Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Pondering the acceptance of the unacceptable…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

A bitch caught Good Morning America yesterday and…what?

Millions of people watch that shit and it often explains their confusion over all manner of news-based happenings. Watching is challenging (wink), but a bitch feels strongly that the NPR set should take a look at morning network news shows every now and then lest they find themselves digging out from another when the fuck did this happen outbreak of traditionally ig’nant so-called values.


Anyhoo, a bitch watched GMA and I really watched the piece about a 14-year-old Maryland teen that was killed by a gang in a suburb.

And it is crucial to note that he was killed…by a gang…in an affluent suburb because that was the get it, get it, or they’ll hit you over the fucking head with it until you do get it point of the piece.

The piece covered the bullying of the teen…his mother’s attempts to protect him…and the shock his parents feel over gang violence taking their child’s life in a picturesque affluent Maryland suburb.

Get it…got it yet?

That’s not the way shit is supposed to go down.

Gang violence isn’t supposed to happen in neighborhoods where people pay $300,000 for a house and the color of the shutters is regulated by a neighborhood association…gang violence isn’t supposed to touch those people.

Didn’t they do everything right?

And c’mon…everyone knows those people who deal with violence in the hood have done something wrong.

Pause…roll eyes…continue.

The GMA piece could have covered the rise of gang related violence in suburbs…it could have explored the how and why of that…it could have provided details on the alleged gang members, their background and the nature of their “gang”…it could have broken down the many misconceptions people have of gangs and where they reside…and it could have served viewers by deconstructing the insulting assumption that inner city families deserve to live in neighborhoods that regularly erupt in gun fire and where children can not go outside to play because they did something wrong.

But why bother…everyone knows that not being able to purchase a house valued at $300,000 where the color of shutters is regulated by a neighborhood association is the result of having done something wrong and thus deserved of all the crime and violence and stress and inadequate services that result from that wrong.

So instead the GMA piece focused on the wrongness that a suburban teen was the victim of violence that jumped the border…left it’s acceptable zone of the hood to take a life that should have been protected by the bullet proof armor of money and those color coded shutters.

‘Cause just in case you don’t get it …people who live in neighborhoods plagued by violence have fucked up and earned that shit. Or they are a part of it. Or they don’t love their children the same way folks in the ‘burbs do or mourn their loss to violence or question why violence happens or wonder what they could have done to prevent it.

The message was about as subtle as fuchsia shutters on a lime green colonial. There are places where the violent murder of 14-year-olds is acceptable and expected…where that violence is the wage of poverty. And there are other places where the murder of 14-year-olds is shocking and unacceptable and a violation of the American dream.

And that message fuels fucked up from the floor up policies and stereotypes that perpetuate ig’nance and fear…it nurtures the notion of acceptable violence which nurtures the notion of acceptable victims which nurtures the belief that some people deserve that shit while other people do not...

…that our national apathy toward the young people who died this month in St. Louis city or Chicago or D.C. or New Orleans is more than understandable.

‘Tis, dare I say, acceptable.

Some people deserve police protect while other people deserve to be seen as parties to their own violence.

Some people deserve to bury their children…

…while other people, who did everything right, do not.

Yet the words of the victim’s father speak to where we need to be…

"Stop the violence. This is obviously, just look at this -- no parent should go through what we are going through."

No parent…no child…no neighborhood…no one.

Unacceptable, no matter where a family resides.


Anonymous said...

"I looked into the trap, Ray."

I knew better than to look at the comments on the story, but I did it anyway. It was bad. Worse than Post-Dispatch web comments bad. Is there any MSM comments section that hasn't been taken over by white supremacist lowlifes?

Sparky said...

It hacks me off no end when the media buys this blame the victim mentality and this idea that it is shocking if someone "innocent" (by their own narrow definition - affluent is the least of the offensive necessities they have for innocent, alas) has bad things happen to them. I see news like this and they go on and on about the area and how nice the parents were etc.

The relevent part is someone was murdered. The place, person etc are irrelevent. And there's NO reason why this rich kid getting killed by a gang is any more important or tragic than the numbers of poorer people caught in the same hellish violence

Anonymous said...

I've been preaching a similar message for no less than 20 years to anyone that would listen. It is stunning how so many folks just don't get it - on either side of the tracks.

There is no recession on stupidity.

lana said...

This is a great post. Lays it out bare. Keep on keepin' on, I love your writing!

Unknown said...

where that violence is the wage of poverty. ~ You hit the nail on the head there Shark Fu.

Ann Arundel is a toneyassed neighborhood. I lived in Frederick MD, which was turning into a toneyassed neighborhood due to gentrification. But I have and do now live in downtrodden neighborhoods so I know what it's like to see violence daily and pray that the idiot that threatened to 'fuck me up' doesn't try to carry out his threat.

The 'well-off folks' do expect to be taken care of..after all, they paid GOOD MONEY to live in one of the best parts of the area. We po folks on the other hand are just trying to make it through each day.

No family, no child anywhere should have to worry about neighborhood violence. But no one can buy their way out of violence..not anymore.

Unknown said...

Have you googled this White kids name? There are literally 80 some stories on him..and how the cops are promising to step up their presence. When is the last time cops promised to do that for a brown or black set of parents in the rundown parts of town?

Answer: Never. Because violence is part of our lives..but not the white folks' hood. Nope.

PPR_Scribe said...

