Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Black America, What The Eff' Is Wrong With Us?!?

As a matter of editorial policy, I don't do posts about violent crime/murder stories, particularly those involving the police, or garden variety black-on-black crime. The reasons are many, and nicely outlined in this site's FAQ for those who've never taken the time to peruse it. Simply put, when stuff's so effed up, I really don't have anything to add opinion-wise, so I usually pass.

That said, I don't really even know the purpose of running this post, other than to ask the rhetorical question: Why the hell do we keep doing this sort of stuff to each other?
The Agape Community Center in Roseland has long been a sanctuary, a refuge for students who want to finish their homework, take Bible study courses or simply escape the chaotic streets in their Far South Side community.

But this place of refuge became the scene of a deadly melee Thursday when dozens of teenage boys converged in a vacant lot next to the community center, beating one another with fists, feet and 2-by-4s.

When it was all over, 16-year-old Derrion Albert lay on the gravel, his body dented and damaged from the pummeling. A youth worker at the center dragged Derrion's slight frame into the center, but it was too late. He died a short time later.

Witnesses and police said Friday that the Fenger High School junior was not a target but simply passed by the community center and was swept into the violent altercation. Walking from school, he fell victim to the violence plaguing some of Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods.

The honor roll student known for his love of computers became the third Chicago teenager killed this month. At least seven more have been shot.

As friends propped teddy bears at the site of the beating -- creating the sort of street-side memorial that has become commonplace on the city's West and South Sides -- Derrion's family began planning a funeral for a young man who had dreams of going to college.

Derrion was small, only 5-foot-7. He was a "ladies' man" and a homebody, family members said.

Walker said his grandson asked if he could hang out with some friends Thursday after school. Walker said OK, but insisted Derrion be back by 7 p.m.

He never made it. Witnesses said Derrion was near the community center, 342 W. 111th St., when a group of teenagers walking east met up with a group coming from the west. The fight began, they said, with about 10 teenagers. By the time it was finished, witnesses and police said, more than 50 youths were involved.

Milton Massie, executive director of Agape, said video from a surveillance camera atop the community center shows Derrion being struck in the back of the head and moving away from the crowd.
If you don't have a strong stomach, please do not watch this video!!!

Awhile back, I stopped pushing The AverageBro Challenge™ as this site's underlying mission, in part because I'd begun to lose confidence that mentoring and otherwise working with kids actually has an effect after my humbling experience coaching basketball last winter. I don't know what, if anything, can be done to stop our children from behaving like animals[1], but I pray the thugs who took this young man's life in such a violent manner are given the death penalty.

Yeah, I said it. Kill these idiots. They are human trash. They do not deserve to live after what they did.

Where is the sense of human decency? What makes a person reflexively pull out a camera phone to tape a boy's final moments of life, rather than dialing 911? What makes the other kids simply look on, rather than trying, in some way, shape, or form, to stop their classmate from being murdered in cold blood? Why are some of the animals responsible for this death still roaming the streets of Chicago as I type this?

Again, where is the sense of human decency? How did we fall this far, and how in the Hell can we get back up?

Rest in Peace, Derrion.

MLK is crying inside. I'm crying on my keyboard.

Question: What the hell is wrong with our communities? What, short of Jesus returning, can be done to fix them?

16-year-old boy beaten to death in Roseland [ChiTribune]

[1] Yeah, I know, white kids behave like animals too. Guess what? We ain't talkin' bout' them right now.

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