Philadelphia: The Siege

Got a text from a good friend from Israel the other day to check in on me…which was good, thank you…btw. 😍

Like most of my friends & family, he wanted to make sure me as well as my family were safe. This following a drug raid/arrest turned shootout turned hostage situation turned standoff this past Wednesday. Sheesh the mess even made national news, my entire neighborhood looked like a warzone. There cops everywhere not to mention the city’s task force and swat on the scene.

It was so bad that my dog relieved herself in the house because I was afraid for my daughter to walk her.

Yet what irked me were the nonsensical posts, comments and opinions of people who don’t live in this neighborhood, weren’t there or basically had turned into know-it-alls on a bunch of hearsay.

But to be honest, that’s to be expected & what really grinded my gears were he hosts of people thriving on it…like flies on shit. I won’t dive into that because it’s pointless but I’m gonna quote a friend of mine who lives nearby… If you don’t live here, you can’t talk about what goes on here.

Most opinionated saps are saying things like we’re used to it or this is kinda thing happens only in the hood, etc… You know those who all of sudden pulled psychological degrees out of their asses. And don’t get me started on the “woke” people… They really had me going.

Let me quickly give you some insight on this hood of mine…which most refer to as Erie Ave or EA for short.

“Erie Ave” is a cusp neighborhood in between the Nicetown & Tioga sections of Philly, like most places it’s no stranger to violence. However, I don’t think anyone has seen anything like this ever (with probably the exception of maybe the MOVE bombing if you were alive then.) The people I’ve grown up with, some of which I call family aren’t accustomed to The Siege or Die Hard experiences you see in the movies and RPG-shooter video games.

Yes my neighborhood is privy to crime as are a lot of places in North Philly. But this shit was insane.

For the most part, this neighborhood has not always been like this and neither are its residents. It’s not the kind of place where everyone is prone to commit acts of violence or become savages. Most people like myself, come, go and live peacefully. Not everyone is on public assistance or hustling. A lot of us work, go to school or are just shuffling by in life peacefully.

Hell the shooter, Maurice Hill or Gruff or whatever his street name is was isn’t even from North Philly. He’s a trigger-happy goon from the Southwest section, which in my opinion is probably worse. Which brought me to another post I saw, which was a flyer saying “free” this asshole. It even invited the idea of a march.

That’s right… Some concerned folks even justify this shit by saying that since there have been police killings of blacks, criminals like this should be armed too. Some even justify it because of mass shootings that involved white criminals. Are we so far removed from accountability that somewhere down the line, this is ok?

I mean this is a known criminal with a history of violence and drug involvement. Not to mention he was rumored to be a snitch!!!!

Despite assumptions about black people in the hood… Not everyone gravitates to a life of crime, drugs or guns. Just because you are surrounded by a certain element doesn’t mean you are a part of it. Some of the most depraved individuals are criminals hiding as everyday, white-collar Americans. Some of the most dangerous people have money or influence to cover up their ill-will.

Well where I come from, who you are is exposed for others to see… yesterday, it was for the world to see.

Don’t get me wrong. Justice doesn’t always swing in the favor of black people. But in no way shape or form should this dude have been able to roam the streets. Quite frankly I don’t give a shit what one criminal gets away with, it doesn’t make this sort of thing ok. Nor does it justify being assholes to cops.

While I know that some cops are crooked and others abuse the badge but yesterday 6 cops almost didn’t make it home to their families.

All this occurred a few feet from a daycare not to mention it all occurred in the middle of a residential neighborhood. There are schools even 2-3 blocks away. Did I mention every thing was on lockdown? It turned a 15 minute commute into a 4+ hour one… And that was 2 hours after my post-work Zumba class! Other residents found themselves having to make their way home as best as they could. Parents were unable to get their young kids from daycare and camp with everything on lockdown.

It was definitely a mess. It was the kind of thing that no one thinks will happen around here. But it brings me back to my original point. When does enough become enough? When will people take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming others? We have to stop pointing fingers like kindergarteners and own up to our own shit.

I am tired of hearing about innocent folks getting shot. I am even more tired of the overall gun violence in this city. Something has got to give.

What’s even more insane was that there were two more shooting incidents following this one!

But it plagued important questions to be answered regarding gun control and safety in our neighborhood. Something that was long overdue.

Until Next Time Kiddies,

Shalom

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