The following editorial was written by Silky Slim, a former gang banger
than had seen the way violence has ravaged his hometown of Baton Rouge. Silky again speaks on the violence ravaging the inner cities and African Americans across the nation. Click here to read his previous work, "Lil Boosie and the New KKK." His site is http://www.stopthekillinginc.org.
The screams of the grieving mother could be heard through the gathering crowd that started to grow as the police taped off the area. Man dont let that be his mother, I said, as I looked through the viewfinder of my camera trying to get that close up shoot that would shock the world. Oh Lord, Lord, Lord dont let that be my baby, she said, shaking as she made her way to the front of the line of the crowd. I watched her as she broke through the yellow tape and made her way across the crime scene. No, no, no, no, she said, shaking her head as she was met by a police officer. Maam, you will have to wait behind the line, he told her as he pointed to where the others and I were standing. I just want to see, she said, as she jerked away and ran towards the lifeless body. The officer ran after her, caught her, and placed her in a choke hold, prompting the crowd to cry out in disbelief. Thats that mans mother, one man yelled, as a youngster no more than 12 broke the line yelling, let my mama go, let my mama go. For a moment it looked as if a riot was about to break out.
The crowd started to move fast, as other police officers rushed from where they were to the aid of the officer, who was restraining the grieving mother. Back up, back up give me 50 feet, the officers yelled as they pulled out their batons and cans of mace. Man, please dont make them use that s**t, I said, as I covered my face with my shirt. I had seen this scene many times before, this is the norm for a murder scene in the inner-city. The overwhelming smell of alcohol entered my lungs as I took a deep breath of relief that the scene didn't escalate. It was the childs mother standing face to face with me as I turned from my camera to look at the crowd. "Is that my child, Silky" she asked with tears in her eyes. "No I said," as I turned back to make sure my camera was still recording the scene. Let me see she pleaded with me as she tried to take a look inside of my viewfinder. "I told you it is not," I said in a stern voice to assure her I was being truthful with her. "Oh yes it is I can tell by his jeans," she said, as she looked coldly into my eyes. "If you already know why are you asking me?" I replied with a sign of disgust on my face. "Please tell me," she desperately pleaded as I continued to shake my head to assure her it wasnt him.
As I continued filming the crime scene, I asked the Lord to forgive me for lying to her for I knew that nothing could be farther from the truth than the words I had just spoken to her. I watched as a young man grabbed her by the arm and lead her to a waiting car. It looked as if she passed out as soon as she took a seat on the passenger side of the car. A bystander pushed her legs in the car and slammed the door shut, I watched as the driver sped off down Plank Road. The names, faces, and places often change but the crime remains the same. Murder, murder, murder is all that is seen on a daily basis in any city of America. The victims, most of them young Black African American males ages 13 through 27, leaves behind many grieving mothers who never fully recover from the lose of their child.
Lets take a look at Gert, a 40-plus year old mother whos 15-year-old son was recently shot and killed at a repast for his friend that was slain earlier himself. As I received word of the shooting, I quickly retrieved the information to go and visit the family to give them my condolences. A group of about 50 young men had already gathered on the front porch by time I arrived which was about a hour and half after the shooting took place. As I walked up to the house, whispers of put that away could be heard as I approached the steps. "How are you, guys doing?" I asked, as I made my way up the steps. Out of the corner of my eyes, I noticed a young man tucking away a very large handgun into his waistband. "We good," they said simultaneously as I knocked on the door to speak to the young mans mother that had been shoot. As I entered the small wood-frame house, little children were running around playing in the living room. "Is Ms. Gert here I asked as I looked across the room into the kitchen. There she is a young lady said as she pointed to the sofa that was ducked off in a corner. She had her head down on her knees and could be heard sobbing. "How are you I asked as I sat on the couch next to her and put arm around her shoulders. She didnt say anything, but lifted her head to see who had spoke the words. Lord have mercy, "Silky Slim, she said as she grabbed and hugged me. You came before the Pastor did that means so much to me you just dont know."
