Monday, April 10, 2006

killed over a bandanna

"...wearin flags, cuz the colors match they clothes They get caught in the wrong hood and get filled up with holes."
from the song:
Patiently Waiting-50 Cent / Eminem

Article excerpts from:

White Plains Street
life ends violently for a troubled young man


THE JOURNAL NEWS April 2, 2006

Read the whole article at:

Jermaine Pelletier's love for gangster rap and its trappings — baggy pants, do-rags and bandannas — made him something of an outsider at Cortlandt's Walter Panas High School.

...When his parents divorced, he blamed himself.

...On his 20th birthday, that passion for the "original gangster" look may have cost him his life.

Pelletier was killed at a busy White Plains intersection Monday night — stabbed in the neck during a street fight that authorities say started over his refusal to take off his bandanna.

"...He would do anything, just to be accepted."

"He wasn't a gangster, but he liked wearing gang stuff," Casado said. "Kids made fun of him, and you could tell that it bothered him and made him mad, but he would hold it in. Jermaine always just wanted to fit in, but kids made fun of him, so he kept to himself."

Casado, who was in Pelletier's special education class, said their friendship grew because "we were isolated from the rest of the school."

He was a wannabe. He'd wear a purple bandanna, a yellow bandanna. But he wasn't a gang member. The fantasy of it was appealing to him."

...killed over a bandanna.

"Clearly, this incident demonstrates that whether someone is actively a gang member or not, wearing the wrong clothes or mimicking gang behavior, the results can be tragic," Straub said.

Killed over a bandanna.

Tragedy beyond understanding. This article tells of a young man, a special education student, that liked to dress in bandannas and other clothes that could be misconstrued as gang related.

No one can blame the poor kid for his style of dress. He was a special ed. student with a history of pain. He probably didn’t even realize the danger he was in.

But the gang that killed him didn’t care.

They didn’t care to actually get to know him. If they had they might have discovered he was just a kid with a love for hip hop. A kid that grew up in a way that most of us could never understand. A way that no one should have to.

If this so called “brotherhood” of gangsters had bothered to look beyond “color” they might have seen someone a lot like them. Except that this kid, by all accounts, never had blood on his hands. Someone who came from a broken home. Someone who just wanted to be accepted. Someone who was trying to escape a life of pain.

Like robots programmed to hate colors this brotherhood of “love” callously murdered some kid who just didn’t understand the danger he was in.

We should have a right to dress anyway we want to. But we don’t. The gangs have taken that freedom away from not only their own members but also from anyone who should accidentally stray into their so called territory. Territory none of them own. Territory they have been brainwashed into thinking is theirs and worth killing over. Useless land.

Most would have labeled this kid as a wannabe. If his friend’s testimony is accurate that is the only crime he was guilty of. Dressing like a gangster and wandering into real gangster “territory.”

So the next time you hear some “authority” figure yammer on about there is no danger because “they’re just wannabes” or “he’s just a wannabe gangster”…don’t make the mistake of believing the implied lie.

The lie that being a wannabe isn’t dangerous.

Because real gang members don’t make the same distinction that some of the authorities do. But then again they aren’t worried about votes or keeping their jobs.

Unlike some of the authorities, real gangsters don’t notice the difference any more than the bullets they fire do.