Sunday, November 20, 2005

My Uzi weighs a tonne

I got so much trouble on my mind

My wife summed it up quite accurately last Saturday night when she said its not been good to be a black person in Toronto this past week.

True enough the acts of this past week have left many of us with a heavy heart and grieving for our youth. First we had the arrest of 16 or 17 black teenage students, all between the age of 15 and 17, at a local high school all suspected of assaulting a 16 year old girl. This case has some serious racial overtones as the accused are all black and the victim white. While the police say they have video of the assaults I'm sure many will question exactly what went on as most of the accused are athletes, the girl waited over a year to report the case, her peers don't seem to believe her and well just the whole racial overtones will cause all sorts of doubts and issues to be addressed with regards to this case. I'm taking no sides here, until I see the evidence. If the accused did the deeds they are accused of my thoughts go out to the victim and her family and I say punish the criminals with the full extent of the law. If they are innocent I grieve for the stress and image tarnishing they have had to absorb. I just hope that justice is actually done in this case

when the slugs penetrate you feel a burning sensation
getting closer to God in a tight situation

Then we had a shooting of a teenager on the doorsteps of a local church at a funeral which ironically was for his best friend who was also a shooting victim. That was probably the last straw for a lot of people. That the church, a sacred sanctuary, a place of peace was defiled in such a manner has really captured the attention of all here. and made a lot of folk mad as hell.

Its like jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under.


Sunday in between my mammoth leaf job I had the opportunity to watch the underground DVD that's been floating around Toronto (I'm not calling it by name) showing some of the hoods and what's "real" in the streets.

John Wayne couldn't understand the reign of the tech

Let me tell you this. I've always been lead to believe that 'real bad man naa tell people dem bad' so I'm a bit skeptical about some of the claims these kids are making in this video. Plus there is a clear absence of some of the more well known rougher neighborhoods in this video so some of it may be just kids talking just to get a rep but yo the guns in the video are real enough son. Real! I'm talking pump shotties, semi autos, tech nines and other burners in abundance. Plus the attitude while it may be boosted by some additional street bravado for the cameras seems to tell me that these kids just don't give a .....

(On another note I've heard that since this dvd a whole bunch of the dudes in it have been arrested. They may talk a lot of yang about snitching and informer this an that but that video was probably like Christmas come early for the policemen.)

Which led me to another of my thoughts and I've had this for other places I've lived but never before for Toronto.

There really are different Torontos. There are some distinct realities in Toronto and all are true realities. My reality does not conform to that of these kids any more than my reality conforms to that of say a movie star or an NBA player. Yet all are true realities kind of like DC alternate universes occupying the same space and time (unlike 2 mcs) . Which is why these kids can go around shooting and retaliating and acting a fool. Its not normal in my reality thank God but that's their reality and its the norm for them. The problems of their reality have been around for a long time its just that now realities are colliding, worlds are about to implode and people in my world are noticing and are now quite obviously worried. Sad but true.

Totin techs for reps, smokin blunts in the project
hallways, shootin dice all day


If these kids in the video are any indication of the majority of kids in these neighborhoods I'm predicting we're going to be seeing that Paris type ish happen here soon. Why? These kids really don't have any hopes. Their dreams of getting out of the hood revolve around drugs, basketball and hip hop. Every other dude in the dvd was trying to freestyle. Its like Biggie said 'either ya slanging crack rock or ya got a wicked jumpshot'.

While some of them might be fronting like they are hard I truly believe that a lot of these kids really are a wild ass, ready to die, nothing to lose bunch. Life aint worth a dime. Its really scary because when someone has nothing to lose they are the most dangerous of beasts and one must expect the unexpected.

Limited education, limited social and community services to keep idle hands busy, lack of positive role models, over crowded stigmatized environment, lack of legitimate employment avenues or a drive to pursue them, a quest to get rich or die trying by any means necessary and easy access to high caliber weapons have led to this reality. Its a second class have-not reality. Its inhabitants match those in mine in that we are all trying to make a living, and get some money but where we diverge is that they go about these tasks by illegal means simply because some don't have the skills to acquire what they want by legal means.

I believe the children are the future

Now before I finish I just need to say that my goal here isn't to paint entire areas with one brush. There are good and bad folks in all areas, all worlds, all realities and there are probably a good number of positive black youth out there in these areas trying to do their daily grind and go about making their mark legally. The problem is that we have an abundance of youth with no hope, with access to guns and with no compunction about using them. It will only get worse before it gets better. Things done changed.

28 comments:

~b*b~ said...

amen, jd. sounds like you are married to a smart lady, too.

i was intitally disgusted by the dvd but i did watch it just to see what the fuss was about. i thought they actually could have made it into something wothwhile had they added some social context on the poverty, racism and marginalization that youths from these communities face...but i guess they weren't interested in that.

Lene said...

easily one of your best posts. i don't even know which part to single out, it was all good.

seriously, i see some paris riots about to bust out, because there aren't enough social services.

toronto keeps pumping more money into the police. why do they need 700 million a year when the crime rate drops every year?

Luke Cage said...

Nicely done brother J. Again, alot of us south of the Canadien border have no idea that the T-dot can get so brolic up there. It's like everywhere else I suppose. Alot of the most loveliest cities have a scourging underworld that consists of kids whose sole purpose is to cause as much mayhem as possible. With utter disregard for life, even their own.

When a life is taken on the steps of a church, where does one go from there? Where does one seek refuge when even the house of the lord turns into the OK Corral? Sad state of affairs man. I liked the hip hop one liners too strategically placed throughout your post man.

Groove said...

Times are definitely changing. I don't have children yet and sometimes I wonder if It's selfish to even consider having them--The world just doesn't seem fit anymore.

