Saturday, February 25, 2012

21st Century Battlefield: Detroit

Its 11:45 am
     Greetings the time of this entry,I thought I would be writing about our big snowfall of the season. Instead,I can say that we didn't even get a inch of snow,the storm bypassed us and dumped its snow further north of us. Which was a bummer of sorts because we were looking forward to being snowed in for a day.
  With those plans out the door,we ended up doing our usual running around. We decided to take a run over to the little Eastern Market meat store that had recently been bought by a family who has a few other stores. The new manager,a guy named Marvin,had really welcomed us the last time we visited,it was a very pleasant experience and we had decided to do all of our big meat purchases there.
  As many of you know,meat prices are skyrocketing up as of late,basic ground beef prices are really high and even the steroid chicken is inching up as well. So you know we were pleased to find Eastern Market's prices were actually a lot cheaper then our usual supermarket we go to.
  But as we pulled in,we were greeted by a boarded up store. At first we thought they had already folded but since the doors were covered by boards,I said "They had a fire". I got out of the car and went inside the Papa's Pizza and asked the counter girl what had happened,sure enough,she said it had been a fire.
 So back we went to our side of town and thinking we'll have to make a trip to the Piggly Wiggly in Detroit before too much longer.
 I'm watching Fox 2 News at 10 as we always do when a story by journalist Alexis Wiley catches my eye.
It seems that a pizza chain has recently come under attack by a very dedicated arsonist. Since the Super Bowl,3 of this small chain's stores have been hit,2 stores suffered major damage and one store was saved before any serious damage was done.
  The owner says that maybe someone who is jealous of his chain's little growth in business now has a vendetta and is trying to burn him out one store at a time. The chain's name? Papa's Pizza...the same one who has a store right next to the Eastern Market store we were going to shop it. The report didn't mention this store in Canton in the story most likely since it wasn't affected but after hearing this story,maybe the arsonist just hit the wrong target in the dark and Eastern Market suffered for it.
  Who knew being a pizza store owner would be such a pain in the ass? We have heard many stories of different pizza joints going to war with each other....arson,vandalizing and even going so far as to put mice in a rival's store in hopes of the health department closing it down.  Just makes you shake your head...its hard enough competing with the major chains but then to try and take out any guy who is just trying to make a living...
   The shooting death of little Delrick Miller has been the talk of the week. I touched on this story in my Free Speech entry that you can scroll down the page and read.
 Delrick was a 9 month baby who was murdered by 2-3 men who opened up on the house and put 40 AK-47 bullets into it in the middle of the night. At first,it seemed that it may have been gang-related but upon further investigation by the Detroit Police department,the shooting may have tied to a baby shower at a local meeting place. Seems like there were 3 baby showers scheduled and a beef broke out over seating. This being Detroit,you know how this problem was going to get solved....with violence and a fight. And sure enough,that is what happened. A fight broke out among two sets of people who were supposed to be celebrating a pending birth.
  But someone must have followed Delrick's family back to their house and decided a little ghetto payback was called for. You just gotta love Detroit....a van creeped up,2-3 fellas jumped,cocked,rocked and shot 40 rounds into the house.
  Now of course (and this is the part that always me laugh) you get the local media all pumped and asking "What can be done to stop the shootings"? Its almost like a bad grade Z SyFy movie....watching everyone running around with their hands up in the air....
  And sure enough on the local Let It Rip program,they featured one of the city's few bright spots,Raphael Johnson and Angelo Henderson of the Detroit 300.  The Detroit 300 is a volunteer community group that works hard to make this city safe. They are able to go where no cops can and glean information from folks who are afraid or don't care enough to tell the cops what they know. The 300 has helped catch at least 10 very dangerous felons so far.
   The Let It Rip panel talked about the shooting in depth and what can be done. Now while I have never met Raphael Johnson,I think of him as a real hero. He once killed a man and served time for his crime. But he has working very hard,every day,to make amends for his awful crime by forming the 300 and trying to change the black man's mentality for pure violence. His impassioned plea for his fellow men of Detroit to take back the street is from the heart,he really wants to make a difference.
  But on Thursday night,he completely (excuse my pun) misfired. He was addressing the shooters of little Delrick and said "We know you didn't MEAN to kill the baby. Turn yourself in,we know that you are not the person the world thinks you are".
Uh,Raphael.....I hate to disagree with you here but you are so wrong. You don't grab a AK-47,drive down with some homiies,get out and pump 40 shells into a house unless you are aiming to kill anyone you can. This was a premeditated act of cold blooded murder and the real miracle is no one else got blasted as well.
You are feeding into the no accountability that seems to have gripped our society,there is no excuse for this action...none. Yes,these killers DID mean to shoot Delrick,they meant it every time they squeezed off a round.
   But back to the hand wringing....why is it that no one ever mentions banning the fucking weapons that are awash in our streets. Lets break it down....poverty has eroded our self worth. Think about it,what does a person with no real prospect in life have to lose in turning to crime and the gun? Broken schools,the broken one to show a child that their live means something other then a chance to get a bigger food stamp check,to become another pawn in a gang,,no real chance to gain a real skill.
 When you have nothing to aim for,then grabbing a gun as problem solver becomes a no brainer. When you have a goal,a dream,someone to become precious,doesn't it? Somewhere in Detroit,this vital connection has been lost.
   They showed a clip of Let It Rip's legal gadfly,Charlie Langton,asking about what could be done to stem the violence and he talked to 3 young black males who tried to claim their block,warning people not to come to Detroit...but instead of coming off as tough and OG,it sounded more like a plea. That you take your own life in your hands if you venture anywhere but downtown.
  We know what must be done but until we as a nation,rise up and say enough,kids like Delrick are just merely target practice.
  One more Made In Detroit story....yesterday morning,while Mitten Romney was getting ready to speak at Ford Field (I noticed how the teapublican candidates didn't venture into the 'hoods) a 86 year man went to get gas at a BP gas station at 10:30 in the morning. As Aaron Brantley,a World War II vet started filling his tank,a young thug jumps him from behind and throws him down on the ground and carjacks Aaron's car.
The gas station's camera shows Aaron crawling on his hands and knees towards to store and people walking by him and offering no help to him at all...after what might have seemed an eternity,Aaron manages to reach the store where the cashier calls 911.
  But this being Detroit,no cops or EMS roll out and Aaron is now feeling a lot of pain and he asks someone to drive him home. Shockingly,someone agrees and drive Aaron home. Somehow he ends up in the ER where it was found that Aaron had suffered a broken leg.
 But gets better. Turns out that Aaron had just gotten his car back four days before this befell him. See,someone had stolen Aaron's car and stolen his radio and tires. He had just gotten it back from the shop when it taken from him again.
Made In Detroit......

Aaron Brantley's story

Let It Rip: How Do We Stop the Violence?

Thanks for reading

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