Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
This has to stop
Last weekend I helped to moderate a public forum for the League of Women Voters featuring all the freshman Senators and Delegates to discuss their priorities and plans for the upcoming General Assembly in Annapolis.

Present at the forum, in rather large numbers, were members of the Algebra Project. These were inner city African American high school kids who impressed the hell out of me. Yeah, some of them wore their jeans around their knees, had their caps on backwards, and had their iPod earbuds hanging out of their T-shirts, but as soon as they opened their mouths - the stereotype vanished. Well spoken, well informed, passionate and articulate, they grilled the representatives on education reform, school funding, literacy, "No Children Left Behind" name it. These kids were leaders. Cream of the crop. I was completely and totally impressed with every single one of them for being there and speaking their mind.

Sadly, it seems there is no easy escape from the means streets of Baltimore. One of those bright young men, Zachiriah Hollback, 18, was shot in the head while he was waiting for a safe ride outside of City Community College the other night. He is listed in critical condition at Hopkins and is on a respirator. Police believe robbery was the motive and they have no suspects.

This kid was just one of the many good ones. They're killing their own future leaders. It's so, so sad. And so, so senseless.

UPDATE: Zachiriah Hollback has died. That makes him the fourth murder victim of 2008 for Baltimore. In other depressing news, I looked up the number of murders in my zip code for 2007. There were a total of 281 homicides in Baltimore last year, 32 of them were in my zip code. 26 shootings, 3 stabbings, and 3 blunt force traumas. Nice.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:12 PM  
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