By now everyone has heard or seen the disturbing video in which a 16-year-old honor student Derrion Albert from Christian Fenger Academy High School in Chicago. Albert somehow was caught in the middle of a melee involving two rival gangs and was struck from behind by another young man swinging a board. According to witnesses Derion was walking to a bus stop. When he fell to the ground, 3 or 4 young man stomped him to death… The killing was caught on cell phone and generated outrage and heartbreak throughout the country. The video lead to the arrest of 3 teenagers who were charged with his murder.
A backdrop to the Albert slaying is that the city of Chicago made headlines because President Obama did a first by aggressively courting the Olympic committee to bring the the city the 2016 Games. In a city that has seen dozens of high school kids killed each year through gang violence, one might ask do city officials and even the President have their priorities straight. Should we be talking Olympics? Will the 2016 Games really stem the tide of violence? Should the President use this killing of a student who by most accounts has ‘pulled his pants up’ and worked hard to do good for himself, as a teachable moment?
I’m by no means implying that President Obama is responsible for this, but just like the Swine Flu is widespread and reaching a point where it garners national attention, so should inner city crime. It should be more than obvious that it’s going to take more than a few ‘Say No Violence’ speeches from Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson or some other leader. The viciousness we saw caught on fiilm, will require more than Lil Wayne or 50 cent changing their lyrics or a group of conscious artists doing a feel good ‘Stop the Violence’ song. Those are band aids.
It’s also obvious that Chicago which is known for having an aggressive police force with all the latest crime fighting tools, a big budget, gang injunction laws and strategies is not able to put the smash on these killings. All of us in this nation need to do more starting with excavating the root cause and making ending killings a top priority. This ranges from those of us in Hip Hop to examine ways in which we can push ourselves and the people we engage in a more positive direction on down to the avarege ordinary 9-5 working stiff to those who hold high offices and have access to vast resources.
An Open letter to Young Warriors in Chicago from Nas
Dear Young Warriors fighting the wrong wars! Killing each other is definitely played out. Being hurt from the lost of a love one was never cool.
Dear Young Warriors fighting the wrong war! I know that feeling, that frustration with life and needing to take it out on someone, any one. But….
We chose the dumbest things to go the hardest for. I remember seeing deaths over 8 ball jackets, Fila sneakers, and name plate chains. Deaths over “he say, she say”!!!!! “I’m from this block or I’m from that block”, or “my moms n pops is f*cked up now the whole world gotta pay”!!!
I remember feeling like I was the hardest “n*gga” breathing. And I couldn’t wait to prove it. But let’s think. What are we really proving?? And proving what to who?? Everybody knows Chicago breeds the strongest of the strong but I just feel, me, being ya brother from another state feels your pain as if I grew up with you in ya very own household.
You have the ability and mindpower to change they way we are looked at. Look who’s watching us young warriors, look who’s throwing us in jail constantly, look at the ignorance in the world. Look at the racist dogs who love to see us down. Loving to bury us in the ground or in jail where we continue this worthless war on one another.
Young warriors…. We are WASTING more and more time. We gotta get on our jobs and take over the world. Cuz this movie left the theaters years ago, Juice, Menace, Boys n the Hood , Blood n Blood Out, Belly!
When we see each other why do we see hatred? Why were we born in a storm, born soldiers, WARRIORS….and instead of building each other up we are at war with each other.. May the soul of this young person find peace with the almighty. I’m with you young warriors. You’re me and I’m you. But trust me! you are fighting the wrong war.