In his Grammy award-winning Rap Performance titled “I”, Kendrick Lamar writes, “I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent.”
After looking at the Rap lyrics written by Kendrick, I recognize he and I have both tread in similar worlds or communities.
Kendrick doing so as a depressed adolescent, me as an often frustrated uniformed NYC police officer dealing with children suffering from depression. In my experience, depressed children who often resort to committing anti-social harmful acts against their peaceful neighbors.
I’d like to share one of my experiences in dealing with a child who was suffering from depression that apparently resulted from frustrations and anger he felt toward his mother.
I try to calmly relate my experiences, though I am told my writings are not always sensitive. I apologize if my frustrations seep into the my accounts of personally witnessing child abuse, as well as its effects on developing infants, toddlers, children, teens and their communities.
I am processing a mid-teen I arrested for stealing food and fighting to keep it when he got caught. I called his mother before speaking with him, when she arrived at the precinct I escorted her to the juvenile detention room, where the teen went-off on her, sharply criticizing her for ignoring him, for ignoring his brothers and sisters, blaming his mother for the situation he is in.
The kid was in tears as he verbally pummeled his mother, suggesting she did not love any of her children and the only reason she had them was to collect welfare to escape living with her own crazy, drug addicted mother.
I stood there numb, watching one of the most heartbreaking and disturbing, yet insightful moments I ever witnessed in my career. The kid had a mental breakdown venting what I assumed were years of built up frustration and disappointment.
Appearing unaffected by her son’s torment and outburst of emotion, his mother did not protest her child’s accusation, nor did she seem concerned about his fragile condition as she left the interview room “for a smoke” while he was still sobbing.
What do I say to this kid? How do I deal with a depressed child who believes he is not loved by his own mother?
What are his perceptions of me as a person responsible for protecting and helping people, yet I can’t help fix his problems, instead I arrested him?
This mother who apparently raised an emotionally abused and maltreated child said she was going for a smoke and never returned, abandoning her child, leaving him in the care and custody of the City of NY.
I spent an hour trying to locate her before transporting the kid to a juvenile detention facility, which due to the kid’s emotional state was probably best for both of them at that time.
Not that many are concerned with spending/wasting government money, but this mom’s refusal to love, nurture and accept responsibility her child being released to her custody cost the City of New York four hours of overtime that evening.
Four hours of overtime earned while dealing with an unloved, angry, frustrated, depressed child who at fifteen-years-old was charged with a crime because he wanted food to feed himself and his siblings.
Frankly, that was four hours of OT I could have lived without, though what I gleaned from this experience gave me more insight into the mind of a child born to a woman some pejoratively characterize as a “Welfare Queen.”
Certainly, I wish I could cure the ills and trauma experienced by a child that feels unloved, however I cannot. Though I can relate my thoughts and comments for improving the lives of children born to mothers imbued with a “clueless” mindset for raising children, and toward life in general.
Society should no longer tolerate people making babies as a means to escape the dysfunction of their own care-givers. Society needs to rethink our policies for rewarding teens and young women with free cash for making babies born out of depression, immaturity and selfishness, not love between partners in a family type relationship.
I believe a part of the solution for protecting children from “clueless” parenting is to utilize the same camera technologies we are proposing/demanding our police officers use to protect them and the public.
I am hoping when camera technology proves its mettle in protecting police officers, as well as identifying officers who require further training or officers who have no business serving the public in a LE capacity, we will use that same technology to protect children by monitoring the common area of homes in which caregivers have established a track record for failing to properly raise, nurture and/or supervise their children.
Recently I watched a video that saddened me as well as enlightened me when I learned child welfare investigators test the hair of child abuse victims for “ambient” exposure to drugs.
Holy smokes, the numbers were critical. At the least cameras would expose signs of intoxication in homes identified as requiring extra care to prevent children from being emotionally and or physically harmed.
Suzanne nailed it, parents and caregivers do the most horrific things to their kids, yet many kids will defend their abusers, blaming themselves for their bruises and injuries before admitting a parent/caretaker harmed them.
