A Tale of Two AmeriKKKas

Alexandra Valoras, who committed suicide and residents of Baltimore, MD holding a candlelight vigil for a homicide victim.
A Tale of Two Amerikkkas

 

A tale of two Amerikkkas is about an Amerikkka where one group is just too ‘white privileged’ to want to live while the other Amerikkka is just too destitute, poverty-stricken and saturated with guns and drugs to be able to live. First, we shall start with the ‘white privileged’ group.

White Parents blindsided by daughter’s suicide hope her story helps save others

The home video will look so familiar to so many parents: a sweet little girl singing and dancing her way to her teen years, recognized for achievements outside the home and thoroughly cherished inside it.

But the full story of Alexandra Valoras’ life is more terrifying than familiar. Just weeks after a family ski vacation, the 17-year-old high school junior, straight-A student, class officer and robotics whiz made her bed, tidied her room and walked to a highway overpass in Grafton, Massachusetts. She jumped off the edge.

 

Yes, it was just too much! The pressure of living up to all that she felt was expected of her was just too much for Alexandra Valoras to deal with. She would have been considered a failure if she had ever gone to her parents and told them what she instead, wrote in a journal in that she was just too tired of being their ‘perfect little angel’. “Daddy took me to a concert and I hated it while I had to pretend to love it,” she wrote in her journal. “Just got back from skiing and I hated it.” “Just received another medal for doing something else outstanding.” “Just named ‘honor student of the year’.” “But I am a failure!” “I am lazy!” These are the feelings that poor privileged Alexandra Valoras wrote in her journal that she could not say to her parents and would they have even listened or paid any attention to her words? The words in her journal do not sound as though she felt, “cherished.” But now that she is dead, her parents have finally found her journal, which was in the home the entire time. However, her parents had to find the journal near her body as she lay dead underneath a highway overpass. And Alexandra’s parents are still wondering to this very day, why they had no clue as to what their daughter was going through. So, what? They never heard that it is well within your rights as a parent to know what your child is up to? You are obligated to know what your child is up to. In this day and age of internet bullying, cyber stalking and Craigslist meetups and murders, you’d better sift through your child’s emails, social media accounts and yes, journals and diaries. The day your children have privacy is the day they leave the nest.

Whites are so oblivious to everything around them, including their own family members, that they don’t even know their own children. They are more clued in to other groups whom they hate for whatever reason, than they are to their own family who, like Alexandra Valoras, wrote her true feelings down and her journal,  chronicling her feelings was in her room, waiting to be found, but since her parents simply could not be bothered, she is now dead and they are sitting somewhere wondering, “WHY?” You have only yourselves to blame since you think that giving your children ALL that money and credit cards can buy is what they need and because of this, you will continue to read diaries and journals that showcase your shockingly appalling lack of awareness of what is going on in your own homes. While you think your children’s smiles speak volumes on their mental well-being, you will continue to find your children lying underneath an overpass or hanging from the rafters while you are busy on the phone with your ski instructor making plans for your next ski vacation.

Now the Valoras claim they are on a mission to stop this from happening to other ‘white’ parents who just give their children everything that money and credit cards can buy, but little else. Your country clubs and golf courses and spa retreats come first. When do you have the time to even wonder what your children are doing when you’re meeting Rachel for lunch and then you have a hair appointment and then you’ve got to meet your tennis instructor and then you’ve got to go to the gym and then you’ve got to meet with Sarah for cocktails and dinner at an expensive restaurant and by the time you make it back home, your children should be in bed. And you get up the next day and do the same exact shit with different people and yet it is all so pointless because your children are very much aware that you prefer to spend time with anyone else, anywhere else so long as it is not with them, that is until they have managed to get your attention by achieving an honor and then that is when you take them to a concert, to celebrate that achievement. But then it is back to your selfish, self-serving lifestyle that revolves around you while you are sitting back thinking that your children should feel “cherished” simply because ‘why shouldn’t they’ since they have everything money can buy? Oh, you think your kids are okay because they have every device to play with and their rooms are filled to bursting, but what money cannot buy is what your children are missing, namely their parents undivided attention and love, not just parents who only reward them when they are honored for some achievement. They may as well be a trained seal, performing for you for treats.

Since this is September, which has been designated as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, I guess this story is to showcase the fact that suicide is now the second leading cause of death for ‘white’ 15 to 24 year olds of both sexes and that ‘white’ teen suicide is now at a 40-year high for young women Alexandra’s age. There is also a list of warning signs you are to look out for.

