"I was trying to help, I was trying to help, I was trying to help her"
said Jonathan Watkins, from Northwestern Hospital, after being shot once in his hind section and grazed in the face last Monday on the 6500 block of S. Maryland, while changing his six month old daughter Jonylah's diaper, who would later slip away from the five bullets, shot into her small body.
I'm not going to get into how concerned I am about the violence that will be unleashed this summer.
At this moment, I'm focused merely on the hopeless "lifelessness" of Black men existing at the center of an immense and growing vortex of violence-that is often tragicomically cartoonish, pain, suffering, and death, now easily accessible to the world via social media sites. Actually, without Facebook, some of the murders they either commit or that will claim them- depending on the day an hour- wouldn't be solved, due to the deeply intrenched "no snitching" code of both fear and honor.
After these shooting, adults closest to the victims might cry for the cameras, yet proffer little to no evidence to solve the shootings. In their world, the lines of shooter and victim- generally all bound together by a few blocks- are easily crossed and confused, especially because these Black men are simply carrying out their "assigned modern rolls. The factory and steal mills are gone. And the job training programs are little more than patronage hustles for the democratic Black political class, including Black ministers- the republicans have their own hustles off this misery another level above.
Meanwhile in the hood, drugs have filled the void to such an extent that marijuana use is more common than aspirin, which means like Outkast said in that song Spottie Ottie Dopaliscious "Caint gamble feeding baby off that dope game, might not always be sufficient, but the United Parcel Service and the people at the Post Office aint called you back, cause you got, cloudy piss, so now you back in the trap, just that". But Black men in the hood are still expected to make "that paper" and in the hood, admired for doing so. Cause this is still be, America. And the only real opportunity to do so, is by being in a gang. And in the Black community, gangs like babies are part of the very fabric and it's expected that gangs will be constantly at battle and ever body in the hood mostly "willingly" picks a side, which means backing a institutions six generations old that become more entrenched every day.
And in these worlds, Black children are just as expendable- but for vastly different reasons, as they are to white Chicago. On that side of the wall, adults have been socialized to expect nothing from life than energetic and communicative bursts of violence inside their banal and mundane "neighborhood social prisons"- confined to a few blocks- that most never really leave, except to being shipped off to the real USA Prison Industrial Prison Complex, or in death.
The first and perhaps only break in this tragedy didn't come from "gum shoe" dingy bleak apartment to bleak dingy apartment door banging" and throwing corner boys against the hood of cop cars, but from the comforts of the station house. Right after a -probably- white detective signed onto a police computer, perhaps first checking his email, maybe writing a quick racist update about this very case on the sewer CPD blog "Second City Cop, ( if you really wanna know what white cops think of Black Chicago, check it out) then updating his own Facebook page with the same racist comment, before finally getting down to police business, entering "Jonathan Watkins" into Facebook's "find people"window.
The police didn't need Facebook to tell them that Jonathan Watkins plays "dual roles" in his community besides for grieving father. In the Woodlawn neighborhood, he is clearly a committed and ready-for-what -ever, upper level street soldier, dedicated to doing what needs to get done, on behalf of his organization. The 30 arrests on his jacket, including his most recent three year bid for aggravated use of a gun three blocks away from the shooting that claimed his daughter, proves this. And the fact that his daughter's mother, was shot two blocks away while she was 8th months pregnant with Jonylah, demonstrates the isolated confinement of residents with high intensity violence in these communities.
Jonathan Watkin's Facebook Page photos, might appear menacing to mainstream white America, but are tragically ubiquitous through out the Facebook world of inner city Black America, representing the only thing these men can lay claim to:
Murderous gang bravado
including hand jesters representing gang affiliations. In Watkins's case you can see he is a proud Gangster Disciple.
And demonstrating their ability in the mist of grinding poverty inducing despair, to get high and stay high. These are just a few of the bleak photos of many on Watkins's Facebook Page, of him doing the exact same thing, gang signs and smoking weed.
But the major evidence of motive to this murder, was not from a Facebook photo, but an angry comment detectives saw posted earlier before the shooting, suggesting that Watkins was targeted for participating in an earlier gang drug robbery. Again details of some many crimes are posted on Facebook, that detectives view them first.
While Watkins was in the hospital, his face book page was updated, with new pictures added of him with his child, while the comment section was removed, clearly a little too late.
Who ever did this, of course needs to be in jail. But on the streets they say, don't hate the hustle, hate The Game. No body, would ever chose this Game over real opportunities.
The problem is America doesn't care enough about ending The Game by providing real opportunities, especially when there are so many ancillary profits to be made outside Black America off the game and the hustlers.