Friday, July 06, 2007

Pee Wee's Sad Adventure.


"...where im from we see a fuckin dead body everyday ..." ~~Lil Wayne~~~






While you are reading this blog you might notice that I keep the "Killadelphia" murder count on the side bar. We are averaging more than one killing a day in 07, and I suspect that before 08 rolls around we will be will have over 400 bodies in the ground . Sad as this is going to sound, I am almost immune to the daily carnage now. When it comes to the murders on our streets nothing gives me cause for pause anymore. Man shot in the head while walking to the grocery store; so what else is new? Boy shot in playground; yawn. Two people shot to death during a drive by shooting; ho hum. You get the picture? Truth be told, the streets of Philly have been redder than the paint on our love statue lately, and no one seems to give a damn. Not the Mayor, not the President, not the the people in the neigborhoods, and saddest of all; not the parents.


But today I read a story that almost brought tears to even my jaded and weary eyes. Not so much for the individual victim, but for an entire race and class of people . It happened in Camden, which for all practical purposes is Philadelphia. Camden is right across the Ben Franklin bridge and I can get there quicker from Center City Philadelphia than to my own Philadelphia home. James (Pee Wee) Coleman was shot to death with a high powered assault rifle while sitting in the back of his parked car. The police know that robbery wasn't a motive because the young man had five hundred dollars in cash in his pocket. Less than 18 hours later his distant cousin was shot and killed about a mile away. Saad Brittingham was 17 and a gun man stepped in front of him while he was riding his scooter in broad daylight and shot him twice in the chest. Thankfully, an eight year old who was riding with him escaped injury.

But back to "Pee Wee". Oh, did I mention that Pee Wee was twelve years old? Yes you heard me; TWELVE! And Pee Wee unlike many twelve year olds that you might know did not aspire to be a fireman, a doctor, or a teacher. No, on a corner right around the way from where Pee Wee was shot he was immortalized on a graffiti scared wall. "GUN BOYZ, Pee Wee 10th Street." Apparently Pee Wee had his first encounter with the law about a year ago when he was ELEVEN! Police suspected at the time that Pee Wee and two other young boys were dealing drugs.

I know you are asking all the obvious questions. Why did Pee Wee live in a car? What was Pee Wee, at twelve years old, doing with five hundred dollars in cash in his pocket? And who would want to execute a twelve year old? I will leave all that to your imagination. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Pee Wee was living in his car because of a rocky relationship with his twenty six year old mother. Yes you read that right; TWENTY SIX!


Now here is where the other members of the village dropped the ball. Apparently officials weren't sure if he was living with his mother, the Camden school officials could not confirm if he was in school, and the state Division of Youth and Family Services have never encountered him. So tell me folks, what type of society are we living in? I mean even by Philly and Camden standards the story of Pee Wee is pretty f****d up. So who do we blame? The institutions of the village or the mother that brought Pee Wee here? A mother who was more than likely overwhelmed with the burden of motherhood, and left it up to the streets to raise her child. And trust me, these streets are mean. Even for a twelve year old...no, I take that back, especially for a twelve year old.


According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, some neighbors in the Camden area where Pee Wee was from said Pee Wee was generous. Just hours before he was killed, Pee Wee bought six frozen treats for some of the young kids on the street. No one would say where Pee Wee got his money, but still the neighbors "deplored the violence and drugs" in their neighborhood. Memo to neighbors; I guarantee you that if you get rid of the violence and drugs in your neighborhood you won't have anymore Pee Wees running around with pockets full of money. But I can't put all the blame on the neighbors. Or, for that matter, Pee Wee's mom. We live in a country where a dog would have had a harder chance of falling through the cracks than Pee Wee, and where we care more about the Sunnis and Shites than the people in our own cities. We need a "surge" here too. A surge of funding for inner city programs, a surge of resources to train these parents out here, and a surge of great practical ideas for law enforcement. That's the kind of surge I would love to see. When that surge starts working, I am sure the "Killadelphia" murder count will be much lower.



On another note: Thank you my fellow Negroes and honorary Negroes in these fields for keeping me going during my bout with blogger burnout. Your e-mails and comments of encouragement have been just what the blogger doctor ordered.






