Another child murdered in the city, felled by a volley of over 30 bullets shot from automatic rifles aimed at the house ...The outright savagery is virtually unconscionable to me. I almost have no words..
...The perpetrators allegedly drove off at "normal" speed. They were apparently not fearful of police intervention. The van may well be burnt to a crisp by now to throw off suspicion.
...Approximately 41 homicides this year so far for Detroit.
... My impetus to leave is depressingly confirmed every week.. Trying to sell off all my comics for months now..
..I can't stress to young people enough, get your education. Don't settle for the streets. Fu*k the g*ddamn streets. The streets are a lie. In order to fight the power you have to be powerful. Knowledge is power. Being the king of the block/project-tenement/street is a hollow mockery and nothing less. You have people wearing Che'
or Malcom X shirts selling crack, heroin, etc. "Stop Snitching" in the modern context has nothing to do with protecting genuine community leaders and activists, but to coddle thieves, rapists, drug-sellers, and killers...
Maybe I was just lucky/blessed... As a kid, I never encountered the "wannabe" hassle, and I weep for the kids who have to deal with this vicious harangue today...The fringe attacks on people who have sought out higher education as being a "sellout", "bourgeois", "assimilationist" by default is another lie. The goal is to take your education and use it to facilitate being able to not just 'survive' but thrive, and leave a tangible (positive) legacy behind. You can't be the cliche' guy wearing a Fela Kuti
or Bob Marley
shirt, a knit kufi and fatigue pants passing out leaflets at bus stops and public events forever
When I was catching the buses here for about 10 years, on one particular route there was an elderly gentleman that I saw often. I have no idea where he lived. He would either already be on the bus at the time, or he would get on not long after I got on. he had to be pushing 70 or older at the time. Tall and slim, with a haggard face, he had closely-cropped white hair, and a white, close-cut beard. He often had a little token pan-african flag in his hand. He'd have a bookbag. He would alternately keep the riders of the bus entertained and agitated, with his seemingly nonstop speeches about current (and past) goings on. He was talking to everyone and no one. All the local and national political figures, white, black, etc., did not escape his fury and his tales of activism past. In between the semi-coherent rants there were some gems of knowledge, but 85% of it was white-noise. There was a palpable fury, an anger within him that every one could see. But there was also a sadness. He would gladly quiet down for a few minutes if somebody gave him a candy bar or whatever they had on them.
Ever since I finally acquired a vehicle, I didn't take that route as often anymore. I have no idea if he's still around or not. I still wondered-- what went on in his life, that this is how things ended up. How did he feel about it? Did it matter that this mostly-black city had descended into a chaotic state of dysfunction, reeling from one crisis to the next despite a succession of black local leadership since the early 70s?
...People can't just be the reactionary giving an ultra-negative take when somebody's trying to improve their lives, or engaging in moral relativism when it comes to the ongoing trends of inner-city violence.. Yes, it goes on globally. Dakar. Myanmar. Colombia. Bosnia. Yes, U.S. foreign policy/military intervention shoots-up communities on a global scale. But to the extent that it continues to take place "in your back yard", why can't you speak out against it without being accused of being some super-naive Pollyanna? You cannot be a revolutionary and "only" depend on ultra-conspiracy theories! Do you want to have that
much in common with the g*ddamn white supremacist groups and right-wing militias?
..Today's smug thug who mocks intellectual endeavors, is totally invested in appearing ultra-hip and party-and-B.S.-cocksure "rebellious" to the point of self-destruction is the future's (if they're blessed to live that long) upper-middle-aged guy (pushing 50+ but frequently looking much older) living with their very-aged parents (or by now they're deceased), coasting from one dead-end-job to the next, maybe they have multiple kids, and maybe there's some they have no idea about.. They do odd-jobs for whatever money, bootleg-handyman work at best. $20 here, $40 there, whatever. Their ambition stretches no further than the end of the block.. the city limits, at best.. I saw too many men like that when I came to live here after high school. I promised myself that I couldn't. Wouldn't.. Be those guys. I have to be able to elevate and progress, regardless of how "righteous" or not somebody else perceives it to be..