Gang wars: What's a mother to say?

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After my talk with Yvette Harris, the mother of boy who allegedly shot up a CTA bus last Thursday, Michael "Mario" Pace, it was clear that she really didn't know how to handle this situation.
Yvette's niece, Cleo Harris, had this to say: "Even though Mario is still alive, he's good as dead in the jail system. We won't be able to love him and care for him the way we do anymore."

Mario never had a father and had trouble interacting with other kids. Yvette moved him from neighborhood to neighborhood trying to keep him away from gangs. She never suspected her sweet boy could be a killer, and I believe her.
She apologized to the family of Blair Holt, — his wake is today and Friday.
When something like this happens, what can a mother really say?
Any thoughts?

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17 Comments

I can honestly say that I have absolutely no remorse for Yvette Harris, her family or her son. I blame her for raising such a child. I don't want to hear that he is such a sweet boy because a sweet boy would not have opened fire on a crowded bus. Blair was a lovely young boy with a promising future and such a good heart. Yvette failed her thug of a son and now he will sit in jail for (hopefully) the next fifty years and think about those few seconds it took to kill that innocent boy. I am not concerned about whether or not someone grew up with a father in their life because a mother should make it her business to know what kind of people her son is hanging out with. Not only did I know Blair but I am angry that someone can compare jail to death. For the neice who said they won't be able to love him correctly while he's incarcerated obviously he wasn't getting the love while he was out and Im glad he's one less thug on the streets that my niece and nephews have to worry about.

This kid needs to be punished. What he did is not only very cowardly but extremely ignorant and tragic. Anyone who disrespects life as Mario Pace obviously does should be put away for a very, very long time. And, of course, I hope his action comes back to haunt him tenfold.

Plenty of single mothers have raised their kids the right way, but many also had/have the support of their extended family like grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. It is obvious that Mario Pace's family did not surround him with enough love and support, perhaps looked the other way when they saw him hanging around with questionable people. The signs are always there--you just need to take the time to look.

it`s unfortunate that this is another tragedy thats plaguing our inner city youths, I wish that people would speak out more against parents who refuse to accept responsibility for there children, The Rev. Jesse Jackson wants to march against gun shop owners, he need to march against irresponsible parents, whether your a single mother or married couple, you can train up your children and teach them some values and morals, I know, my parents raised six boys and one girl on the toughest part of the westside, and none of us ended up dead or in a gang. IT CAN BE DONE!

MY BOY AINT IN NO GANG, HE WAS ON THAT CORNER AT 3AM CAUSE I SENT HIM TO GET A GALLON A MILK.

I was in a gang when I was young, my mother didn't know where I was all the time. When I walked out the door I went with my friends some of every where, if it wasn't out south it was on the west side or the suburbs. I was a GD(GansterDesciple) at the time and I didn't care about the things I did, I just didn't disrespect my elders. I understand how people feel about gangbangers some of them need to be in jail for the rest of there lifes and never see another street corner or there families again. I have seen guys as old as 40 years old gangbanging and when I thought you would at least grow out of it. I had my first and only son at the age of 27 years old and at that time I figured if I want to see my son grow up I better stop doing what I was doing and that was gangbanging. Like I said mothers don't know where there kids are at all times. I don't regret my past because of the things I know now. I shot this guy in the head twice cause he was about to shoot me. My mother didn't know I did that until I got locked up. She came to see me one time and I was locked up two years, and just to show you how things are my brother was locked up with me but in another part of the jail, and she came to see him every two weeks. He got locked up over drugs. We lived with my father and mother and we still came out crazy.

I've led a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program linking Cabrini-Green area kids and workplace volunteers for the past 30 years. I believe the only way to compete with gangs is to provide more non-school learning, mentoring, work and recreation activities that can compete with gangs for the participation and loyalty of youth.

These programs need to be in every poverty neighborhood, starting when kids are little, and continuing with age-appropriate activties until teens are anchored in jobs and starting careers. I created the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 to try to help make such programs available in all parts of the city and suburbs. On my blog I point to maps of Chicago, a database of more than 200 different tutoring and/or mentoring programs, and a library of information and ideas that anyone can use to help make more and better programs avilable to youth in more places.

January is National Mentoring Month and media messages will tell of how celebrities have been mentors and have been mentored. I encourage readers to visit the tutormentorconnection web site and learn how you can be part of this solution.