“Yes I think I’m okay
I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask that’s what I’ll say
And it’s not your business anyway”
Most kids will clam-up rather than say an ill word about their abusers. However, I’ve met a few child abuse victims whose level of frustration with their caregivers pushed them to make poor choices causing the police to become involved…and subsequently reveal their true feelings, as the young teen I arrested in the anecdote I shared.
Kendrick Lamar writes, “I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent.”
I do not know Kendrick (see below)*, I’ve searched my memory file for times in my past when depression may have crept in. I can’t think of any as a kid, except for the time I forged mom’s signature on a 6th grade report card and got caught, sending mom into a rage I’d never witnessed before or after. She was wholly upset that I was a cheat and liar, engaging in an act contrary to all her schooling about honesty and truthfulness. Mom’s reaction made me depressed because I hurt and disappointed her, real bad.
Reading Kendrick’s lyrics I am certain he’s grown up knowing depressed kids like the fifteen year-old I arrested for thievery.
Suzanne Vega is a Grammy nominee who wrote lyrics about child abuse, Kendrick Lamar is a Grammy winner who wrote rap lyrics that include expressing signs of child abuse.
Considering he has decided to share his thoughts and experiences with the entire world, I am curious to know what Kendrick believes caused him to be a depressed adolescent? (Continue reading to learn the cause for Kendrick’s lifelong sadness)*
I am also curious to learn Kendrick’s opinion for why some/many of today’s lyricists characterize women as “witches and bhores in their music,” totally unlike the artists from earlier generations, almost all who praised and loved women – aka their moms, sisters, grandmas and daughters – in their music?
Quentin is one of several YouTubers who offered kind and positive replies to my comments:
Quentin Coberley: “Much respect. Kinda changes my perspective of the police force and my accusations of certain individuals who stereotype or discriminate. But, none the less very good thought provoking thought and I agree 100% on asking why these music “artist” objectify women are call them bitches, or how every other word is nigga,money,bitch, or molly. Some music “artist” are truly pathetic. They need to create stories like rappers such as Kendrick, em,tupac,notorious B.I.G, and immortal technique”
Quentin Coberley wrote, Much respect. Kinda changes my perspective of the police force and my accusations of certain individuals who stereotype or discriminate.
Most of the men and women I worked with in the NYPD were raised and nurtured to embrace compassion, empathy and respect for all life. Most of my sworn, and civilian co-workers, many who also lived in this Brooklyn, NY community, were raised to be honest, truthful and to respect our neighbors.
After completing a year of classroom and field training, when they learned I was assigned to what was considered a “high crime” Brooklyn community, a few of my field training officers told me to be prepared for “culture shock”.
When I was told this I thought to myself, “what are they talking about, how much different can this American community be from my American community?”
I was a toddler when Motown was in its infancy, we grew up together as virtual friends. My Motown friends wrote and composed great music intended to make people smile and dance, which many of my friends and neighbors did when we enjoyed the music they shared with our tiny blue orb.
Before becoming a cop I worked in a service industry dealing with people from all backgrounds, this is when I learned that ALL my fellow humans, regardless of their background, have the capacity to be decent people or just plain jerks.
Plus, when our military deployed my dad to Korea as a mechanic, he met a black guy who grew up not far from him in Queens, NY. They became friends and upon returning from Korea, they opened an auto repair business, got married and started building their families. I was just a kid but as far as I could tell, the only difference between my dad and his friend/partner Jesse, was that Jesse had a dark complexion, a cooler hairstyle and seemed to smile more than my dad.
So what are my training officers talking about when they tell me I will experience “culture shock?”
Soon after being assigned to my new precinct I noticed that many people in the community, especially young men and teens, embrace a 24/7 attitude projecting, “I’m not in the mood to be messed with.”
I understand young people puffing their chests out, I grew up around more than I can count, I understand that in some communities acting fearless is a posture required for self-protection and to maintain a reputation, however I don’t understand why so many in the community are angry 24/7.
