Honor student killed…Derrion Albert …Chicago murder

October 13, 2009 bsmith101
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I have long held Chicago as being one of the most dangerous places I have ever lived in.  The level and the types of crimes I found there far exceeded and surpassed any I had ever encountered anywhere else…including New York.

While following this story as best as I could…being that I no longer watch TV or ever take out the time to read any newspapers.  I was stunned while standing in the laundromat doing my laundry this week.  When the story came up as an indepth report.   But that is not what stunned me…but hearing that there had been 40 murders of young people in Chicago this year alone.  That was not only stunning but shocking to me.

How could a problem such as gang or teen violence be so far out of controll?


Though in Chicago…gang activity involves more than just teens…as 30 and 40 year old men…and I guess maybe women (and young girls)…are involved in gangs.  They actively recurit seeking out new members wherever they want to.


When I lived in Chicago, Dr. Reynolds (Dr. A. L. Reynolds of 6th Grace United Presbyterian Church) told me how they…some gang members had threaten to take his life.  And had annouced to him that they were going to come into his church to take who they wanted.  That is the kind of pressure that many face in Chicago.  They are under the constant threat of malicious malice by gangs…daily facing violence and all kinds of gang related activity.   With the gangs believing that they control everything… and everyone.

The problem is greater than the issue of ‘black-on-black crime.’   By far greater.  It is one of hate… and hating in particular of seeing someone… anyone raise above the preceived notions or standards of degradation… which many wallow in urban ghettos.

There has always been this problem of  black folks hating to see other black folks moving ahead…or getting further in life than themselves.  But I guess this trait is something which is in many…meaning that it is human in nature. 

When you consider history where several pockets of successful black folk, business owners, who were killed and burnt out of their homes and business prior to the 1960’s.  One such group was in Tulsa, Oakahoma, in 1921…and another in 1923 in Rosewood, Florida…as well as, other places.   But what happened to them happened because they were black…successful…and the communities in which they lived (their black communities) were flouishing… growing.    They became booming and profitable…too booming and too profitable.  

These 2 massacres, one known as the Rosewood Massacres and the other as the Tulsa Riots…were the burning out of and hanging of black folks.   They were not the acts of black- against-blacks.  But they were the product of white people against black people.   And these acts were very violent…and came about as a means of terrorizing the black people in their areas…as well as, a means to destroy everything that they had…and to  keep those ‘Negros’  in their  place.  Meaning…not thinking they were like white people…or equal to white people.  

I guess you could sort say that those boys that attacked Derrion Albert…beating him across the head with railroad irons, kicking and stomping at him…appeared to have had simular sentiments.  They wanted to keep him down.  Wanted to make an example of him…to others who might think like him…or desire to be like him.  Others who got ideas about learning…and achieving…and leaving the ghetto behind them.




Considering the nature of man…that we would all be salvage beast except for the grace of God.  When you think of  the type of violence that the kids regularly watch and have become desentized to via movies, television, videos and video games…there is little wonder that we are seeing all of what we are seeing today.   Kids out on the streets banding together to attack one another…whether it is East Coast or West Coast…or Central America…their is a big problem with it.   Kids taking pleasure is beating down somebody…and everybody running to watch.  Or walking into schools or in college classrooms and shooting down everybody.  It is all very much the same whether it be in Columbine, Colorado or South Side Chicago. 

Yes, there is a problem.  And it is neither black or white.  It is a human problem.

Out of all those people…who ran to help Derrion?

Out of all of those people standing around.  Who tried to help him?

No one.

In fact, it is said that Derrion…himself became an innocent victim…because he went to help someone else.

Let’s look at this….

Who did they kill?

Someone who they realized had a future. 

Someone whom they recognized was going someplace. 

Somebody who’s ambitions were greater than hanging out on the streets. 

Somebody who wanted to learn something… achieve something… do something with his life… more than what they were doing.

While they had made bad choices…lots of them concerning their own lives…and the direction that they were headed in.   Now with some on them on their way to prison behind their very senseless murder Derrion…a very innocent person. 

But was it necessary for them to steal somebody else’s dreams…or to want to?

To take away Derrion’s life…and try to defeat him by killing him…because he refused to submit to them…and the streets?

Because Derrion wanted more out of life?

 Becuse he saw where he did have a future…and could make something out his life?  

Because he chose to learn something…and then to do something with what he was learning?

It is kind of like those massacres which took place in Tulsa and Rosewood…and other placess…when you really look back on it.  They were about people who hated others because they became successfull…were progressing.  And that is why Darrion got attack too…and was eventually murdered.

He was progressing.  

Progressive…not stuck in a box.

Aspiring to be something.

He knew that there was more to life… lots more that it had to offer him… than gang life…and gang activities.

Derrion was a 16 year old honor student on his way to college.  He had visions of  making something out of his life.  He was on the path to going to college.  And gang life…and hanging out in the streets of Chicago just did not fit into his plans.

So, therefore, Derrion was a danger to them.  Because Derrion’s mind wasn’t warped by the reality of what was around him…into believing that there was nothing else…or something better.  That living as many lived around him…was all that there was.

And…so, they saw that Derrion was different and they killed him for it.  Like those progressive black communities of Tulsa and Rosewood…were burnt down and destroyed until there was no hope of them ever coming back.


Chicago skyline.The problem with Chicago…is that their gang problem should have been dealt with long ago.  In 1981 when Mayor Jane Byrne moved into Cabrini Green, a housing project on Chicago’s West Side…it was because people couldn’t even step outside of their apartments without becoming moving targets for target practice by the gangs which controlled their project.


When gangs take over projects…hotels and are allowed to run wild and rule as they have in Chicago things can only get worst…and worst.  And they have…the levels of criminal activity in Chicago escalates from year to year. View Bernadine Smith's profile on FiledBy

There is little wonder why it was not chosen for the site of the 2016 Olympic Games.

I was living in Chicago when the World Soccer Games was held there.  It was beautiful and festive.  Though Chicago is always beautiful.  But until the issue of gangs and crime is seriously addressed in Chicago…the lives of those living there will continued to be threaten by senseless acts of criminal activity.

And as long as the gang issue is considered a ‘black issue’  or a ‘minority thing’ nothing will ever be seriously done about it.  

And that goes for gang criminal acts everywhere.


Today started off  dark and rainy.  Thought that it was going to rain all day…but the sun is out now.  But there are still a few dark clouds in the sky.  So, I guess it might start raining again later.  But I hope that you are enjoying your day no matter what the weather is.  And always keep in mind sunny or dark…that God loves you. 

I am not going to get rid of this picture.   And no, I will not get tired of looking at it.  

It really does make me think of the weather that will soon be on its way. 

Well, God bless

  THE BISHOP’S WIFE  is now on sale…CLICK this LINK to purchase my book.  You do not need a paypal account to purchase, and you can purchase using a debit card.  Thank you. 

Thank you for reading this blog…and  my others.  Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends“pass it on…”  www.bsmith101.wordpress.com  ©2009 

Entry Filed under: Chicago,Choice,Cities,Dealing with loss,death,lost of love ones,violence

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