Moodswing - Honky bitch

Ringing the death knell for Al-Amin’s neighborhood

Unlike many of my neighbors, I’m not black. Not that I know of anyway. The truth is I don’t know much about my heritage, as my parents both died before I started caring about heritage, thus making it hard for me to harangue them for information. I would love to discover some black lineage in my family history, though, if for no other reason to than to spin my bigoted father in his grave. But at this point, as far as I know, I’m not black.

What I am, according to a neighbor here in Capitol View, is a “bleachy-haired honky bitch.” Capital View is in the West End area of Atlanta, not far from where Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, the supposed pillar of our community, shot the testicles off that police officer, killing him and almost killing his partner. I remember the morning after that happened, I never saw so many police cars on Dill Avenue. The regular crack whores — who Chris and I christened Crusty, Sticks, Smiley and Pox Face — were nowhere in sight. The crack dealers, though, were there. You can’t let a little cop killing interrupt commerce, I guess.

Al-Amin was caught, of course, and a jury just convicted him and sentenced him to life with no parole. Now I’m not black and I’m not Muslim, but I’m a resident of the community Al-Amin is credited with having cleaned up. The same neighborhood his supporters now say has been “sentenced to death” because Al-Amin has been sent to jail by a jury of his peers who had the audacity to believe the mountain of evidence against him rather than simply acquit Al-Amin based on his say-so. And I admit I’m flummoxed, really, because I have no idea the proper protocol for living in a community condemned to die.

I mean, do we give it a last meal? If so, maybe it can be like a progressive dinner held in the dining rooms of all the former crack houses, which, in the past few years, have been renovated into real homes that now house upstanding families. I didn’t see Al-Amin out there in a tool belt sanding down a door or anything back then, but it takes time to plan such a fantastically botched escape from a cop killing, so let’s give the guy credit. He’s used to that, I’m sure, getting credit for the things he did not do — as well as those he did.

And I remember a year-and-a-half ago when my neighbors fought to close a crack house across the street from the elementary school and flushed out a drug dealer on the same street who’d resorted to arson to terrorize his neighbors. I went to a prayer vigil -- me -- held on the street in front of the burned house. There I was, my 6-month-old strapped to my chest like a little wally pup, holding the hands of others and closing my eyes when commanded in a show of solidarity; the good against the bad. I didn’t see Al-Amin there, but I understand it’s a long process to stockpile ammunition, not to mention the time it takes to hone that bullet-to-the-balls maneuver. So he was busy, I’m guessing, preparing for the day he would make us all so proud over here in the West End area.

But now I hear the West End is condemned to die because this murdering Muslim Pooh-Bah won’t be around to hold reign on any crime outside his own making. There’s a group of drug dealers on the corner of the block where Chris and I live. I earned my bleachy-haired-honky-bitch moniker when I almost hit one of their customers with my car a few years ago, and that’s what one of them shouted at me. Anyway, I’m wondering if we should invite them to our neighborhood’s funeral, seeing as how our neighborhood is sentenced to death and all. I’m sure they’ll be sorry to see it die, as it’s been such a source of income for them in the three years I’ve lived here, especially since Al-Amin, the allegedly great sweeper-upper of West End neighborhoods, had not once been by with his big broom.

But hey, Al-Amin had more important things to do, I guess, like learn how to better throw his scent while being tracked by bloodhounds. Perhaps if he had not been so engrossed with the welfare of my community he could have perfected that skill and to this day still be at large, hiding in the woods and eating rodents with Eric Rudolph. But no, he was caught and convicted and hauled off to the hoosegow. How we’ll live without him is anyone’s guess. How have other communities fared when the murdering and paranoid among them were caught and put away? Poorly, I’m sure. So there’s nothing left to do but wait for the neighborhood death knell to toll. I’ll be here dressed in black, even though I myself am not personally black that I know of.??