Tuesday, January 04, 2005

nuff man a dead

Shots go off, mother's cry
Death still rise, homicide
Black on black crime needs to stop
Y'all can't blame it on hip hop
Cause what we say is what we see
What we see is reality
The ghetto's the ghetto you got them livin in sorrow
Soon they won't live to see tomorrow

Wycleff Jean - Industry

Simeon Peter 19 Gunshot
Omar Hotley 21 Gunshot
Elliot Reid-Thomas 29 Gunshot
Elon Rush 27 Gunshot
Brenton Charlton 31 Gunshot
Patrick Pitters 19 Gunshot
Jayvien Piper 22 Gunshot
Kayan Smith 24 Beaten
Curwin Clarke 26 Gunshot
Anthony Walker 24 Gunshot
Ted Erhirhie 25 Gunshot
Ricardo Brown 24 Gunshot
Farouk Musah 33 Gunshot
Lancelot Green 23 Gunshot
Shemaul Cunningham 21 Gunshot
Keino Trotman 32 Gunshot
Harry Asare 22 Gunshot
Andrew Christie 23 Gunshot
Harrison Yiga 20 Gunshot

This is a partial list of some of the young black men murdered (and their ages) in Toronto in 2004 as compiled in the Toronto Star last Friday. What can I say? This urban warfare is real and not only do I occasionally fear for my own life but I constantly fear for the lives of the young people especially the children out there.

I mean I could literally quote a million hip hop lines like the one above asking the youth to stop the violence , to think before they pull the trigger, to try and stay out of trouble, to show restraint. Does it make a difference? NOPE!

Gunshot, Gunshot, Gunshot! No their last names listed above is not gunshot its the way that their lives were ended. When you see the individual names written out and the photos it sort of rings home to you a lot more vividly than just reading the statistics. One dying here and there isn't as tragic as seeing them all lined up together and realizing that almost half the murders in this city were young black men.

You look at the faces and think this kid looks like someone I know, he is the same age as my cousin, he could be my brother, my friend or gee that kid looks like a good kid I cant imagine who would want to take him out, I wonder how his family is dealing with the death.

I could justify these deaths if we were at war, if we were all living in Iraq, dodging mortars and AK-47 rounds but what war is really being fought on the streets of Toronto except one for the survival of black men. Clearly that war is at a crossroads and guns are too easily accessible in this city.

And how do you justify these lives lost? You really cant, its just mainly senseless deaths where someone was in the wrong place at the wrong time or someone mistook someone for another person they had beef with or someone was retaliating for some earlier act of violence or disrespect or someone was vex because they were thrown out of the club. Murdered over nuttin but dumb ish! Senseless, juvenile, asinine behavior.

What happened to valuing life? What happened to make us so quick on the draw like Jesse James and Billy the Kid?

Guns no kill people, people with guns kill people. With all the struggles black men have to face daily in North America killing one another makes absolutely no sense. Its crazy!

This might sound a little strange to you
well here's the reason I came to you
We gotta put our heads together, and stop the violence
Cause real bad boys move in silence
When you're in a club, you come to chill out
not watch someone's blood just spill out
That's what these other people want to see
another race fight endlessly

Boogie Down Productions - Stop The Violence


Abeni said...

Senseless,just senseless.

Melody said...

Different country, same demographic--it seems like anywhere in de world yu go, it's de same kinda people gettin' wiped out. Wha' kinda etnik cleansin' goin' on, man?

mocha71 said...

The life taker doesn't value nor perceive life as precious.

Urban Sista said...

Great blog.

It just seems like these killings are a monumental waste of life, talent and time. I remember back in elementary school, we would fight with fists. By high school, I saw someone pull out a sawed-off shotgun to settle an argument. In college, I ran from gunshots at Carifiesta in Montreal. Got into the workforce and saw someone shot to death.

It gets worse and worse. God help us all.

o said...

I can't believe I missed this in Friday's Star. I guess I just wasn't paying attention. Mi sorry. I will go and read it.