I am glad i hope he recieves the death penalty i went to julian and i was there the day bizzy got killed...he died for no reason and the person who everyone kno who was orignally bein shot at didnt even get a scraped knee.....mario deserves to rot...no doubt..and all of the tvl gang members over there

i was raised in the back of the yards and i can not believe that the police can not stop the drug dealing, and gang war that is going on right now between the la raza and saints. here is how this works the oldest saints make the younger ones sell and do drive buys and make them hold drugs if they never had a record because they tell them they wont get in trouble so they are afarid to get beat up so they listen. but they do get in trouble. i wish i could wear a badge for a day cause i would have every one ib the back of the yards locked up for drugs guns drive bys and gangs and the people in that neighborhood would feel safe. i just cant believe the police laugh about it like the gang watr is funny.it is not. they sit in dunkin dounuta and lindys chilli and laugh about it. is there an injoyment for thwem that the gangs are killing each other.

I am so tired of seeing all of these gangs taking over everything
and the bad part about it is alot of these boys and girls do not want to be in gangs but when your mom and dad or mom and are doing drugs and hanging with gang bangers you make that a way of your life. monkey see monkey do. If i were able to creat a new law i would charge the parents of the kids getting in trouble and send the parents for drug test and if they come back positive i would make sure they get clean and guide their children in the right direction. how can a teenager survive in jail with all these men and women who are use to being locked up take advantage of these kids and rape them and the guards turn their heads the other way. if your getting paid to be a guard act like one and protect these kids they are locked up for crimes they do but it is your job to protect them while they are locked up. it is not fair for a child who has parents doing drugs and not caring about their children so they go astray and get in trouble. i believe they ar looking for attention anyway they can get it. and as far as the police losing weight yes they need to so then maybe they can run after someone instead of just pulling out their gun and shooting them. i hope to god this new person in charge of the police really does make a difference chicago is so messed up right now and i dont see anything being done.my nephew was on his way to a church gathering to help gang bangers in the back of the yards and he got his car ramed by gang bangers while driving down 47th st and the police did nothing. they did not even look for the cars involved. and i know the police know where the drug houses are in the back of the yards and im sure they see the cars double park and run in and out come on lets really do aclean sweep and help save the children and lock up the parents i bet they will get their lives right if they konw they can get time ifthey do not keep their children right.

THAT BOY MARIO AINT NOTHIN BUT TROUBLE.HE CLAIM THAT HE A (T) BUT HE AINT NOTHIN.AND WHO EVER SAID THAT HE AINT IN A GANG,U MUST DIDNT KNOW HIM.WHY DO U THINK THAT HE GOT KICKED OUT OF JULIAN?ALL I KNOW IS THAT MY FRIENDS DIDNT DESERVE THIS AND BLAIR DIDNT DESERVE IT NEITHER.AND THE PERSON THAT HE WAS AIMING 4 DIDNT DESERVE IT.MARIO HAS HURT SO MANY PPL AND THERES NOTHING THAT HE CAN DO AND THERES NOTHING THAT ANYONE CAN SAY TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER BECAUSE,MY FRIEND IS STILL GONE.I CANT SEE BLAIR EVERY DAY ANY MORE AND ITS ALL BECAUSE OF HIM.

you know what yell didn't know my brother mario like that so all yell need to fall back or fall off because if you know him you would know he not no damn (tee) the GD all day

I KNOW WHAT HE D ID WAS WRONG//BUT THIS WAS LIKE MY BROTHA N IM GONE MISS HIM

The point of the article was whether or not there should be any remorse for the mother. If what she says is true and she really moved around the city in an effort to keep her son out of gangs, then yes I do. There comes a point when you have to stop blaming parents for the actions of their children. I guess the question is then...when is that point?

Mark:
I'd like to comment on the article in Tuesday's paper on pg. 15 regarding a gang related shooting on Archer Avenue in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood. It happened during a funeral procession on 58th & Archer Av. where a car pulled up to the procession & shots were fired & a 19 yr old Hispanic was killed. This all happened at 1:40 in the afternoon. My question is why didn't this make front page news like this mornings paper about a Humboldt Park kid. This should have been brought to Chicago's attention, especially when it is a predominately white neighborhood. Do the articles that make front page have to happen in a Hispanic or Black neighborhood?


