White Noise

The White Noise [Genesis of a Nemesis Series]

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

White Noise

White Noise

A Bronx teen was killed in a triple shooting. It happened around 10 p.m. Monday at 1225 Gerard Avenue in Mount Eden.

Stare into the eyes of a boy whose eyes glistened rather than rolled
Watch his skin deteriorate in a light powder
In a finely-tailored suit covering his shell of an exterior
This body used to contain dreams
Emotions raw as the deal dealt to the young man …

Police say they believe two groups of men got into a fight over some graffiti, resulting in Ruben Redman, 15, being shot in the back of the head. He was taken to Lincoln Hospital where was pronounced dead.

Imagine giving birth to a young man who’s seen the inside of a casket before you do
Imagine planting a seed into concrete and never seeing it sprout
Where once the ideas of a million men blossomed in his chromosomes
We replace those ideas with questions of potential and longing
Did we do enough? How do I play a role in this?

“There was some graffiti, a mark, that was made by one group that was written over by the other group. They took this as an insult,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. “The group that was upset over the mark being written over approached one individual, took out a .45 caliber hand gun, fired several shots.”

Police have not yet made any arrests and are still investigating the incident.

Walking into a funeral home I’ve seen all too often
Young men and women  walk side by side with their younger images
“Damn, remember how he used to be? Now, so grown.”
The naive become able-bodies, the short get closer to the heavens
The elder get greyer, and the insolent gain wisdom
While mothers and daughters yell like fishing rods that never capture their catch
This observer’s pupils dilate
Inspiration to proceed with his daily occupation …

The others were hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds.

The news reporter replays repeatedly in my mind
Memories spiraling in my mind
Enraged that people around me feel more apathy than rage
Another boy killed, another waste,
Another missed opportunity,
For you? Another good opportunity to tell people, “I told you so.”
For me? Another opportunity to ignore you and say, “Never again.
Not my students.”
My goal so much clearer than what I write on the board
Turning the knob to a frequency where
Everything else is white noise …

Jose, who needed to make peace with that once and for all …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 4

  1. Shercole

    Wow, this is powerful. Its always a hurtful feeling, all the times I have seen cousins and family members of mine die before they even make 20 is painful and to see all the potential lost and all for nothing.

    We need more series like this of people telling the stories of the youth,the diversity and maybe we can begin solving problems and providing resources to begin change.

  2. Rox

    Thanks for giving people like this young teen, his family and teachers/advocates working in communities where shootings have/will happen(ed) a voice. A voice to express the pain, frustration, grief, etc. that comes with loss and injustice.

    Powerful words.

  3. Jennifer

    As a mother I am sitting here crying uncontrollably. I want to shield my children from all of this. My heart is heavy very heavy.

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