A lot of kids get killed in Oakland. I've known one of them personally (he was 13) but there have been many, many more. Some are in gangs or involved with drugs, and others are actually just in the wrong place.
I've noticed two things about these news stories.
1. People really really seem to want to blame the victim. I suspect this is because they're scared. If This Other Kid got killed and he wasn't doing anything wrong, then their own children are in danger. But if This Other Kid was to blame, then our own children are safe.
2. It's much much easier to ignore these stories. We all feel helpless and a bit hopeless about it. If there's nothing we can do, why bother to talk about it. It'll just make us feel worse.
I try to remember these kids in this blog because - even though I feel scared and hopeless - they deserve to be remembered and acknowledged.
Ditiyan Franklin was killed in the middle of the day, two weeks before graduation. He was supposed to present his senior project tomorrow. The topic of the project was gang violence.
One year ago: Saving Baby Pandas
Four years ago: The Future