Only The Good Die Young…


The story of Chi-town teenager DERRION ALBERT is some shit that we have on repeat here in America. It’s the story of poor, young people that are being misdeucated from the womb. The brutal and graphic video of this kid’s murder was made for television. It allows the viewer to shake their head in disgust at the perpetrators without viewing what the real cause of the murder was.


DERRION ALBERT is one of many teenagers in Chicago, St.Louis, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, Camden who receives the worst part of the poverty cycle. Don’t think that his assailants weren’t lost to us as well. Their demise is slower but it will be set before the cameras as well. This is what capitalism hath wrought. Crabs inside of a barrel isn’t as difficult to watch as this video.

I don’t believe we have the power to stop our precipitous decline.

All we can do now is watch.

33 Responses to “Only The Good Die Young…”

  1. VEe says:

    DP, call me naive or optimistic but based the history of poor folks in America, we can stop and end the cycle of violence . . . in some communities. There have been a number of times when either one or several parent(s) decided that enough is enough and slowly took control of their neighborhood WITHOUT any financial or social resources from any level of government. Now while I recognize that growing gardens* in the middle of lost, decaying urban cities will not turn things around in many communities, small steps definitely help. Although I know many misguided people will probably brand old Ms. Johnson a snitch and probably attempt to kill her, action will need to be taken to shift folks moral compass in a positive direction.

    (Random thought) I don’t know how I feel, or I am unable to articulate how I feel about people all over the web pointing fingers, blaming the parents, school system, etc. and calling the perpetrators savages. Not to mention the parents are being called degenerates, some people are questioning whether or not they should be allowed to procreate and the poor chases women make in selecting not-good-for-nothing men to make babies with.

    But yeah, at this moment, all we can do now is watch.

    *The mother who lost her daughter to senseless violence in the HBO program “The Corner” was based on a real parent who made a difference in her community.

  2. nerditry says:

    It isn’t even a we in most circumstances, it’s personal responsibility. Starting with his murderers, going back to their parents and what got everyone into this shit in the first place.

    In footage I saw, kids his age were saying he was in “the wrong place, at the wrong time.” My understanding is that he was right by his school and apparently, that is the wrong place to be in his neighborhood. That’s the fucked up backwards nature of all this, as if Derrion Albert had been incorrect in his movements.

  3. the_dallas says:

    I banged those images up top together to make the point that each one of those young men was dead to us at birth. America has gone for generations in the direction that disenfranchises poor people like those pictured above(and myself). Their parents were miseducated and underserved, their parent’s parents were miseducated and underserved also.

    You have to understand that the cycle of violence that we are witnessing has been cultivated more than half a century before we bear witness. The things that will ocur after we have left this place will be exponentially shameful. The change does begin with us. Since the wealthy have no inclination to lessen their income or quality of life so that these people may be uplifted the burden comes to us, the people that are within earshot of the gunshots.

    Do you want to change your life in order to save those boys pictured above, or boys like them? You do understand also that corporations pay 100s of millions of dollars for a half minute of programming broadcast during the Super Bowl? Corporations feel like those 30 seconds are enough to make you do whatever they tell you. Do you think you stand a chance against the wheel of capitalism? I know I don’t.

  4. Lion XL says:

    D…you said ‘wheel of capitalism’, don’t you mean the Wheel of greed and deceit? Last I time I checked, whats going on in this country has nothing to do with capitalism.

    Capitalism is loosely defined as ‘an economic system in which wealth, and the means of producing wealth, are privately owned’. Unless one of those words describe the feasting of the rich on the bodies of the poor/underclass, it is not capitalism. Capitalism has long ago been rendered to utter thievery on the part of those controlling capital. In a true capitalist system, the Bernie Maddoff’s of the world would not exist.

    And to answer your question…we never had a chance….

  5. bananaclipse says:

    If this wasn’t on camera no one outside the Chi would know or care about this.

  6. Tony Grands says:

    It doesn’t matter what happens next, it’s probably happening right now, again, like it did yesterday & the day before, & surely tomorrow & the day after.

    A cycle is a tremendous thing to break. Far be it from me to pretend I have any answers. All I can do is point out the clues, & perhaps one of our children’s children will be able to stop the madness.

  7. mercilesz says:

    Wow ok…I have been involved in meleys like this many times as a kid not perpetrating violence but…witnessing mostly and once even the victim of it. This is the direct result of capitalism. dallas is correct. what concerns me is no one is getting out to stop anything…no girls in the men in the truck…no one in any of the cars.violence is fun in america and life means nothing. not to the rich,not to the poor. Look at how we treat people abroad…this is Rome at its finest. novus ordo seclorum. this is the american way. in order to gain spoils and witness triuumph one must victory(kill) 1st. Toy guns…cops and robbers…cowboys and indians…gi joes…wake up people this is ur culture.

