*Its hard to imagine a young African American boy still seeing gang life as something cool. What with all the unarmed black men being killed by police – and it being all in your face because it was recorded raw; on cellphone, by people on the street. But one Memphis child is getting a lot of attention after he put photos online showing him celebrating gang life by posing with guns, money and drugs.
The kid is from Memphis, Tennessee. And as if what he is doing is not bad enough by itself; in the background of one video (scroll down) he appears to be getting egged on by a roomful of adults.
You see a photo of him in one post blowing smoke with the accompanying caption: ‘High Life.’
On another post he blatantly captions: ‘I need a bad b****’, ‘f*** da police’, and ‘gang sh** n****’.
While others feature sexual references, such as: ‘quit suckin my d***’.
The child is identified by a cousin who spoke with a Memphis television news station as 13-year-old Jonathan.
The boys’ tweets have prompted backlash from other Twitter users and members of the community.
One woman tweeted a reprimand to the boy saying: ‘you need help i feel so bad for you your parents should be ashamed please get help and a education this is sad and disappointing.’
Another Twitter user said: ‘You poor baby. Just stop it & go to school.’
Orrden Williams who lives in Memphis and has been the victim of gang violence, told AOL.com: ‘What he’s doing on here is something that he’s going to bring upon society one day. It’s just inevitable.’
He added: ‘All it takes is the right influence, and all this can change. So that’s a wake-up Memphis call right there.’
Jonathan called himself responding to his critics by tweeting: ‘Wish some people would mind dey own business’ as ‘it’s stressing my mama out’.
See a TV News report on the child directly below:
Jonathan also shared that his sister (Desunda Brown) has ‘been locked up for two years‘ and his critics ‘don’t know the half of what we been through end of 2014 & beg of 2015.’
The sister’s rap sheet includes includes charges relating to Especially Aggravated Kidnapping, Aggravated Robbery and firearm charges.
When he was questioned about the reason he uploads images with guns, the youth referenced a young bad boy rapper from Chicago.
‘chief keef got famous from that right???’ he wrote on social media.
Stevie Moore with Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives, a group that counsels troubled youth explains how children like Jonathan get to where they are: ‘This is nothing strange to me.’
‘This child didn’t learn this by himself. He had a role model,’
‘See, a role model is a role model whether it’s good or bad.’
‘They do not have a basic structure. They do not have a positive relationship,’
‘So we can point the fingers, all we’re going to say is ‘It starts at home, we got to get the parents.’ The parents we’re talking about getting don’t care because if they did care than this wouldn’t be happening.’
He adds, ‘Everybody’s focused on that child,’
‘And the child has nothing to do with none of this. The child is not to blame and we’re blaming the child.’
According to a report in The nydailynews the account the boy used to correspond with a FOX reporter has now been deleted. And though his Instagram page is still active (with 12,600 followers) it has restricted access.