Food for Thought: In Pennsylvania, Gun violence is responsible for the deaths of about 1,200 people each year. 80% of homicides in the southwest section of Philadelphia are unsolved. 75% of individuals shot are black. 72% of the individuals are black men. 40% of those individuals are under the age of 25. The rate of murder here is 3½ times per capita the rate of New York City-whose population is about 8 times larger. Over $125 million dollars are spent each year on the immediate healthcare needs of shooting victims. Of this amount, taxpayers pay $90 million for medical care for uninsured victims. Philadelphia has the highest murder rate of any big city in America. Pennsylvania has the highest rate in the nation of black homicide victims, (29.52 murders per 100,000 population) which equates to more than six times the overall rate for victims of all races. 81% of those homicides were committed with handguns. The most commonly cited reasons for homicide are arguments …leading to fighting…and ending in murder.
“Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On the eve of the 23rd anniversary of celebrating the Birthday of the great Martin Luther King Jr., I found myself deviating from the usual day of service with my frat brothers, instead reflecting on the matter of nonviolence. Nicknamed The City Of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia is arguably the most historic city in the country. It is also a place plagued by violence and now has the monikers of The Murder Capital and KILLAdelphia, PISTOLvania. When speaking of gun violence, one statistic really jumps out at me: The most commonly cited reasons for homicides are arguments…leading to fighting... ending in murder. Although it can be quite the spectacle to see an obnoxious person get what they deserve, and receive a one-sided ass whoopin’, the Educated Negro wonders if people realize that there’s a point when you’re just TOO DAMN OLD TO GET INTO FIGHTS WITH PEOPLE.
I’ve actually evolved to the point where I no longer find humor in a good catfight. By catfight, I mean an altercation between two women, typically involving scratching, hair pulling, and shirt shredding, as opposed to punching. However, that term isn’t just gender specific, but rather describing any vociferous fight, with the end result being the participants missing articles of clothing at the end. One of the biggest turnoffs is seeing two beautiful women scratching each other’s faces and ripping out hair. In the end…for what? Ever notice that women never fight over the men worth a damn? When was the last time you saw two women fight it out in the hair salon over a man with a Master’s Degree and Thriving Business? When was the last time two women fought in the club over a pediatric surgeon with good credit? Nope…who do they fight over? Treyshawn, the KFC fry cook-currently six months behind on child support payments for all five of his misguided children. If you can get into a club, you’re too damn old to be fighting someone.
Random fights between two or more Neanderthals in this city are common during a weekend night out. A seasoned 30-year-old male in Philly realizes at the first signs of an altercation that it’s time to go. Long gone are the days of standing around, watching two morons fight for primitive superiority. Why? Because moments later, one or more of their goons will begin shooting, or the loser of the altercation will utter those four infamous words: “I’ll be right back.” Much of the frenzied crowd-too dumb to leave and too cool to care-will hang around for Round 2 and eventually become witnesses to a shooting or shooting victims themselves. It’s the norm here. Because 40% of Philadelphia’s homicide victims are under the age of 25, you’ve got to wonder if people realize that by their mid-twenties…YOU’RE TOO OLD TO GET INTO FIGHTS!!!
The popular cartoon series The Boondocks, coined the term “A Nigga Moment,” where ignorance overwhelms the mind of an otherwise logical Negro male, causing him to act in an illogical, self-destructive manner i.e. like a nigga. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B9QGrpdu5Y
There are some logical males who get baited into Nigga Moments, and there are also some who just lead Nigga Lives-their sole purpose to cause as much carnage as they can, until someone puts them out of their misery. Money, Women, Drugs or Personal Boundaries/Lack of Proper Etiquette are the leading causes of fights between the Negro males.
Money is a common thing to see people fight over-especially poor people. My Dad told me that his father was killed when he was a few years old, over $10. He told me that he owed someone down the street $10 and recently had won some money playing cards. The guy asked for his $10 and I’m guessing my grandfather simply said, “I’ll give it to you later.” But the neighbor wanted it then. At this point, the neighbor uttered those four words: “I’ll be right back.” He came back alright-and took a life over $10. You’d think it doesn’t get any more stupid than that, but it does.
Men have been fighting and killing over women since biblical times. The Story of John The Baptist personifies the power of the pussy. According to the Synoptic Gospels, King Herod had imprisoned John because he disproved of Herod for divorcing his wife (Phasaelis), and unlawfully taking his brother Philip’s wife, Herodias. On Herod’s birthday, Herodias’ daughter (Salome) danced before the king and his guests. The Bible said her dancing pleased Herod so much that in his drunkenness he promised to give her anything she desired, up to half his kingdom (I’m assuming her dance was similar to a modern day lap-dance). When the daughter asked her mother what she should request, the Mother-still bitter because John said that Herod shouldn’t be married to his brother’s wife-told her daughter to request the head of John The Baptist on a platter. Although Herod was appalled by the request, he reluctantly agreed and had John beheaded in the prison; John the Baptist-the close friend of Jesus. Ahhhh…The Power of Women. It just goes to show that people have fought over women and died for the affection…or perceived affection of women since the beginning of time.
Ever have someone brush or bump right into you and not have the decency to apologize? Ever have someone step right on your foot and act as if they don’t even notice? My personal pet peeve is when someone says, “watch out” instead of “excuse me.” This is a major trigger for physical encounters among adults. Although someone’s lack of etiquette does not justify a verbal or physical thrashing, it can set off a domino effect that has ultimately led many to pain, embarrassment or an untimely demise. Me personally…I consider myself far too refined to be seen rolling around on the ground with an imbecile, or being physically thrown out of an overpriced club by it’s security. Instead I recall a phrase from Mark Twain stating, “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJHrxD4fW9U
I left the fighting behind in high school. I just don’t see anything worth fighting over at this age. I remember seeing a pregnant female getting pummeled on the ground by a group of females in my senior year of high school. She subsequently lost her child shortly after, due to the altercation. The motive? She was pregnant by the boyfriend of one of her assailants. Most people would say that somewhere during your high school years, one outgrows the need to handle affairs with the fists. I hope that many more can realize that they’re too old to be getting into fights and ultimately learn to appreciate the well being of the next man. Dr. King’s stance on nonviolence has truly been an inspiration to me, and if he has offer peaceful solutions in perilous times when it would have been ideal to fight…what’s your excuse? Let’s learn to love each other, guys.
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
…These Are The Random Thoughts Of Ronald Gray…