A Glimpse Into My Life

See it through my eyes & understand me a little more

Until Further Notice…

…whatever I was writing about has been put on hold. Recent events that have taken place have been the push for writing this.

In the news today, I read a story about a young man named Derrion Albert. He was a high school student beaten by members of his community, who happened to belong to a gang. He died as a result of this (the event happened on Thursday). Now there are many issues that I have with this whole situation:

The first issue is that people in the community feel that they can’t live a life that is free from violence. People feel that it’s necessary to join a gang, or some group, for their safety and sanity. That scares me. Gangs promote violence and often operate with a mentality that is detrimental to a healthy and functioning larger community. Gangs, as we know them, promote fear and instability. No person should have to live through that and when communities are subjected to that, they suffer.

The second issue is that people feel they can’t tell. I know the reasons and the rationale behind why people choose not to. It’s understandable. Everyone doesn’t feel the way I do. I’d tell (I’ve done it before). There are some communities where some members enough grief, stress, and fear to the point that other community members just silently wish for better days and hope that their children are not caught in the crossfire.

But that’s not really what this post is about. No. This post is about the ignorance of people. On Twitter, I wrote a pulse and stated:

“There is especially one kind of person I don’t like in this world – one who CHOOSES to stay ignorant about the world around them.”

This wasn’t in reference to educational attainment (and I can see why some people may feel that way). No, this was about the people who live in communities where rage becomes the pulse of that place and dictates the actions of its members. The ignorant people I referred to are those who would readily tell someone to stop snitching or to hush someone else when asked if they’d heard about what happened to another person. These are the people who witness crimes, yet close their mouths and their minds when the police come to question. These are also the people who will offer their condolences to a family who is grieving over a family member lost in the violence.

I’ve taken this stance (and believe me, it’s not always easy to argue why a person needs to tell when they see wrong-doing) because of an experience I had when I was 10, almost 11. You never forget what it’s like to hear that a family member passed and their death was from the hands of someone else who wanted to play God for a moment (or make a point). You definitely don’t forget the image of the person who did it, if you witnessed it. You don’t forget how your Mother reacts to the news that her “only” son (who was actually her eldest child and was 16 years older than his next sibling) is gunned down because a “woman” was mad at him. You don’t forget the funeral. You don’t forget the condolences. You don’t forget the police. You don’t forget the depression. You don’t forget any of those things.

Most of all, the one thing that you don’t forget is that “life is not fair” or that he “was taken too soon.”

I remembered those lines from the wake. I remember how rigid my Mom became. I remember how cold the room suddenly felt. I remember wanting to scream and just ask the person how could they say that. A Mother lost her oldest child (a parent should never have to bury a child). Siblings lost their role model (he was our “Male” figure). Children lost a father (my nieces were young and I still see what this has done to them). A Wife lost her husband. I mean, I can go on and on about this…but I won’t. You all should get the picture.

But I think about all of that as I think about the family of Derrion Albert. I think about all of those things as I think about the community he lives in. I think about where I am now and I can only wonder if he dreamed of getting here. People don’t realize what happens when someone passes.

A void is left. A void that is unimaginable and may never be filled. Dreams are taken. Laughter is removed. A family is fragmented in the worst way.

My only hope, after all of this, is that something happens to restore the communities that Derrion Albert comes from to better places. Happiness needs to come back. Safety needs to come back. Peace, it definitely needs to come back. I just hope people take the necessary steps so that those things happen and another mother doesn’t lose a child to something so senseless.

This is an original work of Miss C. Jayne. © September 28, 2009.

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One response to “Until Further Notice…

  1. Jaye September 29, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I spent part of my childhood in a rough area. I know what happens to people & their family when they get in the way of thugs/gang members or people who decide to do the right thing by telling what they saw. I’ll never forget the day that we [my brothers & I] were outside playing and a lady was thrown from her window; later we found out that it was because her boyfriend was a police informant. It got to the point that when we saw a certain group of guys come into the projects, everybody just gathered their kids & went back in the house. Moving away from that place was the happiest day of my life. Two guys I went to high school with were killed this summer because someone labeled them as snitches. One was shot in the back & the other was found dead in his car. Being exposed to sh*t like this, a part of me can sympathize with why people look the other way when they see wrong doing. I personally would tell if I saw something wrong going down, but I can understand why most don’t.

    Gangs are the reason why I dont like the idea of joining any type of organization. The fact that I’m expected to act a certain way because I belong to a group and the fact that people will look at me differently & treat me differently simply because I belong to a group/organization makes me uncomfortable. I’ve seen too much ignorant, ruthless sh*t done in the name of belonging and that’s a big turn off to me. I know that not all groups are formed to terrorize, but I always associate “join this group/organization” with “come roll with my crew/gang” and I automatically say no.

    When I heard about Derrion earlier yesterday, it made me sick to my stomach. I get so tired of hearing about young black men dying at the hands of other black men. It bothers me that so many people have a nonchalant attitude about the whole situation. Im so sorry to write such a long comment, but stuff like this really hurts my soul.

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