A person thinking about or threatening suicide or seeking a way to kill themself

Increased substance abuse Feelings of purposelessness, anxiety, being trapped, or hopeless

Social isolation and withdrawing from people and activities

Expressing unusual anger, recklessness, or mood changes

But I don’t believe that this was the case with Alexandra Valoras since she did not display her feelings of purposelessness and hopelessness. She wrote them down. She wanted her parents to find her journal, but instead, she had to leave it where she committed suicide because she knew they’d not be able to overlook it then.

So, white folks! Instead of turning your anger and hatred towards others, maybe you should figure out what is going on in your own households and focus your attention there. It would seem to be the logical thing to do or you will continue to find your children at the bottom of an overpass after having jumped and the journal chronicling their journey to that overpass, lying somewhere nearby.

Next we come to the ‘other Amerikkka where suicide would be understood as a way out, however, homicides are the way out for far too many. But who cares about these statistics? 

‘Neighborhoods are crying out’: Baltimore has highest homicide rate of U.S. big cities

Baltimore had the worst homicide rate among the nation’s 50 largest cities last year and the second-highest violent crime rate overall, according to new data from the FBI.

The grim news was the latest reminder of the sustained cycle of violence that has gripped the city since 2015, when the annual number of homicides soared above 300 for three consecutive years after the unrest that followed Freddie Gray’s death from injuries suffered in police custody.

Baltimore Maryland is a city I know too much about after having lived there for several years in the mid 90s and again recently. I posted a blog a few years back detailing the outrageous horrifying statistics of a city mired in poverty, drug addiction, prostitution, gang violence, drug turf wars and hundreds of homicides a year. I even pointed out the fact that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is headquartered on Mt. Hope Drive in Baltimore, MD and yet, there is nothing that that organization has done to rein in the horrific statistics of a majority Black city. Far too many of Baltimore’s children are the victims of poverty and drug addicted single moms who don’t even know who their father is and if they do, he is more than likely in prison or has been murdered. These children are dropping out of school in record numbers and are being groomed for the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’.

In a post titled, “Sirens Are Our Lullabies,” I penned a poem about how Baltimore’s citizens, especially her children, are not gently falling asleep to the tune of softly whispered lullabies from their parent’s lips, but by the screams of sirens nearby that could only mean one thing, another homicide.

Did you hear that?’: Amid Baltimore’s surge in killings, a faint cry in a locked car

BALTIMORE — No one saw the baby.

She sat in a gold-hued car with tinted black windows as her 26-year-old father lay on the ground outside, dying.

All eyes were on him, another fallen body in a city increasingly defined by them.

In portions of Baltimore, the strobe lights of police cars is as much a part of the landscape as boarded-up homes. But the pace of the killings this year has been stunning as the city struggles to recover from rioting in 2015. As of Friday, 124 people had been slain, including five on a recent day, making Baltimore’s homicide rate one of the highest in the country. It is more than triple Washington’s rate and higher than the homicide rates in New Orleans and Chicago, two places that have become national symbols of gun violence.

A crying baby, sitting in her car seat, oblivious to the fact that her father lay dying mere feet away, unaware of the poverty and unbelievable hardships that she is going to have to face, if she does not get shot dead during some drive-by shooting first. Unlike Alexandra Valoras, who killed herself even as she had everything money and credit cards could buy and two parents in the household who took her on ski vacations and to concerts that she really didn’t want to go to, this little Black baby girl, sitting in her daddy’s car, will never know her father, much less will she have the opportunity to go on a ski vacation or even to a concert. It is highly likely that she will never know the area beyond the derelict neighborhood she and her mother will ‘live’ in. It is also highly likely that she will be raised by her grandmother, if she is still alive, because many young adults in Baltimore are strung out on drugs, either illegal or government sanctioned and grandmothers are left to raise their grandchildren, when they can. Otherwise, they end up in foster care.

Heroin and crack have decimated many cities that house a majority of Black residents and elected officials just shake their heads and bemoan the paucity of good paying jobs that could take the place of drug dealing, thus cutting down on the poverty and homicide rates. They look to the police to incarcerate the problem away. They look to ex-cons to patrol neighborhoods in order to instill a “You don’t want to end up like me,” message into the residents mired in hopelessness, poverty, violence and despair. But is any of this working? Hell no!

Whites, who are probably like Alexandra Valoras parents watch the evening news and exclaim over the violence of “those” people and say to themselves, “At least OUR children don’t have to rub shoulders with those people,” not even realizing that they have more in common with “those” people than they think. The same hopelessness and despair that drove Alexandra Valoras to commit suicide exists in the children of those who live in cities like Baltimore, MD. The only difference is they know that they will more than likely be murdered by simply walking to the store than be a victim of suicide. Commit suicide? What for? It is only a matter of time before they too, will become, a homicide statistic.