Thanks again you'll. You'll are my peeps for real :)

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Field, you know I got mad love for you!

I'm glad you're over your burn out. But remember to pull back if you need to. We'll be holding it down while you're recharging.

Angie

Connecticut Man 1 said...

This story is fucked up from beginning to end. When I read messed up shit like this I don't even know where to begin with a comment. sigh

blackgirl said...

The "inner city blues" is the United State's dirty little secret. We love to post New York up as the model big city, but living in Chicago (where the county board president was elected while in a coma--and so his seat was given to his son!!) I think it's high time for the mayors of large cities to start taking action and responsibility.

Connecticut Man 1 said...

Sorry for the language Field... It's just frustrating to see such a waste of young lives.

Aerial said...

Every time I read a story like this, I ask myself,
"Why do so many people choose this type of lifestyle?" Some people say, that in the 'hood, it's easier to hustle on the streets than it is to find a legitimate job. I don't see how this lifestyle is profitable, or easier. I read somewhere that the average drug dealer doesn't make any more than a minimum wage worker. In fact, most drug dealers still live with their mothers or grandmothers. As for advancing up in the drug trade, that's also unlikely. There's the almost certain probability of going to jail, and/or getting killed at an early age. There's stress from being a target of rival dealers, or of having your family and friends become targets. There's the upheaval caused by violent, sudden death.

I would really like to know, from young people, what they find so attractive about this?

field negro said...

Thanks Angie.

C-Man, no need to apologize here for your language my man. Just say what you feel. It's all good here. I know the shit out here is messed up, and we need more passion like you are expressing.

Blackgirl that might be a "dirty little secret" to some folks, but you and I know how f****d up it is in the inner city. And I am not just talking about the crap that goes on the streets, but the crap that goes on in the halls of power as well.

MELVYN said...

Aerial--First off--it's not the Hood--it's a ghetto--the man doesn't like to use this word, he's good at obfuscating.

As to why do the kids go into the drug business, they are fatalists at such a young age that easy money, quick cash, instant gratification seems the best choice. Better question would be--Why do the cops only "allow" drugs to be sold in poor neighborhoods?

C-dell said...

great post really great post. That is what I have been talking about, if you ever have the chance read my post priorites. it deals with issues along these lines. I really feel that we have to many problems at home to try and solve the ones elsewhere.

metricpenny said...

"We need a "surge" here too. A surge of funding for inner city programs, a surge of resources to train these parents out here, and a surge of great practical ideas for law enforcement."

Nuff said my brotha.

Connecticut Man 1 said...

The recent GAO report shows that the Iraq BOONDOGGLE is now going to cost upwards of 1.4 TRILLION DOLLARS with recent costs going up.

What could we have done for Americans with that kind of money? It boggles the mind.

Anonymous said...

The institutions of the village or the mother that brought Pee Wee here? A mother who was more than likely overwhelmed with the burden of motherhood, and left it up to the streets to raise her child.

Pee wee ain't got no daddy? His mama just fuck herself?

THIS IS SOME ONE SIDED SHYT UP IN HERE!

The mother to blame, the village to blame, but daddy gets to roll.

rikyrah said...

Field, these kinds of posts make my head hurt. It's just a tragedy upon a tragedy. Just wasted humans. 12 years old - WITH A CAR?

These things just stab at the soul -ya know? The very soul.

rikyrah said...

The institutions of the village or the mother that brought Pee Wee here? A mother who was more than likely overwhelmed with the burden of motherhood, and left it up to the streets to raise her child.

Pee wee ain't got no daddy? His mama just fuck herself?

THIS IS SOME ONE SIDED SHYT UP IN HERE!

The mother to blame, the village to blame, but daddy gets to roll.


I think most folks here believe that Pee Wee had a sperm donor.

And, his mother was little more than an egg donor.

Michael Fisher said...

Kinda reminds me of what was going on in Brazil when I as hanging out there 10 years ago. The local merchants in Rio and Sao Paulo used to organize vigilante squads (often masked after hour cops) to hunt down and kill little black boys who used to come down from the slums (favellas) to beg from the tourist on Copa and Ipanema beaches.

