And yet some of us still don’t get it

The murder of Prince George’s County Police Cpl. Richard S. Findley, has left another ugly mark on our county.  It bothers me is to how we have reacted to the young man who was accused of killing Findley, Ronnie White.  White was found dead in his jail cell a few days after he was arrested for Findley’s death.

Ronnie White’s father was on 93.9 WKYS explaining how his son was a good kid.  This ‘good kid’ had an extensive record by the age of 19; but his father continues to say that his surrogate son was a good kid. And that is the problem; Many parents do not want to face reality that their children may have serious problems. 

Ronnie White was taken into custody for the murder of a police officer.  He was riding in a stolen car at the time.  I have not heard his father or any of his family members discuss this.  He hit a man with a car and dragged him to his death.  Why doesn’t his father talk about that? 

Ronnie White was laid to rest a few days ago and the Gazette covered the story (Funeral held for suspect in officer’s murder).  It was wrong to kill Ronnie while he was in jail; I do hope that the person who killed him is brought to justice.  But the buck stops there with me.  I understand that his family and friends are mourning the loss of a loved one, but the youth at this funeral missed the point.  They believe that Ronnie White was being ‘hated’ on.

Outrage was evident among the mourners, many of them teens who came wearing T-shirts with photos of White. Many rushed outside, crying after seeing his body in the open casket.

‘‘He didn’t deserve it!” one girl screamed. ‘‘He didn’t!”

While most of the memorial shirts said ‘‘R.I.P.” or ‘‘In Loving Memory,” several mourners wore shirts with White’s photo that read ‘‘Born 10⁄16⁄1988 – Hated On 6⁄29⁄2008.”

Born 10/16/1988-Hated On 6/29/2008???  See this is the problem; the mentality of our black youth is distorted.  This young man lead a life of criminal activity, and when you continue to do bad things without regret or change, bad things will happen to you.  I am not saying that Ronnie White deserved to die in the manner that he did, but his friends and loved ones had to know that something bad was going to happen to this kid if he continued to live his life the way that he did. 

The Pastor who presided over the funeral had this to say:

Gurley decried the killing of White but also called on youths to re-examine their lives.

‘‘We all know someone took his life, but it goes beyond that,” he said. ‘‘How many played a part in his life leading up that fateful day?”

What did his parents do when he had his first run in with law as a pre-teen?  What happened in this kid’s life that made him turn to a life of crime?  His family and friends don’t want to acknowledge or discuss this because they believe that Ronnie was being ‘hated on’.  Who was hating on this ‘good kid’ since he was so loved by family and friends?  Let me say again that I am not agreeing on how Ronnie White died, but we can not forget why he was locked up in the first place.  We can not forget that this was not the first run in with the law for Ronnie White.

How many more wake up calls do we need? 

Washington Post Article: (‘Who All Has a Part?’)  This article supports everything I mentioned above.  Where were the family and friends to teach Ronnie White right from wrong or how to be a man?  What was his surrogate father doing while Ronnie White was getting in trouble with law?  

Ronnie, I love you!” one young woman yelled as Angie White doubled over in grief.

“He’s not supposed to be gone!” another moaned.

There were more T-shirts and skullcaps than suits and ties. Many of the young women wore tank tops and sundresses that showed off tattooed backs and arms. Dozens wore shirts adorned with pictures and messages such as “In Memory of Ronnie L. White” and “R.I.P. Ronnie White,” including the white-gloved pallbearers. One young woman wore a shirt that said simply, “I need you, Boo.”  

Tank tops, sundresses and skullcaps at a funeral?  That is what funerals have become when a black youth is slain or killed.  There is no respect even for our youth when they are dead.  Where were these mourners when Ronnie was out committing crimes?  But they knew how to come together to make T-shirts with messages written on them like ‘I love you, Boo’  and ‘R.I.P.’  and of course ‘Born 10⁄16⁄1988 – Hated On 6⁄29⁄2008’ 

Jessie Jackson and some men in the black community have the nerve to get angry with Obama because he called for black men to step up and be responsible fathers.  He called out the black men who needed to be called out; including his own father.  Obama was speaking from experience; his father, a black man, left him and his mother when was a child.  Now Jackson wants Obama’s nuts cut off because he called on black men to step up and take responsibility.  Obama never said that the problems in the black community are easily solved; he knows that they are complex, but it starts with owning up as individuals and as a community.


12 Responses

  1. Interesting post. I have linked to this at The DC Feed.

  2. They way some people dress and carry themselves at funerals these days is incredibly disrespectful. The atmosphere is akin to that of a holiday bar b q, or a night out at the club.

  3. Native Son,

    Thank you.


  4. Native,

    I am glad you addressed this today. As much as I hate to say this, Ronnie White’s funeral will not be the last time such a gathering takes place.

    While I have always maintained no matter WHAT attrocities we have committed here on earth, I feel every man and woman deserves a decent and respectable homegoing. Sadly, it appears the people who attended his funeral had no respect for the deceased or themselves.

    I won’t lie..As a black man, I am embarrased by this article. This shines a negative light on us ALL .However, I am grateful the pastor did not deliever a “hate the man” sermon, but instead took each person to task.

    I will also mention that I feel for this man’s mother. I can’t even imagine the weight that she must carry for the rest of her life. Sure..she more than likely failed as a mother and parent, but the loss is still present and painful. I respect her unconditional loyalty and love, despite how he turned out or what he did.

    I pray to God that some of these same young people in attendance do not end up in a similar predicament and use this entire tragedy as a lesson to get their own lives on track.

