Jeffrey Brown is a pastor in Boston and throughout his Ted Talk, he speaks of the increase in crime in the metro area of Boston. How young people were shooting and killing other people for things so unimportant, such as bumping into each other in the school hallway of a highschool to the color of the shirt that you chose to wear. He goes into talking about how he took action to save lives, and brilliant souls that were lost in a war much bigger than themselves. He helped bring down the homicide rate in Boston 79 percent over an 8 year period. He incorporated programs into his church to try to catch the youth, and keep them out of gang. He occasionally rapped messages during his sermons to try to appear and let the youth listen to him, through a way they understand. And is was not helping. He realized how he wasn’t including the gang bangers in his programs. He was helping the on the fence kids, helping them not get involved, but the men, the leaders were the people that needed to grow a sense of community, so he reached out. He and a group of preachers did something remarkable. They did not preach, they listened, to the drug dealers, pimps, and gang bangers. The men happily spoke and gave them an idea of life on the street. They saw how the young people weren’t cold blooded killers, and heartless people, they were just living the only life that they knew, they were just trying to make it out alive. They were some of the kindest, smartest people they had ever known. The view shifted from the creators of the problems to partners in solving the problems. In Boston, it was no longer about fighting the gangs, it was about working with them, to develop a community. Jeffrey Brown was out their talking on the stage to share the way he and others brought people together to cure the homicide plague of Boston. He wasn’t just up their bragging, he was telling a story, and sending the message that the gangs in the country cannot just be fought. Reaching out is the only way to save the streets. The solution is having a community. He wants to turn this into a movement throughout the United States. He speaks to show that their is a way to bring down the crime rates of the big cities and gangs. He believes that the end of the violence era in big cities is something of the new future. He talks to inspire people to stand up and aim to reduce the violence in the cities. He is trying to help the country with his speech. His speech made me feel like there is a way, and it is possible to free the country of the unreasonable gang related violence all over.
The documentary “Gangs Of Chicago” talks all about how the cities ruthless gangs run the city through violence and drugs. The communities are held hostage by these rival gangs that will do whatever it takes to prove themselves and make money. Chicago is ran off of power and dope, and gangs do not care about what they had to do. Highrises turned into battle ground fortresses. For civilians it was either dealing with the police, or dealing with the gangs. The gangs had all the power, and all the money. The Gangster Disciples were on top in Chicago, led by Larry Hoover. Selling crack was how young kids made their money. The gangster disciples was a gang with 30,000, and they battled anyone standing in their way. It was killed or be killed. Sniper fire between high rises was the new type of gang banding. Empty lots were known as killing zones. Gangs did not just fight other gangs, they shot at civilians and police officers and paramedics. Gangs had laws, full constitutions within themselves. They were completely outside of civilization. It was a war fought by three sides, gang, gang, and police. Gangsters tell stories of walking to school as 12 year olds walking down their apartment hallways seeing dead bodies in the hallway. Killing was the way of life. This documentary just shows me how for some people, this is just life. They can be great people, but it is the only life that they known. It is very unfortunate and sad, because people were born into it. It reminds me in ways of slavery. You were born into it, and it was your life. It overwhelms me because there's so much wrong, and absolutely no control. It is nearly impossible to try to end gang violence, especially in a place such as Chicago.
