Yet another gorgeous piece of writing

from Ta-nehisi of course:

As the hood heats up so does the ignorance factor. In the past week, I’ve seen at least three people loudly cursing each other out and/or physically threatening each other. The other day I saw two 6’5″ identical, skinny as a rail, twins, both dressed alike, cursing out the train conductor at 135th. When the train pulled off they had the nerve to give each other dap, on some “We just let motherfuckers know” shit.

When you’re conscious and  live in a neighborhood with higher than normal poverty, you learn to  cope with certain things–a lack of decent produce, a dearth of good schools, an abundance of crime. But you generally find ways to work around these. If you’re in Harlem, you Fresh Direct, or you go to the 96th street Whole Fields and pay the eight bucks for delivery. You may not find the school with the greatest test scores, but you find one where the principal and teachers are heavily invested. When your kids decides to show his ass they call you right away, because they know you don’t play.
You learn that much of the violent crime that happens isn’t random–the innocent bystander isn’t so much a myth, as a rarity. Criminals like to shoot at other criminals. For the rest, you learn what streets and corners are hot, and which ones have the kind of block association that will call 311 over busted streetlight. That’s all fine for me. I love living in cities and I love being around black folks (White people, you’re growing on me. Or at least your music is.) That means, there’s a good chance I’ll be living in a hood. I’ve basically lived like that all my life.
What I’m finding harder to contend with is the kind of ignorance that you get in summer–a dude on Lenox, old enough to be my uncle, yelling at some girl a block away, “You fat ugly bitch.” The ignorance is really starting to wear on me. People talk a lot about kids and how wild kids are in the ghetto. But the kids don’t much bother me. Maybe it’s because I see myself as a kid in them. I don’t know. But watching people who are older than me act like they’re kids kills me.
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