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Did Derrion Albert’s Death Influence The Olympic Decision?

Submitted by on October 4, 2009 – 7:37 pm7 Comments


First of all, this is not – I repeat – is NOT a diss to Chi-town. I am very painfully aware of the fact that the subject matter that I’m about to deal with does not constitute a Chicago problem, but an American problem and do not want/need anyone from the Chi feeling dissed behind this. Thanks for your understanding.

Chicago has given us so much in the way of culture and music – R. Kelly, Common, Twista, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco… The organizing and political career of Barack Obama started there and his wife, Mrs. Michelle Obama was born there. We’ve heard all of these people speak of their love for their city and the things that it taught them. However, it was not enough to make it the host city of the 2016 Olympics.

The President himself came out to make a push for the city. His wife did as well, and she brought Oprah with her. While I’m sure that their words, support, and enthusiasm was much-appreciated by the International Olympic Committee, there was another message sent by the city that may have factored in to its decision to go elsewhere.


That message, of course, is the death of Derrion Albert. The brutal beating of a 16-year old bystander to senseless and ignorant self-hatred expressed through inexplicable violence is a more accurate way to put it. Much has been said all over the web about the incident, including here and here on DrJays.com Live.

Not only is the death heinous, cruel, and absolutely inexcusable – the fact that it was taped, that people walked by without as much as a word makes it even more so. But it goes a step further than that. Everyone was so busy promoting Chicago to the IOC that there seemed to be little response in the way of statements made to the community from its most influential.

True, there were memorials, vigils, and the funeral – as well as the community speakers and concerned citizens who spoke there. Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan both attended the funeral and spoke about the implications that a murder like this has in the community, and are to be commended. I would not dare belittle their efforts – however, they are the usual speakers at such occasions.

Where were the big names that were mentioned at the beginning of this post (in all fairness, the President is slated to make a statement about Albert’s death soon)? Where were the merchants and those who work for economic development who had been campaigning so hard for the city of Chicago to host the Olympics? Where were their pledges to do whatever they can to ensure that nothing like this happens again?

Essentially, I’m asking if the impression of Chicago given by its biggest names, politicians, and developers was that it ignores social problems in attempts for economic and publicity gains. On to the bigger issue.

There have been so many opportunities afforded to my generation by those who came before us. We go to integrated schools, we have rights (on paper – actual respect of those rights can be a different story sometimes).

Racism no longer comes from American institutions – instead, when it comes, it comes from the people running those institutions. I’m not saying that everything is perfect. However, I am saying that we don’t see nearly as much vehement and clear-cut racism as was once witnessed in this country – yet so many of us blame “the white man” for so much.

Look at that video and see how many white men were beating Derrion Albert to death.

Albert was an honor student who was not involved with any gang. Why do we often cause harm to those with the potential to help our communities the most? In striving to fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr – a dream to live in peace and harmony with other ethnicities – we forgot to live in peace and harmony with ourselves! It’s not white hatred that brutalizes us, that beats us, that kills us. It’s our own hatred for one another that inhibits our rights.

We sang “We Shall Overcome,” meaning that we would trounce bigotry and prejudice. However, we now need to overcome our own hostility and fear of one another. The only way to do that is to know who we are for ourselves. We have to replace the stereotypes of ourselves propogated by mainstream media with actual history and knowledge (not to mention the fact we need to counteract the help that mainstream media gets from influential rappers and networks who work to glorify and glamorize the lifestyles and mentalities that can lead to the acceptance and imitation of these stereotypes).

We have to choose to be fathers to our children, therefore ridding them of the rage that so many seem to feel at the sight of those who seek to be positive men and women in our communities. Each citizen and resident of every neighborhood and community has to, once again, commit himself or herself to being a part of the proverbial “village” that it takes to raise a child. There’s no more time for merely taking care of one’s own. We have to care for our entire communities – that way, no one has an excuse for acting like the savages that so many people expect and have proclaimed us to be.

The next phase of the Movement is just like FUBU – for us, by us – because we have to see ourselves as equal and treat each other as such before we can command such treatment from the world.

Photo Credit: CBS NEWS

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  • ♥ BELLA says:

    Awesome post, Chris.

  • big reefy says:

    Not only is this a disgrace to black people everywhere but the human race in general i have seen wild animals get better treatment and im a young african american man and father of two kids and i begin to wonder is this what our future’s coming to total destruction becuz these kids in this video are simply out of control and minds and need to be punish to the fullest extent of the law.To be honest if it was my family i would definitely take the law into my own hands i know thats not smart but come on this is real sad how can somebody allow this type of crap to happen all the time damn i guest we will all learn when the earth perish.Im not here to preach just to quote the bible which states the wicked will suffer and the meek shall inherit the earth which i believe totally my prayers goes out to derrion albert’s family and i hope hellfire comes fast and swift for these children of satan believe me i feel ya pain nothin i mean nothin hurts more than watchin somebody you love 2 death get their life destroy in seconds just for kicks and i can seem to write no more because my heart cant take no more pain and the tears wont stop i feel soo sorry for my beautiful black people becuz we are going to eventually exterminate ourselves with this foolishness peace and much love,REST IN PEACE DERRION ALBERT

  • Kwaping says:

    Good write-up, Chris. While I see your point, I have to say that Rio is probably more violent than Chicago – it just has a lower profile because it’s in Latin America, where violence is the norm.

  • @Kwaping:
    Thanks, man! Now you see that? That’s why I love to write for DrJays. Someone always brings up something that I may have overlooked, and I certainly overlooked the level of violence in Rio. Amazingly excellent point. Here’s a question for ya, though. Do you think that the bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta may have factored into the decision?

    Thank you very much!

    @Everyone Else:
    I love to read what you all have to say. Keep commenting!

  • Kwaping says:

    Hey Chris, thanks for the nice words. I don’t think the Atlanta bombing was a factor in the decision. If anything, I think the IOC probably felt that Brasil needed a bigger boost than we do. There are so many factors for them to consider, it’s hard to even guess at what their decision was based on.

  • I have said a lot of the same things you post here since Sept 26th..I have waited impatiently on our President/First Family to respond..not send a msg. thru another, I want to hear what he thinks..he thinks Kanye is a Jack Azz, had beers w/a cop & a scholor..smh..sad..well I asked my cousin MR. CHEEKS OF THE LOST BOYZ today, to text me what he felt about the situation (as we lost our beloved Freaky Tah to a senceless murder of simple jealousy)..this is his reply:
    Question: hey cuz please tell me your feelings towards the beating of 16yr old Darrion Albert. Answer: These lil f’in clowns have no morals anymore. We have a black President now, show some class! Once again..were killing US! WAKE UP!!!..love is love Mr. Cheeks LBFAM

  • Ticara says:

    I’m from Chicago and I never seen such a thing happen to a young innocent child. I never result to violence and it’s a disgrace to everyone and his family and black people overall. You never hear of a white child being beat to death. Like there can’t be something someone done so wrong for them to be beaten like that. I am very upset about it. My mothers bestfriend her son got murdered in Chicago as well by a gang beating which he had no association by the name of Lazarus Jones, it’s sad that he didn’t even get to see highschool. These kids have no morals and goals in life…no desire to be anything. It’s really sad.

    R.I.P. Derrion Albert

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