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Original post made
on Jan 27, 2013
A pedestrian killed crossing the street in Palo Alto, over 40 comments. A man shot and killed in East Palo Alto, not one comment. My only comment is how sad and telling is that.
Lyle - it's hard to know what to say that hasn't already been said. I understand & respect your comments, however.
There is a gang war right now & that may have a role in this recent death. A young man, once again, now dead, certainly w/loved ones in mourning.
For those of us who live here, who are law-abiding & don't relate to young violent thugs, or those who are their victims, because frankly, we don't interact w/other thugs, it's hard to know what to say. I've taken action in many ways through the years, as have thousands here. It's a deep-rooted set of social problems that we're all part of, that's been in place for decades.
What I see that's less dramatic but just as worrisome is hard, grinding labor just to keep heads above water, an unnecessary macho harshness that even affects the girls, a total *lack of privilege* - based on race, socio-econimic forces, education, family, & more - that is staggering. That's not everyone by any means, but it carries far & it's breathed, bred & a constant reality. So many good people here work tirelessly to combat this lack of privilege, to mixed results.
I have lived both in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, and what a difference. In Palo Alto we worry about people coming from E. Palo Alto (this is what a police officer told me in Palo alto when he stopped me, thinking that I had come from E.PA.), to burglar the homes, but in Palo Alto, we worry about something more serious, we worry about the shotings that go on and on, at least 3 times a week you hear multiple shots, later we hear on the news that some one resulted dead or hurt. We just pray that the shots will not go into our homes and hurt our loved ones. I am wonder if this is ever going to get better. Things are the same than in 1986 when I first moved to EPA if not worst. We do pay higher tax than in 1986, but in regards to crime I do not notice improvements. I sometimes feel like demanding the city officials to get serious on this, but then I could get killed too (of course not by city officials).
There's a major reason why all of this is happening ... We east palo alto people can't succeed in education do the the low income our family has ... All these shooting indeed are affiliated with gang related stuff but its because of money they need to support their family. Why does palo alto even have to worry about what's going on in EAST PALO ALTO ... Don't you guys have enough to worry about what. For example what type of brand your going to wear tomorrow to work or what fancy 5 star restaurant your gonna to visit? I ride my bike to palo alto, matter of fact I bought my bike there from an official bike retail place ... But I'm constantly being mugged at every time I ride there it's like "oh my god there's a Mexican kid over here! Is he gonna cut our grass or steal another bike"!
By the way sorry for the grammatical errors!
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
How can you compare the death of an innocent pedestrian to that of a gang member, who presumably joined a gang of his own volition?
I have worked with EPA nonprofits for years, and I know that most of the residents are just as frustrated with the ongoing violence as anyone would be. They are hardworking people who are worried about their children's wellbeing, can't afford to move elsewhere, and don't have any clout with gang members.
EPA residents have the same opportunities anyone else has. Education K-12 is free, and dozens of nonprofits support residents with additional resources. Many EPA children who want to get out of the Ravenswood district have received scholarships to local private schools. Scholarships are available to high school graduates who want to attend college. And many EPA college graduates return to their community to contribute their talents.
Young men can choose to use these successful college graduates as role models. Or they can join gangs, and risk the consequences. It's hard for me to feel much sympathy for anyone who decides to take the lowest road.
(Wasn't really comparing to the person who got ran over) I agree with you there is scholarships available for us students and there is a free education here but what is affecting us is the negativity of the people in the community ( east palo alto) there really isn't that much of good positive role models here except your parents! We want rolemodels we can talk to and not turn the channel on to and say " I'm going to be like him rich and famous" because we all know that those chances are limited! We want rolemodels who aren't drug dealers or involved with some sort of gangs in east palo alto! Rolemodels we want are limited! I'm involved in a non-profit program to, which is offered to low income students in the Bay Area, that help us create our own business and go out to the public and sell! We can get scholarships too if we are elected for it! My point is we East palo alto students want rolemodels that will help us succeed in life and also the right to ride your bicycle or walk down university into palo alto without being starred at in a negative way! I mean no harm in disrespecting any of you guys I'm sorry if I am I just want to state my opinions!
