Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Mother's Song, A Son's Tragic Death--Anesthetized To Madness!

This is a story that is, to me, the epitome of a tragedy in a place where tragic stories are the norm. 
Via New York Post 3/17/14

Verbena Burgess, 50, said she was outside belting out Chris Brown’s “Take You Down” when several young men across the street from the Morris Avenue (Bronx, N.Y.) apartment building where she lives told her to keep it down. The standoff escalated into two fights, the last one of which ended with her oldest son, Tony, shot to death on a building staircase. 
Tony Burgess

“The boys threw a bottle at me for singing,” Verbena said. “I said to him, ‘Why did you throw the bottle at me?’ 
He said, ‘Shut the f–k up.’ Then he got a piece of paper and threw it at me. I said, ‘I’m going to call 911 because you’re bothering me.’ “Then he said, ‘Call them. Call your sons.’ That’s when I rang the bell.”

Moments later, Tony and two of her other sons came outside to her defense, and got into a fight with the group from across the street before chasing them off. 
“When we started fighting, they ran,” said Burgess’ brother Shaquille, 20. “So we came back inside the building and they came back and they got inside our building, and we started fighting again.
“I was in the basement in the back with my little brother fighting one of the guys and my big brother was with two other people, fighting two guys, and one of the guys came in with the gun and he shot as my big brother was going up the stairs.”
EMS rushed Burgess to Lincoln Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, officials said.

This is a story that is almost beyond belief. I have to read these lines a few more times to actually grasp the meaning of what happened. After I process this information, what transpired was a 24 year-old young man is dead because he defended his mother who was singing and some punks objected to it. A young man is dead because of his natural in-bred instinct to defend and protect his mother. And, as what happens so many times on today's streets, a fistfight escalates into gunplay and another young black male is murdered.
More and more the self-hatred that young people of color seem to have for one another perpetuates itself. The disrespect those young boys had for this woman was only trumped by the rancorous self-loathing they had for themselves that caused them to attack the ones who looked like them and happened to challenge them. Our youth are in a perpetual free-fall with the lack of a proper education, a lack of employment and a lack of any moralistic conscience--all this added to the easy availability of hand guns in a city that has one of the most toughest gun laws in the nation.
Many outsiders--people who live well beyond the teeming city streets--must be shaking their heads at the insanity of this story. But I guess the ones who have to constantly exist on the "Morris Avenues" of America know all-too-well that this is the stark reality. These human beings are not only anesthetized to violence, but now--they have become anesthetized to madness.