what about our sons?

by Eva on September 29, 2009 · 5 comments

in op-ed

I was gonna go to bed – had a long day at school, stressed out and tired.  I was reading more tweets about Derrion Albert and got worked up all over again.  Then I read another article on CNN about the murder and how they’re trying these 4 teens as adults and I get to bottom and read

Albert’s aunt, Rose Braxton, told CNN affiliate WGN-TV that the family was hurt again when a memorial in Albert’s honor was burned down.

“To go and burn a memorial after such tragedy, then that just speaks for itself to what kind of people they are,” she told WGN-TV.

Pardon my french (and sorry Mom because I know you read this) but WHAT THE FUCK?

What is wrong with us?  How you gonna be fighting some rival “gang” and then just beat down other kids who happen to be outside.  How you gonna clobber people with railroad ties (where in the world did they even get those)?!  How do you stomp someone’s head? Repeatedly.  Apparently both “gangs” beat on Derrion, which shows they don’t even know who in the world their “enemies” are.  What is wrong with these kids?

So now kids can’t even leave school without worrying about getting beaten down to a bloody pulp?  Kids can’t stand outside their community center anymore? What the fuck?

We can’t even mourn people who were killed?  We have to now worry if the memorial we create for our loved one is going to be BURNED down because some “gang” members are upset their homeboys are in jail.

It’s enough.  It’s too much.  It’s senseless.

I don’t even know what the answer is.  People want to blame the parents.  I used to do that until my brother went through his “I’m a thug/I wanna join a gang and be an asshole” phase.  My mom raised both of us in the ‘burbs.  She sent both of us to private school.  She’s involved in his life and constantly keeps him involved in sports so he’d have no time for that foolishness.  But somehow his sophomore year in college he got in with the wrong crowd and lost his ever loving mind.  He was out of control.  For once in my life, I was scared of my little brother.  It was truly a dark time.  I don’t know what brought him back – disappointment from his family, disapproval from his peers, hell, maybe even God.  I don’t know what bought him back but I’m thankful it did.

My other brother, not so sure where that will end.  Do I love him?  Of course.  Is he a good kid?  Around me he is.  Do I think he could get caught up in a group mentality and do something completely stupid and senseless and violent.  Yes.  And that’s what scares me.  These kids out here terrorizing Chicago, and New York and Newark and Hartford are our brothers.  They are our sons.  And we gotta figure out a way to bring them back.  Because this shit has got to stop.

Nas wrote a letter to these “warriors” telling them “killing is played out.”  Bow Wow made a video telling kids to increase the peace and urged his celebrity peers to speak out.  I hope other men that these kids look up to also condemn this senseless violence.  I know open letters and PSAs aren’t going to do much.  But at least they show these men that yes, you are hurt and upset about the hand you’ve been dealt, but you gotta handle things differently.

I’ll end with this video courtesy of Baratunde of Jack and Jill – This is not normal.


About the author

Eva Haldane, editor of Sassy Women Online and doctoral candidate at Columbia University. You can find her personal blog at evahaldane.com.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christian 09.29.09 at 2:10 am

I dont know what to do.. but I want to help. I have to make a difference. Our brothers are dying… for “being in the right place at the wrong time”, aka GOING TO SCHOOL.

i can not.

2 Mathylde Frontus 09.29.09 at 9:58 am

Thanks, Eva. I share your anger and frustration. We’re all doing our small piece to make the world a better place but it’s very sad to see what we’re up against. Total and complete ignorance. How do we change a mindset? How do we get kids to literally see themselves and see life differently? I think it truly takes a village with everyone doing their part…

3 mo 09.29.09 at 1:32 pm

As an urban educator, I firmly believe that schools and the culture of schools in urban communities have a part in this. There are the unspoken lessons kids are taught everyday by teachers and principals and super intendents that want to pretend like they had no idea that this cound happen, like they have created a culture where this is unacceptable. if they did, would it still happen? :(

4 Miss Journey fka Lady D 10.02.09 at 10:18 pm

This makes me think of my little cousin who is now 14 years old. It’s scary, sad, disheartening, upsetting. What IS the answer? Where do we start? What do we do? Like Christian said, I’m down for the cause and helping stop this nonsense. Where should we start.

….once again thankful for the example that President Obama is putting out there….one step in the right direction…but how can we make bigger strides?

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