Whining - you're totally wrong re same educational opportunities here. In addition of course, is the flood of non-English speaking, low-education immigrants. The whole equality argument doesn't work, because it's anything but.
I wasn't raised in EPA & my education is private & public schools. In the latter, the bused in students didn't do as well.
While unacceptable, I find the thuggery somewhat understandable. You should as well - in your town they just wear suits. Greed, competition, avarice, status - they're the same here, just using more physically violent tactics than in PA & the other local cities. What convinced me of this more than ever was dealing w/EPA thug landlords housed in PA. And then you have the corporate heroes- tax dodgers & panderers of child abuse labor.
I agree with Cesar. I go to his school and I am a senior. There is a lack of education and role models being circulated in this community. We go to the ONLY public high school that is located in East Palo Alto called Phoenix Academy. It's a charter school and is dedicated to helping the students have a successful future. This school cannot serve many students so most are bussed off to bigger schools to where they are just a number. 100% of our seniors get into college every year because we have that individual attention and have those teachers who actually care about us. A majority of East Palo Alto residents do not have that opportunity however and end up doubting themselves and their achievements. I would like to push back and say that we have a horrible school district for middle school, in my opinion. We do not hold the same resources as those who are in the more privileged communities such as Palo Alto. Compare the two and tell me if we do have the same opportunities. It's like when the Plessy v. Ferguson case ruled that we will have separate but equal facilities. That did not work because the facilities were NOT equal. We do not have to money to go to fancy schools with fancy textbooks and amazing lunch and all that jazz. It's completely opposite and therefore, I am offended as a student and resident of East Palo Alto at that comment that we have same opportunities as anyone else, because we don't. It's different to WORK with EPA Residents than to actually BE an East Palo Alto Resident. Also, We do not have the Role Models that we truly need. Growing up with gangs, violence and drugs, its easy to grow up thinking that this is the lifestyle we are destined to be with. It's easy thinking that we are supposed to do these wrong things because that's what we see and are taught from when we are little. I agree that we have some opportunities such as BUILD and College Track, but who is going to push those students into applying for those programs? Who is going to tell those students that they do not have to deal drugs because they want some money? Who is going to tell them that they can achieve their highest goals? I don't know of any other programs that are in East Palo Alto, so how should anyone else know? These kids need that motivation and I know if it weren't for my grandma, I would be out in those streets as well, being fast and trying to make some temporary money rather than going to school, thinking of my future and working to make some long-lasting money. Think about the things you say because if you aren't a East Palo Alto Resident and seeing the same things we see, hearing the same things we hear and feeling the same things we feel, you have no right to speak on what we should do and how we should act. Honestly, I am mad at the fact that people just do not understand where we are coming from and how we feel. They pre-judge us because we are minorities and come from a poor neighborhood. If we just had more people to motivate us and lead us in the right path, that would make such a difference and maybe there won't be as many shootings and gang-violence in East Palo Alto. If you do not know the circumstances and things that we have been through, maybe you would have more sympathy. We need people to teach these kids how to hold a diploma and not a gun.
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Sharon, I find how it's funny that you are commenting these comments. Well to address you:
I am very serious
"Illiterate" means "unable to read or write" so I am confused on how my punctuation can be anywhere near illiterate.
I am a young, black female. I said WE are minorities.
That comment about the Spanish drug thing is completely irrelevant to my point.
I have a life thank you. I am Salutatorian of my high school. I am the Student Body President. I am CEO & CFO of my company iHoodies. I have applied to 24 universities in the United States and I have an interview with Harvard tomorrow afternoon.
I am a very successful East Palo Alto Resident and I hope that other who see my comments understand where I am coming from.
Sharon, please bring up more irrelevant comments. Your ignorance is amusing.
