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Doshon Farad: Newtown; Why do you feel it wasn’t supposed to happen there?

By Doshon Farad
I thought it would be best if I allowed some time to pass before I gave my perspective on the recent massacre in Newtown, CT.
First, I join the country in sending heartfelt condolences to the families of the twenty-seven people who had died in the tragedy. It’s always a rough thing to digest when innocent people, especially children, are violently killed.

My issue is this; we keep hearing so many people say that such a tragedy “wasn’t supposed to happen here.” I say, “Ok, then where?” Do you feel Harlem, Chicago, and Newark, NJ or perhaps some other inner-city would have been more suitable for such a catastrophe? How about this wasn’t supposed happen anywhere?

Even during a time of a tragedy we see racism and classism throwing its two cents into the discussion. For years there have been small children dying every day at the hands of violence in the poor urban communities of America, specifically Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Newark, N.J.– to name a few– and there has been no national outcry. This year has been a hot bed of random shootings – the most recent one being, before Newtown, the shooting rampage at the movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado by James Holmes– that has claimed mostly the lives of whites and soon after. folks were hollering about tougher gun legislation.

Inner city activists and politicians have been calling on the federal government for tougher gun laws for years while being virtually ignored. I guess when you’re poor, black  and brown, your life isn’t worth much. At least that’s the message I get whenever the killings in these areas—that are comprised mostly of the groups I just mentioned—are not greeted with such national outrage.

I’m glad the president is not basing his decision to re-ignite the gun law debate on class and race. He made it very clear in his statement last week from the White House that the same kind of unregulated gun laws that resulted in the violence that took the lives of mostly innocent children in Connecticut is also proliferating the shooting deaths of many inner-city young people in his hometown of Chicago and across the country.

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2 Responses to Doshon Farad: Newtown; Why do you feel it wasn’t supposed to happen there?

  1. Jarrod Reply

    December 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Very well-said Doshon.

    It is a real shame that people think because a neighborhood is mostly (if not all) white and does not have a high crime rate, that certain things are not “supposed” to happen.

    That statement “it was not supposed to happen here” puts emphasis on the underlying racism/stereotyping that exists. If this was a shooting in a urban area, there would be no mass-coverage. There would be no call for tougher gun laws. One can make such a statement because mass shootings happen all the time in urban areas across the united states. Where was the NRA after the Treyvon Martin shooting? Whether it is over drugs or due to the mental illness of the shooter is irrelevant.

    The sad part, as many have said, is that it takes a tragedy like this to bring change about.

  2. Isaac Peterson, Jr. Reply

    January 8, 2013 at 1:27 am

    PREFACE: I don’t follow you. So please do not feel that it is my intent to counter any of your previous or future work. Maybe I will track you after this.I stumbled onto this story and could not help but respond.

    You know what…? Yall need to stop! I agree: There is a point that things happen in our black neighborhoods everyday and it needs to be stopped. But dont be inciteful and divisive. I CHALLENGE you to post the quote of “This shouldnt happen…blah blah blah.” AND post the WHOLE quote! The point is they didnt say it should happen in (insert urban city here). A “writer” should be able to understand that The quote means in small towns citizens develop a feeling of “almost everyone knows almost everyone.” During tragedy (as media I can tell you) they get interviewed at a time when they are still panicked and under torment and they emotionally say stuff like this. The media loves it. And so do racists.
    You know what? The person who actually printed this statement was frustratingly saying “Oh, I can hear it now…”People will cry this shouldn’t happen here “Blah blah blah!” There was no REAL quote. I could be mistaken, because I have not read EVERY interview ever conducted after a mass murder tragedy, but in reference to this recent incident I don’t know of a real person saying it. Even if there were, it would have been the words of only one. MOST of America and a lot of the world felt the pain of this. NOWHERE is there a movement to say that this would have been acceptable in a Black Urban City.
    So why are you trying to incite people to believe that?
    They are just in shock. If this had happened at Louise A. Spencer Elementary, (Hip Hop Gangstas, Lords of the UnderGround, PSP, Brick City Brigade, Naughty, GWM, 181, Yellow and Browns, Lil Bricks, Ugzzy, the list goes on to include everyone in the city…STAND UP!) We would ALL have been saying the same thing: “This shouldn’t happen HERE!” Followed closely by, “We all know each other!”
    The only racism I can find on this one is coming from you two. How about you post the quote: Here, I’ll help:
    And yet sadly, there is, and it is something that one hears almost every time one of these tragedies transpires. Over and again, no matter how frequently they happen, and no matter how often the specifics of the latest event eerily mirror the last one and the one before that — the high capacity weaponry, the apparent mental and emotional instability of the shooter, and the relatively bucolic surroundings of the locale where the deed is done — it is said again and again with no sense of irony or misgivingAnd it is maddening.
    “This wasn’t supposed to happen here.”Or perhaps, “No one could have imagined something like this happening in our community.”
    Or even worse, “This is a nice, safe place,” which of course was the same thing said about Springfield, Oregon, Pearl, Mississippi, Littleton and Aurora, Colorado, Moses Lake, Washington, Jonesboro, Arkansas, Santee, California, Edinboro, Pennsylvania, Paduchah, Kentucky, and pretty much every one of the dozens of places where the things that never happen appear to happen regularly enough to constitute something well North of never; indeed quite a bit up from rare. http://www.timwise.org/2012/12/race-class-violence-and-denial-mass-murder-and-the-pathologies-of-privilege/

    So who said it?. Try this: read it in its entirety and in context hopefully you will be “WRITER” enough to retract.

    I also have a proble with your position: “One can make such a statement because mass shootings happen all the time in urban areas across the united states.”
    Really?
    Name ONE.
    When has a guy walked into any hood and shot and killed children?
    WHEN was it?!?!?

    I am Black. I am from a hood in America. I have heard of mass killings before and guess what? There were many that were race based, but this wasn’t one of them. You need to redirect your energy. This had nothing to do with race. STOP! Now I can handle a ‘gun debate’ position and even that doesnt get past me. I am a gun owner, 25 years in the military with nearly 18 years of being assigned to a so called “elite” unit, and licensed to carry concealed. What if I had been there? Again: I know its extreme, but how many kids would NOT have been hit if every sane adult of the age of 21 in that school/community/city…(point?) had training and a weapon on their hips? I have been on a personal battle for YEARS against “Internet Mis-information.” It is as big an enemy as a KKK Grand Dragon right in my face with his burning torch!
    STOP.
    Share truth, but dont misinform, mis-educate, infuriate, and instigate. Any resulting blood drowns YOUR soul. If you wanna be a leader, lead. Do your research, learn the truths, find out why and EVEN IF IT SUCKS, share your facts and LEAD.
    If you just wanna seem street cool and disseminate rumors and untruths well…

    You need to fall in and be led.

    Respect!

    Isaac Peterson, Jr.
    Black Ice

    “The internet is a great source of information, but it is an even greater tool of misinformants”

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