Sunday, February 24, 2013

In the ghetto

The account of Baton Rouge's latest murder was brief and routine -- as brief as the lives of too many young black men and as routine as fatal shootings have become in my hometown.

It went like this in the Sunday paper:
Baton Rouge police found the body of a male late Saturday after responding to a call of shots fired on Geronimo Street, a news release says.

Officers received the call about 11:45 p.m. Saturday that shots were being fired on Geronimo Street, near Mohican Street, Capt. Dwayne Bovia said in the news release.

They found the body of a black male in a grassy area in the 3800 block of Geronimo Street, the release says.

Police did not provide the name or any other information about the victim.
JUST ANOTHER nothing story about the mundane destruction of human life and entire worlds. Entire worlds? Yes, entire worlds.

Naturally, you have the destroyed world of yet another destroyed inner-city neighborhood, and you have the destroyed world of deviance and death that its inhabitants must somehow navigate against all odds.

Then, you have the destroyed civic world of a city where murder is so routine as to barely be noticed by the daily newspaper. If it's true, as the Talmud says, that "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world," what's to be said about a place as deadly as Baton Rouge?

What's to be said about the destruction of the world of every Baton Rougean who beholds this mundane obliteration of worlds and thinks "Meh." Or that it's just another day in the 'hood, what are you going to do?

How can we think of apathy, think of acceptance in the face of everyday death and creeping urban moonscapes as anything but the view from a destroyed world?

Me, I saw this little item and once again was reminded of the destruction of part of my world -- or at least its passing away decades ago. On Geronimo Street.

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