Alberto Hernandez and other young men in Mid City, LA can’t escape the reality of trauma and race.
by Alberto Hernandez
Most people think growing up in LA is easy.
You see, I would believe that if I was wealthy, but I didn’t grow up in Beverly Hills, Malibu, or Westwood. I grew up in the ghetto in Mid City LA by Crenshaw, where everyday is a blessing to be alive.
I am a soldier in this cold world. Only God knows what I’ve been through. Not knowing when you’ll take your last breath. I’m traumatized by the violence.
I lie on my bed and look out the window every night. All I here is people screaming at each other, sirens in the distance and ghetto birds in the air
Not so long ago a guy got stabbed. In the corner where I live. I was asleep, he was screaming “HELP”. I thought it was a dream. I woke up to move my truck the next morning and stepping out my driveway I saw blood. It was not a dream. An African American guy got stabbed in the stomach a few steps away from my house. I followed the trail of blood and noticed he walked 20 feet after getting shanked.
That’s as far as he went. All along the sidewalk, there were puddles of blood. The guy made it all the way to the back of my F-150 truck. Blood covered the tailgate and fender of my truck, like he was just fighting to live and stay awake before collapsing to the ground.
I didn’t know what to think. It was crazy. All I wanted to know was if the guy was alive. I could’ve helped him. Minutes later my mom asked a neighbor if she saw what happened. One of our neighbors said they saw a African American holding his stomach. He was bleeding out and collapsed to the ground.
Our neighbor didn’t call the cops or an ambulance. She said who would miss him. She said if he was a Hispanic, she would’ve called for help. Me and my Mom were furious.
He was a human being. Who cares about the race? I still can’t believe racism lives in my neighborhood. The blood is still on the side of my truck. It’s been six days since that killing. I think to myself. What if that was me?
The neighborhood hasn’t changed. It’s been the same. There are still drive bys, grand thefts, mugging and violence, all kinds. I can’t do anything to stop it. I just can’t wait to move. Be free, and not having to worry about getting mugged on my way to the corner. I will always remember what I’ve seen and happened in my neighborhood.
Sometimes you just can’t escape reality.
Photo Credit: Getty Images