Here in Eastern Canada things are getting bad too, Kids don't seem to fear anything, Not even God, and nothing is sacred anymore.

Sad circumstances, and sad times.

Miz JJ said...

Great post. I also wrote about the teen boys getting arrested because the way it was handled was racist. I hadn't heard about the DVD and I am glad that I haven't. It is so frustrating that black youth think this is the way. Canada is not yet the States there is still a lot of opportunity, but not if this kind of thing continues.

benjibopper said...

honestly i'm surprised paris-like riots haven't already happened in many cities in the world. canada touts multiculturalism but does little to support newcomers to this country. so their kids often end up in poverty, with no real hope as you aptly pointed out, angry and armed. as a city we got work to do.

Dr. D. said...

Good post JDiddy...I knew nutten of the arrest of the teens.

There really are a whole heap o yutes out there with no hope but drugs, guns, gangsta culcha, kill or be killed as their motto. Many of them don't live to see age 20! It is sad.

LivingSingle said...

Good post Jdid. It is sad what our world has become. And like Luke, I had no idea that things like that occur up in Toronto also. *sigh* It's sad.

Campfyah said...

That blog break sure did you good, cause you come wid a proppa post.

So sad for the teenagers of today to think that their only hope is drugs, gangs, hip-hop and basket ball. True, many of them have harsh realities, but I think that some of them just want the easy way out. Not to mention many of them started off with the wrong parenting.
But like you said, Things done change and change for the worse. My fearand reality is that I also have a just come of age young adult, and I trying my best to keep him from such realities. To show him that there is a better way than what he sees on BET, MTV and all the other crap out there.

Amadeo said...

Sad to hear the drama is spreading.

courtneyelizabeth said...

YEAP, things HAVE changed....things didnt used to be like this. It's a sad state of affairs.

BajanQueen said...

To think we live in a society that could have something like that happen is outrageous....Shooting someone who is attending a funeral!

What has this world come to!! Your wife may have stumbled upon something with her words....

~Smooches~

obifromsouthlondon said...

what can I say. welcome to London. the other one

Anonymous said...

Many so-called "solutions" abound, (contraceptive in poor areas' drinking water, military should draft "those" teens, etc.) Point is, a whole race is pretty much at risk, from W.I. restaveks, to druggists in any N. Amer. ghetto, to Africa itself. Bill & Will got it right (Cosby & Smith): if parents keep being triflin with their kids, then it's lights out.

4panist said...

I am not proud to say that when I when a group of black youth (all male) in ruff neck garb entered a class I was in the other day (the just appeared at the door) and I actually had a moment of FEAR. If I am afraid of these young brothers, even for a moment, what does that say about the state of affairs, what does that say about me?

Shotta M said...

They currently trying to ban 50 cent from touring the Tdot because he is an admitted criminal and there is great worry that his message will only make things worse with the many disenchanted youth.

Stunner said...

The youth's these days need to be saved from themselves. It's as it they are just living for the moment, without though of the future.

I must agree with the others, it's a good post.

smallislandgirl said...

I know what she means the news about the shooting in the church made it here too it bothers you as a parent too.
Anyway Happy Thanksgiving.

Brotha Buck said...

Man, I like the way you did this. I didn't realize those same things went on in Canada, too. Canada tends to have that liberal live and let live kinda French thing going on, so I didn't figured there'd be race issues. Wow. Sad.

benjibopper said...

banning 50 cent from Toronto reminds me of a song about the Colimbine massacre. The lyrics go:

"A few years later a couple of latchkey kids go tragically
Mad and everybody's standing around the television store at the mall trying to figure out what went wrong, This guy says,
You think the life of a kid going to high school could've gotten so bad this other guy says nah,
It's just the words to one of them goddamn Marilyn Manson songs,
You know the one"

It's a lot more complicated that bad influence in music. I don't see what good banning 50 cent does.

Scratchie said...

Just can't seem to shake the trends of violence that ahs become our way of life. When did it all change. It seems as if yuh just step from one era into another.

Rose said...

So this is happening in Toronto as well. I hear teens who are involved in crime say that they live hopeless lives but when you try to help they reject it. A kid getting shot at church, for sure we need to do something about this.

Radmila said...

Very well said Jdid.

Quel said...

Great post.

Black folks really are born with one strike against us. Sad thing is things will never change. As long as machines keep making ghetto jailbirds millionaires to glorify ghetto living and criminal activity all over MTV, percepftions of us and the resulting jacked up treatment will prevail.

Urban Sista said...

It's been on my mind lately. Two kids born in the same neighbourhood under the same circumstances. One thrives and goes on to do well. The other decides to get involved in foolishness.

Why? Is it the parents? Yes, to an extent. Is the educational system? Yes, we've all been Black and been through the school system that makes it seem like we as a group haven't contributed anything positive to society. But at the end of it, it's the person. For as many lawless kids roaming out, there are a bunch of kids who are trying to live right.

Young people make decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives and they don't realize it. When you're 15 and you decide to drop out of school, what options do you leave yourself? When you have a child at 16 and your mom had you at 16, what options do you leave yourself?

There are consequences to your actions and I don't think that a lot of young people realize that. You get involved in criminal activities at 14 and that can destroy your life, plain and simple.

Just my two cents...

brooklyn babe said...

Darn. And here I'm thinking good ole Canada eh, was the safe spot, with low crime rates, and door still left open at night?

princessdominique said...

Wow I'm thinking what's in the water over there. I too was thinking it was cool to black in Canada and now this--its a travesty! And I say they need to air the tape that they supposedly have. It should be a crime to ruin a black kids education!

Mad Bull said...

Sounds like Jamaica... Bummer, huh?