So, I say to Alexandra Valoras’ parents, while you are out parading around town, spreading the news that other parents in your shoes should take more interest in what their children are doing, take a moment and stop and consider that what happened to your daughter is in some way, karma, thanks in part to your lack of empathy, compassion and sympathy for those who are born into poverty, hopelessness and despair; the outcasts, those who have been abandoned deliberately by whites who are responsible for why a little Black girl in Baltimore City is in a car seat, mere feet away from her dying father who you think died at the hands of another Black man, but in reality, he is dead because guns and drugs were put into the hands of his killer by those who look like you since Black people do not own the planes and ships to deposit drugs on America’s shores nor do Black people manufacture guns or are members of the NRA that tout lax gun laws to politicians, daily. Those who look like you do. But there you sit in your insulated world thinking that all is right within it, that is until you find your daughter, lying dead underneath an overpass with the pain of having lived with you scribbled in a journal near her dead body. If she finds life intolerable living with you, how do you think it is for us? Something I would think on if I were you because what comes around, as you can plainly see, goes around.

Sirens Are Our Lullabies!

Shots ring out every night
in this city gushing blood.
And in daylight, it’s the same,
awash in a crimson flood.

Sirens are our lullabies;
a crime scene, our parade.
We stand and stare at the dead,
then into a grave, they are laid.

None of it makes any sense,
Black men killing their own kind.
And I just make excuses
as though to reality, I am blind.

I blamed it all on poverty;
a lack of jobs and single moms.
And I threw in for good measure
that so many are bearing arms.

I thought I had all the answers.
Open a store or two in the hood
that catered to the poor,
but that won’t do us any good.

What is needed, I don’t know.
I throw my hands up in the air.
Our murder rate is off the charts.
And it would seem that we don’t care.

Another day, another murder.
And sometimes, more than one.
We’re just mowing each other down,
and hell, there ain’t nowhere to run.

More babies without fathers,
more mothers without their sons
because we have lost our minds,
 when to solve our problems, we use guns.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2017 Shelby I. Courtland

‘Did you hear that?’: Amid Baltimore’s surge in killings, a faint cry in a locked car

BALTIMORE — No one saw the baby.

She sat in a gold-hued car with tinted black windows as her 26-year-old father lay on the ground outside, dying.

All eyes were on him, another fallen body in a city increasingly defined by them.

In portions of Baltimore, the strobe of police cars is as much a part of the landscape as boarded-up homes. But the pace of the killings this year has been stunning as the city struggles to recover from rioting in 2015. As of Friday, 124 people had been slain, including five on a recent day, making Baltimore’s homicide rate one of the highest in the country. It is more than triple Washington’s rate and higher than the homicide rates in New Orleans and Chicago, two places that have become national symbols of gun violence.

I came to this city, not with expectations of having everlasting fun, but with the hope that there was something I could do to help in a city that claimed my heart over a decade ago. And now, I am beyond frustrated. If I told you all that has happened to me since I’ve been here, you’d all wonder why I have not thrown myself into the nearest psych ward and wrapped my own ass in a wrap-around jacket. I have been carjacked, almost robbed at gun point on a city bus, my cousin was shot two months after arriving here and I am terrified to leave my own neighborhood. I am already preparing to leave this city. I have not seen anything like this. I guess when I was here before, I was young and fearless, but now that I am older and damn near completely incapacitated thanks to injuries, I look at things differently and I am absolutely horrified at what I see. This city is off the chain. I ask myself all the time, “What was I thinking?” And if you read the article, a statement by a former Baltimore planning director tells it all.

“People don’t realize it’s worse than Chicago,” said Otis Rolley, former Baltimore planning director and a onetime mayoral candidate. His 23-year-old nephew, Andrew Zachary, a former Marine, was the 15th person killed in the city this year. “This man was trained by the U.S. government and had the skills and ability to survive in a combat situation overseas but was unable to navigate the streets of Baltimore. And that is a scary, scary thing.”

There is no need to suit up and head to Iraq or Afghanistan to see some combat action, just come to Baltimore. You’ll get more ‘action’ than you bargained for, believe me! Baltimore is a warzone! Helicopters fly overhead, non-stop. Sirens are non-stop. It is not even safe to take public transit. It is not safe to drive. It is not safe to walk down the street. It is not safe to peep out your window. For the love of !!!!!