Before we commence with our monotony –our Smartphone lives- we must acknowledge that Tyshawn Lee was a living soul. He was a human being, not another one of the numerous murder victims that threatens the civility of Chicago. There is nothing civil about assassination.
Tyshawn was a little boy, innocent, probably a good student who loved to play. All kids want to play. Sadly, playing in a city that has been seized by gang violence is an act of Russian roulette.
Next, we have to apologize to Tyshawn Lee, to the children who have been retaliatory targets - and we may as well apologize to the other men, women and children who will be terminated by this year’s gun violence that is primarily playing out on the Southside of Chicago, the black urban center that functions as a War Zone. Without a doubt and with all certainty, there will be more young black persons discarded like an Old English forty ounce bottle by someone that shares Tyshawn’s dark pigmentation, a black person.
The obvious is among African Americans while the ignored is the obvious. Blacks killing blacks is not an orchestrated conspiracy controlled by white people used to hoodwink black people into believing that crime is unique to them. Black on black crime is a reality, it is not something that should be ignored because the obvious is appalling, we (black people) kill each other at an alarming rate. Tyshawn Lee was the latest sport-kill by America’s latest creation, The Black Ku Klux Klan.
As the physical form of your existence is rolled into a packed church with mourners, I would like to extend my apology…an apology that long after you are gone will be a web-based (blog) testament of my ongoing disappointment - and an additional documentary of a sadness that I cannot shake. The image of your face is what I see in my sleep…in my fading hopes and in my elusive faith. It is this faith that is synonymous with Losing the Battle.
Failure is what we have to live with, Tyshawn…we failed you. Me. Your parents. Your community. Your neighborhood. Your school. Every single African American failed you. We failed when we have all the tangibles and intangibles to win.
Protecting you from a world that seems to be void of respect and honor for children is a battle that I am sick and tired of fighting. I am overwhelmed by the sullied Souls of Black Folks. You did not deserve our Failure.
I am sorry, Tyshawn.
As I sit here looking over the landscape of middle school students, I am bewildered, melancholy, depressed, defeated, and tearful of the thought of your last moments. The intense fear you must have felt. The shock you were faced with that led to your acceptance of your fate must have been horrifying. I can't imagine that terror.
Tyshawn, I am sorry.
I am sorry that no one with decency was in that dreadful space to protect you from the deprived emotionalism of humankind, your assassins.
I am sorry, Tyshawn.
I am sorry as the result of your death that I am coming closer to confirming that God has left the most vulnerable...YOU. Children. The unshakeable faith that I once had has dwindled. It is not a flickering light that once guided me. It is, no more…
My wandering mind wants to know what will become of your death besides an ersatz memorial in an alley…in a locale that insulates the decadences of an infiltrated community, a gang haven. An alley is where you met your Maker. Perhaps, there is a necessary symbolism that needs to be highlighted.
Tyshawn, an alley is a narrow open structure that has an entrance and an exit. Many of us enter life to serve a purpose. Life is the alley. It is an opportunity for us to get it right before we have to exit. Leave this earth. The hermeneutic transfer has not entered and it has not exited. Tyshawn, your people remain in an alley…we are Wanderers wondering what to do…we are the children of Israel, lost, beaten, defeated. Your people are not seeking to exit.
That there is the symbolism. We have become Alley People.
I am just sorry, Tyshawn.
Someone told me that I cannot continue to allow situations beyond my control to affect me. Your death has changed me – I need for you to give me an Exit Strategy so that I will not be positioned in this alley for a lengthy time in mourning. Mourning…is where I have been for a long time.
Help, Tyshawn…help me be Free