Thanks for posting it, J-Did. Maybe I didn't see it for a reason. These things always get me down.
Sistas looking for good Black men. All these men need to do is turn their lives around.

Instead, they die in the streets like dogs.

Jesus save your people, come quick before we all perish under the hands of the devil!

Scratchie said...

Frightening statistics. What we have found in our school studies though is that what is more frightening is that the murders aren't being done by people of other ethnic backgrounds, they are commited by their own ethnic groups.
JDid didn't say in his blog but I don't think it can be too far from this trend.

Shana said...

I know this type of thing is normal here in the states. . . but isn't gun violence in Canada much lower than most other places. . . or have I been misled? Hell I was thinking Canada was the place to be when it came to the near absence of violent crimes. . .

Sunshine said...

Wow Jdid-when you list these senseless murders like this it does have greater impact. Quite frightening.

Jdid said...

shana when it comes to a comparison with American cities the same size of Toronto then Toronto has a really low murder rate so you're still alot safer here BUT when you consider we only had a total of about 61 murders this year including those by domestic violence etc and that blacks make up like less than 10% of this city's population but account for about 40% of the murder victims you realize that somethings going on. Yea its safer to be a young black man here than in the US but how much safer is it. Aint no paradise I be living in.

Minega said...

And it is sad the way rap music glorifies gun ownership. Young black men go around thinking its cool to own a gun and 'pop a cap' in anybody who looks at them wrong.

Anonymous said...

JDid, I doh know. I have lamented for Jamaica in this respect too often. We apparently broke a murder record here last year ...(typed with much shame on my part though I never kill nobody!)

It is totally nonsensical. I'm sorry to say it, but the anwswer lies in empowering the people by education, providing jobs and good social services. How much does rap music and dance hall music play in all this? I'm not sure. But certainly, rappers and DJs big up violence and guns in their music, and they act as role models for the yutes.

I think we fighting a losing battle here sadly. More will die I am afraid to say! :-(( Dr. D.

WIGIT said...

This is just sad....scary and sad. Even more frightening is the number of these murder that will go unsolved because people are afraid or unwilling to talk.

Anonymous said...

They still haven't found Farouk's killer although they did initially have four or five detectives working full time on the case. They are running out of leads so if you have any info, please let the cops know. We miss him everyday...everyday. Daddy's gonna buy you a mockingbird, but no, now he can't, someone took him away.

Anonymous said...

One of the men in that list published was the love of my life; Keino Lewis Trotman, and my soul died with him on September 21st. He was mistaken for someone else and shot in the back with a shotgun. I've often wondered if people who kill others realise that it's not just one person they are killing but everyone else who loves that person. When did gunshots become the new form of communication? Grow up, black people; guns only make you powerful in your mind but cowardly and evil in everyone else's.

Anonymous said...

you should check your list again and run a profile on the individuals you have listed. one in particular is not a saint he was a child molester and the life he chose to live the horrific things he's done to YOUNG CHILDREN the abuse he has dished out in his time on earth. Trust me some people deserve to die. He was one of them. --Curwin Clarke-- can ROT IN HELL FOR ALL I CARE

Anonymous said...

Till this day I still can hear my friend Omar laughing or making a joke.
It still isnt real to me, it feels like the day we saw eachother at Lawrence west station and hailed up one another.
He was a cool person not known for the bullshit, from highschool to heaven i'll see you again bro.

Anonymous said...

Lance Green,

Rest In Peace!

Anonymous said...

Rest in peace Elliot Reid Thomas.. Knew him when we were kids, have some great memories x

Anonymous said...

im elliot reid-thomas' daughter this sensless killing has ruined my life...my dad was my life and know he's gone....this will forever effect me...i play it off and put on a smile like evry things okaii....WELL IT ISNT...I MISS HIM MORE THEN ANYTHING AND THE BASTARD THAT DID THIS WILL GET HIS TIME ON JUDGEMENT DAY!!!