Another Child Shot In Boston, MA


A 13-year-old boy was in critical condition late Friday night after being shot while walking to church for choir practice on Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury, his mother and ­police said.

Gabriel Clarke, the 13-year-old Roxbury boy who was shot in the stomach as he walked to church Friday evening, is in critical but stable condition today and is expected to recover, according to police and his pastor.

“I honestly believe this is nothing short of a miracle,” said the Rev. Nigel G. David Sr., the pastor at their church.

Damn, damn, damn. I do not want to hear about miracles, and of course the shooter must be caught. For starters, I want to hear how the city and state plan to deal with entire communities filled with generations of citizens suffering post traumatic stress syndrome. 

How can any child be expected to function academically while living under siege. And while knowing full well that the larger world has no interest in keeping them safe from deadly harm.

I want to know when the emergency committee of experts from schools, courts, hospitals, law enforcement, media, social service agencies, etc. will be convened with major funding, and not dismissed until city planning groups, university-school partnerships, job training and hiring commitments, lab schools, tutoring programs, etc, etc. charged with turning Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan into a national and international model for ways to turn throw-away minority neighborhoods into safe, functioning communities have done the job. (Add writing/editing skills to that list.)

And enough of expecting the clergy to lead the way. Some fine people, no doubt, but politicians cannot palm off the responsibility onto a group that, here in Boston, has been spinning its wheels for decades. 

An active social gospel in the Neighborhood House tradition– with solid counseling, medical and dental clinics, meals-on-wheels, pre-school, child care, and other services– can always be a useful part of a larger vision, but we are not going to pray away an on-going emergency. The house is on fire, dammit!

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