Crown of Thorns

by Nadra Enzi

Black Savannah, like Black America, has alot of misdirected rage. The murder of Mr. Kevin Shorter, the underpublicized victim of the reigning Miss Savannah, falls under this catagory. This rage is part of a national departure from the "suffer-in-silence" mode of previous generations.

African-Americans from my Generation X onward have a decidedly non-nonviolent way of addressing slights real and imagined. Full disclosure requires me to state for the record that I favor aggressive verbal, legal and, when legal, physical defense. Among younger brothers and sisters, the ballistic option is employed far too often. Singing "We Shall Overcome" and open displays of interracial affection does not negate the real rage that squeezes triggers all over our community.

Unlike the typical lower socio-economic criminal suspect usually fingered in these attacks, Mr. Shorter's murderess is a product of the local chapter of the Black Middle Class and by all accounts an overachiever academically and professionally. Her credentials led to considerable head scratching among those trying to figure out "why" this tragedy happened. At 21, her life path did not include jail and possibly prison in anyone's wildest dreams. At 25, Mr. Shorter's life path would not have been assumed to be headed toward a violent end.

Black rage isn't conveiniently confined to the 'Hood and the projects. Violent responses to challenges have become a new norm in the wake of the Dr. King's era of non-violent social change. That much of this rage seems directed toward other African-Americans is ironic, but statically sensible. Most people are assaulted and killed by members of their own ethnic group.

While it is no understatement that Mr. Shorter's murderess was a bright star on the horizon, I'd like to take time to mourn the snuffing out of his personal star. Fame and high status should never overshadow the loss to friends, family and the public of an individual life. Mr. Shorter had dreams and goals that can never be fulfilled.

As a citizen and an older African-American, I grieve for both families and for the stark state of affairs this crime highlights. In this case, all Black rage left for posterity was a crown of thorns.

Crown of Thorns by Nadra Enzi

© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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