My hometown is a small place where most people know one another. The town's population is fairly evenly divided between races, black and white. The town rests in the Northeastern corner of the state of South Carolina on the I-95 corridor. The most famous destination closest to it would be Myrtle Beach.

I no longer live in that town where I grew up. Traveling back often to visit family, I do know what is going on there. And when big news happens, I usually hear about it through family and through Facebook friends who still live there.

Recently a terrible thing happened in this small South Carolina town. Just a matter of days ago, a seventy-five year old woman was kidnapped from her home, stuffed into the trunk of her car and rode around for hours before being killed the following morning. 

There was a collective gasp when it was learned that the suspects for this deed were 15, 17 and 18 years old. That alone is a tragedy in itself, but there is another aspect of this crime and the other victims as well. The suspects were black and there are rumors and speculation of gang implications and that this murder may have been a gang initiation. This has people very afraid for their safety and the safety of their families. People have taken their guns out of their hiding places and are keeping them closer by these days. This murder is affecting them so intensely to know one can be taken from their home and become a victim of not only murder, but a gang murder. That is still so shocking. 

So many angles to this story without a doubt, like how does a family cope with a mother or grandmother being removed from her home and the terror she must have endured? How to cope with a loved one being killed for no reason? How would one handle the heartache? The sadness? The loss? The anger?

One would have to have one's head under a rock to not acknowledge race is still an issue in our country. Perhaps in one way or another, it always will be. There are stereotypes that unfortunately accompany every race. One stereotype for black males is that they are violent and criminals. Most people, no matter what their race, are decent people living their lives, but because three young men decided to do such a horrific thing, it is a concern that the other victims of this crime will be the black males in the town that might now be looked upon with fear and suspicion. This is another tragedy in this situation. Yet another thing to raise racial tensions. Perhaps the community as a whole can come to terms with this awful turn of events and if it was gang related, try to deal with it together. 

An elderly lady fell victim to a senseless action, but there are other victims as well. The behavior of gangs create more victims with every crime they perpetrate. Some crimes can have tentacles reach very deep in communities. Hopefully, my hometown can come together and heal instead of letting the chasm between the races grow any deeper.

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Comments 8 comments

Shaul Stein profile image

Shaul Stein 7 years ago

Seems to me that if gangs are at war with society, then we'd better arm ourselves to protect the innocent.

Gangs mean business and we should too.

When someone declares war on another, it is time to arm.

They will always take over if you do not arm.

A Texan 7 years ago

Shaul is correct, these gangs are certainly more organized than most people think, they support themselves by committing a whole host of crimes and once they infiltrate a neighborhood they are almost impossible to get out! The new Latin gang MS-13 is organizing other Hispanic gangs and creating a larger gang, these people are not like you and I life is not as precious to them as it is to us!

But they are easy to spot and a preemptive strike to let them know you are serious does work, I know!

Shaul Stein profile image

Shaul Stein 7 years ago

Ahhhh yes, and if a gang had say 100 members in a neighborhood and the adults were say 1,000 in number and the gang knew they all had guns. The gang would take a hike.

It has been proven in many towns that when all the law abiding citizens carry a gun, the crime goes bye bye.

I mean, what idiot gang banger is going to pull a gun at a store only to hear the sound of 7 people lock and load on him?

Bank robberies too, guy goes in, points a gun, 15 people point back, including the tellers and manager, that makes for 20.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 7 years ago

Dear Pamela,

This is more about gang violence and ignorance than race. As with everything else, every effort must be made to bring these animals to justice and get to the core of the crime. What an awful thing. I hope they find them quickly.

Pamela Laird profile image

Pamela Laird 7 years ago Author

Breakfastpop, the boys were caught rather quickly. The next day in fact. It is a very awful thing.

Dillonite 7 years ago

I live in this town and as it has already been pointed out there is more to this than race. Crime is crime, it's all wrong no matter who it is that breaks the law. Would you have written this if all parties were caucasian? Why perpetuate the stereotypes and feed the ignorance? Is this helping? This innocent woman died a senseless death. The perpetrators should and will be brought to justice. Not all black people drink liquor and have babies. Some of us believe in justice too.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

This is one of the worst crimes I've ever heard of. I can understand family members, friends and neighbors wanting vengeance for this heinous crime. Justice would serve better however. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Pamela Laird profile image

Pamela Laird 7 years ago Author

Dillonite, yes, if all the parties were caucasian, it would be the same. If all parties were black, it would be the same horrible thing. And yes, crime is crime and any crime on any child or elderly person regardless of color is the same in my eyes. I am sorry you misread my point. My point was that this creates something I hope, I really hope can bring people of the community together and that kids who don't feel they have anywhere but a gang to go, to have some alternative. I stated this case was sad all the way around and that the additional victims are decent people in this town that are black males. To me that is not a good thing.

It was certainly not my purpose to perpetuate stereotypes That is not what I am about at all. I appreciate your feedback and hope that I have explained myself better.

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