Monday, November 5, 2012

Don't Put That Shit On Me

"Don't put that shit on me. It ain't my fault that dude got shot." That was what I heard my neighbor, the one who was operating the illegal liquor house, shout at someone from in his backyard Sunday afternoon after one of his customers shot and killed 24 year old, Reginald Demarcus Wrenn, another of his customers, just hours earlier that same neighbor's front yard.

And so it is, because he wasn't the one who pulled the trigger he believes himself not at fault. Never mind the fact that the liquor house was an illegal venture, never mind that he was serving alcohol without a license, never mind the fact that many of his customers were underage drinkers, never mind the fact that he was serving alcohol after legal drinking hours had ended... none of it was his fault. He was just trying to earn a few tax free Dollars.

No, my neighbor didn't kill Reginald Demarcus Wrenn but he helped make it possible just as the Institutional racism long practiced by the City of Greensboro helped make it possible. No, the City of Greensboro didn't pull the trigger but the City did concentrate the housing projects in the area making it a prime target for the kinds of people who operate liquor houses and the City did turn a blind eye to the slumlords who don't care who they rent to as long as the rent comes every month. The City did work to concentrate jobs and resources in more well-to-do areas of the city leaving fewer economic opportunities to my neighborhood and the rest of East Greensboro. No, the City of Greensboro didn't pull the trigger 5 times leaving 24 year old, Reginald Demarcus Wrenn dead in the street but the City of Greensboro shares the blame just as do my twisted neighbor and the man who pulled the trigger.

And Mayor Perkins still thinks the solution to East Greensboro's problems is streets and shopping centers. Too bad there's not a death penalty for negligent politicians. Mr Mayor, do you know what it's like to see young men die in the street? Well I do and I've lived it too many times all because of Institutional racism and greedy men like you who think it's never your fault as long as you can keep going back to making your almighty Dollars. Well I've got news for you, Mayor Perkins, your political carrier ended with the death of Reginald Demarcus Wrenn. No more will East Greensboro play your game while you invest Greensboro's tax dollars on industrial parks 10 miles outside of the Greensboro City Limits on the county lines providing jobs for Burlington and Kernersville while Greensboro does without. No more will you promote Greensboro's long history of Institutional racism because it lines your own pockets. Forget that dream of going to Washington to replace Howard Coble-- it ain't happening.

Because should we, the citizens of Greensboro, allow that to happen then the death of Reginald Demarcus Wrenn will have been for nothing more than a few scratches on a parked car. And while I never knew Reginald Demarcus Wrenn, I watched him die from my window and think his death should be worth more than just scratches in paint.

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