Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down.
Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang
Yet again sadly I've got to blog about the violence in the T-dot. Sigh!
2005 instead of being the year of the Rooster should have been named the year of the gun up here because there has been no let up in the murders and the gunshots even as the holiday season is upon us. Gunman no celebrate either Christmas or Kwanzaa it seems.
On Monday afternoon seven persons, all seemingly innocent bystanders were shot up on the main Toronto thoroughfare of Yonge street in the midst of busy Christmas bank holiday shopping. Kinda scary.
Not sure what to say about all the violence except that its rather shocking although not really if you catch my drift. Its shocking that its happening but its not really shocking because of the mentality of the youth these days and the seeming ease with which guns are available for criminals.
Today I'm reading about police detectives claiming that by this incident Toronto has lost its innocence. What the hell are they talking about? We lost our innocence years ago when that British lady got shot and paralyzed at Caribana, we lost our innocence prior to that little kid in Etobicoke getting mistakenly shot in a drive by this summer, we lost our innocence before a bus driver was shot on his route while doing his job and lost his eye a few months ago and we sure as hell had lost our innocence before gunmen shot down a youth on the steps of a church about a month ago all here in Toronto.
Oh wait a minute the violence is happening in broad daylight in the midst of downtown now not constrained to so called ghetto borders or to ghetto victims. Gunshot nuh have name on it, innocents get caught in the crossfire. There is War on the Streets!
Dudes all year long it was gunshots in the streets and no one was taking it seriously. Oh sure we had our "black leaders" meet with the Mayor and the Prime Minister and such but did that solve anything?
Actually lets step back a minute. First up who are these black leaders and what is their claim to fame? In my opinion they hold as much clout as I do in being able to solve any crime situation cause the gunman aren't listening to any old fogies rattle off rhetoric in front of a camera. Give us a break! Who elected you to speak for black folk anyway and do you have the power to go to the criminals and gunmen and get them to stop the shooting? If you don't then stop trying to get photo ops to make it seem like you actually have clout while lulling the naive into a false sense of security thinking that progress is actually being made.
Do religious leaders have the clout. Sorry not to disparage religion seeing as I myself am a believer but the days of religious leaders actually holding sway in black politics is at an end if it ever got started in Canada. Aint no Jesse Jacksons or Al Sharptons up here and even Jesse and Al are caricatures in my opinion. All bark and the only bite they have is soundbites. The people that need to be reached to stop the violence have ignored any religion or religious leaders from long time gwan.
Nope no real leaders around here besides the thugs and the gangstas and maybe that's one of the real issues that we should be dealing with in order to come to grips with this violence.
Then we had the stupid politicians bitching about the rapper 50 cents coming into the country. 50 cents is a millionaire now he aint shooting no one. Dudes a movie star, got his own shoes, his own video games, his own drink, his own clothing line etc, he's a business.... man! But if you look closely the word G-unit does have the word Gun in it so maybe he is subconsciously telling the youth to shoot up the place along with what he's saying in his more overt rhymes.
But seriously causing a ruckus about his entering the country and his giving a concert does nothing to solve the situation of gun violence. If you want to blame his music well alright then I probably couldn't argue against that being one of the factors on impressionable youth although you'd have to name quite a few other media and entertainment influences including Hollywood's penchant for shoot em up blockbuster movies and the marketing of extremely violent video games to teenagers as well. Plus after you ban 50 from entering the country are you going to ban his music? And as someone pointed out to me a while back why would you ban 50 cents from entering Toronto now when we graciously hosted him to film his piece of crap movie Get Rich or Die Trying earlier this year. Isn't that a tad bit hypocritical? We'll gladly have you in Toronto to film your gangsta movie but don't come back to hold a concert to play your gangsta music. Explain to me that logic. Oh wait a minute the City makes money off the film industry a lot more than it makes off some lousy one off concert.
Pure lip service a gwan when dealing with this gun violence issue. Politicians playing politician football and 'mekkin mock sport' with this issue because they don't have a clue how to go about solving it.
Neither do I come to think of it so maybe I shouldn't be so harsh. I really don't have a solution. What I will say is that its nothing as simple as black leaders meeting with politicians or banning 50 cents and it will not be simple period.
So where's the solution? I guess 'We got to put our heads together and stop the violence'. Plans must be put into place on both a short term and long term scale. Mentalities need to be changed, perceptions need to be changed, opportunities need to be created, guns need to be eradicated, positive role models need to be found, communities need to be embraced, stereotyped need to be dealt with and security has to be enforced. Remember two things. One we have to stop the younger ones from following in the footsteps of their elder peers who are criminals or this crime cycle continues indefinitely and two all the youth aren't bad in fact its probably just a very small portion who are doing this stuff.
Not that either of those two things really help when someone is mourning the loss of a innocent loved one who gets caught in a shootout.