Didn’t really sleep well last night. For some reason there just seemed to be a string of oddity going on outside my window. First, was a woman, who I believe was crying or talking to herself that was roaming the streets. I think she must have stopped in the middle of the street down the block because as I heard her voice trail off to about where the corner was, a car started honking from about the same distance.
Then, came the street toughs. A couple of kids, who I gather are part of the New York Bloods and a rival set (SMH). There was the sound of heavy footsteps, then some kid saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, what’s up now?” More shuffled feet and what sounded like hands being thrown and someone knocked against a car, then more heavy footsteps taking off, with one young voice saying, “Yeah, Blood up, ni**a! Blood up.”
Sigh. I sigh for two reasons: 1) I live in a decent neighborhood in Brooklyn and when I moved back from Queens I wanted to be in a neighborhood devoid of such foolishness, but this is Brooklyn USA though. 2) I sigh for the future. When I was coming up, I always was glad that New York didn’t have gangs like LA’s Bloods and Crips. Sure, we had the Deceps, Lo Lives, etc. but I feel like it was different in that it wasn’t as random. The Gangs of Old New York robbed people and such, but murder wasn’t the priority. Bloods and Crips, however, were notorious for drive-bys and attacking people over colors and not just unique colors like orange or purple, but common everyday colors like red and blue. Who the hell doesn’t have something red or blue in their wardrobe? So it’s like you could be sprayed with bullets walking down the street just because you bought some red ad black sneakers to match your Bulls jersey. I was just glad New York didn’t have gangs with that kind of random mentality. Yeah, they’d rob any and everybody but that was because you had what they wanted or was in the wrong place at the wrong time, not because of your fashion sense.
But at some point or other, the Bloods and Crips (or some bastardized offshoots) found their way out East and that saddens me. I remember going around my old way to visit my moms and seeing Bloods Corner spray painted on a corner and thinking to myself, “Wow, they got Bloods out here now?” Now I had to pray for my younger siblings safety for when they went to school or went to the corner bodega. All this gang ish is just depressing. These kids feel they need to belong and turn to the streets and violence for whatever it is they aren’t getting at home or as a way to fit in. But what actual life lessons and comfort can you possibly get from slicing someone’s face as a way of initiation? Or beating another man down (or worse yet killing him) just because he has on a color you don’t like or lives on a block that you have beef with? What happens when that man changes his clothes or one of y’all move to a different block? Does that make you hate or love them any more or less now? Y’all are both the same person at the end of the day, regardless of what color you wear, what block you live on or what set you claim. Doesn’t that mean more than an address or wardrobe? Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part. I just don’t get it.
What do y’all think about gang violence and the youth? What alternatives do these kids have? What can you/we do to curb the violence? Or is it already too late?
The 30-day blog marathon continues check back later today for post number two in the afternoon and number three in the evening…