Recently, WRBL Channel 3 News in Columbus, Georgia did a short but viable report on the problem of escalating criminal and gang activity in the “real streetz” of one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, East Highland.
The Black Contribution to Gang Violence
The worse thing that could happen to help sustain it has happened, and that is family members who wait until one of their own ends up in jail or a prison or in a grave with a #GoFundMe funeral, to fall all out in the streets and courtrooms screaming about how “unfair” the justice system is.
Black people across the nation often wait until it is too late to cry about the ‘unfairness’ when they truly could have been fair to themselves and to their own families before it ever happened.
At one time, East Highland was a thriving segregated white upper middle class neighborhood that has disintegrated over the years because of integration. Indeed, Black children were better behaved when they were limited to their own neighbors, family and friends like them who looked out for one another, and who CARED about them. Integration has been destructive to the Black community in general, but that’s not white people’s fault. It’s our own for trying too hard to assimilate to something that wasn’t created for our benefit or inurement.
It wasn’t so much that “black criminals” moved into East Highland and caused similarly situated ‘white flight’, but that Black people moved in and brought their race-inciting precarious lives with them. It was as if they believed they had “rights” that no one else had just because they were Black.
Yet and still … There are other black people out here who don’t want to be around badly-behaved people of ANY race.
The Way We Were
Many in the Fountain City have fond memories of what East Highland “used to be,” but those days are long gone and the criminal activity in the area remains mostly hidden because East Highland is part of what is now known as Midtown Columbus.
Midtown has a lot of PR responsibilities that include enticing businesses and homebuyers TO the area, promoting diversity, and not running folks away. In some (most) cases, the hatred “gentrification” becomes necessary in order to turn a good neighborhood turned bad neighborhood into a good one again and to stop the spiritual conflagration in its tracks. That’s not to say white people don’t commit crimes. We have those, too, but for the most part, they tend to keep it to themselves and not bother others with it. It’s rare and seldom that anyone ever “sees” or “hears” the white criminals. They tend to understand who they need to mess with and who they need to leave alone, and whenever they need to commit a crime against Black people, they have no lack of other Black people they can pay to do it for them.
In East Highland, between 11th and 15th Avenues, many a life has been lost because of the escalating “seen” gang and drug violence, and more are said to be on the way in the days, weeks, and months to come. I understand why police are even afraid of them, but their “Mamas” shouldn’t be.
Hiding From The Truth
Public officials often feel compelled to hide the constant crimes from public view, and often fix it so that lawbreakers don’t get arrested just so they can keep the “social statistics” down to a minimum to save their own reputations, but even worse than that are the families and homeowners who pretend the problems don’t exist at all.
In the midst of consistent drive-by shootings, harassment, intimidation tactics, terroristic threats made by one Black Life against another Black Life, dog attacks, and open threats of all kinds, even from small children – this same kind of ignorance cost a young woman her life just days ago, and it has not ended. Her “reject boyfriend” walked down Macon Road in broad daylight and gunned her down in ice cold blood while traffic just kept it moving and ignored her cries for help. But thanks to the television show “What Would You Do“, one can’t help but wonder what may have happened if she had not been a Black girl screaming for her life.
No one heard not a single one of the female victims that types like Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump think should be totally wholesale ignored screaming for her life in broad daylight in heavy traffic. And it wasn’t long before that that a young man was killed at Columbus’ Peachtree Mall in broad daylight in the middle of mall shoppers standing there watching the whole thing, like “do get this over with so we can get to the other store down there,” please. The guy who was killed was, of course, an alleged ‘known gangbanger’ who had been hospitalized with gunshot wounds only a month before he was killed, but hey. It wasn’t about all of the shoppers he could have harmed and killed while aiming for that one: “You didn’t see that either.”
Ending the ‘Blame Game’ of Police Brutality
Yes, the racism isn’t going anywhere, but it’s not like Black people are doing much to help end it.
It wasn’t police brutality that killed the young lady in the streets, nor was it white supremacy, or any of those things we like to blame whenever we scream #BLACKLIVESMATTER. No, it was yet another Black man who took her 17-year old life.
“I never had to run from the Ku Klux Klan and I shouldn’t have to run from a Black man.”
Even worse than the inflamed hatred from outside influences in majorly Black communities nationwide is the self-hatred that Black people have adapted and adjusted to for themselves.
One female in these parts was heard saying “What happened to the Village?”, but she didn’t stop to think about the fact that she and others like her are the main ones responsible for destroying it.
While they harass and attack and intimidate people on their own blocks in their own ‘hoods, they also think someone is responsible for watching and caring for their children and paying for their welfare checks while they go out and “dick it up” in prostitution circles and drug dens, producing more children for everyone in the “Village” to take care of except for themselves.
Let it be said that Columbus is not a town that is known for having a wide truckload of good paying jobs, but those who have enough time to destroy a neighborhood need to be looking for ways to start businesses and employ themselves …withOUT destroying their own communities in their wake.
They wouldn’t be looking for jobs if they were creating them … and doing the things that grow community and villages rather than choose to drug and murder it. If there is nothing to say when people kill their own, then there is nothing to say when a police officer does it for them.
Black people need to stop going into courtrooms defending their badly behaved relatives when it’s time for the system to deal with them — it’s getting TRULY innocent Black people killed for no reason.
