WHY?

           I saw them Saturday night at the Spaulding Bar in North Omaha. Three homies I hadn’t seen since much of since we graduated high school. Three cats I was tight with when we were just plebies at Morton Junior High. My boys Clarence Brown, Kevin McGee and Kerry Baker.

           It was a joy just to see them. Pounds and daps all over the place. The pure happiness of seeing old running buddies who were…well….old….and perhaps wiser for the wear. Clarence was the in service and been all over the world. Kevin had gone into business and Kerry? Man, Kerry was on a wild ride. He got into a little trouble out of high school, landed in jail for a little bit, but he got himself together and along the way just bit by the writing bug. A few months ago, his first novel Playboy Mack hit the shelves, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. The story is a semiautobiographical sketch of a player-turned-hustler and the choices he makes both good and bad. It’s a gritty, but good read and it got my attention. I was planning to have the author himself join us on the Corner for an interview for this blog. That interview was scheduled to be conducted Thursday August 4.

          But what happened on the afternoon of Wednesday August 3 changed those plans, and perhaps much more. Kerry puts on work at a barber shop when he’s not writing. Cutting hair. Mind probably on his wife and the upcoming sequel to Playboy Mack.

         Two men entered the shop with guns. They opened fire and then fled. Baker was left greviously wounded.

         As I write this, Baker is in an Omaha hospital in critical conditionOne news reporter said he looked “lifeless” on the stretcher.

        WHY? Right after a fun and wonderful Native Omaha Days, WHY?

        WHY? Why did two violent, evil men stalk and shoot a man just living his life and trying to do well for himself…WHY?

        WHY? Why is a black Nebraskan 18-times more likely to be the victim of a homicide than any other ethnic group in the state?  WHY?

       WHY? This is the third such incident in the past 3 days alone in Omaha WHY?

       WHY?

      And the bigger question….What are we as North Omahans going to do about this ridiculous level of violence?

      North Omaha, can we do better ? North Omaha, will we do better ? North Omaha, we must do better!

      UPDATE: Omaha Police reports that the injuries are no longer life-threatening.

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