  8. Ernie Paniccioli says:

    Respect to all those who shared their pain and their posts. But lets get fucking real here. Uncle Sam has proven Lethal to the poorest of the poor with it’s bullshit wars around the planet that drain men and resources from the poorest communities then attack those same communities with a rabid war on drugs (that same Government brings drugs into the same communities-don’t take my word for it, check the facts on the CIA/Crack/ Black Neighborhoods history in the NY Times) While we are losing sleep, human lives and resources in fear of some guy who prays three times a day and would rather tend his goats then be bombed, tortured and murdered in his bed our cities are festering. The math is right and exact for a Bruce Willis saves the world flick: No jobs, reduced social services, huge gang membership and the liberals afraid to diss a Black president……add it up……..Peace, Ernie Paniccioli

  9. Thermos says:

    I believe that DP said the problem was poverty, not capitalism. Capitalism is the bus that we’re all riding, poverty is the cliff that it’s driven off of. Before MLK died in Memphis he had turned his attention to fighting poverty. He was done with focusing on just racism. He said that the unholy trinity poisoning America went like this: racism, poverty and militarism. Too bad we only got semi-serious about ending the first one. Those other two WILL take us all the way to the burst of flames at the rocky bottom if we don’t get serious about ending them NOW.

  10. Amadeo says:

    What’s real bad is that it’s been like this…I think most of us have seen something like this at least once. I have several times. I understand why people would not jump in. In a world of victims and victors people don’t rush to put a target on their back. It’s the same thing with “snitching”. It’s one thing to do the right thing at the time, it’s another to deal with people afterwards…lord knows the cops won’t stick around to protect you. Children haven’t been safe for a long time it’s just these days we get to capture on video.

  11. Polotron says:

    Am I that desensitized that (outside of someone actually dying – which is BAD) I don’t see this as the end of days? I mean, you had a few REAL cowards that saw fit to keep going in on the cat that had already had it – for sure they could use some introspection (and the 1 on 1 you know you don’t ever want)…but for the most part, this is dumb kid shit. You know, the type of dumb shit your mom would still beat you for today, if she knew you you were involved when you were that age.

    Poverty? Capitalism’s heavy boot? How do you glean all that from this video? Wanna be tough guys that will be crying about how they did didn’t mean to kill him, any minute now. Now, it could be just as you called it, but we won’t know until we know.

    Same for the parents. I mean those of you with (a) good parent(s)…could they have stopped you from doing some dumb shit? Did they not teach you enough to know better? Maybe it’s as simple as a mob mentality kicking in.

    Either way, it is what it is since jungles and caves. Before and after Rome…before and after America….capitalism, socialism, fascism, any social/economic structure.

    Dumb shit happens. Especially when you’re young.

    (Admittedly at a higher rate in the hood. But only because it’s more crowded and the knucklehead/sq foot ratio is increased)

  12. the_dallas says:

    Poverty is the problem and the direct by-product of the unchecked capitalism we live with. In the end we aren’t just witnesses to the videotaped beatings. We are complicit in our lifestyle as well. I enjoy getting shit from AJ Wright like Nike t-shirts for $2, but that chain reaction fuels my debt to capitalism to militarism to poverty.

    Most people can’t look at that video and make the connection that they aren’t just witnesses but actors as well.

  13. We can’t blame capitalism for these degenerates’ behavior.

    Capitalism didn’t make their moms let their dads hit it raw.

    Capitalism didn’t make their dads deadbeats.

    Capitalism didn’t make their grandmoms defend them as “good kids” even when they terrorize their neighborhoods.

    Capitalism didn’t make them think that brutalizing other human beings (esp. black ones) makes them men.

  14. BIGNAT says:

    gordon gartrelle got alot of good points especially.

    “Capitalism didn’t make their moms let their dads hit it raw.”
    you can get free condoms from planned parent hood

  15. the_dallas says:

    If you think capitalism is benign or didn’t underwrite the miseducation of all of these people involved then you don’t comprehend capitalism

  16. Children of Sanchez says:

    CREAM and it kills me

  17. smog says:

    wasup dallas i read your site daily, you are a beacon of knowledge, honesty and humor, i live on the south side of the chi and my dude teaches at this school were this young man attended, thank you for brining light to this event and the greater implications that it dictates

  18. I didn’t say that capitalism was benign.

    My point is that, despite unfair systems of inequalities, people can and do maintain a sense of decency. They may not have shit, but they have personal responsibility, dignity, individual and collective pride/shame.