She then began crying violently as she shook me and told me the Lord has to tell me why he took child. "Why Lord Why she said over and over again, as I held her and told her everything was going to be ok. Not Without my baby David, she replied, thats my best child He took," she said referring to the Lord I just want to know why. You cant question God I told her as I hugged her tighter. Oh yes I can she said in a demanding voice. I could feel her fingernails piercing into my skin as she gripped my arm and started to shake. If I was you I wouldnt I told her, the Lord knows best and after all He gave you the child in the first place. Yeah, Yeah I know she said, but I dont feel like He had a right to just take him, David was a good boy. After spending some time with her and trying my best to comfort her, I decided it would be better if she was left alone so that she could get some rest. A couple of days later I received a call from her asking me to speak at Davids funeral. At the funeral, I could tell that Davids death was really breaking her down. I tried as much as possible to keep in contact with her on a daily basis, but sometimes my calls went unanswered. A week or two after the funeral, I received a call that Ms. Gert had been hospitalized. She, like many other mothers, had tried suicide by simply giving up on life. This was done by the refusal of everyday necessity, such as water, food, and rest. She had now taken a stroke and was in a coma in ICU and wasnt expected to make it.
The last time I had seen this take place was by a grieving mother by the name of Ms. Bates. I can remember stepping over a hundred cigarette butts on her front porch, as I made my way to give her hug as she stood in the front door. As I walked into her dim lonely home, it felt and smelled like death and the feeling was befitting because this poor lady, Ms. Bates, was mourning herself to death after her son, Derwins murder. She was literally committing suicide by continuing her grieving of his death for nearly 18 months. Silky she said as she looked in my face, they still have not arrested nobody for my babies killing. I dont know what I am going to do, Ive call the police a thousand times and no one has returned my call yet. Weeks later when I returned to visit her again I was informed by the neighbor that she had passed the day before results of dehydration and malnutrition.
Most recently, I was attending a funeral of a young man that was murdered as he walked inside of his apartment on his lunch break and was killed by a would-be robber. As I sat in my seat fighting off the spirit that was speaking to me urging me to get up and talk to the youth. "Not today," I said to myself as I watched his grandmother pass out and an usher rushed to her aid and began fanning her. As I looked over into the pulpit, I could see Rev. Sutton pointing to me and then to the microphone. "No, thanks," I said in a whisper where he could read my lips. I had totally had enough for this week. Five murders in three days and all black on black was enough to make anyone take a break. How does God put up with this I asked myself as I watched the young mans mother walk up to the microphone to speak. For all you young men in here I have something to say she said, if you have children make sure you be a part of their lives because if this young mans daddy would have been a part of his life my son would still be here she said as she burst into tears and was lead away from the podium. The impact on what she said was so strong as I sat there thinking what if I had a father in my life I thought, would I have made the same mistakes that I had made in my life. The sad thing about this was that there is truly no way of finding out.
Life in battered Hoods across America is far from the money, cars and cloths expressed in one of Lil Waynes songs. Although popular among the youth, these inaccurate descriptions of rags to riches has turned entire communities into war zones. With youth violence reaching an all time high communities were faced with unprecedented youth burials, second lines, and commemorated t-shirts. It only takes the unforgettable cry of a Mother to fully understand the devastation violence and senseless killings have on our communities.
Research on the physiological effects senseless killings have on Mothers suggest that most Mothers never fully recover. A Mother can experience major states of emotional numbness and extreme periods of grief. Although cultural rituals such as funerals and wakes are designed to help people overcome such losses through support and love from friends and relatives, Mothers on the other hand, when faced with the death of a child will mourn profusely. As a result, they can fall into a state of losing weight, no energy and no life to push beyond their grief. Without any community systems to counsel Mothers on how to cope with their grief, entire households deteriorate from alcohol, drugs and depression. For a first hand look at a mothers cry check out TO LIVE AND DIE IN AMERIKKKA its a documentary about black on black violence and senseless killings in the streets of America. This documentary takes viewers to some of the most dangerous hoods in America and gives viewers a never before seen look into urban violence. It exposes how violence has become a social disease that disrupts the social fabric in our homes, schools, and communities. With real live footage detailing the harsh realities of violence, this documentary captures the brutal nature of todays youth and the daily realities they are faced with throughout urban communities.
This is a multi-award winning film and is a wake up for all.