Sunday, January 07, 2007
"A Germantown High School student is dead and an 18 year old from his neighborhood has been charged with his murder after an argument Friday night outside a corner store.
Police received a 911 call just after 7:00 P.M. and found Crawford lying unresponsive on the street near Baynton Street and East Walnut Lane. He had one stab wound in the chest.
'He was a happy child,' said his mother, Kelley Kenner, 41. 'He never bothered anybody.'
Kenner said she had given her son about $200 to buy a pair of Timberland boots and Adidas sneakers Friday night. He stopped at a corner store to get a cheese steak before shopping.
'Fifteen minutes later, he was dead,' Kenner said yesterday in a phone interview.
Police said that Crawford and Jones who knew each other from he neighborhood had been arguing at a nearby corner store when Jones stabbed Crawford and then ran away.
Jones later called 911 and said that he had been robbed and stabbed someone, police said Jones was taken into custody that night.
At the scene Friday night, Renee Fredricks, 16, identified herself as Crawford's girlfriend and said he had often joked with people, asking for money that he didn't really need.
She said a cousin had told her that Crawford approached someone outside the corner store and 'asked for a dollar.' The person rebuffed him and then pulled a knife and stabbed the youth in the chest she said.
'He was stabbed for a dollar' Fredricks said.'I guess the boy thought he had a gun and stabbed him for a dollar.'
No gun was found police said. Kenner said her son, one of 11 children was a student at Germantown High School and enjoyed music and drawing.
He often played basketball at the Wissahickon Boys and Girls Club. Crawford recently learned he was going to become a father."
Before I get to my post; I would like to thank Mari A. Schaefer, a reporter from my hometown paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, for that story.
The newspaper article I lifted and wrote for you above, is similar to many other articles from my hometown paper. In truth, I could fill this blog every day with similar articles about various killings and violence in the city of brotherly love, -also known as "killadelphia"- on a daily basis. And sometimes folks, you have to look behind the story you are reading to see the real story.
The purpose of this post is not to go off on the ineptitude of my cities leaders, nor the failure of moral courage and leadership by our Churches and social services. Or, for that matter, the disgusting way that we as black folks continue to ignore the growing crisis of youth violence in our community. No folks, it's to see if you can do a little total recall exercise with me.
Quick, without going back and reading the article again, can you tell me the three things that jumped out at you when you read it? Don't look back now, just think about it for a minute....... OK finished?
Now I will tell you the three things that jumped out at me, and let's see if you got the same ones:
1. First, just what the f**k was Markel's mother thinking, giving her 16 year old son $200 to buy two pairs of fu****g shoes? $200 for two pair! How sick is that s%*t? And we wonder why our children's value system is so screwed up. Here is the deal Markel; you need some shoes? What's your shoe size? OK mommy is going to head down to JC Penny and get your ass a pair of sneakers and a nice pair of winter boots for $100. Might not be Timberlands and Adidas, but if you don't wear what I get you, your little black ass can go barefooted . You know, kind of like some of those little children in Third World countries do.
2. Markel was one of eleven (11) children. Yes I said eleven! Read the story again, I am not making this up, and I doubt if Ms. Schaefer is either.-she is a reputable reporter here in Philly-
So let's do the math here folks, Markel's mom is 41 and she has eleven children, and no where in this story is there a mention of Markel's father. This of course is not unusual, I can go over story after story about these poor murdered black children, and there is never any mention of a grieving father.
3. Which brings me to the third and final little nugget that stuck out for me in this story: It seems that little Markel at sixteen fu****g years old, was going to be a father. (I wonder if the girlfriend mentioned in the story is the expecting mother? I seriously doubt it). And Judging from her age and the amount of kids she has, Markel's mother probably started having little Markel's just at about that age herself. So the pitiful and pathetic cycle in our community continues, with no end in sight. Children having children, only to lose them to the violent streets infested by other children who place no value on human life because no one ever valued theirs.
Now folks, before you start with the; "oh field you are being too hard on this lady who just lost her son" speech, save it. Somebody needs to start getting hard on her behind before she loses more children to violence.
Personally, I am sick of seeing the teddy bears and the make shift shrines on our street corners. Sick of being invited to funerals of former clients and their friends, and I am sick of waking up and reading about more senseless killings in my city. (seven so far and counting and we are only seven days into the new year) So excuse me if I am a little hard on Markel's mom. The real problem is, that somebody should have been hard on her ass years ago, then maybe it would not have come to this.