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Posted on Jun 12, 2008 in Uncategorized

extremely sad story, but some questions need to be asked

I was reading this story the other day, which I found incredibly sad, but found myself with a few questions that I thought really needed to be addressed regarding this case.

From CNN:

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — Jamiel Shaw was just three doors from his house on March 2. His father told the 17-year-old high school football star to be home before dark. That is exactly what he was trying to do when, just before dusk, gunshots rang out.

Gang members pulled up in a car and asked Shaw if he was in a gang. Shaw didn’t have time to tell them “no.” He was mowed down before he could answer, police say.

This kid obviously wasn’t a thug, and it doesn’t seem as if he had any affiliations with any gangs. In fact, his father made compromises with him to ensure that he would get good grades, stay out of trouble, and get into college, which he did.

Another unfortunate to twist to this story involves the mother of Shaw:

More than 7,500 miles away, Army Sgt. Anita Shaw was serving her second tour in Iraq. Her commanding officer called her into his office and told her to sit down next to the chaplain. He then informed her that her son had been killed on the streets of Los Angeles

It’s incredibly sad to think that while she is away defending our country, here her son is, trying to stay out of trouble and didn’t even get a chance to defend himself.

Again, there is no doubt that this is an incredibly sad story, however there is one segment of the article that really stands out to me that nobody seems to be discussing.

Blue-and-white flowers — his school colors — adorned his casket, and photos of Shaw over the years were displayed at the service. Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” played as mourners entered the church.

Why would any school in a gang-ridden neighborhood choose their school colors to be blue and white, especially in Los Angeles.

For those of you who haven’t followed the gang wars in Los Angeles, one of the biggest players there are the Crips, which is one of the largest, predominently black street gangs.

Can you guess what the Crips main colors are? Blue and White.

From what I have read, the relationship between the 18th Street Gang and the Crips has been one that fluctuates. At some points, they are rivals, where at others they share turf.

With most gangs, one small action can lead to any truces and/or partnerships being eradicated at a moments notice. In no time whatsoever, a partnership can, has, and will again lead to an all-out gang war.

While I’m not saying that there was necessarily a rivalry between the 18th Street Gang and the Crips during the time of this shooting, what I am saying is that in a neighborhood that is notorious for gang activity, having school colors be colors of one of the largest gangs in the neighborhood makes no sense to me whatsoever.

I’m really curious to hear what people have to say about this, because to me it seems like having different school colors would be a no-brainier and something that would have been changed a long time ago.