Sunday, July 10, 2011

Convicted Murderer to Chicago Tribune’s Dawn Turner Trice: “I’m Not a Murderer”


Yes, you are! You’re a murderer!

With that said, not all murders are equal. I actually have a good deal of sympathy with this particular murderer, because I was in her shoes more than once as a teenager. Three times, to be exact.

She killed her victim as a matter of family honor. When I was 16, I was in her spot, when I permitted a fellow (white) thief I was hanging out with to sleep a few hours at my mom’s apartment, while she was off at work, and he stole her gold necklace.

Shortly after turning 17, I was due for a bloody confrontation with our building’s porter, who had harassed and threatened my mom with eviction (for no reason), but after avoiding the inevitable for three days, a big ugly Dominican guy took the job off my hands, and stabbed the guy to death.

And about the time I turned 18, I almost killed a neighbor named Arthur Harris (with whom I’d once run as the token white in a black gang of shoplifters) down the hall out of the same motive—he had his friends harass us by ringing our bell at all hours. But Arthur was an even bigger coward than I was, and in spite of being accompanied by his “friend,” Jim Bowie—I was accompanied by my “friend,” Hank Aaron—he backed down.

So, why did Dawn Turner Trice’s friend commit murder, while I didn’t? The main reasons were that I was (and remain) a bigger coward than her, I didn’t have a gun around the house as a teenager, and I didn’t use crack or any other narcotic stronger than the occasional joint, which merely made me very hungry.

When I was 16, I also made a conscious decision that I would do everything in my power to stay out of jail, because I didn’t want to get raped. The black nationalist (later genocidal black supremacist) youth program I was in arranged for us to visit Nassau County Jail, and enough hard truths leaked out of the speech a black corrections officer gave, for me to grasp what lay ahead.

This story has four morals: Don’t do crack, don't hang around crackheads, don’t borrow your daddy’s gun, and don’t steal from your friend’s momma.

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