Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Since I'm prone to stereotype ...

Was it a Christian Rock singer who was killed early Tuesday in Detroit? Or a pop idol? A jazz musician? No, of course not, it was another rapper *:

Proof, a member of the rap group D12, was hit by gunfire at the CCC club on Eight Mile, the dividing line between Detroit and its northern suburbs. Police said he and another man were shot in the head. The other man lived but was critically injured.

I know the street well, since it's only a few miles from my house. It's seedy, lined with strip clubs and abortion clinics. And, since I live in Detroit, my local paper has a stretch headline of the story. Iran acquiring enriched uranium? Not so important; that's off to the side, in a much smaller article. No, we have 75% of the front page devoted to the latest Rapper to be shot, plus a page and a quarter inside. The Detroit News goes beyond the story to say that "Proof's" death is merely an example of all the young black lives that are lost every year to gun violence.

Little mention is made that Proof is suspected as being the shooter of the other victim in the story, Army veteran Keith Bender, and certainly not on the front page. While it's early in the investigation, relatives of Bender claim Proof first shoot him, and then someone else shot Proof. Yet, already we hear this:

I really hope (Proof) will be remembered in the hip-hop community as a Pillar," said MC Serch, former morning show host at WJLB-FM.

Yes, nothing says "pillar of the community" like shooting someone in an after-hours bar over some disagreement.

I have an idea, for all of those who are concerned about gun violence: if it's 4:30 in the morning, you shouldn't be drinking with men who have guns. And, if you are the type to get into arguments with men, that END in gun violence, perhaps you should find a ten-step program on conflict resolution.