Minorities like us in east palo alto have to push out self to get a college education... Not like people whose parents went to some sort of school like Stanford! We have to succeed in our free provided education. Education we receive at no cost but with torn text books! We are actually the reason that United States in fact has been working out! Minorities are the ones doing all the jobs that people don't want to do! Later on people are saying minorities are taking over their jobs -_- .... Which that's not true because with our us you guys would have to get your hand dirty I'm dirt not in ink! We are the reason why United States is a successful nation
And another point, we are a family in East Palo Alto. Yeah, there is drugs and violence, but our role models and people we turn to aren't teachers. Our main Role Models are the people who are around us and who have raised us everyday. To judge and say that people are taking the lowest roads is awful and incredibly judgmental. You don't know what we have been through and you don't what opportunities we have.
Im Erin Summers, a friend of Elisha Mitchell and I just wanted to say that its sad to see someone have such little empathy for the hardships that kids lke us have to go through . Im not a resident of EPA , but I am a resident of South Richmond and I can definitely identify with the hardships that inner city kids have to go through being that to get a good education , I have to travel to Berkeley everyday . I attend California College Prep Academy and I can honestly say that if I didn't go to that school , I probably wouldnt be as successful as I am now ! In June of 2013 , I will be the first in my family to actually graduate high school and go to college .And yes I am black as well .So before you "knock" minorities or any other race , put yourself in their shoes . you never know what someone is going through or where they have been . And Sharon you have definitely proven yourself to be the epitome of ignorance .
It is funny how you make remarks on our education but say we have equal education. Just admit it, you did not know what else to say so you made a insult to my fellow classmate Elisha
Of course it's easier to be in an environment where everyone is expecting you to go to college vs joining a gang. But children in East Palo Alto have plenty of opportunities. Phoenix is not the only option in EPA; you can also attend Eastside Prep or Mid-Pen. Both good schools. Outside the immediate neighborhood, M-A, Everest, and Summit are free public schools where you can get an outstanding education and get accepted to a great college.
It's an abdication of personal responsibility to adopt the "poor me" mindset and excuse your lack of initiative by telling yourself that the rich people across the freeway don't understand. But you'd be making a lot of assumptions, which is never a very smart thing to do. Many of us started off in situations worse than yours, and figured out early on that hard work beats a pity party any day.
The path to success is lit up in neon lights, but you have to be willing to take the steps to get to it. No one is going to force you to apply to a good school or participate in College Track. It has to come from you.
You cannot compare being in a college class environment to joining a gang. You are stuck on gang violence which may not even be the case. We are dealing with violence in general here. Mid-Pen and Eastside are private schools which means they have to deny many students who do not meet the requirements. As a result, people are bussed to other schools. You have to live in a certain part of East Palo Alto/East Menlo Park to even get put into those schools.
I am not saying that people should pity us residents. I am saying to understand where we come from. What if violence is the only thing that comes to us and we are not taught to get that education because we are surrounded by negative influences? Do you still want to tell us "ooh well, it's your fault for not getting out of it and making something of yourself." No! that's not right. How do we get out? How do we get involved in programs? How do we learn to get into college? That's like having a baby and expecting it to talk on its own without having someone talking around it. If you want the baby to speak spanish, you speak spanish around it. if you want the baby to speak english, you speak english around it. These Residents grow up with people speaking about drugs and violence around here and what do you do? You expect them to speak about college. I'm not saying the people are going to force us to make it, but give us a little push. And it's ignorant comments like these that anger our residents. Like I said, you will never truly understand unless you actually take a walk in our shoes and live as a young, East Palo Alto Resident just trying to make it alive.
I agree with most people on here that hard work beats a pity party but I also think that the police wants to see most young minorities destroy themselves and either see us in prison or the cemetary so I call on all youth that read this life is too precious for us to be killing ourselves for a few dollars there's better options like joining job train getting your GED getting financial aid going to community college hell, even moving county or state and starting over cause once were gone we can never take a a spring breath or admire a sunset, life is what you make it, unless you're a innocent victim then that's outta your control and I'm sure god has a good place for you, don't mean to offend anyone just to enlighten a few.
