Over the past few months, there have been a couple of cases of horrific violence committed by young black thugs against elderly white women in the delta city of Clarksdale, Mississippi, but it’s getting very little coverage outside of the region.
Clarksdale is a small city of approximately 18,000, and fewer than 20% of those residents are white while the rest are black. The poverty rate for 2007-2011 averaged 40.2%, and the median household income during that time was only $24,808–nearly $14,000 less than the state average. Only 78.4% of residents age 25 or older have a high school diploma or higher degree. It sounds like a pretty sad, depressing place to live.
And now their white residents live in fear of violence at the hands of young black teens.
In August, 77-year-old Shirley Gordon barely escaped with her life after being beaten with a brick by a 14-year-old boy outside her home. She recounted the ordeal for WMC-TV in Memphis:
Gordon went just up the street to the corner store but realized she left her card at home. She returned to get it and came back outside to find her car missing. Then she noticed a teen driving it up her street.
“He said Hi I’m bringing your car back I saw it down the street,” said Gordon.
Relieved to have her car, Gordon even offered the teen a ride home. But that’s not what he was after. The teenager jumped in and grabbed Gordon.
“He was beating the stew out of my head with that concrete brick wrapped in asphalt,” she said. “I asked him what have I done to you? And he kept beatin’.”
Gordon was able to survive by kicking the car horn, and the suspect escaped. He would be apprehended later. The news report continues:
Gordon’s story is just one of many violent tales in this Delta town over the past several months, as gang activity is on the rise in her hometown.
“I love Clarksdale. I was born and raised and I plan on leaving this world right here,” Gordon said when asked if she felt safe in Clarksdale.
Gordon plans to buy a pistol for protection.
Gordon’s attacker was captured and determined to be 14-year-old Edward Malane, Jr. His bond was originally set at $115,000 but was lowered to $15,000 without explanation and he was able to bond out. While out on bond, he allegedly kidnapped and assaulted a 4-year-old child in Tunica County, Mississippi. He is being charged as an adult in both cases and could face life in prison for the kidnapping and child abuse charges.
The second heinous crime against an elderly white lady in Clarksdale took place on 15 December. Ethel Lewis, 80, was found beaten and her body set on fire inside her stately Queen Anne home in that city. Nathaniel Roberson, Jr., 17, robbed and murdered Lewis and stole her car in broad daylight, but was caught about 45 minutes away in the town of Ruleville. He has been charged as an adult and is being held without bond.
In his interview with WMC-TV, Captain Robbie Linley of the Clarksdale Police Department stated, “Some of the neighborhoods that these kids grow up in, they are exposed to shootings and to older gang members that live in that area.”
Folks, we can no longer think of gang problems as urban problems. Gangs exist anywhere that their potential members live–be that in big cities or small towns. They exist in rural Tipton County, Tennessee, just north of Memphis, too. In fact, gangs are such an issue at Covington High School in Tipton County that last spring the Board of Education and the Sheriff’s Department teamed up for a gang awareness forum. We aren’t really safe anywhere anymore. Stay vigilant!