There have been two major stories in the last couple of weeks that has had a major impact on sections of the city’s urban core; the closing of Double 8 Foods stores and the death of 15-year-old carjacking suspect, Andre Green.
As many of you know, Double 8 closed its doors, leaving a number of citizens with a “food desert.” Green was shot by police after reportedly stealing a car and putting officers’ lives in jeopardy.
Both of stories are related to one another, because both stories are symptomatic of a section of the Black community that needs a good swift kick in the rear end. I know it sounds harsh, but you guys need to hear me out on this one.
A couple years ago Meijer wanted to build a store at 16th and Martin Luther King Drive. However, to build the facility to fit Meijer’s footprint, Meijer wanted to purchase some nearby homes, about 35 in the Flanner House District adjacent to the lot; a number of which were abandoned properties. However, a shortsighted neighborhood along with misguided community irritants, you would call them activists, yelled and screamed about the “historic” values of the homes and Meijer decided the hassle was no longer worth it and is now building a new store near 56th and Keystone. Luckily a number of not-for profit groups and church organizations have been busing residents to the nearest grocery stores, but just think, had the community had its act together, none of this might have happened.
Which leads me to my second point about a “community” and the death of Green. Just a real quick recap, last Sunday evening, when most teens would have been home in bed getting ready to go to school the next day, Green and his friends reportedly decided it would be fun to leave the house (he was wearing an ankle bracelet by the way) and do a little carjacking. They found a victim, forced them out the car at gunpoint, reportedly fired shots and was pursed by police. Green was later shot when he put officers lives in danger.
About 40 people protested his death on the Circle, shouting the usual “Black Lives Matter” rhetoric. However they didn’t seem to have any answers when they were asked about Green’s past criminal record.
According to his juvenile record, Green brought crack cocaine to school when he was four. His father reportedly dealt it and his mom consumed it. Green stole a car from someone who was trying to mentor him at church, posed in pictures on social media holding weapons and had a warrant out for his arrest when he was killed. And the family, along with pseudo activists like the Indy10 group (not to be confused with the Ten Point Coalition, which is actually worth something) are blaming the police for Green’s death. If they want to blame someone for Green’s death I suggest they get a mirror or look in their family photo album. Had they done a better of job parenting, Green might still be alive today.
It wasn’t bad officers who were responsible for Green’s death, it was bad choices. Just like with the food desert, bad choices by a community helped contribute to the problem. So here is a thought “community” get your act together. When you do you find life gets a lot easier, and not only for you, but the rest of us well whose taxes and resources usually have to end up footing the bill for your bad choices.
Abdul-Hakim Shabazz is an attorney, political commentator and publisher of IndyPolitics.org. You can email comments to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.