Monday, October 05, 2009


Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

This bitch was sick last week.

I spent two days on the couch…miserable with a touch of the plague…and watched the news unfold about the horrific beating death of another young Chicagoan.


Regina Bell's If I Could has been playing through my, please indulge me.

If I could, I'd protect you
From the sadness in your eyes
Give you courage in
A world of compromise
Yes, I would

Another young life taken…another shrine of teddy bears and dime store candles to mark the spot and then deteriorate week after week, fading before the weary eyes of those left behind.

If I could, I would teach you
All the things I've never learned
And I'd help you cross
The bridges that I've burned
Yes, I would

If I could, I would try to
Shield your innocence from time
But the part of life
I gave you isn't mine
I'll watch you grow
So I can let you go

I could care less about Olympic bids…about winners and losers in some kind of international game that may or may not trickle down some prosperity upon the masses.

But I care about Chicago…about my hometown of St. Louis…about all the cities where teddy bear shrines line sidewalks, mothers wail and slap at their faces, where young people bury their friends and talking heads talk at each other about this solution or that solution or this program or that program…where violence in the community is a guaranteed stimulus plan for undertakers and funeral directors.

If I could, I would help you
Make it through the hungry years
But I know that I can
Never cry your tears, babe
But I would, if I could

If I could, in a time and place
Where you don't wanna be
You don't have to walk
Along this road with me
My yesterday won't
Have to be your way

I care that there are streets where violence is accepted…where folks greet news of shootings with shrugs because that’s just the way is goes.

I care because those streets aren’t so very far away…because I know young people who live there, ‘round the corner from the intersection between Gang Violence Gone Crazy Street and Community Apathy Run Amuck.

If I knew, I'd try to change
The world I brought you to
Now there isn't
Much more that I can do
But I would If I could

And so, I wept…while curled up on my couch…fever in the blood and soul on fire…I wept frustrated tears for all the Derrion Alberts who didn’t make it home.

I’d shake a fist at the heavens if I thought it would do any good.

If I could, I would try to
Shield your innocence from time
But the part of life
I gave you isn't mine
I'll watch you grow
So I can let you go

But this crisis didn’t develop overnight…it will not be solved by theatrics or speeches.

And there won’t be any wall-to-wall coverage of the struggle…no international announcement of the outcome met by cheering crowds and a shower of confetti.

If I could, I would help you
Make it through the hungry years

And all of that will not matter because this battle for hearts and minds is beyond worth it.

There are no throw away places, no lost chil’ren and no problems without solutions.

But I know that I can
Never cry your tears

There is just the crisis before us and all those teddy bear shrines lining the road to our backs.

No quick fix.

No pill to make it all go away.

As much as I wish…oh, how I wish that it were just that simple.

Lawd knows, I’d make it all better.

I would…

…if I could


Middle Girl said...

Deep and heavy sigh. Thanks for voicing the sentiments of several.

L. Jackson said...

Beautifully said but so very sad the truth is!

Unknown said...

Thank you for this.

Kit Kellison said...

Glad you're feeling better, Bitch. Sometimes it feels like tears in a lake, but we need to keep voicing our outrage, stay raw...otherwise we'll get hard.

EAMD said...

This gave me chills. It is a shame such a beautiful piece was born of such ugliness.

linda said...

Outrageous. Last night on the news, Arne Duncan was shown visiting the South Side of Chicago. Did you see it? I live in Chicago people. Darien was not the first nor the last, you all know this.
Duncan tried to sooth the anger by giving Dariens school lots of money for after school programs, like 500,000 dollars. Funny, while he was here as head of our public education department, he turned a blind eye towards the rise of crime against students. He didn't care until it made national news.
The parents and community activists on television last night were having none of this! I am so proud and aggrieved at the same time. Students are refusing to go to school!
Its a large issue that has to do with charter schools, i.e. schools close and then reopen as charters but in the meantime displace students, forcing them to go across gang territory for an education and when they re-open they don't allow neighborhood children back in.
I am sorry to be so long winded and feel free to not publish this but its a can of worms that needs more attention, the cause in Chicago is co-related to education reform.

Bill said...

I've been a paramedic for almost 20 years in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area and the footage of that poor kid being beaten to death by those animals makes me sick. I am seriously fed up with subhuman monsters that think nothing of killing someone. My faith in humanity has been shaken many times from what I have seen in my job but this has stayed with me ever since I saw it on TV (not that I watch much TV mind you). I am not sure what kind of people we are raising when they try to justify (?) such acts be it because of the color of someone's skin, refusal to join a gang etc... We are all people FIRST and deserve respect and dignity. I have tried in my career to treat everyone with respect as human beings and I'll admit some nasty customers made it pretty hard sometimes to do just that but I figure if they were happier and more complete people, rested and assured within themselves, they wouldn't be killing others or themselves through drinking, drugs, gang violence etc.... I feel for that kid's family so much. I hope they get through this with their sanity intact.
Nice blog by the way, discovered you totally be accident. Be well.

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