“Ain’t the Devil Happy” –Jeru the Damaja

We all know times are tough all around right now and it’s no surprise when those living in poverty turn on each other instead of uniting and fighting our common oppressor. It is why Modesto Anarcho started the “Stop Broke on Broke Crime” movement with slogans like “Rob the Rich, Not Each Other” and “Steal From Work, Don’t Take My Stereo.” It was also the inspiration for the Chicano Unity Festival which sought to show young Latinos that they have more in common than they have differences and that they need to redirect their energy from one another to those whose harass, beat, deport, and kill their people every day from the barrios to the borders. When we fight and kill each other we bring the heat to the block which gives cops more opportunity to harass and criminalize our youth as well as perpetuate further violence on the community (like in the case of Anthony Nunez, falsely arrested for a shooting near his home), not to mention making “the hustle” even that much harder which in turn keeps food off your table. Bringing the police around your neighborhood should be avoided whenever possible so always look for ways to handle your business in a discrete and professional manner. 2Pac, before he was murdered, was working on bringing together many OGs and shot-callers to create a “Thug Life Constitution” which included rules and guidelines like “No dealing drugs to children or around schools” and “No drive-by shootings or killing of innocent community members.” Some say this revolutionary organizing lead to 2Pac being followed and watched by the FBI during the time of his death, cuz that’s the organizing they don’t want us to do. As Dead Prez said “and when they say ‘that’s Gangsta’ it was cuz they kept their granny out of danger.” Like Immortal Technique rhymed “shootin your man, shootin your brother, aim the gun at the right motherfucka…lick shots for the revolution, lick shots but watch where the fuck you shootin, what you aimin at? what the fuck you niggas aimin at?” The following is a collection of black-on-black, brown-on-brown, broke-on-broke, and youth-on-youth crime that has happened in Oakland, Stockton, and Modesto in the last few months. We must realize that this type of self-destruction only furthers the agenda of our oppressors, putting half of us in prison and the other half in the ground, keeping the devil very happy…

Nava, Lawrence, and Martinez

 Oakland: Late last year Oakland saw the shameful shootings of three small children, starting on August 8th when a shooting in front of a pizza shop on International Blvd. left 3 year-old Carlos Nava dead. The attack was reportedly meant for a drug dealer that was in the area. Then on November 28th the community was again shocked when 2 year-old Baby Hiram Lawrence was shot in the head while being held by his father during the filming of a rap video in West Oakland. During the gunfire seven other people were shot and wounded. For the third time in five months on December 30th a child was shot and killed. This time the victim was 5 year-old Gabriel Martinez Jr. who was also shot next to his father in front of a taco truck on 54th and International, very close to where Carlos Nava was killed just a few months earlier. The New Year started off with more shootings as a 19 year-old was shot and killed January 6th making him the city’s first homicide of 2012. From January 27th-29th, 48 hours or so, six killings occurred and from January to March there have already been 24 homicides.

Stockton: Apparently the Valley is also not safe for children, not even on Christmas, on December 25th a bullet grazed an 11 year-old boy’s hand early in the morning in South Stockton as shooters fired over 40 rounds into his house. The kid stated: “They came to my house and shot for no reason. This is the baddest Christmas I ever had.” Authorities were looking into whether another Stockton shooting earlier that morning was related. A few days later on January 3rd a 16-year-old was killed in a drive-by shooting on South California Street, Stockton’s first homicide of the year, but not the last. On January 10th one person was killed and 2 were wounded after a shooting near Acapulco Way. Then on January 13th a twenty-something year-old man was shot multiple times including in the back of the head, shoulder and groin area on East Marsh Street. He was the 19th person to be shot in Stockton in 2012, 2 of them died. Even the ice-cream man got shot in Stockton on March 26th, the victim has reportedly been robbed before. On March 29th there were 2 shootings in the middle of the day, each sending a person to the hospital, one victim’s (a woman) injuries are life-threatening.

Modesto: The beginning of the year also saw a string of violent shootings and stabbings involving the youth of Modesto and the surrounding areas. On January 10th a 15 year-old student at Central Valley High School in Ceres was stabbed by a 14 year-old fellow student, it was reported to be gang related. On February 4th a 21 year-old was shot to death in broad-daylight near a children’s playground, a block away from Empire Elementary School. Then on February 10th two teens stabbed another after the “Cypher in the Park” near Graceda Park and the Modesto Inn. On February 10th two teenagers (15 and 19) were dead after a confrontation and shooting on Vera Cruz Drive, near Floyd and Coffee, by a 20 and 26 year-old. The shooting was reported as gang related. Only 2 days later on February 12th two 13 year-olds are shot by three youths approximately 17-20 years-old near Mellis Park and the King-Kennedy Center in West Modesto. One was hit in the ear and will recover, the other was shot in the torso and is in critical condition. On March 11th a 15 year-old was shot and killed in a drive-by in the middle of Empire, again near Empire Elementary. Authorities are reported as saying the shooting is related to a shooting in September of 2011 where a 16 year-old from Riverbank was killed. As of mid-March there have been 11 homicides in Stanislaus County, about half are thought to be gang related.

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Categories: Bay Area News, Central Valley News, Chicano/Latino, Education/Youth, Health Issues, Racism

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