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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Monday, July 07, 2008

What can I say?-- Updated

This morning my home health care aide came, as usual, to help clean and get the house set up for the week. She was very upset and told me that she probably can't come next week because she has to go to a funeral. When I asked her about it, she told me that her 17-year old cousin was shot and killed at their family barbecue in Hyde Park on July 4th.

Welcome to America.

Junie is Haitian. She's seen more than enough violence and death in her own country. To be from such a country and to be lucky enough to come to the United States and have a family member, just 17, killed by one shot to the head? Outrageous.

About 6 months ago their family had a terrible fire and two children were killed. Young kids, 6 and 8 years old. Recovering from that loss is hard enough, but now a senseless murder on top of it? As Junie says, "we don't have no good luck here."

Junie is a hard working woman. I've had a lot of home health aides in the past few years. Most of them don't want the job, don't want to be in the position of cleaning other people's houses, and don't stay long. They're paid abysmally, they are almost always new US residents with minimal English skills, and they tend to leave for better jobs as soon as they can.

Junie does an excellent job. I think she's the best worker we've ever had. I see an amazing amount of potential in her. She's got an entrepreneurial streak a mile wide. She wants to do more, be more. But honestly, how can she even think of getting ahead when her family has endured such tragedy.

We have to do better than this. We have to ensure that the senseless violence in our streets stops. It is enough. We've lost too many young people of color for no reason. Like Junie's nephew, who was a good student and going into his senior year of high school. A kid that didn't look for trouble.

Nobody knows who the shooter is. The family described him to police, but he has yet to be found. The truth is, he probably won't ever be found. This sad story happens much too often to persons of color in our city. The loss of this boy isn't ever going to be as important as the loss of a white boy of the same age. That's true of this country, not just this city.

My heart aches for Junie. She came to this country hoping for a better life. She came legally, waiting a long time to get here. She has a large family here, some with deep roots in the community. Her nephew, for example, was born in Hyde Park and lived his whole life there. Like so many immigrants, she lives in a bad neighborhood with a lot of violence. And even more bad landlords. She works hard and she has expectations that her lot in life will improve. She did not expect death to find her teenage cousin. But it did. Such a tragedy.


Update: From the Boston Police web site

BOSTON POLICE ARREST SUSPECT IN CONNECTION WITH RECENT HOMICIDE

On July 4, 2008 around 7:56PM, officers from District E-18 (Hyde Park) responded to 11 Edwardson Street in Hyde Park for a person shot. On arrival, officers located Ronald Marc, 17, of Hyde Park suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The victim was transported to Brigham and Women’s Hospital with life threatening injuries and later pronounced at the hospital.

As a result of the investigation regarding this incident, an arrest warrant was obtained and served last evening on Kevin Louis, 21, of Hyde Park. Boston Police placed Louis in custody and charged him with Assault by means of a Dangerous Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm & Discharging a Firearm within 500 feet of a Dwelling and will be arraigned today at Roxbury District Court.

No murder charges. Sigh. How disappointing for the family. At least they caught the guy.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Rhea said...

This kind of thing makes me crazy. It's so wrong. America is held up as some kind of nirvana, and it just isn't.

7/7/08 12:40 PM  
Blogger Fox In Detox said...

This is horrible. To come from so little, with expectations of so much, only to be faced with more tragedy. She must be a very strong woman. I hope her heart will soon know some peace.

8/7/08 6:13 AM  
Blogger Daisy said...

How awful. How simply wrong.

8/7/08 4:23 PM  

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