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Getting Sick and Tired of Blacks-Killing-Blacks
Published:
7/10/2013 1:25:27 PM



By Barney Blakeney 
 



The news story read like a made for television crime movie - rival biker clubs engage in shootout at accessory shop. When the smoke cleared, three men lay dead. 

Stereotypes can be a motherjumper. At first, I assumed the perpetrators were white bikers. The accessory shop on Dorchester Road in North Charleston where the incident occurred is white-owned. 

I couldn’t tell from the names of the deceased what race they were. They were older men with anglicized names. Usually when you hear about shootings with multiple victims the people involved have names that sound part African, part poetic license.

A subsequent news story cleared all that up with pictures of two men charged in the crime. Like an onion, the layers of the story are surfacing one at a time. 

The initial story said the shootings stemmed from a fight that began in the store. Two members of a biker club were followed into the store by five members of another biker club. Somehow the confrontation escalated into a brawl, one guy retrieved a gun from his vehicle, another pulled one from his waist and the shooting began. 

Talk about the wild wild west! That stuff is crazy. How do you go from taking a motorcycle ride with a pal into Charleston from Columbia on a Sunday afternoon to laying dead on a storeroom floor? 

Turns out someone I know knew one of the deceased. The guy who originally is from Charleston and now lives in Columbia came home to get his hair braided and to visit family and friends. He decided to stop by the bike shop to pick up some parts before visiting his mother. 

A large group of bikers belonging to another club were there and as the guy and his friend entered the store someone said something and the guy flipped him ‘the bird’. They were followed into the store by five of the other club’s members and a fight ensued. 

Short story - guns were introduced into fray and three men were killed. That’s what my people said they were told. Three men died because someone flipped someone else ‘the bird’. 

I know the ‘Hell’s Angels’ perception of all biker clubs is inaccurate. I know a few of the guys who ride with the Thunderguards Motorcycle Club here in Charleston. Heck, one of ‘em is former Charleston Police captain and city councilman Ligure Ellington! He’s no biker thug. All the guys named in the bike shop shooting incident seem to be law-abiding family men with regular jobs. 

The problem I see ain’t biker clubs or stereotypical biker mentalities, it’s the fact that almost everyone now days are carrying guns!

What a joke it is to call the United States of America a civilized society when violence, gun possession and manslaughter are among our most prevalent characteristics. There are more guns in the United States than there are people. And we lock up more people for violent crimes than any other country in the world. 

This past legislative session, South Carolina lawmakers actually introduced a bill to allow guns to legally be carried inside bars and restaurants where alcohol is served. 

Last week, in Colleton County two men were charged with murder in the death of a 34-year-old mother who was shot while sitting in her car after arriving from the grocery store. 

The men are alleged to have been engaged in a shootout on her block as they sat in different cars. The woman, who was with two of her children, caught a stray bullet in the process. 

Folks here in Charleston are heaving sighs of relief because the shootout at the bike shop did not injure any of the teens who had just wrapped up a fundraising car wash in the parking lot where the shots were fired. 

I don’t know what it’s going to take for our community - not Chicago, New York City or Las Angeles, but the greater Charleston metro area - to put the brakes on the killing. 

I’m sick of watching the crocodile tears and fainting spells of family members distraught over the murder of loved ones. Wailing women who more often than not, have failed to push their badass sons out of the lives of crime which led to their deaths. 

I’m tired of fake butt preachers and politicians who talk about education, jobs and economic development as alternatives for low income, undereducated Black boys all the while retreating into their relatively safe affluent communities. But they never assert any real effort to make those things a reality. 

Everybody’s packing heat and busting caps. What’s that they say about being sick and tired of being sick and tired? I wonder when we’ll get sick and tired of the killing. 
 
 

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