#BlackPeopleProblems: Fourth Graders Write Poems About Gun Violence

Andrew Anglin
Daily Stormer
June 14, 2016


Sucks to be Black!

White people pay for your lives, but that doesn’t stop you from having to deal with non-stop murders!

The Trace:

Kenya has a choice. During writing exercises, her fourth-grade teacher, Joe Alberti, lets his students sit and work wherever they’d like. Kenya’s desk is near the door, where she has a clear view of arithmetic problems chalked on the blackboard, and printed instructions for what to do in case of a lockdown. But she decides to move to a spot where she can have more space to herself. She picks a pencil from the graveyard of broken stubs in her desk and heads for an open swath of green carpet across the classroom.

Today’s assignment is poetry. The writing prompt is, “Because there was a gun.” Kenya opens her composition book to a fresh page.

She forms each letter carefully. “Because there was a gun,” she prints, “everybody live in fear.”

Around the room, Kenya’s classmates tilt their heads over notebooks, composing their own verses.

“Destroy the Guns!!!!” writes Suehayla.

“Put the gun down,” writes Vanessa.

“Don’t shoot,” writes Robert, “let me live life.”

The poems these students at Samuel Powel Elementary School are writing mark the latest phase in their year-long project on gun violence. Shootings are a daily possibility in the West Philadelphia neighborhoods where many of them live. There are 30 students in the class; according to Alberti, 24 say they know somebody who’s been shot. Even among the few who can’t name any victims within their own circle, the threat of gunfire casts a shadow, crackling through their streets, interrupting their play.

Every student’s experience with gun violence gets equal weight during the project, but many of them have rallied around Kenya. She is 10 years old. Her birthday is September 5, and her favorite colors are pink, purple, and blue. On her last report card, she received four As, four Bs, and one C.

On December 9, 2015, in North Philadelphia, her father was shot and killed.

Around half past nine, the students gather on the carpet to share their work. Kenya begins to read her poem aloud, softly at first. Alberti asks her to speak up. She raises her voice.

Because there was a gun
everybody live in fear.
Because there was a gun
my father isn’t here.
Because there was a gun
some people cry out tears.
Because there are guns
life is a nightmare.

These people are so ridiculous.

All they do is kill each other.

Just like in Africa.