“At home, he loved eating pancakes and waffles with syrup, and could belt out the lyrics to ‘Bad Boys’ when he was young, his relatives said. He played basketball and video games. Neighbors remembered him as polite and respectful.” Translation: Shaaliver Douse was such a good boy. How could something like this happen to our little Shaalie? Young master Douse was terminated by New York’s finest earlier this month after shooting at another yoot and then failing to drop it when commanded to do so (instead, he fired at the cops). While friends and relatives have only the fondest memories of Shallie’s brief time on this Earth, others with knowledge of Douse and gang life in general tell a slightly different story . . .

Kevin O’Connor, an assistant commissioner at the New York Police Department who follows gang violence, said he had never seen “a kid with three gun scenarios in nine months in my 25 years of dealing with youth.”

That three-fer includes an attempted murder charge that was dropped when the victim refused to cooperate. And others outside the family who knew the departed paint a slightly less rose-tinged portrait.

“But to others, Shaaliver seemed cool and edgy. On Facebook, his friends called him Shaalie Blood. At night and on weekends, he could be found on Washington Avenue near East 169th street, which is a hub for teenagers, who call it the Nine. All around, large, often rowdy groups talk tough, smash bottles and chase one another over fences and through traffic in a game they call Manhunt.”

Sounds like the standard fare, no? Well, no. At least not they way the Grey Lady’s scribblers, Winnie Hu and J. David Goodman, relate it. They’ve taken the time to peer deeper and found beneath the surface a much more complex, nuanced story of a kid who somehow took the wrong path despite all the right influences in his life. In their telling, Douse was just a poor “troubled teenager” – as if he chose gangbanging and gunplay because of a bad case of acne and the shame of not making the football team.

Like many others, he was trying to find his place in a Bronx neighborhood scarred by poverty, drugs and crime, where guns were easy to come by and settling scores could become a way of life. He was surrounded by family and friends who tried to protect him, yet in the end he chose or was lured into the wrong crowd.

That “wrong crowd” includes the McBallers, a wholly owned subsidiary of a larger conglomerate known as the Bloods. But here’s the truly tragic part: the kid didn’t really want to be a banger.

(S)hortly before his death, Shaaliver had confided to a close friend that he wanted to go to college and to get serious about boxing, because that could lead to a career and a future. “He wanted to get out of the projects,” said the friend, Aileen Nunez, 19. “He wanted to move on with his life.”

It turns out Shaalie was a Michael Corleone figure; just when he thought he was out, they’d pull him back in. He’d done all the right things. He attended Head Start when he was little and made the honor roll at his high school.

The night that Shaaliver was killed, his father was going to cook him dinner but never came, Ms. Farrar said. So she fixed him Italian sausages with onions and peppers on a roll. A neighbor brought over a plate of homemade macaroni and cheese because she knew he liked it. After he finished, he left their apartment and texted his girlfriend that he was close by….

“He dressed well, always had the most expensive shoes on,” said Sabuwh Muhammad, 31, a close family friend. “He really didn’t need for nothing. That’s what I’m trying to tell you, he’s not a kid that went around having to rob people or sell drugs.”

Yep, The Times’ pulled an oldie but a goodie from the lefty media playbook for this one, a real fave – the good-kid-gone-wrong, collective guilt, why-didn’t-someone-do-more head shaker. Shaaliver Douse wasn’t just (another) thug who got his comeuppance early on in his budding life of crime before he did any serious damage. When you look deeper, as the Times scribes did, you find the victim of an uncaring system. Just a complicated young man looking for his place in a tough, cruel world. In fact, the way Hu and Goodman tell the tale, none of this was really Douse’s fault. He was one more in the long line of casualties of our society’s cold indifference and lack of opportunity.

That’s right, we all share some of the responsibility for this little tragedy. As everyone knows by now, it takes a village to raise a child, and the village comprised of Harlem, the city of New York and America as a whole failed this one, poor troubled young man. And now he’s dead. Think about that the next time you look at yourself in the mirror.

Of course, the Times has played this one out hundreds of times before. It’s like waving catnip in front of their like-minded, woolly-headed Upper West Side readership. But it doesn’t mean we have to swallow it. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to sit here while they bad mouth the United States of America. You?

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71 Responses to Elegy For a Gangbanger: The Times Remembers Shaalie

  1. “My kid would never do so and so! My kid is innocent!”

    Bullshit. You’re an unworthy parent who raised a wannabe gangbanger without even realizing it.

    • “Bullshit. You’re an unworthy parent who raised a wannabe gangbanger but refuse to acknowledge it.”

      FIFY. These parents know exactly what their kids are doing. Very few ever do anything to stop it. And if saying that, and if also saying this idiot got exactly what he needed to make him fly right makes me racist then so be it.

  2. We don’t know those kinds of facts yet. It so happens that sometimes kids go bad despite good parenting. In cities, it’s sometimes impossible for parents to know everyone their kid is hanging with.

    I doubt that’s the case, but I can’t say I know it’s the case.