In the song m.A.A.d City, Kendrick Lamar tells stories of growing up in Compton, and what the regular world is there, that the people are used to. The gangs run the city. These two gangs being the bloods and the crips, there is constant, non stopping violence. Verses like “Seen a light-skinned nigga with his brains blown out. At the same burger stand where hang out. Now this is not a tape recording saying that he did it. But ever since that day, I was lookin at him different. That was back when I was nine. Joey packed the nine. Pakistan on every porch is fine. We adapt to crime, pack a van with four guns at a time.” show how the gangs in the city of Compton have changed the norms of society. Nine year olds being involved with gangs, and carrying weapons is something that is okay. A killing at a local hangout burger king, not a problem. Every porch being a battleground is accepted. This is what Kendrick is expressing in his lyrics. After making it out of Compton, and being as successful as he is, he raps to make a difference. He recognizes how the people of the city will open their ears to hear what he has to say through music. He raps about this because he wants to make a difference. He does not want more children to see what he has seen. He does not want all the current violence to be the norm of his hometown. He raps to make a change, after seeing the conflict in his city. The mAAd city. I like this song, I like this song a lot, but never really looked into the words. This song is pretty sad. It talks about the crisis going on in hood neighborhoods and the changes that it has on the youth. It saddens me to think that when I was 12, I played with nerf guns, pretending I was in the army, but some 12 year olds are out their carrying weapons, fighting in the gang wars of the country.
This picture is of a young boy in Chicago standing over a memorial cite of his older brother, who was an honor roll, 16 year old student. There is a picture of his brother on the back of his shirt, as well as on his memorial. This is all taking place right on the front steps of a highschool, and is not in any way, something unusual in the communities of Chicago. This picture was posted on the Grio to raise awareness of what is happening in Chicago. Gangs run the neighborhoods, and murder rules the streets. It is a huge problem and affects thousands of families. This picture is a call to help because of the emotions that it can pull. When people see this, even if they are not from Chicago, they want to make a difference, they want to help. That's what it did to me at least. This picture really made me confused about what is going on in our world. The amount of killings that are for reasons as stupid as the color of your shirt, or what block you grew up on. I want to stand up in front of all the gangs of Chicago and talk some sense into them. I understand that it is a completely different style of life, and the only one that these people know, but it does not mean I cannot try to show them other ways.
John Byrne talks in this opinion editorial all about how gangs run Chicago, and how something is wrong with the neighborhoods that 12 and 13 years olds are recruited to be the next gang bangers. He talks about how the killings are not those of innocent people, as anyone killed in gang related firefights has some kind of involvement, weather they are people that fuel the drug trade or related by family. That is how it used to be, but now innocent cops die, protecting lives of people that don’t see the innocence in themselves. He tells a story of a Satan Disciple killed and at his alleyway memorial a fire fight went off and 2 were killed, 8 were injured. This was at a memorial, for someone killed on night prior, just let that sink in. There is no sanctuary, there is not safe place, the way out is slim. This article took away hope against the gang fight. It made it seem that there was no point in all the efforts, and gangs are surrounded by closed doors. No way in and no way out. It contradicted with another source, a Ted Talk that I watched. It gave the illusion that there is nothing going on in gangs, no values being taught. Sure the values are being used correctly, but brotherhood, trust, protection, and community is surely developed. The way to help the drug war is to take these values, and instill it within the community, rather than within the gangs.
Monica Davey, and Mitch Smith talk all about the recent spike in gang violence in the past years in large cities in America compared to the past years of decline, and the large growth of violence in Milwaukee compared to the rest of the country. In recent years, the US has been in a time of relief with gang related shootings, but 2016 had a scary spike. In just a year, gang related killing have been increasing a rapid rates, after 5 years of decline. The murder count spiked 76 percent compared to the prior year in Milwaukee. 35 of the countries major cities have had increased murder counts between 2015 and 2016. This article was written in response to this violent crime increase. After years of hard work trying to cleanup the cities, the number spiked once again and the population needs to be informed of this so that it does not get out of hand once again. Attention must be put on to the gang violence in America as it is a major problem of our nation. The more that is published on the topic, the more awareness is given to the cause. It is vital that we, as a country, are able to regulate the gangs in the cities of America, so that the future generations don’t continue down the same roads. This article scared me. I have always had my fears of gang violence, since I grew up in Louisiana and was aware of the issues, but now that I have grown up I see how big it is. It scares me that some of the places in the world, one being New Orleans, near my family, are spiking once again in gang related homicides.