    To treat people as if their behavior is governed strictly by abstract demographic and economic forces is an insult to poor people. Most broke people don’t go around bashing in skulls. They go around protecting their heads from the minority of degenerates who bash skulls.

  19. Lion XL says:

    Gordon…If those at the top(the Educated, the power brokers, the so-called leaders of our era) resort to robbing, stealing, and pilfering from those below, how then to do those at the bottom look on those at the top? With wide eyes and dreams of being them. It becomes acceptable, it becomes a destination for those who have dis-enfranchised to the ethic of working for what you wish to obtain. Until it becomes a cancer.

    Cancer, if unchecked cancer grows exponentially, eventually infecting organs and tissue that had no affiliation with the original cancer. When known defenses fail, the only option is to cut it out, if it becomes to large or is spreads to fast the victim dies.

    This is the same effect in our culture, the poor/underclass continually grows and have started to affect the ‘MIDDLE CLASS’, the educated and most important, OUR YOUTH. Education, government intervention, social collective conscience, have all failed. Can we cut it out? That’s really not an option as we would cutting out or future, the heart of societies longevity which is our children. Problem is it’s growing too fast and has gotten to large to control with any other means…. so unless this ‘cancer’ decides to devour itself, we will probably cease to exist as a people (I don’t mean black people, I mean all people) as it has already jumped the fence

    do I have answers? NOPE. I’m at my wits end. I don’t see an easy solution short of obliteration…

    Tron…many of us seem desensitized because we may have lived that life in one way or another, but we should try to look past that and try to forge a new lane for our children or we already lost…

    Lion XL is for the children…..

  20. Thermos says:

    @Gordon: You’re insistence on individual responsibility is the debate face of an ideology of vicious social darwinism. In plain terms: people’s problem’s aren’t just their own faults, and those who argue this way are usually in the business of exploitation – basically complicit in creating very problems that they claim are other people’s.

  21. VEe says:

    Hey I understand the argument blaming capitalism and poverty but this cycle of violence did not always exist. At what point in history did we begin to hear about rampant acts of violence by young kids in America? Capitalism and poverty was always there but these acts of violence are brand new. This horrific high school violence has been going on in Chicago for the past 2 years or something.

    “This is the direct result of capitalism.” nah, not really, “despite unfair systems of inequalities, people can and do maintain a sense of decency.”

    I see your argument, great points but there are many well-adjusted, non-violent children growing up in single-parent households. Growing up without a father figure does not direclty influence a kid to hit another kid in the back of the head with a 2 x 4.

    I believe we change our lives and behave differently to save those kids, particularly in our local areas directly and indirectly.

  22. Thermos,

    You’re creating straw men.

    How did you turn my insistence that people are responsible for their own behavior into “people are responsible for all of their own problems?”

    Of course people aren’t solely responsible for being poor and living in war zones, but people are responsible for acting like civilized human beings and not destroying other peoples’ lives. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that poor people do not have the capacity to be moral. That’s bull.

    Ceding personal responsibility to the right has gotten us nowhere.

  23. You’re right, Vee. My point is that most people, even those from the worst situations, don’t behave like this.

    My bad for putting growing up in a single parent home on par with the last one, which is really the only one that matters.

  24. Lion XL says:

    @Vee…the violence has always been there, the internet/digital has just made it less easy to hide in plain sight.

    When I was Jr HS, it was the Tomahawks and the EsSEX boys that terrorized my neighborhood, so moms bounced to flatbush. Then it was the 40’s crew and The French Boys duking it out. In HS it was the 5% and any bunch of fools from red hook or Ft Greene. By the time I left I was among the ones being stupid….it has always been there, just different faces…..

    If you forget about US, look at the movie GANGS of NY and the 5 Points. 100% real, non-fiction, although adapted for the movie screen. The violence has always been there, and mostly affected by the poor/underclass. Shit, I bet cavemen had illegal club smuggling going on…

  25. VEe says:

    @Lion XL,
    There’s always going to be an underclass or criminal element in any community. However, the rampant violence that occurs regularly in some of our communities is a quite new. I recognize that there have always been a relatively small number of wayward knuckleheads but before maybe the 60’s or 50’s . . . getting shot for a pair of Adidas, or Roger (see Main Source 1st album) getting killed going to school was not happening frequently.

    We all understand that outside of this incident being videotape, uploaded and displayed on national television there’s nothing really shocking. At some point in our history an incident like this would have been a real shocker. This cycle of violence involving school children does not occur in many other poor ethnic neighborhoods. While you may find some recent examples that have fatalities, will you find a pattern of violence prior to the 1960’s?