I do agree with you that it is up to you to decide where you want to get in life, but they way a person thinks is influenced by his/her surroundings. Mid-pen and Eastside are both some what difficult schools to get into. I know M-A is not so great and most of the time, students that live in EPA don't have a way to get to schools in redwood city like summit and Everest. You say a person can not succeed if it has a mindset of "poor me" but what gives him/her that mindset. Students, especially young adults like myself, are heavily influenced and affected by the type of environment we are in. So are you going to tell me if I was Mexican and raised in PA and went to good schools I would be doing the same in life as if I was Mexican and raised in EPA and went to the schools that are provided to me within EPA?
Also, MA is not a very great school. I have many immigrant friends who attend there who do not even see college in their future. The college counselor is not teaching them that they can still go to college as an illegal immigrant. My school teaches kids and gives them the necessary motivation that they need. MA on the other hand does not because evidently, they make students feel like they cannot go to college when that is not true at all. They have options to get scholarships, and get into programs with mentors, even go to community college, but how the hell are they going to know about these opportunities without someone informing them of them? I will say it again, you will never understand unless you are a true East Palo Alto Resident.
in reply to Rwc2epa
you need to get your facts straight. [Portion removed.] Even if she was it still does not excuse what happened to him. He had a supportive family I KNOW because I am part of that family. It's a shame how judgemental people can be with their prejudice. living and growing up in E.Palo Alto I know from first hand experience the racial profiling from Palo Alto Finest. bottom line just pray for the family and change. We do not need Opinions of why.
What's done is done. Lamont like so many other young minority did not deserve to be shot down in the streets like some rabid dog. All I ask from the readers to just be mindful of your posting. Thank you Lamont's cousin
Hi Elisha Mitchell,
I've lived in PA my entire life (58 years) and had a lot of friends in EPA.
I enjoyed reading you posts; citing Plessy v. Ferguson - I hope you go to law school (I had gone to a night law school many years ago and had thought I would become an Attorney for Animals - did not complete, thought).
Take care and I send positive energy and prayers that you make it to Harvard or where ever you want to go.
Just me - Andy
Thank you Andy!
Elisha and others keep representing EPA and Menlo Park/Belle Haven, best of luck to you all!
Prejudice, latent racism, profiling, unequal treatment... Negativity in the media about anything concerning EAST PALO ALTO... Historical divide... Rich vs Poor... Lack of resources...difference in treatment from the police both East Palo Alto and others.... On and on and on.... You could go for hours on this argument and trying to explain the many factors behind the situation in East Palo Alto. In the end, why do we even try explaining ourselves to these outsiders who choose or refuse to understand our community's shortcomings. I say let us be. We will find our way. We don't need Menlo Park or Palo Alto or San Mateo County because their intentions are not genuine... Their concerns are different; they don't want the violence to spillover to their communities. We are going to be okay. All of us EAST Palo Altans need to be proud of our community, and we need to embrace who we are and stop looking outside for a solution.. Think about it people.
What a cynical attitude. There are so many people who are working to improve EPA and Belle Haven, not out of fear but out of caring for their neighbors. Compassion is a quality that I would recommend cultivating. You don't have to be rich to want to help others.
For those of you who claim that we west-siders don't have the right to comment on your plight, I recommend getting a copy of Sonia Sotomayor's book at the library or listening to her interview that was broadcast this morning on the radio. Both available to you for free. If her story doesn't inspire you, nothing will. Not everyone can be a supreme, but we can all strive to be the best we can be. If you refuse to take advantage of the many opportunities offered you, then you have only yourself to blame. They are out there.
well written/spoken EPA Resident.
Growing up in E.P.A myself and proud of it. I will not, nor have not let the media/other people without a clue make me think that I am less because they have more. We of E.P.A and I speak from my eyes seeing MY nieghbors. Have more than enough to become productive law abiding citizen in spite of the OBSTACLES. A few bad apples does not represent the collective. So who's to blame for Lamont's death and other's like him?? I feel it's someone with no regard for LIFE! Their life let alone someone elses. Until there is a value of life I'm sad to say This will not be the last senseless Murder we will hear of.