One could find dozens of these dead kids in the streets with their heads blown off every week.

They likened it to an anti-vermin campaign.

Michael Fisher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Fisher said...

Uuuhhhh, Rikyrah. That stung. Truth hurts.

peon said...

Mama was as much a baby as PeeWee was. By my math she was 14 when she became PeeWee's momma. Sperm donor daddy is absent. Not a very auspicious start in life for little PeeWee. Where are the Right to Life people in this story? Oh thats right, they fought for little PeeWee when he was an fetus. Once he was born, well that's a different fish to fry.

I am not Star Jones said...

there will be more Pee Wees ... some of them being conceived at this very moment.

I don't know what to do or say to give African Americans insight into having lives that transcend poorly timed pregnancies, drugs and low expectations.

mark said...

"Where are the Right to Life people in this story? Oh thats right, they fought for little PeeWee when he was an fetus. Once he was born, well that's a different fish to fry. "

mark bey: Were are all of the other anti abortion people when it comes to tragedies like this one.

The Christian Coalition could care less about what happen to Pee Wee Russell.

Hathor said...

In my grandmothers times, 14 year olds had children, the children grew up to be OK people. The difference is that they grew up with responsibility, poor or not it was expected that if you had siblings that you were responsible for them, sometime younger relatives too, and you had to do you share of household work. Something went wrong, where the life style of some black people changed so drastically. I think partly the welfare system, the destruction of the mixed income black neighborhood and the idea that in public housing black people shouldn't be allowed to discriminate against the criminal element.

field negro said...

"....Where are the Right to Life people in this story? Oh thats right, they fought for little PeeWee when he was an fetus. Once he was born, well that's a different fish to fry."

That calls for a big, Mmmmmm!

Anonymous said...

FN-

You need to keep posting, burnout or not. I'm a white guy; because I have so little interaction day-to-day with black folks beyond the hi-how-are-yous, and I have no black friends, blogs like this help me see black people as people. I know that sounds sad, but you said you wanted the truth.

I appreciate how you take your own people to task as much as mine when you think it merits it; I shows me you're honest, and makes me respect your opinion, so that the next time you tell white people how it is, instead of shutting down I actually read what you wrote with some objectivity. Blogs like this have forced me to examine my own racism, and made me realise that racism is pervasive and persists in this country, even if I want to turn away.

Keep it up.

Jimbo

Anonymous said...

Forget "Right To Life," there needs to be a new movement, "Right To Quality Of Life."

west coast story said...

Were's the black community on this? If white people were slaughtering blacks at the same rate, we'd be hysterical and in the streets. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we are all too comfortable with black on black crime, whether it's burglary or murder. We talk a lot and do little. The issue is complex and it is going to take time, commitment, and resources to change things. We are Americans, unfortunately with attention spans of babies. If it can't be fixed in a minute, we "just can't deal." The problems are at home, and not just in poor homes, at school, the way all of us model behavior in the public eye, the images that get promoted about what it means to be a man or a woman. I was reading something the other day about someone criticizing how we throw more sports and entertainment at youth when they are in desperate need of direction. It was compared to throwing entertainment at a cancer patient.

In this area, we have this farking territorial stupidity that if a SF-based program works in San Francisco, it can't get funding in Oakland because there are Oakland non profits who will raise holy hell, whether or not the Oakland programs work. Politics play a major role in this. Politicians have their pet non profits, the folks who they can count on to get out the vote, and they fund them whether or not they are effective. Then you have to make sure every ethnic group is getting their "fair" share of the pie or there's hell to pay for inequities. When I was on a blue ribbon enterprise task force in the 1990's, I was chided by my councilmember's aide for suggesting that we only fund the best qualified organizations. Stupid me. Scratch a little and you see that these problems have political causes as much as anything.

