If you’re going to gang bang, gang bang right

There is no middle ground. Not at all. None. You do realize this, right?

There is a vast gulf between the self-contained cultural worlds in the United States, within its shores. The mighty wealth of the nation is compressed between its eastern and western shores. The wealth serves as a fulcrum and impermeable wall, not as a common field of mutual respect or aspiration. Forget that pedantic crap. No way man. The fantastic wealth of this country is gravely imbalanced and a barrier which only serves to separate the worlds existing within the American borders into distant communities which can never be unified.

We may look down imploringly at the other half and it will always be like this. We will always sit on our self-righteous butts and condemn how “they” live with the typical air of condescension. We mock their habits and lack of good sense, their trashiness and stupidity but we don’t do much to help, do we? All we do is continue to offer useless insights into a lineage that will never not be. That world we hear of and read about is so distant and foreign to us that it easily escapes our immediate concern. We have opinions, strong opinions for sure, but we never want to cross paths with those worlds and we surely don’t want them to cross paths with us. Stay away. Keep your 3rd world lifestyle over there in the hood. Don’t step foot around here. We don’t even want to understand them. We act as if we do, but we don’t. They are a different breed, the ghetto swarms. We feel more kinship with our stupid pets than we do with suffering humans living in squalor. We can’t relate to their life at all, and thus, it seems foreign and unrecognizable to our television mentality.

All you need to do is read the occasional news story emerging from Watts or Lincoln Heights and you’ll see soon enough that this is a nation of 2 worlds and they only cross in the most disconnected drive-through journeys or on the main page of the local news.

These people are different than you and I. Their existence is fatally abstract to us. They make life choices that are stunningly shortsighted. We watch in awe.

For instance, last night a 14-year-old girl, “Unique Russell,” was watching fireworks at 10:20 near the corner of 97th and Budlong in Los Angeles, which is inside one of the inner circles of LA’s ghetto hell. Some guys walked up, described as “African Americans,” and began shooting wildly into a crowd Russell was standing in, killing her.

SOUTH L.A. (KTLA) — A 14-year-old girl is dead and two other people wounded after they were shot watching fireworks.

The shooting was reported around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday at 97th Street and Budlong Avenue.

L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies say the girl was with a group of people when two gunmen, described only as African American, opened fire.

The girl, identified as Unique Russell, was taken to a local hospital, where she later died.

Another girl, 12, and a man, 21, were also hit by gunfire. Their condition is unknown.

Russell’s cousin Dywain Bowden spoke to KTLA, saying there were dozens of kids playing in the street when gunshots rang.

Dustin Shaffer, who was at his grandmother’s house, heard the shooting and came running over.

“It’s July 4th, you think it’s fireworks,” Shaffer said.

“[Unique] was laying [in the street], she didn’t look like she was breathing and wasn’t moving. We saw someone [shot] in the yard and someone else laying next to her,” Shaffer said.

Shaffer said the two men may have shot at the crowd from a van across the street. The suspects are still on the loose.

“This [expletive] has got to stop. Gang bangers don’t go around killing kids,” Bowden said. “If you’re going to gang bang, gang bang right.”

The exotic nature of the events unfold the minute we learn of the girl’s name. “Unique.” This is something that does not happen in “our” world. We don’t name girls “Precious” either. We use normal, traditional names because seeking to make a statement with a birth name goes against the understated nature of an orderly society which thinks and plans in terms of long-term accomplishments when their children will one day demonstrate through achievement and scholarly study to distinguish themselves rather than by an exaggerated adjectival name on their birth certificate.

The clincher, the punch line, issued from Russell’s cousin, Dywain Bowden, who was present during the tragic shooting. Angry, frustrated, grieving, he scolded, “This [expletive] has got to stop. Gang bangers don’t go around killing kids. If you’re going to gang bang, gang bang right.”

That’s right. Look, even banging must obeys rules of constraint and honor. This is an indicator of how bad it has become when you don’t criticize the action but the context. How about someone just says it like it is. “This [expletive] has gotta stop. Young men need to stop this violence, get jobs, and learn the empowerment of self-sufficiency. They need to use their heads and stop acting like primitive beasts. They need to respect life.”

But it’s a different world. To place the template of our mores against it is useless and a waste of time. This is a world we can never know and can’t ever expect to change. You can take your liberal social programs, shut them down, and build moats around these neighborhoods. The only people allowed out must prove themselves decent and law-abiding folks who will bring no grudges or murderous motives to the civilized side of the fence.

Oh, and common, traditional names are a requirement.


Unique Russell, another life senselessly extinguished