    • Impossible is a strong world . . . If I HAD to take (and it would have to be a have to) a child or teen into some of the environments found in the inner cities I wouldn’t let them out of my sight. Same thing applies here as applies to exercise of rights; move the heck out of those hell holes or get used to what you get there.

  3. I wouldn’t care about the media’s lies if they didn’t influence and provide cover for legislation.

        • ern, ok not sure where race came in, but hey being called a racist these days, for absolutely no reason seems to be something of a good indicator so carry on. Out of curiosity was it the Arabic Edit language cuz that was just out of convenience (it’s one of the default options in Google translate)

  4. Children are, as it is, a direct reflection on their parents. Whether or not the parents deserve the implied associated judgements is debatable to some extent, but the fact remains none-the-less constant.

    They are, however, their own people & some people are simply not called.

  5. I figure that one of these days, the proverbial societal pendulum will swing back towards the concept of personal accountability.

    Sadly, it looks like I am in for a long wait.

  6. Life is about the three C’s. Castle, Coin & Conscience. What castle you or an organization builds determines how you make you coin, and whether or not one can sleep well with decisions made.

    Every event through the lens of the storyteller often without any measure of truth. Its amazing we process anything including the white noise were constantly bombarded with.

    • Book of Isaiah: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

      Trouble, it’s very easy to make them into swords and spears again.

    • Occasionally I’d go out in the wee hours, but it was a different age.

      And I did have to sneak out; it would not have been tolerated.

  7. I’m sure that this particular shorty was a fine young man who would have cured the lepers, healed the lame and raised the dead if only he had been allowed to murder a few civilians and maybe a couple of cops. And if Obama bin Lyin’ had a son, he’d look like this punk.

  8. “…borough of Harlem”

    Harlem is not one of the five boroughs of New York City, it’s a neighborhood in the Boroughs of Manhattan and The Bronx, which are in turn part of Nanny Bloomie’s Real Estate Paradise. No “Gun Violence” here, cuz it’s against the law. The little darling was murdered, I say murdered…

  9. Hmmm…

    Do we not badmouth the United States on a regular basis around here? Incipient totalitarianism, failed programmes which immortalize an unsuccessful demographic which demands those same failed programmes, politicians with lieholes where their pieholes should be? There’s plenty to badmouth.

    Oh, there’s plenty to love, appreciate and honour. There’s plenty for which to fight and die. But squeaky wheels, y’know?

    I love the U.S, but I don’t always agree with it. Same goes for my mom…

  10. A few years back I watched the new documentary on The Weather Underground produced by Bill Ayers. The commentary track was full of glowing rememberances with phrases like “Such a beautiful, kind and peaceful human being.” when describing his fellow murderers now serving Life for (murder!).
    Radical Leftists routinely throw-up a wall of BS when discussing anything that promotes “The Cause”

    • Just about everybody is beautiful to somebody, even the nastiest people can be kind sometimes, and nobody can be violent *all* the time. So depending on the time and the person recalling it — and the agenda of the storyteller — the “such a smart/kind/beautiful/peaceful boy/girl/kid/neighbor/person” bit could be accurately said of anyone.

      Shaaliver’s story is certainly tragic…but not necessarily in the way the NY Times wants us to think. If he was shot by police while trying to shoot at police, immediately after trying to kill another kid, then he got the kind of tragic justice he deserved.

    • I used to go to a place in Chicago called Cafe Berlin. It was right out of Cabaret. If was in the late 60’s/early 70’s and most of clientele were German immigrants; some with the numbers on the shoulders and others on the wrist. I am sure the shoulders waxed poetically about their young days of idealism back in the old Country. . .

    • ensitue,

      Much like the right-wing “Take America Back” crowd waxing nostalgic about the 1950s South. If the n*gg*rs got uppity, we could depend on domestic terrorists like the KKK to hang them from trees. Seriously, if you want to argue about domestic terrorism, this country has had MUCH more right-wing violence than left-wing violence, and the government has largely turned a blind eye to the right-wing violence. Further, left-wing violence is far more likely to be directed at property than people. Not saying it’s okay, but listening here you’d think Bill Ayers was the only domestic terrorist ever.

  11. Well, the moron media crew might be their own worst enemies here. I’m just all cried out over the other poor, misunderstood kids who somehow magically got guns without background checks and got themselves killed while trying to kill each other. I’m afraid I have not a shit left to give for poor whatshisname from harlem.

  12. “it takes a village to raise a child”—and a child to raze a village. (Hey, it was in the comics on Sunday)

    • +1

      You mean the community organizers and former Lawyer / college educated Marxist types with out one lick of common sense. Right?

  13. If we had more parents that were more “Liberal” with butt whoopoings and trips to the woodshed, more liberal with active parenting, we wouldn’t have as many liberals being so “conservative” (read: controlling) of our gun rights.
    You pull a trigger at cops, you get taken out. like the trash you are.

    • Corporal Punishment, checking in. At least it’s not Staff Sargeant Punishment. That dude is one scary noncom with a big stick.

