"Now class, today we learn about life at the end of the American experiment, just before decades of the failed test into mandated racial equality came to an end, ushering in the era of peace and stability we now enjoy today. Who would like to read this passage?"
A shy, but obviously bright blond haired girl in the back raises her hand.
|A fitting story representing black America in 2016|
The teacher smiles, joyously discriminating against the other hurried hands jettisoning into the sky and singling-out the blue-eyed girl toward the rear of the room.
Instinctively knowing the teacher had selected her to read the passage, the child composes herself and prefaces the passage by saying, "In the years before it was safe for our families to live in this city, this was the reason our ancestors allowed Baltimore to collapse into ruin and decay." [This rapper rallied to stop violence on Baltimore streets. An hour later, he was shot and killed., Washington Post, June 27, 2016]:
He was a rapper trying to stop violence in Baltimore. Tyriece Travon Watson, better known as Lor Scoota, had just finished hosting a charity basketball game. The fliers advertising the event had said, “Pray for peace in these streets.” Music artists and important faces from around the city had come together to prove they could get along.
Lor Scoota got in his car and left the arena. Bringing peace to Baltimore was a message he had been trying to spread — on panels, in classrooms and in his music.
“How I’m supposed to live with all this death in my sight?” the 23-year-old had once sung.
Lor Scoota was about a mile away from the arena when he was shot and killed.
Baltimore police said the rapper was driving east at 6:56 p.m. Saturday when an unknown black male wearing a white bandanna stepped into the street and opened fire into Lor Scoota’s car. He was transported to an area hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after. Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting as a targeted attack.
“We have to be tired of this. Can #Scoota be a wake up call for us?” tweeted police spokesman T.J. Smith. “He entertained many, now gone, just like that. We are better than this.”
That was the call Lor Scoota had just sent out at the Morgan State University field house.
“Supposedly people think all the rappers don’t like each other, so we brought everyone together,” said Tadoe, another artist who played in the game. “It was about having fun, showing that there was a smile on everybody’s face.”
Lor Scoota was one of the city’s most beloved hometown rappers. His 2014 song “Bird Flu” inspired dozens of YouTube videos of Baltimoreans doing the “Bird Flu dance.” When the Baltimore Orioles made it to the playoffs, Lor Scoota changed the song’s lyrics for the radio: “Talkin’ ’bout that orange and black / I got a bird on my hat / Won the Series in ’83, I think it’s time to go back.”
A few months later, Lor Scoota’s voice was on the radio again — this time, to promote non-violence in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray. According to Baltimore’s City Paper, he recorded a series of PSAs “expressing understanding for those that were angry but also encouraging peace.” Soon after, he spoke to Baltimore youth on a panel organized by Councilman Nick Mosby, the husband of Marilyn Mosby. She is the state’s attorney for Baltimore who charged the six police officers who arrested Freddie Gray just before his death.
Last month, Lor Scoota visited an elementary school to read to kids about Martin Luther King Jr.As the shy, blond child finished the passage, one of the blond haired students in the front of the classroom sat pondering the passage he had just heard read aloud. The teacher looked his way and asked him if he had any questions.
"Who is Martin Luther King Jr.," the blue-eyed boy asked?
Without missing a beat, the teacher replied coolly, "Someone who momentarily postponed our future. Momentarily delayed, because all moral authority regrettably flowed through this man until people realized it was individuals like Lor Scoota and the man who killed him who better represented this failed race."
The bell rang signaling the end of the school day, and the classroom of white students cleared out, free to go play in the streets of downtown Baltimore.