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Another absurd, insane murder in South L.A.

PERSPECTIVE: Another tragically absurd murder in South Los Angeles. SOUTH LOS ANGELES—The absurd and tragically insane happened, again. Another brazen black-on-black homicide occurred in broad daylight, May 29, near the busy intersection at Crenshaw Boulevard and Florence

ComptonHerald.com | Tavin Price

PERSPECTIVE: Another tragically absurd murder in South Los Angeles.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES—The absurd and tragically insane happened, again. Another brazen black-on-black homicide occurred in broad daylight, May 29, near the busy intersection at Crenshaw Boulevard and Florence Avenue in the Hyde Park District.

Crime in south L. A.

Another tragically absurd, insane gang-related murder in South Los Angeles.

According to police homicide investigators, at around 11 a.m. that day, a lone black gunman shot 19-year-old Tavin Price four times in the back and chest, then fled the scene. Price was having his car washed at Top Express Carwash, 3312 W. Florence Ave., near Crenshaw boulevard, according to his mother, Jennifer Rivers, who was standing within earshot of her son when he was gunned down.

Rivers said her son had just returned from a nearby liquor and deli where he went to buy a cigarette, complaining that he was approached by a man who asked him about his gang affiliation and red sneakers.

It is not known whether the shooter was a member of a gang, or if Price was involved with gangs, but the colors red and blue — rival gang designations — is often the only provocation needed leading to violent confrontations, an ongoing narrative in urban communities. Price’s footwear, however, was no indication the teen was a gang member. People wear the color red for all kinds of reasons.

“I wish he had shot me instead of my child,” lamented a distraught Rivers. “That’s cold for a mother to watch somebody just gun down her child in front of her face. That’s a hard, hard thing to deal with.”

The last words Rivers heard her stricken child murmur, while she cradled his blood-soaked body before he was rushed to a nearby hospital, were, “mama, I don’t want to die….” He died soon thereafter during surgery.

Another senseless tragedy equally as heinous as any questionable killing of black males by trigger-quick police!

But the outrage in urban communities across the U.S., where murder is a common theme, never quite boils over the way it does when the shooters are white cops, as the nation and world, witnessed recently in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Ferguson, Mo.

As yet another homicide is piled atop thousands of prior cases that have gone cold without the perpetrator(s) being brought to justice, and one more family of thousands left to add their tears to the trough of many years.

Two days removed from the killing, police were still searching for leads to the gunman. According to detective Lt. Eric Crosson, “there are still plenty of witnesses that we haven’t talked to yet, who were gone by the time we got here. All we know so far is that Price was getting his car washed, and that he was not affiliated with any gang.”

But gang mayhem accounts for the glut of murders of young black males in America in the 21st century. According to the Violence Policy Center, which tracks homicide in America, black-on-black murders in 2011, alone, totaled 6,309.

If white cops killed that many black men, women and children in a single year, America would still be smoldering from a second civil war. But white cops didn’t do the bloodletting. Black executioners did!

Of the 6,309 black homicide victims, 5,452 (86 percent) were male, and 854 (14 percent) were female. The homicide rate for black male victims was 31.67 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall rate for male homicide victims was 7.13 per 100,000.

For white male homicide victims it was 3.85 per 100,000. The homicide rate for female black victims was 4.54 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall rate for female homicide victims was 1.81 per 100,000. For white female homicide victims it was 1.45 per 100,000.

These figures don’t include fatalities for the years 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. These are “hot war” battlefield numbers. But this is not Iraq, Afghanistan, the West Bank in Israel, or Lebanon. It is Urban America. These are killing fields and the combatants are largely black disenfranchised males who are demoralized by their plight and have internalized a destructive self-hatred.

The murder of Tavin Price has sparked quite a rage on Facebook. The following postings were triggered by what police investigators are calling a “walk-up” murder.

“We teach our [kids] values and character and invoke ourselves in the lives of as many other youngsters as we can via church, coaching, or just sitting on the porch and talking .We must give young folks an example to follow that contradict[s] the nonsense they get in the street. We do not realize the impact we can have on children by just being [a] positive adult.” — John Bailey

“I know that mom has to be devastated, but I hope she can give a description of the idiots. Black-on-Black crime is the absolute worst thing that could happen to [black Americans] as people. The worst part of it all, is it’s our young black males committing these types of acts when they should be making some provisions to something with their dam lives I just hate to hear about this kind of stuff and it’s close to home just knowing Satan is out running around rampant in these young ones’ lives. Whose damn kids are these? — Denise Francis

“It is so very sad that we black people not to be able to respect and love one another. So, now those who reside in certain areas must shop and buy gas else- where? Someone other than [the shooter’s] accomplices know who he is and where he hangs out. It could be our child or family member.”  — Verna Gardenhire

“We’ve been tricked into applying no value to black life. So sad.” — Mahlon Potts

“This does not make since! All life matters and blaming the Los Angeles Police Department when we are killing [each other] at a faster rate than they are.” — Iona Diggs

“It is hard to fight brutality when black people are still killing each other, selling drugs to one another, pimping and prostituting one another. All lives matter! Stop the violence! Stop the killing!” — Yvonne Michelle Autry

The statistics are sad but true. [It’s] the same double-standard used when black people call each other the “n” word, using it as a term of endearment. [The post] is correct. That’s why we must continue to pray for our children.” — Linda Oddie

“I get headaches thinking about how to break the cycle in a very systemic way. Yes, we must eliminate poverty, but this character building aspect needs to be as much a part of it as breaking poverty, and schools no longer teach that, and parents weren’t taught either; so how do we push the restart button? Where?” — Marta Segura

“This is not a blanket statement for every black person, just those [to whom it] appl[ies] to) Thank you for stating the facts (truth) in a no-nonsense manner. Too often we want to see everything but the truth in front of us. We close our eyes to violence and abuse, and to those who are doing the killing. Then we hide them, allowing them to operate with impunity. People have come to expect everything but don’t want to give anything. We give to our children more than they need, conditioning them instead of hugging or empowering them with love. Education for far too many is no longer important or relevant. Since they were never taught to read and their dreams were stolen while still a child, they can’t see past age 20! We have lost the love and respect for ourselves.” — Kandee Lewis

“The problem of black-on-black violence is the behavior of a people that have learned to hate themselves. I refuse to blame the victims of a 400-year-war of insanity against blacks in America. We can talk about all the treatments, remedies and other reactive solutions to poverty until we turn blue. But until we change the narrative of a white supremacist agenda  … and the poor public policy that grows from it, our conversations remain meaningless. I [am] about being optimistic, but we have to live to get to our best days and too many youngsters won’t get there. It will be all us elders tired and worn out at the finish line. So, whether pessimistic or optimistic, realistic is all that matters in the end. And words march on, and no, the white supremacist agenda may not change, but we should stop being outraged about murder rates as if self-loathing plays no role in how we value our lives, or the lives of others.” — Tim Watkins

Dialogue is good and all views matter. Having the last word, this writer leaves it here: As a black male in my sixth decade, I don’t see the white supremacist agenda changing, either. So we’ve got to do something in spite of whatever pitfalls are laid out before black males and the larger community.

I believe we can help ourselves. We fared well during segregation because we had no one to lean on, but God. Perhaps we should invite Him back into the equation. I remain an eternal optimist. Our best days are before us.

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.


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