FEATURE STORY
Ol Happy Days

 

By Ron Johnson 06/01/20: I often think about trying to enjoy the good old days all over again. Looking back, it was the best of times and the worst of times. It's hard to believe that I have come as far as I have. I remember the ol happy days like this.

 

As a kid, I had a wondering mind. I would get up early in the morning just to be the first outside to see what kind of mischief I could get myself into. When I would leave home, I would play all day. On days when family or friends who had cars would come by it would be a special treat to go for long drives.

 

Our house or home unlike most was in an isolated part of the city, it had one way in and one way out. It was a place where everyone knew one another. And for the most part I lived a somewhat peaceful childhood minus the childish fights that came with being an adolescent and gang recruitment.

 

The place I grew up in is called Altgeld Gardens, a housing projects on the southside of Chicago. Out of a list of ten it’s the third most dangerous project in Chicago, they say. It’s deemed to be so dangerous that it even has a nickname - (CHIRAQ)

At the time I never knew I was living in poverty or a war zone because as a kid I did not know any better. My hustle was trying to figure out ways to keep the chips, popcorn and candy flowing daily.

 

Even though we had gun violence and murders from time to time there was one thing we NEVER had to worry about. Police Brutality.

 

I am not saying we did not have to deal with bad cops who abused the badge because we did. But even they quickly learned that when you come to the Gardens you had better treat people with respect if you wanted it in return. And they did because they knew it would be hell to pay if they did not, because we could control if they got out of the maze called (Alligator Gardens), the place with one way in and one way out.

 

The point of this story is I grew up in hell and felt safer there because I never had to worry about police brutality. Now that I made it out of the Ghetto America is and has been letting people who look like me know there will never be piece for us in the land of the free, even though we built this country.  

 

America is a melting pot of immigrants. But somehow even after all this time white immigrants still seem to think we are less than. The problem is when they see how far we have come even after slavery they can’t handle it. They still seem to think we should be shining their shoes. It’s because of our resilience that we are the enemy which is why white America is at war with us. Ask yourself if one’s hands are shackled and his oppressor beats him/her, then kills them how is that an equal fight? Its not. It’s beyond cowardly.

 

I am sorry to disappoint and I am equally sorry to say the time of calling us boy has come and gone. These last murders were the breaking point.

 

There will be no more pleading to be seen as humans.

There will be no more begging for equal rights. And definitely there will be no more acceptance of police brutality.

 

What happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, and the countless others, who are no longer with us to enjoy all that this summer brings due to the cowards who took their lives is unacceptable.

 

IT STOPS NOW! America will either accept that we all live in piece or there will be no America.

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