Hip Hop Legend Paradise Gray Is A Fan Of R2C2H2 Tha Artivist
You wouldn't know it by all of the media's focus on the middle class white demographic in the democratic primary in Pennsylvania, but they are not the only inhabitants of Pennsylvania. All Eyes are finally on PA. While you are here please don't overlook us or take us for granted in the black neighborhoods as we also have a say in the up coming elections.
Welcome to Pittsburgh, PA (AKA Clipsburgh Pistalvania), we have been named "America's most livable city" despite the University of Pittsburgh's Racial Disparity study which spelled it out in black and white, their study detailed the lack of opportunities in every major catagory from health care to employment, education to incarceration. So the Democratic Primary season is not the only time that we were not even being considered in the equation. Unfortunately we have grown too accustomed to being overlooked, ignored, marginalized not only by national politicians but local one's who do not have our best interests in mind.
We could care less about how well a candidate can bowl or how many beers and shots someone chugs back during a photo op. We can do without the distractions and rumors of tabloid journalism which is really just entertainment disguised as news. We can handle the truth around here, because from our perspective this is as real as it gets.
I have lived in 3 communities in the Pittsburgh area and without a doubt many people in this city are bitter, and too many young people in PA are not just clinging to their guns, they are blasting each other with them at an alarming rate. There have been so many candle light Vigils here that I have grown tired of Vigils and demand "Vigilance".
We must find a way to stop our children from killing and being killed!
This is happening from the Eastern border of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, to the Western border Pittsburgh and I haven't heard a peep from anyone about how we stop putting our children in boxes and burying them in the ground. While the national media is here please ask why the murder rate in Philly has been 10 times the murder rate of much larger cities over the past few years.
I started Thursday morning by praying and crying over the body of a 17 year old in Pittsburgh, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, doing something that he shouldn't have been doing. As I stood over him I thought about all the mistakes that I made as a young man, all the immature decisions I had made. I was reminded of how lucky I am and how unlikely it seems to young men in their minds that they will survive when their reality is that they are a split second decision from living or dieing.
Saturday morning we wake up to the news of another 12 year old little boy shot and killed, this time in Wilkinsburg. This great loss of young life brings to mind another 12 year old boy who's life was cut short by bullets from guns here in Western PA, the guns of 2 state troopers.
Young Michael Ellerby was murdered and his killers have still not been charged. We demand that Mary Beth Bucannon prosecute those guilty for the murder of Michael Ellerby. Stop wasting time and money prosecuting an old man who is of no threat to our community, 20 million dollars to prosecute Wecht, I have seen not one rally in any community nor heard of one angry or bitter Pittsburgh citizen demanding for his prosecution. Stop playing games with our minds and money and do your jobs, we want real justice for real people who's children are dieing in these streets.
Please remember Johnny Gammage, Stoney Bey, Devon Grimmate, Anthony Starks, Jerry Jackson, and many other victims of Police brutality and murder who have never received justice, ask us if we are bitter about that.
Let's debate about why they are closing down schools and playing musical chairs with our children's education. Spending 32 thousand a year to house an inmate but barely 12 thousand per year on a child in school is bad math.
Ask us about deficits in transportation and cuts in our bus service that serve our poorest neighborhoods. Things that mean everything to us but have escaped the lips of our mayor, county executive and our governor as they run around campaigning.
We are getting a new casino, a new subway stop, a new hockey stadium to go with our new football stadium and new baseball stadium, can we please have a signed community benefits agreement?
While talking baseball, please remember Roberto Clemente and while you are at it retire his number 21 throughout all of baseball.
Don't forget we have had numerous noose's hung at our workplaces including a hospital and a prison here in PA, we have even had a cross burnt on the lawn of a black family on Thanksgiving morning! The one thing we have not had is justice in any of the cases.
Why is everyone is so quiet about it while the potential Presidential candidates are around!
When you see Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter on the campaign trial, please remember the city's first black Mayor, W. Wilson Goode, "who approved dropping a bomb .. in a city neighborhood. The explosives started an inferno that killed 5 children and 6 adult members of Move, incinerated 60 adjacent row houses and left 250 people homeless. A commission, appointed by the Mayor Goode to investigate the incident, reported in 1986 that the Mayor had ''abdicated his responsibilities as a leader,'' that the eviction plan was ''unconscionable'' and that the 11 deaths might be considered ''unjustified homicides.'' But a grand jury last year could not find any criminal negligence or criminal intent in city officials' actions and did not indict anyone.
http://query. nytimes. com/gst/fullpage. html?res=950DE2DC113DF93AA35751C1A96F948260
Hey Mr. & Mrs. National Media look at this! The U.S. locks up more juveniles for life without parole than all nations combined and guess which state leads all others in the number of Juveniles incarcerated for life without the possibility for parole? You got it! Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of juvenile lifers, with more than 330, even though the state ranks sixth in population, according to: No Future: Pa.
leads nation in juveniles serving life sentences
http://realcostofprisons. org/blog/archives/2006/02/no_future_pa_le. html
Check out the artists of Pennsylvania who are some of the most interesting, creative and talented people to ever breath air. From Hip-hop to Reggae, Punk, Rock to Jazz, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and many smaller towns in Pennsylvania have made an enormous contribution to music and popular culture. Support them not just with your words but with your wallets while you are here.
Ask me about a little church that has embraced young people no matter their race (or color) in an atmosphere that has young people guilty of the crime of being young. A church where democrats and republicans have co-existed for years, hard working people who care so much about each other and the community that they have been labeled a nuisance church by those who want the children out of the area. A church where 70 year old, white haired women and men pass me the peace and hug me while saying God bless you to me every Sunday, then we pray for the children and the community.
Remember Pennsylvania's men and women who have bravely given their lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and every modern war fought. We pray for them too! Google the Tuskegee Airmen from our area who's contributions to our freedom was fierce and brave.
Where would we be without them?
And last but not least, while you are here ask yourself why you haven't heard the name Mumia Abu-Jamal in the media even though the 3rd circuit court recently made the decision not to give him a new trial. Offering him only new sentencing after lawyers for Mumia presented startling new evidence. Evidence showing that the car wasn't parked where they said it was, an officer mishandled the guns involved with un-gloved hands, Police intimidation of witness's and other discrepancies in Mumia's case, including but not limited to an eyewitness account of the judge saying that he was "going to help fry a nigger".
Mumia Abu-Jamal is our Mandela, a political prisoner, an innocent man on death row for a crime that evidence proves he did not commit. And yet he is still "Live on Death Row" in Pennsylvania, he deserves a new trail.
Somebody had it right!
Signed: Bitter, Clinging To Our Guns And God In Pittsburgh, PA
Http://www. myspace. com/onehoodorg
Http://www. myspace. com/paradisegray