Cynical..hmmm... Yes I suppose we are cynical and yes we are different and proud at the same time. But who says more education equates better knowledge, who honestly believes more well-off necessarily means better upbringing... There are many disparities in East Palo Alto.. But the belief that most of us are up to no good and that we simply choose the easier ways of life does not come anywhere near a great percentage of our population... But for example when you to apply for a job anywhere, automatically we're expected to settle for less... When we are pulled over by the police, automatically we are not supposed to question the authority otherwise we are out of line.. When we want something better for ourselves, suddenly we are always demanding and not doing our share.. The problems are obvious, the solutions hard, but we are trying... Our community is unique in all the Bay Area. And in a unique way WE will have to figure this out be it with the help of the many or the persistence of the few...
Get beyond talk and get something done about the violence. East Palo Alto doesn't have more than 5 or so entrances in and out of the place. The authorities and powers-that-be haven't presented the common sense to simply install cameras that monitor vehicles going in and out. You can't tell me that there's no federal grants for law enforcement that won't cover this. That nobody, including the Chief of Police or City Manager or elected politicians have made the proposal and got this going is a mystery. Shot spotters can trigger the video stream and monitoring. One thing for sure: if somebody drove in or out, they'd at least have a picture. And, if there's nobody driving out then they'd know the culprit's in (or was in) the City. Get serious.
The monitoring of traffic in and out of EPA using technology that can read license plates and identify gang members and felons makes logical sense to protect residents from drugs and violence.
However, this will never happen as it does conform to PC requirements
So Darwin will rule.
How does Face Book feel about an infant and mother being shot by 10+ rounds by drug gangsters next their corporate head quarters?.
The level of killings/ attempted killings in EPA and EMP so far this year is horrendous
I don't live in EPA, but I work here. Many of my friends can't believe I work here and I tell them it's a choice. The social injustices and inequalities that exist in our country are very prevalent in EPA. The stigma, the negative attention, and the lack of resources and access to education and jobs is very clear to me. I highly dislike the attitude that people are intentionally choosing the 'low road'. That has to be the most ignorant statement I have ever heard, but even more alarming is that attitude is reflected in our politics (especially the GOP and the Republican agenda).
I choose to work here and help because the social injustices that occur and have occurred in EPA are not right.
These kids don't have the same opportunities as the kids in other neighboring communities.
I give huge props to the youth of EPA who press on and try to do something with their lives - they are the real heroes of this country and this community.
I don't view their struggles as a cop out at all or self-pity. What they are voicing is true and real to them and that is all that ought to matter. I'm glad they are voicing their concerns and struggles.
It's sad that this young man had to die; yes, he probably made some poor choices, however, he may not have felt he had any choice at the time and he was just struggling to survive. There are a lot of kids just like him in EPA and they need our help.
So, instead of making assumptions and judgements maybe a better use of your time would be to ask yourself how you can be part of the solution. Shaming and blaming is counter-productive and mean spirited. I would be interested in hearing what a nonprofit organization could do to help these kids. I've heard mentoring and I agree with that. What else would help?
You are probably going to say that the child and its mother got shot because of gang violence. Every post that I see about someone being shot has to be related to gang violence but if a white man was shot down and killed, it's a horrible homocide and it's because he was wealthy or something.
Honestly, I would like to believe that one day the violence can stop, but it will not. This is a resilient and persistent situation. More police is not the answer. Cops are not the opposite to violence; just as bitter is not the only opposite to sweet. Kids are raised Fatherless, and/ or Motherless... When a parent is absent constantly because they're required to have multiple jobs, that's also a factor to consider. When there's not much to do but hang out...that's also a factor. MLK Park and Jack Farrell Parks are overrun with pot smokers and the like.. Do I want to take my kids there to play, absolutely not. An unreliable and very often demeaning school system like Sequoia Union doesn't do much either... Honestly it starts at home, strong family support, constant supervision, discipline and a sense of belonging to more than your "boys". It's most often easier to do the wrong over the right, someone needs to be there along the way to point out such things. Police over enforcement and constant frisking should be the very last resort not the norm. In the end the police just don't seem to do that either so.... Yes talking and exchanging of ideas is useless and pointless I suppose because we should just go with (Sharon from Palo Alto's) idea because her community functions very smoothly with just the police officers at every corner... Nuff said.
