Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Innocence Lost II: Black Leaders Responce

Hey All,
Seems like I'm not the only one who thinks as I do after all. My only wonder is why it took so long? The reason I wrote the last blog entry was because no one seemed to be talking about the facts of the last two years. This is not even close to a new issue, yet the politicians and media are treating it as if something has changed.

They deserve a slap upside the head.

Does anyone remember Counsillor Michael Thompson call to stop all black male youth in "troubled" neighbourhoods? As much as I think he should lose his seat for saying something that dangerous and idiotic, his reason for saying this --or should I say his "reason" (because he seems to also have other political reasons)-- was because average black male youths didn't feel safe (and apparently told him so). Now I know that he is a topic unto himself, but the point is something is happening in the last few years that seems to have changed the gang landscape.

I grew up on Jane & Woolner. For those who don't know, it's one of those "troubled" neighbourhood. About ten years ago, I could easily tell you that the main and only gang there was the 'Gators. There was clashes that happened regularly betwen them and other gangs. But the biggest difference, it seems anyway, is that instead of knifes, fist and various other blunt objects, guns are more likely to be used now-a-days.

What has changed? I wish I had a clue.

Right now, I'm going to end this blog here... mostly cause a few hours ago, I had one of my wisdom teeth removed. I'm a little too distracted to continue. But I will continue this tomorrow.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Innocence Lost?

Hey All,
Something has been on my mind since Boxing Day... our "lost" innocence. Specifically, for those who don't know, a 15 year old girl, Jane Creba, got hit with a stray bullet from a clash of 10-15 people. She wasn't the only one who got hit, but she was the lone casualty. Now, unlike most things you might read, what's on my mind isn't what seems to be on everyone elses mind.

The amount of attention this is getting is really what is interesting to me. It seems to me that the broad range of interests focused on this particular crime for a few obvious reasons. Such as the fact it took place on Yonge street on boxing day, in a time where there were literally thousands of people in that area (perhaps Toronto's largest concentration of shopping on that day). Essentially that "it coulda been me" factor. Another reason seems to be the fact that it wasn't a "punk" kid causing trouble, but a "promising" young woman of 15 who was shopping with her mother. The other factor, though less obvious, seem to be how photogenic Jane used to be. She was pretty.

Now I know this sounds like I am belittling the lose of an innocent life. Let me make this clear, my problem with this whole thing is not Jane, her family, or the fact that people are sympathizing with them. It's not even with the media attention per say. What really bothers me is the notion of "innocence lost". That this specific crime, is both horrible and especially distrubing.

Now you may be asking why I am hattin' so much on this whole thing. It's simple... our "innocence" was lost a long time ago. The last two years has seen a distrubing increase in the lose of innocent life. Jane wasn't even close to the first innocent person who has gotten killed in the last two years.

She just happens to be the first pretty white girl.

There were other young folks who were shot, who were minding their own business, when their lives ended. There were those who had promising futures, who were not "troublemakers". Not all of them got shot outside a nightclub. Some were walking home. Others were driving down the street.

At one point there was a gang who almost had gone out and were going to shoot random black guys. Why? Because they wanted to through the police off, so that they might shot some other folks who pissed them off. One young Somali, visiting from Vancouver got shot in the head because some punk wanted to show how much of a "man" he was. He had been punked off by some people in that neighbourhood. His solution? Kill a random guy who happens to be in that neighbourhood.

So that is why I don't want to hear about "innocence lost". As a black man, I haven't felt safe in a while... after all I'm the most likely to get shot.

All this incident did was make me ask the question... why now? Why not last year? Or the year before? Because if that had happened, maybe I wouldn't be writing about how stupid this "innocence lost" business is.

The Pissed Off Author