LIFE

The Writings on the Wall


How many times have you seen something that made you so angry, yet you did not say or do anything? That’s what I did today. I saw two young, black men, looked like they were no more than 16 -18 years old; one was chunky and brown like cinnamon and the other was lean and dark as licorice. They walked down the street with much haste. I thought they were hopping on the same bus as me, but, no, that was not it at all.

Licorce threw cinnamon a can of blue spray paint; and he proceeded to spray out the name of his Crip gang in 5 feet tall letters on the side of a hair salon – in broad daylight – in front of people. He hit his blunt hard and passed it to licorice as he continued to tag. His blue boxers peeked out from his black jeans as he reached and stretched to get every crevice of the peach-colored building. I wanted to shout:

STOP! DO YOU LOVE YOURSELF?! DO YOU HAVE ANY PRIDE IN YOUR COMMUNITY?! DON’T YOU WANT TO MAKE IT BETTER FOR GENERATIONS TO COME?! STOP BEING A STEREOTYPE! STOP SHITTING WHERE YOU SLEEP!

Cinnamon threw the can of spray paint back to licorice, and he passed the blunt back to licorice with so much care. If only they cared for their block like they cared for that little piece of weed, the streets might be safer, businesses will come back, and a place people want to live by choice. Licorice giggled as he began to tag. Surprisingly, he found more space to claim his crew. They were not fazed at all; simply oblivious to the four appalled people at the bus stop, the passing traffic, and duh, the cops! I wanted to shout:

I WANT SOUTH CENTRAL TO CHANGE MY BROTHAS, MY PRECIOUS BROTHAS. STAND FOR SOMETHING OF MERIT? STOP BEING MESMERIZED BY THE BOOTIES AND BLUNTS. EDUCATE YOURSELF, OWN BUSINESES, STAY HEALTHY, WORK HARD!

As angry as I was, I wanted to hug them like a mother, cuss them out like a sister, and lift them up like a preacher.

But I just stood there and shook my head.

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