Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Words by Tony Grands
My wife works with a bunch of women. When one works with a bunch of women, there’s always the chance that there are a bunch of kids running around. In this particular instance yes, there are kids involved, but not kids as in children. Kids as in the teenage offspring of my wife’s co-workers.
Two of the women who work with Mrs. Grands have been directly affected by the gang violence in Los Angeles. Or, the “Black-on-Black crime,” as the old people used to say. (It’s no more than 50 people in the office.) One son was murdered outside of his house (& even had a reward billboard up for the
killer people to see) & another was shot multiple times at close range, rendering him severely injured for life. These are just two of hundreds of second-hand stories I could peddle about the inner city violence, but one glance of your local news & you get the gist. I’ve been a resident of Los Angeles all my life, & believe me when I tell you that I’m no stranger to the urban warfare which is, by definition, domestic terrorism.
Terrorism is the act of inciting terror, fear, panic, & hysteria in people. Any actor who perpetrates such activity is a terrorist, by definition if not action, & domestic means “at home.” If you do any of these things then you are, in fact, a domestic terrorist. Any other sub-heading is between you & your crew (& the authorities).
We’ve all witnessed the tragedy in Aurora, CO, & it’s easy to become enveloped in the story because the media has sensationalized it, milking the massacre for stories & interviews & analysis from any & every possible angle. Every channel has reporters in Colorado & San Diego, CA, to get every tidbit of information available. In all the reports I’ve heard & read so far, not yet have I seen James Holmes referred to as a terrorist.
If a man from another part of the world, with a different skin tone than Holmes’ did the exact same thing, there would be global outrage. Public defiling of whomever claimed responsibility. America would be vowing revenge, looking for an ass to kick, & purposely running out of bubble gum until we decided that we’ve punished “the enemy” enough. Nevertheless, he hasn’t been called a terrorist yet, even though all the witnesses speak of the ravaging terror that James Holmes unleashed that midnight in that movie theater.
Let’s not forget that Aurora, Colorado isn’t ground zero. Violence & homicide are synonymous with our national anthem. As American as abortion clinics & bacon milkshakes (no euphemism). There are massacres that – while not as swift & blinding as this one – are wiping people off the face of the earth, just at a slower rate. Whatever the cause, homicide (specifically gun violence) is a terrible plague in the USA & make no mistakes; it’s a form of domestic terrorism.
Take a city like Chicago, where almost routinely (as of this year) 20-25 shootings happen every weekend, with the citywide homicide rate jumping almost 40% in 2012 alone. People of all ages are being killed by gun violence, & there seems to be no safe zones available. Assuming what the statistics say is true, that’s a definitive state of terrorism, no? The perpetrators of violent crimes that affect nearby communities in such a way that they develop new ways of living out of fear are domestic terrorists. America’s government & it’s fine officers are so busy trying politicizing every aspect of our lives that they can’t see what’s happening. & think what you will, but this mass shooting will get the attention that [insert city] has been needing for years.
Gang violence is domestic terrorism & so is leveling a theater full of people with guns & tear gas. Some police precincts are even guilty of it, included the LAPD when I was growing up. One summer, my uncle took me to Magic Mountain & we got hassled by cops on the way, at the gate, & as soon as we pulled off of the freeway at home. They didn’t bother me – for whatever Godly reason – but they literally terrorized my uncle. Down the line, as I got older, I realized why, still the harassment was epic, & even at my age I knew that.
Perhaps if certain crimes were dealt with on these domestic terrorist terms, people would actually be deterred from committing them
more than once. Armed robbery is a totally different charge than being arrested on acts of hijacking & domestic terrorism. I’m not even sure how that type of thing works, but I’m sure the proverbial slaps on the wrist – if such a thing exists – are still quite severe.
While the nation cringes yet sternly mourns the loss of 12 people, the survivors lick their wounds & face their memories. Meanwhile, there’s no way we can ignore the fact James Holmes legally purchased everything he had, with the exception of a homemade gas. Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that it was easy for some kid to get his hands on a gun & kill my wife’s co-worker’s flesh & blood.
Marriage has been redefined, & the same thing may need to happen with what’s considered terrorism in America.