Some of us are still reeling from the images of school children killing one of their own in Chicago last week. 16-year-old Derrion Albert died from brain injuries caused by blunt force trauma to the head after being jumped by other students from his high school. Contrary to numerous erroneous media reports, there was no gang activity involved.
The confusion stems from civilized adults trying to make sense of uncivilized behavior.
There's a classic book written in the 1950's called "Lord of the Flies" about a group of British boys stranded on a deserted island in the Atlantic ocean following a plane crash. The adults didn't survive the crash so the children were left to govern themselves. Eventually, in the absence of adult supervision and with no social rules to conform to, they turn on each other like savages.
In this video found on What About Our Daughter's blog, Central City High School Principal Ras Baraka tried to make sense of an off-campus shooting involving a high school student from his Newark, New Jersey school.
"This is not normal!," he tells an audience of the injured student's peers.
"You're living this life like it's normal. This is abnormal to talk about your friends dying, to not be able to walk home safely from school... this is not normal to be wearing t-shirts that say 'Rest in Peace', to be writing 'Rest in Peace' on the wall. This is not normal! Nobody else's children do this!
Sadly, he's right. Only in the black community are our children killing each other off at alarming rates. What's wrong with our people?
At the end of the book "Lord of the Flies," the children who have already killed two of their own, are in the process of killing a third boy when a naval officer lands on the island, interrupting them. The naval officer's ship was attracted to the island by a fire the kids had set.
The officer expressed surprise at the children's behavior, telling them he expected better from them. The officer who was unaware of the two murdered boys assumed the children were playing a game.
His confusion stemmed from a civilized mind trying to make sense of uncivilized behavior.