For years Oakland threw money at the Bey family for one boondoggle or other. Minister Bey was the head of the local FOI. Then he turned out to be a pedaphile with DNA evidence to support the claim that this poor girl had his bably when she was just barely into her teens. The rest of the garbage tumbled out about this family that politicians and the media had swept under the rug, like the beatings adminstered to anyone who opposed them. But they were connected to the political machine and when they wanted money for anything, they got it from the city. After the minister died while awaiting trail, some of his "sons" ended up killing each other.

Oh, please, I'm so jaded about this s**t I can barely see. We don't want clean government. We'll support a clown with $90,000 in his freezer for no other reason than that he is black. People, we ARE the problem. Then we wonder how it is that young black men are out to commit genocide against one another. The bottom line is that when the blame is passed around for the mess we are in, everyone gets a slice from the institutions that practice racism against us to our unending allegiance to taking no responsibility for any of it.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

West Coast, sista girl, I have to co-sign on this with you. WE are the problem in that we keep waiting for Captain Save-A-Negro to come save us.

Where were everybody in this scenario?

Pee Wee's Momma - a kid herself and she probably was knocked up by some 20-something sperm donor who needs to be in jail for statutory rape.

Pee Wee's Daddy - see the last part of the first paragraph.

Didn't Pee Wee have any other relatives that could have stepped in to raise him?

Someone upthread mentioned the fact that in their grandmother's time, girls popping babies at 14 wasn't out of the norm; but she also had her family around her to help out, so until Hillary learns that about raising kids, she needs to knock off the "takes a village" BS.
We already know that. If Pee Wee's momma or daddy couldn't handle parenthood, back in the day, their parents wouldn't have allowed knowing one of their grandchildren were out there on the streets raising himself - someone would have stepped forward to take on the obligation of rearing Pee Wee.

Have we become so self-centered and self-serving to the point of callousness regarding our children?

I'm a single woman with a good job, nice place to live and could support someone like Pee Wee. Yet, when I went to the Social Workers about adoption, the knock against me was that I wasn't married. Yet I know that no one in the system wants to adopt our Black Children initially; they try to go with a white kid first (unless it is US trying to adopt), and many more of them will suffer Pee Wee's fate, because enough of us aren't coming forward.

Now, I'm not trying to say that we all should be adopting children, because that's a responsibility that some may not desire and that's okay. What I'm saying is that even if we don't adopt, there are many things we can do to help our children to reach adulthood and be a productive member of society once they reach adulthood.

I'm going to keep trying, because they're our kids, and even if the biological village doesn't feel they have a responsibility to our children, I sure as hell do, and I plan to do my part.

brotherpeacemaker said...

What's truly sad is that, more than likely, no one will ever see this story on national news. But this morning I saw a story "relating" to JonBonet Ramsey about how John Mark Karr who was a suspect in the girl's murder was arrested for domestic violence and was out on three thousand dollars bail. Go figure.

Peace

Hathor said...

I didn't necessarily mean that 14 year olds were single. In rural areas marriage at that age was quite common. I was trying to emphasize the skills necessary to be parents have to be learned and it starts when you are younger. We have always had extended families, but American culture is fostering nuclear families though its institution and promoting selfish behavior.

mark said...

West Coast is right black people need to start getting as mad when black people are murdured by other blacks as we do when the cops or white people kill us.

We are undermining our own humanity by our continuous selective outrage when it comes to the killing of black people.

plez... said...

DAMN! field... you are the TRUTH! whenever i need some truth, i just click the link to "the field negro"... thank you!

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Anonymous said...

Im peewee's Mother Yall people got it fucked"up!I see yall belive every thing yall read. and for the owner of this site you will be hearing from my attorney! and thats not true. I did not put my son out I had a good job working at cooper hospital. his grandmother became ill. and i let him go help her. and lost him.We always did family things together oh he faild to wright that my son was a honor roll student. and was the smartest in his class does that sound like a mother who didnt love her child.his funeral and his clothes from me working cost more than he pays to keep this peace of shit site up. what if you want to leave a comment Email me reereeg552yahoo.com and i will answer any question you have i dont have to lie 100 percent peewees mother!

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Anonymous said...

I came across saad tomb today and wanted to know why I kept seeing young kids tombs everyone seemed to have a story. I'm ready to help Camden to be an example of change.