Mayor-Blaming Isn’t Working Out Either
Many have said that outgoing Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson is in denial about Columbus’ crime issues and refuses to act on them; but on the flip side, incoming Mayor Skip Henderson has said that rising crime issues in Columbus are on the TOP of his “To Do” priority list when he is sworn in in January of 2019.
To be clear, Mayor Tomlinson isn’t the one causing the crime issues, but when people cry out for her help while there are a record number of police officers who have quit the force and a large number who won’t come here to work because of pay issues and everything else, it appears that Mayor-elect Skip Henderson might just be the breath of fresh air Columbus is looking for on that stalemated crime issue.
Police Officers in Columbus don’t have as high a pay rate as Atlanta-area officers, but the pay isn’t as bad as other places either. The only question left to ask is “what price is a high enough price for putting your life on the line trying to defend and protect people who cause their own problems?”
America’s Gangbangers Don’t Have a Skin Color or a Dress Code
As we look across America’s landscape, what is going on in East Highland is not uncommon, and it certainly isn’t a new issue by any stretch of the imagination.
It is not exclusive to “Chicago,” a gangland type of inner city junket that was founded just ‘as is’ by Irish and Italian mafia, and it certainly is not exclusive to the inner city at all. Rural areas have ramped up their own versions of Crips, Bloods, Gangster Disciples, and MS-13s and all the others.
However, thanks to escalated gang activity and attitudes and behaviors of certain Black people in the ‘hood, many of them feel privileged enough to break laws and commit acts of outright rampant murder in broad daylight in the streets. And they actually think that their Black race is an excuse from being held responsible. These are the ones who are profiled in the justice systems across America and who are also mainstream responsible for the murders of innocent unarmed Black citizens, even children, who “fit the suit” of racial injustice.
They are also the ones who often appear to scream out #BlackLivesMatter, when it is more than obvious that other Black Lives never mattered to THEM. They are, in fact, solely responsible for the racial profiling when they behave in the very manner that is expected of them, all in the name of being encoded as something “Black.”
The murders of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and ALL of the others -notable and not so notable- who are beaten and/or gunned down in numerous police violence incidents nationwide is a symptom, and an end result of actual REAL gang activity that keeps the flames burning.
QUOTE: “The Columbus GA hoods in areas of Uptown with the hoods like Wil[son] or Beallwood, the Mid Side section from Clover Lane to Lee Street, the Columbus hoods of the South Side with Oakland Park, Benning Hills, and 1440, the Columbus GA hoods on the East Side from E Dub to East Urban Heights to D-Wood, and the West Side with ECanty and BTW.”
The East Highland Neighborhood Watch Group (and “Home Improvement Association”) has been on a singular campaign to clean up East Highland in more ways than one for more than 10 years, and it seems the harder it’s still-active fledgling association works to make the area a clean and safe one for everyone, the worse things get. And hiding it from public view or ‘shading it out of the statistics‘ is not going to make it go away.
It seems like it’s not hard to understand how cops can get trigger-happy on these streets, especially when it is taken into consideration that many of them are afraid of the gangs themselves, and not all cops are brave or act like some television avenger out to stop the ‘bad guys’. [HOW GANGS TOOK OVER PRISONS]
What’s For Sale, really?
The world would be remiss to speak of gangs without talking about the main products and services that they sell: Prostitution and drugs.
Columbus has a group called “Columbus Against Drugs,” also known as CAD. For the most part, they meet monthly and show up from time to time in certain spots across the city to stand on corners and chant “SAVE THE BABIES!”, but what should really be happening is a big dose of modern day hardcore reality.
Columbus is obviously not AGAINST drugs. Nobody is.
The group itself needs to come up with the times and understand that the entire nation is no longer “against” drugs…and reinvent and evolve itself into a group that EDUCATES on the use of drugs and how there is an ultimate price to pay for it. Grant Funding should be sought for EDUCATION, not for being “against” drugs.
Those days are long gone and over with.
No matter how accepting American society becomes of drugs of all kinds, there is a price to be paid for the babies, for the children, for the families, for communities, for the states and the nation, and for the world in the end. They need to understand what they are doing so that when all hell breaks loose on them, they are educated as to the role that they played in it.
Keep It In Check
The rule of the day is “Keep your personal messiness to yourself.” If you want to destroy yourself and your family, that’s fine; but it is not wanted here.
Everybody simply doesn’t want to come to “the” It’s All About YOU party.
It is not fun for everyone, and folks need to learn to respect that and also to respect that the law doesn’t just apply to the people who are NOT breaking it. It should apply to the ones who are breaking it, as well.
There are laws that simply don’t apply to common sense or human decency, and everyone should know them and learn to live with it, or expect consequences. Innocent young men like Jordan Davis of Jacksonville, Florida are murdered because of the gang and drug culture of violence that harms us all in the end. The rejected “loud music” defense of his killer has a certain klannish culture of reality that is associated with it. High and irritating noise decibels taken beyond the realm of normalcy can, in fact, make people react in violent ways.
Drugs and gangs -and even “crap” music- is not wanted nor needed CLICK HERE, so everyone should simply keep their ill manners and their ‘rape-murder-steal’ music in their own houses and not invade the homes and lives of others with it.
True lovers of all humanity who believe everybody has the right to live in peace and quiet enjoyment of their homes should not be subjected to other people’s self-desired, self-provoked, inhumane, and anti-cultural homegrown low-classed messes.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.