#TrapLivesMATTER: The Shocking Underworld that has Dallas under Siege
Texas has always been known for its blistering summer heat. The City of Dallas’ recent popularity has not been characterized by large ranches and gallon cowboy hats. Murder, drugs and road rage have been the topics of discussion. Reaching National News, the story of Shavon Randle the 13 year-old murdered over stolen drugs has ignited a new conversation that has been overshadowed for decades. Illegal money has much more power among the seemingly poor than city officials, politicians and the middle-class society could ever have imagined.
I found myself at a town hall meeting last summer with School board members, Pro Tem Mayors and Pastors all gathered to discuss a plan to breathe life back in to the once thriving Red Bird Mall located in the Southern sector of Dallas. As I observed those sitting on the panel and the small crowd of citizens looking for solutions I began to consider the class of non-working people that had no interest in the jobs that they were discussing. When the chance presented itself I took my opportunity to speak.
I questioned the panel regarding a popular Dallas event-then named “The Hood Awards” not to be mistaken for Steve Harvey’s annual event but an event that glorifies the lives of those that live by different standards. Boosters that are professional thieves and supply the barber and beauty shops with high-end clothing at a discounted price; Young men that post pictures of money bragging amusingly about their last drug heist; A society that will never reach the middle-class because they were born into generational poverty and learned how to get over and survive.
My question to the panel: “What makes 200 new minimum wage jobs appealing to young people that make hundreds to thousands of dollars a day? You want them to give up their Jordans’ and Gucci shoes for steel toe boots?” As the glares ensued so did the echoes: there were no answers.
One year later an amber alert for a missing 13 year old girl has snowballed into over a dozen arrests, 2 violent murders and the uncovering of an underworld. A shocked middle-class has turned to social media for updates and answers. African-Americans one paycheck from being homeless are now judging those that decided to take matters into their own hands. The same “middle-class” that glorifies trap music but when the song goes off they drive to their homes with stacked unopened bills.
I certainly do not condone the drug trafficking and illegal activity however I believe that a city that issues grants to chicken shacks for $850,000.00 and the patrons that drive from surrounding areas to “grab their chicken and run” leave no room to judge individuals that they do not understand.
What is the solution? I’m not sure that I have that answer. As a Catholic School girl that graduated from a top 100 high school, had a baby out of wedlock at 18 and never pledged anything but survival I can only offer my willingness to understand. Bumping “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” the latest album by Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz as my inspiration, I digress. Ice Cube’s foreshadowing portrayed through his character ‘Doughboy’ in Boyz in the Hood deems appropriate: “They either don’t KNOW, don’t SHOW or just don’t CARE about what’s going on in the hood” #