Sharon is at it again. Never let an opportunity go by where she cannot vilify one portion of the population or another. Ignore her.
Nevertheless her words can possibly fall on wrong ears or be used as a kind of community feedback... if others just sit idly without countering appropriately...point taken though.. thanks
As much as we all want violence to end, that will never happen there will never be a stop to it! I'm not saying its good I'm just saying no matter what we do violence will still exist! You can have drones flying OVER US, squad car patrol the streets with 4 cops inside, or and heavy load of 20 army guys in east palo ago walking around! Violence is viloence and there is nothing available to make it disappear!
In going to attempt to put together a non violence march in EPA. We need to realize we are a family.
I have to say that I enjoyed reading the conversations between Palo Altans and East Palo Altans. I might be wrong, but I think this is the first time we have a debate. And I am very proud of the East Palo Altans who are trying to educate the Palo Altans, about how kids have to work a lot harder and have less support. Way to go E. Palo Altans, and Yes Thank you Palo Altans, for letting us know your beliefs. However, I believe that you know very little about E. Palo Altans. Many of them are very hard workers, want their best for their children, but they do not know ho to get there. Yes there are some school with limited spots and some who can afford private school and who pass the testing have better chances of graduating and going to college. However it is a lot harder for our E. Palo Alto kids, who have less then the west side. But today I saw that some of them are more educated and can put their ideas in writing in a a way that makes more sense than some of the Palo Altans who like to jump as soon as they perceive that some one is blaming them. And by the way no one was blaming them. The people who posted here where just having a chance to express themselves, and we saw how Sharon right away came hard on them. Sad but true. E. Palo Altans keep the conversations going. Again I have lived on the two cities, and I have had some bad and good experiences. Like I said when the police stopped me they think I came to Palo Alto to burglarized their homes. I am 50+ female who went to college and got a teacher credential, but for some people I am only a E. Palo Altan who comes to P.A. to bad.
Count on me, Elisha. I think that is what is going to take. By the way I rather live here because no one thinks I came to this city to rob people.
Come on people another shooting involving kids. Honestly its just really sad how this violence continues. It breaks my heart to read another story like this one.If anyone from EPA is reading my comment we need to stop this nonsense.
Together we can make a difference!!!!!
Organizing neighborhood watch groups. You watch my back I watch yours. We have this going on on our street and it works. It doesnt cost money just time to care about your neighbor and the activity going on. It only takes a minute to recognize a suspicious vehicle or person on your street. We have to take action in our hands. And of course we need the support from our police dept.
Stand up and let your voice be heard outside of this blog!! Join me in taking time to write to our mayor demanding change NOW before your child and/or loved one story is posted here as a victim of yet another shooting.
I am an ex resident of EPA. Born and raised, a child of the 60's (remember the civil rights movement). I have since moved to the south, but EPA will always be home. I was a child whose parents knew the importance of education, and taught me that in order to make it in this world education would be the key. I remember even back in the day, the senseless shootings, the territorial issues over a neighborhood that didn't personally belong to the perpetrator. I remember being at home by myself in the summer when someone tried to break into our house. Yes, we had bars on the window, but the criminal(s) dug out the air vent in our garage and kicked open the back door. I could go on for hours about my experiences of growing up on Gloria Way, but my message is this - in order to make a change we have to work together; remember the days of the civil rights movement, they marched and they didn't quit until there was change, they worked together. Get the movement started again!! It makes no sense to kill each other off, do you not realize that this is really modern day slavery that we have put ourselves in? It's doesn't take a large group to get something started, it takes one! Who in the community of EPA will be that one? Again, Get the movement started. Ask yourselves what did Martin die for, what did Malcolm die for, why did Joseph Lowery march, why did the freedom riders die? The answer, so that the generations that came after them could have a better life and better opportunity. Would they be proud of us today? Peace
Wat happened to all the company's that said they were giving these children jobs if they move into the EPA town ikea homedepot bestbuy liars liars
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