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Ranting Robert

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Robert Underwood

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Trigger Warning: This post contains truthful information that may be offensive or sensitive to certain segments of the population such as college students, liberals, and blacks. I am not responsible for any hurt feelings this may cause. Of course, I don’t care about your feelings.

Pittsburgh reporter Wendy Bell was fired from WTAE after making some controversial remarks on her Facebook page after a recent shooting. As we all know, when we talk about controversy and black people, it usually means black people don’t like what someone else said about them because it’s the truth. Her comments came after a March 9th shooting where 5 adults and an unborn child were killed at a backyard cookout in Wilkinsburg, a Pittsburgh suburb. The comments which stirred up the black community more than the shooting itself?

‘Next to, “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand time,” I remember my mom most often saying to my sister and me when we were young and constantly fighting, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I’ve really had nothing nice to say these past 11 days and so this page has been quiet. There’s no nice words to write when a coward holding an AK-47 hoses down a family and their friends sharing laughs and a mild evening on a back porch in Wilkinsburg. There’s no kind words when 6 people are murdered. When there children have to hide for cover and then emerge from the frightened shadows to find their mother’s face blown off or their father’s twisted bod leaking blood into the dirt from all the bullet holes. There’s just been nothing nice to say. And I’ve been dragging around this feeling like a cold I can’t shake that rattles in my chest each time I breathe and makes my temples throb. I don’t want to hurt anymore. I’m tired of hurting.

You needn’t be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so man hearts two weeks ago Wednesday. I will tell you they live within 5 miles of Franklin Avenue and Ardmore Boulevard and have been hiding out since in a home likely much closer to that backyard patio than anyone thinks. they are young black men, likely teens are in their early 20′s. They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs. These boys have grown up in the system before. They’ve grown up there. They know the police. They’ve been arrested. They’ve made the circuit and nothing has scared them enough. Now they are lost. Once you kill a neighbor’s three children, two nieces and her unborn grandson, there’s no coming back. There’s nothing nice to say about that.

But there is HOPE. and Joe and I caught a glimpse of it Saturday night. A young, African American teen hustling like nobody’s business at a restaurant we took the boys to over at the Southside Works. This child stacked heavy glass glasses 10 high and carried three teetering towers of them in one hand with plates puled high in the other. He wiped off the tables. Tended to the chairs. Got down on his hands and knees to pick up the scraps that had fallen to the floor. And he did tall this with a rhythm like a dancer with a satisfied smile on his face. And I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He’s going to Make it.

When Joe paid the bill, I asked to see the manager. He came over to our table apprehensively and I told him that that young man was the best thing that his restaurant had going. The manger beamed and agreed that his young employee was special. As the boys and we put on our coats and started walking out — I saw the manager put his arm around that child’s shoulder and pat him on the back in congratulation. It will be some time before I forget that smile that beamed across that young worker’s face — or the look in his eyes as we caught each other’s gaze. I wonder how long it had been since someone told him he was special."

This isn’t a reporter who doesn’t know about the community. WTAE’s headquarters are a half-mile from the scene of this shooting. I’ve lived in Pittsburgh my entire life and have spent quite a bit of time in Wilkinsburg. While there are a couple of safe pockets, it’s mostly a large, poor, crime infested, gang banging, drug-ridden community and has been so for the better part of three decades. Blacks make up 66% of the population. The community is so troubled that the school district will be sending their students in grades 7-12 to Westinghouse High School (another failing public school) in the Pittsburgh Public School District. Black murders are in the news so common that most people just gloss over it as if it’s an everyday thing. Naturally, most reporters are used to reporting on this kind of thing every single day. The only thing unusual about this shooting is the number of people targeted and killed. Based on Wendy Bell’s comments, here’s a profile for who the perps are:

  1. Live within 5 miles of the crime scene

  2. Hiding out in a nearby home

  3. Black

  4. Males

  5. Age ranging from 15 to 26

  6. Multiple siblings from multiple fathers

  7. Mother works multiple jobs

  8. Arrested or cited for previous incidents

At least seven of those items will be spot on if/when they arrest the people involved. If I’m wrong, I’ll apologize. But I’m not. And if every black person were honest, they would admit that I’m not. It’s a fact that blacks commit eight times more crime than whites despite making up 13% of the population. It’s a fact that blacks commit half of all homicides in the United States despite making up 13% of the population. It’s a fact that blacks commit 38.5% of all violent crime despite making up 13% of the population. It’s a fact that over 90% of all black murders are committed by blacks. The majority of these crimes are committed by black males between the ages of 15 and 34. It’s a fact that blacks have a tendency to not talk to the police or as they like to call it, “Stop Snitchin’". It’s a fact that over 70% of black babies are born out of wedlock and 67% are raised by single mothers. It’s a fact that there are 75 black men to every 100 black women, meaning there are a lot of black men who are either in jail, dead, or are unavailable due to other means. It’s a fact 59% of black mothers with multiple children have multiple fathers. It’s a fact that children without fathers in the home are more likely to be poor, do drugs, get arrested, not graduate from high school, and have children as teenagers.

However, there is a message of hope in all of this. The Facebook posted mentioned a story about a black teen who was working hard at a restaurant, a teen who valued his job and put everything he had into it. If anyone wants to avoid any of those traps and do something positive, they have to work for it. Contrary to what most black people think, nothing is given to anyone in life. Life is, by design, unfair. The decisions we make impact our lives and the lives of those around us. Every single statistic above can be prevented with better decision-making by individuals and the community.

Was it wise for Wendy to place this post on a work-related Facebook page? Probably not. Of course, the firing was nothing more than a PR move. WTAE is free to let her go for any reason or no reason as Pennsylvania is an “at-will” state. However, I have two questions that I want an answer for:

  1. Why are blacks more upset about the comments she made than the shooting itself? And why is there more news coverage about the comments than the shooting?

  2. When Wendy Bell is proven to be absolutely correct, will she be reinstated to her job with a full apology and back-pay?

Please feel free to respond, but if you are going to attack myself, my character, or my post, I demand that you answer my first question and explain why you are more outraged by anything I say than all of the evil going on in the black community. And for all of those who are outraged,

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