  14. Sorry no sympathy for skank punks ,You can’t say he didn’t know right from wrong.You pick up a gun with ill intent? What do you expect?More reason to allow conceal carry ,when AHOLES meet their match? Armed citizen or police -1 – bad guy, punk gangbanger -ZERO!

  15. I’m all for personal responsibility. This kid obviously experienced the ultimate in personal responsibility. I say it’s a tragedy, most people here seem to celebrate his death, which I find disgusting. But know that concepts like “personal responsibility” and “moral hazard” only apply to some of us. Rich people routinely get away with massive crimes, including murder. People who steal billions live in penthouses high above the Shaaliver Douses of the world, knowing that Bloomberg’s Army, the NYPD, is there to protect and serve their interests, whether it be stopping and frisking every black kid in New York, teaming up with the CIA to infiltrate mosques, or teaming up with the FBI to mount a massive counter-insurgency campaign against Occupy protestors.

    I’m not defending “gang culture,” but I do see it as an immature response to state oppression. There is no “justice system” for a black kid in NYC, or most big cities. College gets more unobtainable every day. Jobs? Yeah, right.

    So as you self-righteous moralists prance about on your high horses and celebrate the deaths of “punks” and “gangbanbers” (mostly poor, mostly black), know that the way things are going in this country, your kids, or maybe your grandkids will be considered disposable too.

    • “There is no “justice system” for a black kid in NYC.” Are you referring to the “Justice System” that worked so well for Zimmerman? We need to get rid of the criminal justice system and replace it with the victim justice system.

    • Most of the victims of such “punks” and “gangbangers” are “mostly poor, mostly black”. Criminals are the first and closest oppressors of poor people, like Maria Jobe over here, quoting from the article:

      ” “They stand on the corner, they drink, they get high and they get in trouble,” said Maria Jobe, a home health aide who lives in Shaaliver’s building, adding that she did not allow her own teenage children to stay out past 8 p.m. “I worry about their safety. I wish I had more money to move out of this area and give my kids a better chance.” ”

      You’re saying Shaalie was oppressed by the state, but in reality Shaalie received state housing, state education, and who knows how many welfare benefits – paid by the Rich. I wish I could get some of this oppression!

      The justice system that you say doesn’t exist for a black kid in NYC allowed him to respond in liberty for gun charges, and dropped attempted murder charges when the victim, another gangbanger, refused to collaborate. If he’d been deemed dangerous and arrested to await trial in jail he wouldn’t be free to commit yet another attempted murder and die in the process, but then people like you would whine a black kid was being discriminated and we can’t have that now, can we? Better have dead bodies instead.

      The article states Shaalee held a part-time summer job, so, yeah, jobs.

      This gangster wasn’t forced to join a gang, he wasn’t deprived of other options by anybody’s oppression but that of his own will. He went to school, held a job and had a girlfriend, yet he chose the gang over all of that.

      I do agree celebrating death is “disgusting”, except I don’t see anyone launching fireworks. It’s called shrugging.

      But don’t let facts get in the way of your lunatic raving about high moral horses if that makes you feel superior to everybody else. Shame on them, shame on them people!

      • John, you make some good points re black-on-black violence, etc. I’m not saying Shaalie is some kind of saint. The kid was obviously headed for disaster. Maybe some sort of intervention could have prevented this, I don’t know. I’m looking more at the big picture.

        As for state housing and welfare, they’re poor substitutes for decent jobs. You say you wish you could get some of this oppression, but unless you’re currently living under a highway overpass, you probably don’t. If you can get poor enough, you, too can live in a subsidized shithole (with most profits going to Section-8 slumlords) and live off food stamps. State education? Pretty damn good in wealthy suburbs, not so much in poor urban and rural areas. All the rich white (and yes, some not so white) kids in NYC go to the best private schools in the world. It’s tough to get into the private preschools in NYC. Seriously.

        Finally, you say

        “But don’t let facts get in the way of your lunatic raving about high moral horses if that makes you feel superior to everybody else. Shame on them, shame on them people!”

        I stand by my statement that a lot of TTAGers do in fact celebrate the deaths of “gangbangers.” Read the comments. I think I’m quite right on the facts. I don’t feel superior to everybody else, though I might feel slightly superior to some White Supremacist assholes who do post on TTAG.

        Again, the way things are going, poor white kids are next on the police hit list. Mark my words.

    • Thank you! for your considered voice of reason and sanity in what is sometimes a virtual cesspool of hateful sentiment. Bless ya.

  16. This guy could have been Trayvon Martins friend,they both were good boys!And if ya’ll believe that,I got a bridge for sale,no really,and cheap too.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  17. My good friend grew up in the bronx during the crack epidemic of the 70s and 80s, which was a complete warzone compared to today. He was raised by a single mother and step father with little money and little hope of a better life. He recently graduated with an engineering degree after some time in the marines. If he can make it, this little shit has no excuse aside from terrible parents.

  18. His history DOES NOT MATTER. He shot at cops, cops shot him back.

    Simple cause and effect.

    Tragedy should not negate logic.

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