnn:
I agree. I think that the situation is heartbreaking. I also think that it could be easily remedied. People have to be outraged, people have to care. Our current problem is that things like this happen daily and no one says anything. The time has come to take charge of our communities!! :) Have a great day ladies- make a difference!

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