I am thinking of a song....yes, this one:
~Woman hold her head and cry,
'Cause her son had been shot down in the street and died
From a stray bullet.
Woman hold her head and cry;
Explaining to her was a passerby
Who saw the woman cry (cry)
Wondering how can she work it out,
Now she knows that the wages of sin is death~
"Johnny Was" by Bob Marley.
Bob could have written this song yesterday--- and not almost forty years ago. Sadly, it's still relevant today.
Bob knows; he lived it. Lasha Bradshaw knows. She is living it now.
"TINY SHARDS of glass, gleaming in the sun like diamonds, were scattered yesterday across the top step of the Point Breeze rowhouse where someone shot down Damien James.
James was 16 years old, a kid without a police record. In a few weeks, he would have started his junior year at Audenried High School.
But he's gone now, because someone decided to put two bullets in him as he walked out of a family friend's house on 21st Street near Dickinson shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday.
His mother, Lasha Bradshaw, was with him when a gunman squeezed the trigger in the darkness.Bradshaw rushed her son to Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:35 p.m., said Keishia James, the teen's aunt.
"That was her only son," James said. "She watched her only son die."
The who and why of the slaying remained mysteries yesterday to James' family - and to homicide investigators, who had no suspects or motives to speak of.
It was unclear if James' slaying was related to two other shootings in the area on Wednesday night.
About 9:40 p.m., a 19-year-old man was found shot in the thigh at Dorrance and McKean streets, police said. He was admitted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in stable condition.
Then, at 11:18 p.m., 9-1-1 dispatchers received a call about a person with a gun on Manton Street near 25th. Cops found a man, shot in the head, slumped in the driver's seat of a Jeep Cherokee. His identity was not available.
As of last night, no suspects had been identified in either incident.
Relatives trickled into Damien James' rowhouse on 31st Street near Reed yesterday afternoon.
Some sobbed. Others sat silently on the cramped front porch, lost in their grief.
Keishia James said her nephew had stayed out of trouble and spent most of his free time at a neighborhood mechanic shop, working on motorbikes and learning how to fix cars.
"He loved to ride bikes, and he loved cars," she said. "I think he would have ended up becoming a mechanic."
When he wasn't working with his hands, the teen liked to go to Sixers and Eagles games with his father, she said.
"He was loved by everybody," she said. "He was like an old soul. He was always smiling, and always laughing."
Keishia James said the teen's parents were too upset to talk to reporters yesterday.
Word of his slaying - and the other two shootings - spread quickly through the neighborhood.
Community activist Anton Moore said he was left "speechless" when he heard that a teenager had been shot to death.
"One murder is one too many, but a 16-year-old . . . that's really tough," said Moore..." [Story]
The thing is this; there are scenes like this playing itself out in urban America almost daily.
Those of us who live in these cities and who have firsthand knowledge of these types of horrific incidents have become almost numb to it.
Maybe it's because we understand what causes it: Poverty brought on by poor schools, and a government that doesn't care about the least among us. Broken homes caused by a men who don't know how to be fathers. And being raised in an environment that is nothing like what America should look like.
So when some people (cue in the racists and the FOX NEWS crowd) wonder how we can be so outraged about the killing of Michael Brown at the hands of the police, and not the murder of young black men by other young black men, it's because we understand the root causes of black on black crime among young black men. But we do not understand why a country that professes to have the moral high ground can put men in a position of authority to murder those black men because of racism and ignorance.
We also understand that the cycle of poverty and all the pathologies that come with it will not stop until those who are put in positions of power by our government act in a way that dignifies the lives of all of our citizens. The carcass of an animal would have been treated with more respect and dignity than what Michael Brown got from the authorities in Ferguson, Missouri. And we still wonder why these young men do not value the lives of each other.
It's why the alleged killing of an unarmed white man by a black police officer in Utah (just as wrong if true) might be cause for protest and outrage in that community, but with all due respect to my friends in the white power movement, it's not a reason to view it in a historical context as a pattern that keeps repeating itself. That would just not be true.
But truth means nothing to some people in the white power movement.
"There’s a mindset out there, and the way it works in situations like this [is] only people of color can be victims. A white person can never be a victim. It just can’t happen. That’s not permitted, that’s not allowed because it isn’t the case. The whites are the oppressors. They’re the majority. In the liberal worldview, every majority is an oppressor, whether they’re white or whatever. They’re all oppressors. The minority is always the victims, and the victims are with whom we should always sympathize, no matter what. And the victims are permitted to do anything precisely because they’re a minority, and I’m talking about in numbers, not skin color. They’re outnumbered. The evil majority does horrible things to the minority. And so the minorities, be it skin color or numbers … [are] always victims.."
They are not always the victims, Rush, just way more often than not. But don't
worry, if we keep going down this path, one day you will be a victim, too.