Eric Ferguson and Donte Wilson: Rest in Peace!

It is Valentine's Day and I am chilling in my kitchen finishing up dinner.  My turkey ribs are in the crock pot and will be done at 6:30.  I am finishing up my rice as I write.  Shawn has made the ham and seasoned it up.  My double chocolate cake is frosted with a milk chocolate icing.  We were watching The Revenant earlier.  I am still trying to figure out why this was nominated for an Oscar while Straight Outta Compton is sitting on the sidelines.  I will focus on that in another blog.

We have a new mayor now with Jim Kenney steering the city for the next four years.  Former Mayor Michael Nutter declared the city a much safer city as he was riding off into the sunset of private enterprise and CNN interviews,  For whatever reason, I feel that it is not safer for a specific subset of individuals residing in this city.  I don't know Eric Ferguson or Donte Wilson personally.  I know from newspaper reports that they were twenty-two and twenty-six years old.  They were in the early prime of their lives but the hot lead that is so prevalent on the streets cut short any hopes to have gray hairs and maybe raise families.

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I know some friends who have the last name Wilson.  One of my Best friends Kenny Wilson is living comfortably in North Carolina with his wife and two daughters.  Mr Wilson owned a store on 17th and Dickinson and is an icon in our community.  One of my childhood friends, Steve Ferguson, is married and living in Montgomery County.  We grew up in tough communities but were allowed to make mistakes and live to tell about it.  What caused these two young men to meet up with each other with the intent to kill?  The no snitch rule might have applied if other individuals were involved.  The fact that this was an incident in which both shooters died is, on paper, an open and shut case.

My son is twenty-six years old.  He is special to me and my wife.  If something were to happen to him, he would just be a small blurb in the paper.  That is if we could afford an obituary in one of the periodicals.  Since these individuals were not killed by police officers, their deaths will not engender a protest.  If they did not have life insurance, their families might be scrambling to try to raise funeral expenses.  I might know some of their family.  We might have worked together or worshipped together.  I know that the symptoms that breed this type of violence have not really changed for African American males.

City officials have recently announced a plan to create 10,000 jobs based on upgrades to existing houses.  I know the unions will have something to say about this.  There will be no influx of jobs in Philadelphia without the influence of the AFL-CIO.  I would like to wish the families of Eric Ferguson and Donte Wilson some semblance of comfort as they ponder the what ifs that arise if they did not lose their lives early on these mean streets on Philadelphia.  Job and career fairs are prevalent.  Why can some young men not see the options that exist if they decide not to pull the trigger?  Happy Valentines Day to all my Friends and Family.  I love my Aunt Queleen for calling me today.  I am glad that I can celebrate 52 years on this earth.  One wrong turn or misplaced glare could have sealed my Fate!! 

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