What really baffled me was the great number of young people in the community, guys and gals, who had uncontrollable tempers that often turned into seething rage, not only when dealing with the police, but when dealing with people within the community?
I was also puzzled by the attitudes of some/many young people toward the police. Sure, in my resident community we did not like the police messing with us when we were just trying to hang out and have some fun, but we respected the fact that the law kept our families safe and the officers were doing their job.
During the many times the police chased us off our hang-out corner or broke up our drinking and pot parties in the nearby state preserve, even when the police were less than professional in dealing with us, I cannot recall anyone taunting or overtly showing hatred toward the police. While some were not happy being “harassed” by the police, we knew they were right and we were wrong.
One evening during my first week as a beat cop in my new precinct, I’m walking to my post along a residential city street lined with fairly nice brownstone homes when three teen boys walk by and begin taunting me, “Look at the shiny brand new cop with his shiny new badge and shiny new gun,” is one of the taunts I recall.
Can I be plainly honest? I was scared. I was a brand new cop who reviewed the crime reports for my beat before patrolling it on foot. I learned that on my tiny five block beat there were numerous crimes reported during the previous weeks and months, many of them violent and many of the suspects described by victims were teen boys.
Due to my inexperience and concerns for my personal safety I decided not to introduce myself to these community members. I continued walking not reacting to their taunts, experiencing my first encounter with a few young people I reasonably assumed were described as unnamed criminal suspects on one or more of the crime victim reports I read before walking to my post.
I continued walking to my post >>> wondering why I was subjected to unprovoked taunting and hate?
Later that week, not far from where the taunting occurred, I responded to a call of an unconscious male. I found two young hot dog vendors with bullet holes in their heads lying on the floor of their rundown rented storage garage. I watched the pool of blood expand as I called for back-up.
As a new cop this was not the first encounter with violent death. After completing my academy training I was assigned to a Neighborhood Stabilization Unit where I first witnessed the aftermath of homicide.
A married cable installer from Virginia is getting a hummer in his work truck when her pimp shows up and places a cannon size bullet through the installer’s head that also pierces a heavy steel security gate of a Bodega across the street from where the victim was parked.
I handled my first encounter with violent death pretty well, although shook up and disturbed that a person was killed over a few dollars, I tucked the event away in my mind’s “Experience” folder.
However, witnessing the aftermath of violence perpetrated against these two young people, who were working people no different from me, I began to develop a healthy wariness of dark complected humans.
Working in this community, it did not take long for me to understand what my training officers meant by “culture shock.”
However, after gaining some experience in serving this community I determined what my training officers characterized as “culture shock” had little to do with “black” culture, and had everything to do with a culture of “Child Abuse.”
A Culture of Child Abuse and Neglect that Kendrick Lamar, Tupac Shakur and dozens of other American rappers directly or indirectly describe in their lyrics.
Quentin, in the comments I initially published in this thread I wrote I had no idea why Kendrick was a depressed adolescent, though because of my life experiences I suggested the source of his depression was his home life.
During a LAWeekly interview in January 2011, Kendrick clearly explains what caused his early depression and why he continued to experience depression into adulthood.
“Lamar’s parents moved from Chicago to Compton in 1984 with all of $500 in their pockets. “My mom’s one of 13 siblings, and they all got six kids, and till I was 13 everybody was in Compton,” he says.
“I’m 6 years old, seein’ my uncles playing with shotguns, sellin’ dope in front of the apartment.
My moms and pops never said nothing, ’cause they were young and living wild, too. I got about 15 stories like ‘Average Joe.'”
Quentin, imagine you’re an elementary school kid being taught about how our society functions, learning right from wrong, being schooled to be a good citizen and to respect your neighbors. During your schooling you are introduced to DARE programs informing you about the dangers of using drugs and how they can seriously impair your ability to enjoy an emotionally stable and physically healthy life.
After class is dismissed you head home to parents who created a home environment Kendrick raps about or describes in this and other interviews.