  5. Excellent post Native Son. I read the Washington Post article today and I was appalled by the description of what the young folks were wearing. Tank tops and skull caps at a funeral? A t-shirt that says “I Love you Boo?” All I could do was shake my head.

  6. I think Ronnie White deserved the just punishment. The Bible says if you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Obviously Ronnie lived a life of crime and brutality so he died by what HE was putting out into this world.

    He thought it was cool to lead a life of destruction so it came upon his own head. Killing an innocent officer doing his job and was in a STOLEN car from the get?! Yeah, that really makes him a good kid. And all those peeps of his sayin he was “hated” on. Plz! The ONLY HATER was mr. Ronnie White himself. Ronnie was a hater cuz he was drivin a stolen car he couldn’t obtain from his own innocent work. So his peeps need to peep that out.

    I am deeply sorry of Cpl. Richard Findley’s death and his family. They are in my prayers.

  7. first of all none of yall knew ronnie to be judging him, none of yall knew what kind of person he what the fuck gives yall the right to be talkin bout “he deserve his punishment” & shit like that.. yeah im pissed off..& so what.. yeah we wore t-shirts & skull caps..ronnie wouldnt want us to be lookin all sididdy at his funeral..shit he probably would have worn the same thing..i know my manz..he was one of the realest people you will ever meet.. i miss u hunn..

    R.i.P. Ronnie Babez

  8. Thanks for posting this topic NS.

    Our young people are in trouble and while there is a lot of blame to go around, the preceding generation (my generation) has to accept a lot of it. A lot of the destructive behavior in our communities takes place because we allow it. We’re quick to say we don’t condone it but what do we do to actually prevent it? We are a country of laws which means even if Ronnie White committed the most heinous crime imaginable, he deserves a trial by jury. But Ronnie White deserved so much more years ago before it even came to this point. He was only 19 but still had a criminal history. He deserved help at ages 18, 17, 16, and 15. According to a Washington Post article, he dropped out of school in the 10th or 11th grade. How was this allowed to happen? Many people who knew him say he just got involved with the wrong people. Why wasn’t this corrected? There are a lot of Ronnie Whites in our communities who are family members or friends who we say we love. But do we love them enough to intervene in their lives when it’s obvious that they are headed for destruction?

  9. This is in response to Kita’s comments:

    Even in your response to my posts, you claim that we didn’t know Ronnie, but Kita we do know many young people like Ronnie. The Ronnies in our community come a dime a dozen. This is not the first young black male that has fallen. We know the Ronnies of our community far too well. They are our neighrbors, co-worker’s children and often times our family members.

    I see they showed up to be ghetto fab for his funeral, but were they really there for him when he was alive; when he really needed guidance?

  10. i agree with you KITA..cuz i knew RONNIE also. everybody going off what tha media saying the media dnt know shit..n yep im cursing too…who da hell is ya to say anything about anything ya didnt know him. N if ronnie so called “KILLED THIS FINDLEY GUY” why is ronnie mom about to get paid?he was accused..NOBODY KNEW FOR SURE..n now we never will. then everybody wanna tlk about curupt mindz..little did ya know they wasnt a gang they was more like a family that had eachother back even when it came to THESE BITCH ASS FEDS. ALL the so called “authority” ever did was harass curupt mindz..for completely nuffin. so yep im saying that officer got what the hell he deserved..thats what you get for tryna be superman..fuck everybody that had somethin to say about RONNIE!!!all ya know is what tha media tellin ya..ask the FBI whats the real truth!!!

    R.I.P RONNIE we going keep ur name alive no matter what nobody say


  11. To the person who wrote the comment authored “r.i.p. ronnie:”

    I find it interesting how Ronnie’s friends keep implying that he was being hated on. I still haven’t figured out who was hating on and him and why. I understand that friends and family are upset that Ronnie was murdered; but some of you need to get a grip.

    The person who did this to Ronnie deserves their day in court. Let us not forget that there are good and bad cops, just like their are good and bad citizens. Which one was Ronnie?

    Your comments saying that this officer deserved to be dragged to death is not only ignorant, but it shows the mind set that you have, I find it interesting that none of Ronnie’s so called friends have commented about the stolen car he and his friends were in or the prior arrests of Ronnie. No one deserved to die in this incident, not the officer or Ronnie.

    And your comments about Ronnie’e mom getting paid, has nothing to do wth the fact that Ronnie had past run ins with the law, it has to do with the fact tha the he was murdered while in police custody.

    Since so many of Ronnie’s friends claim to have “had his back” where was all of this overwhelming support to help him turn his life around?

    If you really want to honor Ronnie, try changing your lives and the lives of all of the people who rolled with him. Having a ‘fuck the police’ mentalitiy is only going to get you into trouble or maybe even worse; six feet under.

    It is interesting to me that we in he black community become so outraged when other people do bad things to us, but hardly get mad when we kill ourselves almost everyday. We car jack and rob our own people on a daily basis. You can make a difference if you change your mentality; do it for your boy Ronnie, release th anger that you have for the police and do something positive with your life in honor of him.

  12. To all the people who have negative attitudes towards my nephew all I have to say is He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone!!!!!!…..Nobody saw any footage on Ronnie driving the vehicle that you claim was stolen…for the record it was not stolen and as far as his life style look at where your getting your information from the newpapers….well they never tell the whole truth…they did not live with Ronnie and so they are only going by things that were said to them and if your read any of the article’s you will see that he was found not guilty of those charges…I don’t have to sit here and paint this wonderful picture about him…to know him you would have had to been around him and for the person who said children are born bad that is a lie from the pits of hell…you have choices and you suffer the conseqences for them….nobody is perfect so you really need to stop judging so that ye be not judged.

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