“Writing Angry!”

I write this article after watching the BBC3 dramatization of the murder of Shakilus Townsend (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/sep/04/shakilus-townsend-honeytrap-murder-sentence) and I have to say it has left me deeply upset and afraid.

I am not afraid of ‘Gang culture’ that the right wing media will tell you is sweeping through Britain’s inner cities like a plague of aggression, I am not afraid of walking down my street because I believe some young black guy will stab me, I am afraid because I see no future for young black males in a time of fierce and disproportionate cuts.

If the truth is told this is not a party political issue, young black males were demonised when Labour were in power too. Only back then they were called ‘chavs’, these days Davey C likes to call them ‘Yobbos’. Whatever word society labels them the truth is their real Monika should be ‘the failed’. When you consider the horrific statistic that 50% of young black males are unemployed (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/mar/09/half-uk-young-black-men-unemployed), it doesn’t take an academic to work out that something is horrendously wrong. As yet however the government seems to find it convenient to blame ‘Broken Britain’ on 17 year old gang members, it fails to see that it is ‘Broken Britain’ that is to blame for the polarised, militant and territorial nature of some inner city youngsters.

I am in no way writing this article to condone gang violence because as someone who has seen 2 relatives lose their lives to gangs I know the destruction, trauma and terror they can cause. What I seek to do in this article is to ask a question. This question is aimed at all leaders, all people in positions of power, everyone with any small ability to change someone’s life no matter how minute that change may be; What are you going to do?

Last week during Sport Relief this nation rose over £50,000,000 pounds to help fight some of the truly horrific things that are happening throughout the world. I myself donated as it was truly heart breaking to see the suffering happening in Sierra Leonne, but how many people would give up time to help some of the victims in the UK suffering? We as a country and sometimes as a student movement forget or don’t care about the difference we can make 1 mile down the road. It is however easier for us to forget they exist or maybe call them yobs, thugs, chavs or scum than to actually think about them. Think about the mothers raising her children the best way she can with only her state benefits to support her; maybe it is easier to call her a scrounger? Think about the 15 year old who dropped out of school; no, why bother he is just a disruptive child anyway isn’t he? So what if he dreams of going to college or uni, he should have thought about that before he was born into a single parent family, he should have had a proper male role model other than the ‘mande’ on his estate and he certainly should start behaving in a way that is more acceptable to the middleclass people in Britain; ‘Reggie Yates is brown and he’s nice, isn’t he?’

Well I pledge to take the message and the benefits of education with me wherever I go, education is the difference between being alive and living a life. I hope this article has opened your eyes a little but I also envisage it will sit distastefully on some peoples’ minds, but hay ho, that is why I write. Just ask yourself one more thing, aren’t you lucky you were born where you were? http://www.citizensreportuk.org/reports/teenage-murder-london.html.

Dom Anderson

*The words of this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the organisations he represents*


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