Violence Will End When We Start Getting Mad at the Right People

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If you doubt that, ask that poor kid who was publicly humiliated, stripped and whipped in Newark. (Over a $20 debt his father owed, according to some news reports.)

Ask Hadiya Pendleton’s parents. Hadiya was one of those black children slaughtered in Chicago’s violence that lasted throughout all of 2012 and has spilled over into 2013.

Ask Janay McFarlane’s parents. Or ask Janay’s sister, 14-year-old Destini Warren. When President Obama spoke about gun violence at Chicago’s Hyde Park Academy, Destini stood only a few feet behind him.

According to news reports, Destini was eager to share the experience of listening to Obama speak with Janay, who was 18. But Destini never got the chance.

Before Destini could tell Janay anything, Janay was fatally shot, another victim of Chicago’s gang violence.

No, our Bigger Thomases don’t love us one iota. But we’re always willing to go to bat for them, fretting about how many young black men there are in the nation’s prisons and jails.

Some of that angst might be justified and warranted, but not all of it. You’ll have to present quite the argument to convince me that Bigger One, if he is indeed guilty of stripping and whipping that Newark victim, was released from prison way too soon.

And, it’s worth noting, with all the talk about gun violence and gun control, that one of the things Bigger One went to prison for was the illegal possession of a weapon.

News reports haven’t mentioned what that weapon was, but if it transpires that it was indeed a handgun, then that kind of weakens arguments for more gun control laws, doesn’t it?

It should, but it won’t, at least not among black folks. Bigger Thomases continue to menace us, and we get mad at the Uncle Toms.

The Bigger Thomases shoot our young people like Hadiya Pendleton and Janay McFarlane, and we get mad at the National Rifle Association, mean ol’ Republicans and the guns.

In the meantime we wring our hands and ask ourselves when the madness that’s going on in places like Chicago and Newark and Oakland and Baltimore will end.

It’ll end when we start getting mad at the right people.

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