Now I don't mean to seem so cold BUT!!! it's time for reality check 101:

For starters, we as adults should really take self inventory with ourselves. IF YOU ALLOW YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER TO DO AS THEY WISH WITHOUT STRUCTURE OR DISCIPLINE PLEASE DON'T CRY TO THE SYSTEM OR TO THE POLITICIANS. THERE'S JUST NO ROOM FOR THIS. AS FAR AS MS. HARRIS IS CONCERNED I HAVE ZERO COMPASSION. (WHY?) WELL HERE IS THE MAGIC QUESTION: WHAT TYPE OF DEMON THAT THIS CHILD OF YOURS HAVE THAT YOU COULDN'T GET A GRIP ON HIS ACTIVITIES. I'M SORRY PEOPLE I AM FROM THE OLD SCHOOL HE SHOULD HAVE HIS BEHIND CRACKED FROM BEGINNING. WE ALLOW THE POLITICIANS TELL US HOW TO RAISE OUR CHILDREN (YOU SHOULDN'T HIT OR SPANK YOUR CHILD) SORRY THAT DOESN'T FLY WITH ME. ANY CHILD THAT RESIDES IN MY HOME IS EITHER TO DO AS HE IS TOLD OF SUFFER DIRE CONSEQUENCES. THE SYSTEM CALLS IT ABUSE, AND I CALL IT JUST AS I SEE IT DISCIPLINE!!!! BECAUSE IF WE DON'T TAKE CARE OUR OUR OWN AS FAR AS OUR CHILDREN. HOW IN THE WORLD CAN YOU EXPECT A SYSTEM WHO DOESN'T LIVE IN OUR WORLD CORRECT AN UNKNOWN (MEANING CHILDREN) PLEASE DON'T GET ME WRONG THIS MESSAGE HAS ABSOLUTELY NO COLOR BARRIER. WE AS ADULTS FROM THE 60'S , 70'S ERA (LAST OF THE OLD SCHOOL) WE WERE TAUGHT WHERE YOU SHOWED OUT, IS WHERE YOU GOT WORKED OUT. (GET MY MEANING) THESE CHILDREN HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THEIR ELDERS. HOW CAN THEY APPRECIATE LIFE?

Now I don't mean to seem so cold BUT!!! it's time for reality check 101:

For starters, we as adults should really take self inventory with ourselves. IF YOU ALLOW YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER TO DO AS THEY WISH WITHOUT STRUCTURE OR DISCIPLINE PLEASE DON'T CRY TO THE SYSTEM OR TO THE POLITICIANS. THERE'S JUST NO ROOM FOR THIS. AS FAR AS MS. HARRIS IS CONCERNED I HAVE ZERO COMPASSION. (WHY?) WELL HERE IS THE MAGIC QUESTION: WHAT TYPE OF DEMON THAT THIS CHILD OF YOURS HAVE THAT YOU COULDN'T GET A GRIP ON HIS ACTIVITIES. I'M SORRY PEOPLE I AM FROM THE OLD SCHOOL HE SHOULD HAVE HIS BEHIND CRACKED FROM BEGINNING. WE ALLOW THE POLITICIANS TELL US HOW TO RAISE OUR CHILDREN (YOU SHOULDN'T HIT OR SPANK YOUR CHILD) SORRY THAT DOESN'T FLY WITH ME. ANY CHILD THAT RESIDES IN MY HOME IS EITHER TO DO AS HE IS TOLD OF SUFFER DIRE CONSEQUENCES. THE SYSTEM CALLS IT ABUSE, AND I CALL IT JUST AS I SEE IT DISCIPLINE!!!! BECAUSE IF WE DON'T TAKE CARE OUR OUR OWN AS FAR AS OUR CHILDREN. HOW IN THE WORLD CAN YOU EXPECT A SYSTEM WHO DOESN'T LIVE IN OUR WORLD CORRECT AN UNKNOWN (MEANING CHILDREN) PLEASE DON'T GET ME WRONG THIS MESSAGE HAS ABSOLUTELY NO COLOR BARRIER. WE AS ADULTS FROM THE 60'S , 70'S ERA (LAST OF THE OLD SCHOOL) WE WERE TAUGHT WHERE YOU SHOWED OUT, IS WHERE YOU GOT WORKED OUT. (GET MY MEANING) THESE CHILDREN HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THEIR ELDERS. HOW CAN THEY APPRECIATE LIFE?

start making the parents respondable for there children actions .

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on May 17, 2007 8:47 AM.

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