updated 1:38 PM UTC, Jan 24, 2013
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Guilty Pleasures: A Microcosism of Human Limitation

458269_botones_de_radioI’m sure this has happened to you: You’re sitting in the passenger seat of your friend’s car, awaiting his/her return. As you wait, Elton John and Kiki Dee’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” comes on the radio and you find yourself singing along – “Woo-Hoo! Nobody Knows It!”

– but out of the corner of your eye, your friend is approaching and you quickly change the channel because you don’t want him/her to know that you like that song. Why? What’s so bad about “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart?” Or how about when you’re blasting Usher’s “Yeah” and doing the thunderclap in your front yard, but suddenly your pastor walks by and you immediately freeze as he

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"He was my Dad" she told me, "He Got killed."

wydeopenA couple of years ago the popular HBO show The Wire aired it's final episode. But for me the drama isn't over just because it isn't aired on television.

One night last year, after getting home from a long day at work and school, I received a message to call my brother. Apparently, one of his homeboys had been killed. I returned the call to learn that the Quincy Henderson a.k.a. "Q", a mutual friend of my brother and I (although closer to L than me) had been involved in a fist-fight and then shot and killed in a park two blocks away from the projects where L and I lived in the early 90's.

I immediately made a phone call to my boss, Rev. Leon Kelly, the executive director of Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives to see if he had any knowledge of or more importantly, any info in regards to the specifics of the shooting. Because of Reverend Kelly's rapport with the community at large, it's very common that when violence occurs here, especially Black or Hispanic related ,  "Rev" as he's known, is one of the first people called by victims, families, police and the media. However, in this case, he hadn't heard anything about this incident until I called him.

It wasn't until the next day that I learned what happened.

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Pay Attention...

MindHe knew that it would all end once he took his first shot. Martin was in a state of madness with nowhere to escape and things were happening fast. But it was so far out of his control. They were yelling at him and telling him to do things he knew were wrong. But he tried to fight them off and get them to leave him alone. Martin knew when he woke up in the morning that they were waiting for him and trying to convince him that he had to do it. It was giving him terrible headaches, he just had to escape.


They kept telling him that he had to take charge, had to get revenge and the time was now. “Make everyone pay who didn’t listen to him,” they said. It was like a chant being repeated over and over again. “How could you call yourself a man, if you don’t stand up for yourself,” was what they told him every chance they could. The more he heard them say these things the weaker he became.

First Martin had to get the gun from his father. This would show them that he was getting back at the others and taking a stand. It was his turn for revenge. Knowing just where his father kept his guns, all he needed was the keys to get in the case. But his father hadn’t talked to him in weeks because of him quitting school and moving out. It would be better to wait for his mom to get home alone so he could get in and get to the case.

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