Remember the Cursing Toddler Of Omaha? Now there’s the Dead Little Girl Of Omaha. The outraged blogger Mighty Favog, who lives there, reports on the murder of a beautiful little girl in Omaha’s ghetto. Five-year-old Payton Benson, whose mother had moved with her from Omaha to work on a nursing degree, was killed by a stray bullet fired by gangbangers in the next block. Excerpt:
SEE WHAT trying to better yourself gets you in the ‘hood? Your kid killed at the breakfast table by the unintended consequence of unintended consequences. That’s the underclass anticulture for you. How very racist of me to mention that, despite it not being just a black thing.
Today, the police chief is outraged, the mayor is outraged and the whole city is outraged. We’ve been outraged before; we’ll be outraged again. We Omahans — we Americans — are goddamned good at outrage, but not so much at actually doing something about that which outrages us again and again and again and again and again.
We’re working on it, though. Results are preliminary, but we’re pretty sure the solution has something to do with giving teachers concealed weapons, blaming big government (or institutionalized racism . . . one or the other), lowering taxes (or raising taxes on the rich), moving farther out in the suburbs, moving to a dee-luxe apartment in the downtown sky, cutting food stamps because . . . well, look at Those People . . . and going shopping.
The shopping part, we’ve got nailed.
The people who teach little children to curse and call themselves niggas killed Payton Benson.
On Thursday, Matthew and I were driving in Baton Rouge, and stopped at a red light next to a young black man, maybe 23 or so, driving a Chevy Caprice with expensive rims. He was dressed ghetto, had his windows down, and was playing his hip-hop music extremely loud, because as we all know, everybody wants to know what he’s listening to. It was amazing. We sat at the red light for 30 seconds or so, and the song he was listening to was an uninterrupted stream of “nigga” this and “nigga” that, except when he was saying f**k, d*mn, or sh*t.
It was like a Klansman’s idea of degenerate black culture. But there it was. This young man was filling his mind with it.
“That guy hates himself,” I told my son. “Listen to that.”
That’s not the first time either of us had heard that sort of thing, of course, but it was shocking all the same, to think of what kind of black man fills his mind and his heart with such filth and self-hatred. What can that music and those lyrics possibly make him think of himself. What does he aspire to? I was listening to John Coltrane in the car not long ago, and thinking my God, this is some of the most transcendent music of the 20th century. It’s transporting. In Baton Rouge, we just lost an old bluesman, Tabby Thomas — a great man who did a lot for the blues. My reading list for this year contains Terry Teachout’s biography of Louis Armstrong, which I added after listening late last year to some Armstrong performances, and wondering, how did that man do that? I cannot imagine America without Louis Armstrong. I seriously can’t. Hell, I cannot imagine the world without him. He came through so much poverty and suffering and discrimination, and became one of the greatest American artists of all time. Coltrane too — and he battled heroin addiction as well. But in his art, he triumphed. There is so much life and hope and humanity in that music. If aliens sent an emissary to ask for the purest artistic expression of the highest of our species’ humanity, when it came to music, I’m not sure what all I would send them, but I would at least send them Bach, I would send the Mozart, and I would send Armstrong and Coltrane.
And there that fool was, sitting in his car on a beautiful sunny day, windows down, pumping nigga nigga nigga f**k f**k f**k into his head, and into the minds of everyone unfortunate enough to be near him. No wonder these gangbangers kill each other with such frequency. They hate themselves. They just plain hate.
It’s the culture of death. I don’t understand it. I don’t pretend to understand it. But I hate it. Do you know the first time my nine year old son heard the word nigga was in a rap song one of his white friends was listening to last year? I grew up with that word used commonly by white people to describe blacks. Nowadays, decent white people don’t talk like that. But many black people do, about themselves. How bitterly ironic that a nine-year-old white boy now living in a town in the Deep South had to ask his dad what a “nigga” was because he heard that word in a hip-hop song by a black rapper, and was curious.