All I can do is SMH. Recently I posted on my blog the names of the three dozen or so youth who have died from violence in Chicago. It is so sad that none of them have the # of Google entries as this more "deserving" child.

Anonymous said...

Let's see here: a black gang invades a nice high school, murders an innocent white child, and you write this article?

You should change your name to Stupid Racist Black Bitch.

I know you won't post this, but you should know you are full of shit.

Shark-Fu said...


As if this bitch would pass on the opportunity to post a comment that makes my motherfucking point!

Thanks a bunch...now get thee gone!

Berdawn said...

sorry, Bitch, but I'm not going to start watching network news. thanks for taking one for the team ; but I was MUCH more blissful when I was ignorant of this sort of crap.

Unknown said...

The comments on the article are just plain ugly, shameful really. My question when viewing the video and reading the article is where were all the neighbors? In the video everyone is shown showing up and placing flowers where were they when the attack to place?

And just for a bit of perspective on going out to see whats happening in your neighborhood from the Oakland Tribune:

Another story of young kids killed in senseless violence.

Thank you for your words.

Miss Trudy said...

Thank you for saying that. I used to teach in an alternative school for "at-risk kids" in the Overtown neighborhood in Miami--otherwise known as "the ghetto"--and let me tell you, the way most people outside it's limits simply discard these kids as expendable makes VERY clear which kids are considered "our kids" (as in our future, our pride-and-joy, those deserving of all our care and hopes) and which are not. Start by being born on the wrong side of the freeway and of the wrong color. Kids getting malnourished, beat (sometimes by police), busted, shunted aside, fallen through the cracks, before they even had a chance to board the school bus for the first time ... wait, school bus? Oh right, I forgot, they have no school bus! They don't "deserve" it, surely. They have to cross the hood by themselves, thru different gang territories, just to get to a school that is infested by vermin and where they are paid almost no attention.

I still cannot understand how anybody can neglect to feel that these kids too are OUR kids, our future, deserving of all our love and care, even more than those who've had more privileges. Could it be because they are invisible to the media and the people living in their gated communities?

Okay sorry for the rant but I still think of these kids every single day of my life and hurt for them. And for all of us, really.

Unknown said...

Miss Trudy..

May I thank you personally for teaching the ghetto kids? I adore anyone that takes on that task because it is more than teaching...its helping them find themselves.

You so ROCK! :)

ShortWoman said...

If the powers that be gave a flying **** about preventing gang violence, they would insist that the high school schedule not start at 7 in the *** **** morning and let out by 1:30 in the *** **** afternoon. What the heck are they supposed to do for the 3-5 hours till mom and/or dad get home? Get in trouble: drink, smoke, have sex, get to know the local gang.

'Drea said...

Some people feel that if they don't stop at the QuikTrip in the city or venture downtown that nothing will happen to them and, to me, that's just an illusion of safety that not even hundreds of thousands of dollars can guarantee.

One of my friends wrote a poem about a "troubled" child and she said that the lost child/children belong to all of us.

Jude said...

Great post about violence and psychological damage being wrong in every neighborhood. Recently I found some amazing work being done on healing from PTSD (like the effects of group violence)in, of all places, research and healing work being done with elephants; linked to it on my blog tonight, http://thelongestwar.wordpress.com/.

Not that trans-species consciousness with elephants isn't fascinating, but, hmmm, what about priorities. Maybe, just maybe, if funding sources focused more on human violence and the connected political and economic systems --- and how to heal human dominance and submission as the root of violence (instead of always whacking at the branches) --- then the elephants would no longer encounter man-made violence because there would no longer be people (men mainly, like circus owners) who want to prey for profit on either elephants or other human beings.

There must be synchronicity in the air, because I also posted about gang violence (of the gang-rape variety) in blogging tonight.

Sujan Patricia said...

We want the solution that could work to change the danger they are causing and protect American lives and communities from the gangs that are terrorizing American lives across the United States.

Anonymous said...

Coming late to the conversation here- I know what it is like to be in a completely different country with a gang of kids come to beat up my kid- all the same color, different class- and THEY were the more privileged. Why? Because my kid was working, followed rules that were there to protect everyone, and pissed off one of the rich kids- so there were consequences. And where I live kids under the age of 18 are so well protected by the judicial system that they are looked at like VICTIMS when they pull this crap, rather than perpetrators. When the police told my kid to look at it from this kids perspective- the humiliation felt while being on a date and being told to follow rules like everyone else- I jeered. And when nothing happened to the kids wielding weapons in my driveway, i was pretty pissed off. And and and....BTW- we are so low class that we live in a 400k home-lol!! And are considered and called ghetto by these types of kids.

When I enquired what could possibly be done to fix this through school, police etc, I was told that everyone was too busy to do anything about this collectively. I will say the school DID pull out all the stops in order to create as much safety as could possibly happen while my kid was at school, and the perpetrators were dealt with at the school level in an effective manner. But the only time i thought it might be okay was when some unnamed, unknown older kids took it upon themselves to stand up for my kid and threatened the ringleader within an inch of thier life if they laid another hand on my kid.

I didn't sleep for months after, and it took all that was in me to keep letting life go on as before. But I did, mostly so those idiots would not be the winners. I now have a kid who has done amazing things in the last year of high school, unlike the attackers. But I am still livid that over something so small our life was interrupted by ugliness and hate.

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