by Queenandi X Sheba, Poor News Network
Thirteen-year-old Lee Weathersby was the first homicide victim in the city of Oakland of 2014.
He was shot and killed on his way home from visiting a friend’s home. Three weeks later, his older brother, Lamar Broussard, and his best friend were also shot and killed, making the two young brothers homicides fourth and fifth.
A temporary light was shone by mainstream media on a heartbroken mother who lost both of her sons to gun violence. No matter if the gun violence is perpetrated by police, or the so-called “gangsta homie,” these murders destroy our families and communities – mostly of color – in every aspect.
As a young, misplaced diasporan African living in Amerikkka, I have borne witness to stolen Africans being treated as if we were not human beings at all. In the world of white supremacy and capitalism, Black lives do not matter, unless there is a profit to be made.
The police kill us with impunity and receive medals of honor, so how safe are our children when we have these cold-hearted child-killers roaming amongst us? How can we rely on the police to do their sworn duty to protect the citizens when there are police who shoot down kids themselves?
With so much against us people who are darker than blue, it makes no sense for us to continue to intoxicate ourselves with the poisonous cocktail of cultural interception, land theft, the Willie Lynch Syndrome and the Turf War Syndrome, resulting in us killing each other and our communities.
No matter if the gun violence is perpetrated by police, or the so-called “gangsta homie,” these murders destroy our families and communities – mostly of color – in every aspect.
Determined to keep the legacy alive of her two sons, Lee and Lamar, who were not troublemakers and lived their lives straight, Strong Mama Dinyal, who we had the blessing to meet when she came through to POOR Magazine’s poor people-led newsroom in Deep East Oakland at Homefulness, created the platform “L’s Up, Guns Down!” followed by a peaceful march that was held on Dec. 6, calling for a peace truce for the young people to end violence towards one another.
There is another peace march scheduled to take place in San Francisco in the coming weeks in honor of all the victims of violence there, including the recent murder of Paris Jr., who was gunned down in the Fillmore neighborhood, the same neighborhood his father and I grew up in.
I remember saying to Paris Sr. how tragic it was to see our children die on the same streets that raised us. My younger brother, Marcus Nellon, was murdered in the Alemany Housing complex in February of 2006, with his death first being ruled “suspicious” to a suicide. The suspected ex-girlfriend and her family viciously attacked my family with mockery and confidence that they will not be held responsible because of the ties that the ex-girlfriend allegedly had with then District Attorney Kamala Harris.
The final blow that came from the family was the audacity of the ex and her mother taking me to “Judge Judy” to sue me for my brother’s urn, and the ex-girlfriend’s mother with the sinister laugh saying to me, “You know we can be snakes, right?”
Marcus never had suicide on his mind. Two days before his death, he said that he was surprised that our mother, Carol X, who had transitioned only nine weeks prior, had so many friends. His plans were to move on from the heartache and enlist into the military service.
Since Marcus was a young Black man from the hood, his life didn’t matter. The system has already destroyed young Black men’s lives like my brother with tricknology and false conviction, even starting the cycle when they are still babies.
Determined to keep the legacy alive of her two sons, Lee and Lamar, who were not troublemakers and lived their lives straight, Strong Mama Dinyal created the platform “L’s Up, Guns Down!” followed by a peaceful march that was held on Dec. 6, calling for a peace truce for the young people to end violence towards one another.
Some folks of color have the gall to glorify Black-on-Black AND Brown-on-Brown, cruising the neighborhoods terrorizing your own villages, killing children, elders and parents without a care in the world, allowing for the police to roll up and create problems between you and another brother of color living on another plantation (hood, set), taunt and disrespect the families of the victims with this false sense of power over the lost folks of color who perpetrate these crimes, in my opinion are “Klansmen of Kolor.”
Politicians recently have begun visiting the neighborhoods, vowing to come together with the communities to “find a solution” to the rash of violence that plague our youth. I thought we were coming together with serious suggestions and a serious plan to move forward to help our children.
Folks were over-talking and interrupting each other and when I spoke up on real solutions that can help, including holding the community accountable, of course it got quiet. I left the meeting feeling like I should go buy a shovel and start digging graves because when one of us Warrior Mamas or Papas speak up on what the people REALLY need, it sometimes can sound like a foreign language, even amongst my own brethren.
I felt like, “Fuck it. I will find a way, with the help of God and Mother Nature, to reach our babies, EVEN IF I HAVE TO DO THIS BY MYSELF!” While we are having these “meetings” blowing smoke up the peoples’ behinds, our children are dying!
The blood that flows on the pavement is real. SMELL IT! There is a solution to every problem, so long as the village is willing to do the mandatory footwork that is needed for the sake of our children, and that is real!