Sunday, 25 March 2007

Abandoned Nation

Some of you may remember the article I writ in January titled “Well, At Least We’re Staying Out Of The Papers” Well you can call this a follow up. Seeing that I am a young black man who lives in London, I feel that my opinion coupled with experiences certainly matters.

It’s highly unlikely that no one was a victim of these ‘lost youths’ in January, I still believe that the media simply overlooked prospective stories at the time. Why they did this I’m not perfectly sure, but it’s clearly evident that they are now trying to send out a clear message. This message seems to be that if you are a black male, and between the ages of 15-24 your chances of ending up on the front page are greatly increased. This is regarding both sides of the trigger.

We have (since February) seen an escalation in the reporting of youth murders in the news. A particular focus has been placed on murders involving young members of black communities in London. There are areas of London which are infamous for gangs and gun/knife culture. I used to live in one of these areas; I witnessed and experienced first hand the reality of senseless violence. When street life is hyped up, fabricated or subject to manipulation I find it easier to filter out the non-fictions and exaggerations.

Kodjo had recently spoken about knife crime when interviewed by the music
channel MTV. He said: "I think stabbing has got worse but the media also make it
bigger than what it is."

He is the latest teenager to die in a
series of attacks in the capital in recent weeks. Last month, three teenagers
alone were shot dead in separate incidents in south London.

Cox, 15, was shot dead at his home in Clapham while schoolboy Michael Dosunmu,
15, was shot in his bedroom in nearby Peckham days after James Smartt-Ford, 16,
was gunned down at Streatham ice rink.


Kodjo Yenga’s unfortunate story has a dark ironic undertone. In the face of this I still agree with his statement. Youths have been killing each other for as long as I can remember, and no one has been able to develop a solid theory or solution regarding this for just as long. When you ask someone who lives in the ‘streets’ about street life and they tell you that the turmoil is being overestimated, you can perceive that source to be quite reliable. Also take into consideration that everyone outside of the ‘streets’ is pretty clueless as to what is actually going on in them.
The Home Secretary admitted yesterday that the Government does not know enough
about the scale of knife violence and ordered police forces to start collecting
statistics on the use of knives in crime.

John Reid made the
announcement after the death at the weekend of 15-year-old schoolboy Adam


One major problem is the power of a negative minority; unfortunately the actions of a few can affect the lives of many more, rarely is this seen as significantly as when something bleak occurs. All of a sudden every young black male has a knife, every Muslim is a suicide bomber and all white females are binge drinkers. In reality there are not as many young, black, heartless killers as we are led to believe, nonetheless there are definitely too many. And of course they are not all young and black, but this will be our little secret.

How do you reason with the unreasonable?
Killing people is wrong, is this not common knowledge? Of course it is, but some people just don’t give a f*ck. Let’s not beat around the bush regarding this, it really is that simple. What’s frustrating is that no provocation is required when it comes to getting a knife in the chest, or a bullet in the head. Young tyrants are murdered on the same streets as ‘model students’.

I refuse to buy into ‘social theories’ which suggests that street crime in the UK is an imitation of that in the States. Murder and popular culture are two entirely different affairs. This isn’t a matter of Gangster Rap, baggy clothes and New Era caps. It is rather a dilemma that involves the heart of man, which in turn transcends deeper than race. And living in a society embedded in the developed world I believe that it also transcends deeper than culture. Without being too circumstantial, murder isn’t a culture, it’s a mind state.

The murder rate can be reduced significantly with a little bit of thought and a lot of effort, but who is ready to put the effort in? We are all consumed with our own problems until the reality of an abandoned nation becomes one of them.

A to the . . .


Shrink wrapped scream said...

Congratulations on producing an excellent, and thought-provoking piece. You are right, it's individuals that make society work, or not, as is more often the case. I am not black, young or male, but am well aquainted with bigotory and bias, being the mother of an autistic boy. When can we choose to accept, people are just people, not stereo-types invented through our own fears? Keep on blogging!

Doug said...

Great post and moving comments.
I lived in what was known as
"the bad side" of town for many
The area was over ran by Latin
gang violence to the point that
the police finally cleaned
things up the best they could.
As much as I want to see peace
sadly I don't see that happening
anytime soon.

Sebastien said...

It's so hard, when kids don't have hope I think violence and being tough becomes more important because the violence in a way is a form of expression, a very terrible form of expression stemming from hopelessness and lack of control. Yet why doesn't everyone turn to violence then if they have the same circumstances, that's hard to say too... People need opportunities and love, love of family, community, friends...

Pope Terry said...

Good job thought provoking, though I do think social theories do have a place, we cant simply drop our prejeduces when we still live in these sheltered structured communities. England esspecially with all your council flats, they work like behives attracting people of the same race, and culture. The solution is above me, but I know it will take everyones work.

Pope Terry said...
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