    While I enjoyed the Gangs of NY, and checked out the mini-documentary on the DVD, the battles and violence did not involve children in middle school, junior high school or high school. I’m not sure if a report or study is available but Chicago has been bugging for a little minute. The Chicago high school death tolls is very alarming.

    And not for nothing, we all can see that slowly but surely many of our morals, codes and cultural memes are eroding. There was certain acts that were considered very shameful but some where along the way we lost sight of that and the rules and codes are being broken with a smile. Before you had to respect old Ms. Johnson, but now kids are calling her a b—- or a snitch.

    I guess I co-sign Gordon Gartrelle, but I’m not calling these trouble youths in Chicago savages, degenerates, brutes and all that.

  26. Polotron says:

    Lion XL, see you.

    “many of us seem desensitized because we may have lived that life in one way or another, but we should try to look past that and try to forge a new lane for our children or we already lost…”


    “it has always been there, just different faces…..”

    My point precisely.

    I guess where I get lost is poverty too often gets mistaken for not having what you want vs. not having what you need. I don’t know those Chitown likkles, but at a cursory glance, no one looked impoverished. And right there I guess I come full circle. If (American) capitalism dictates that if you don’t have all you want, go beast, then yeah, we have our culprit. But watching the vid, I didn’t see one cat even remotely improve his lot. Showing out for the chicks, IMO, was more likely on the brains of these fools.

  27. Lion XL says:

    We can debate this for years, and probably should, but…

    @Vee…if you remember the story, the kid played by Dicaprio was about sixteen….it didn’t portray school children and such, because the characters involved weren’t concerned with that…there was a book I used in college that explored the anthropology of gangs in America, mostly pre bloods and crips. If I can remember the name I’ll shoot if off…its a good read, basically it tells me that none of this is new, different aspects but not new.


    ‘poverty too often gets mistaken for not having what you want vs. not having what you need’

    Cosign 100%, and that’s probably where the difference comes into play in that it has become acceptable to GET THAT MONEY by any means necessary. No, capitalism doesn’t dictate that if you can’t get what you want, beast out for it…but it does feed the desire for more, and when the youth see others lying, stealing, and cheating (maddoffs, AIG, etc..) to reach the top, its becomes easier to say ‘FUCKIT, Imma do what ever…’ and not see the flip side that this is wrong, anti-social and anti-progressive….

  28. VEe says:

    @Lion XL,
    This should be debated, discussed further and some of it has.*

    The point I’m alluding to is specifically before 1960’s (maybe 1970’s) . . . was widespread violence involving school children in many poor urban communities through out the states so common or were they a rare occurrence?

    I know a lot of gang violence occurs near schools but there’s definitely a difference, especially with the recent (’07, ’08, and ’09) reports coming out of Chicago. The level

    *Yeah, unfortunately I don’t have my sources with me but I know the uber-not-so-popular John McWhorter discussed the when the reported incidences of violence in our communities really begin to increase.

  29. mercilesz says:

    oh sorry there is no poverty without capitalism…does that help?

  30. mercilesz says:

    Oh I see people have already sed what i just did. but Vee this has always been the way of Europe Rome Greece and its idolizer the US. Violence by youths in America is taught from youth. one more time think about what i said be 4. toy guns…cops and robbers…cowboys and indians…gi joes…what does that teach a person? Murder is good. think about it. its always been like this.

  31. VEe says:

    Your not going to win that argument in a court of law or win a lawsuit against RockStar entertainment. Violence may serve as a entertainment but many children are able to grow up as well adjusted members of society without murdering and assassinating innocent people in Liberty City. I’m not hearing that.

    Now I’m beating the dead horse. I’m specifically talking about widespread violence involving young school children in poor urban communities. Don’t get me wrong, I understand violence is as American as apple pie. I’m fully aware of the violence in Haiti, Jamaica, etc.

    This kind of violence that I’ve witness growing up involving kids in school (80’s – 2000’s) I don’t know what the numbers are, but it is definitely escalating in Chicago right now, LA have their own crazy cycle going but what I’m saying is this sh*t right here is something more than regular gang violence . . . . 4get it just peep my comments above.

  32. Polotron says:


    It’s only “widespread” because it’s been hot w/ the media and everyone has a camera phone. Add youtube and it would appear that home schooling is the way to go.

  33. mercilesz says:

    Vee ur just living now…meaning this is ur experience. my dad went to Brown university with a member of the Black Stone Rangers. This was 1968 when they were freshmen. Google that gang from chicago. This is america….aint nothin changed. u gotta wake up.

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