Obviously these conflicts can cause a developing child/mind all sorts of concerns and confusion. In school Kendrick was being socialized to become an educated, peaceful person while at home he was being taught/conditioned to embrace anti-social values that cause great harm to his friends, neighbors and community.
Certainly it is not difficult to understand why Kendrick and many of his school mates developing in similar environments are depressed.
Most kids aren’t stupid, and neither is Kendrick.
As Kendrick matures and become knowledgeable about the ways of our world, he realizes the life his parents introduced him to is not the same life the media tells him most Americans kids enjoy.
As Kendrick matures he and his school mates in similar situations become resentful of their single or married caregivers who gave them a life filled with dysfunction, disrespect, struggle and emotional pain.
I have to believe that while dealing with his adolescent depression, many times Kendrick asked himself, “Why did mom and dad have so many children they could not afford to care for?”
“Why didn’t my parents have fewer children they could more easily provide for, nurture and supervise? Was I born from love, or to be exploited for a larger share of food stamps and social hand-outs?”
Excerpt from a January 2011 LAWeekly Kendrick Lamar interview:
“The hardest thing for me to do is to get you to know me within 16 bars,” the rapper says on a track…”Average Joe,” in which he relates a story of being shot at by a gang, even though he’s not affiliated. The problem isn’t that Kendrick Lamar can’t reveal himself. It’s that there’s too much he wants to reveal. His thoughts tumble furiously; words swarm so frantically that in one song he eventually chokes on them.”
For nearly a dozen years I witnessed hundreds of depressed children attempting to cope with the abuse filled childhood upbringing Kendrick raps or speaks about.
Consider the emotional torment a child experiences when being taught in school to be a good person, and at home witnessing activities he is being taught in school are harmful to him, his neighbors and community.
Young Kendrick wants to speak out and tell people he cares about to stop doing harmful, destructive things, though he knows if he does he’ll be looked down upon as a troublemaker, someone who cannot be trusted among many of his neighborhood peers, many who have been conditioned to “The Street” Baltimore grandmother Toya Graham feared her son Michael Graham-Singleton will become a part of.
Though witnessing Michael and many of his peers apparent depraved indifference toward peaceful human life charged with protecting peaceful people in the community from harm, I believe Ms. Graham may be too late to save her son from the emotional harm she caused him by building a large family she could not properly provide and care for…subjecting him to a life that caused he and his sisters to struggle…a life of poverty and hardships.
Other thoughts possibly tormenting Kendrick’s developing mind, realizing that if he ‘snitches’ trying to end the madness harming his family and friends, his parents will go to jail and he’ll end up living with other relatives just as “wild,” or he may end up placed in foster care.
Kendrick also knows if discovered, “snitches” pay a heavy price for impeding the flow of “Street” cash by snitching and getting brothers/sisters arrested. Kendrick realizes that as much as he wants the madness to stop harming people, he will be placing his safety and his family’s safety in harm’s way if he actually tries to stop it.
These are a few of the realities of the life Kendrick and many of his school mates were raised, nurtured in, and slowly conditioned to accept.
So yeah, compared to the average young American, I am certain Kendrick’s mind, as a developing child and an adult, is often ‘tumbling furiously’, perhaps contemplating furious thoughts about the people responsible for depriving him and his school mates of an average American life, in part because they built a large family they could not possibly expect to live an average, somewhat peaceful and happy life.
Quentin, early in my police career when I was assigned to this Brooklyn community I was advised to be prepared to experience “culture shock.” When I asked what is meant by “culture shock,” I was told, “You’ll find out.”
I did find out what “culture shock” is, though it was not a culture of violence and harmful anti-social activities many were insinuating I would be shocked by.
The aspect of this Brooklyn, NY community that shocked me to the core was witnessing children being emotionally scarred by a “culture of child abuse/neglect” that Kendrick Lamar raps and speaks about some twenty-five years after I first witnessed the “culture of child abuse” that today CONTINUES damaging many individuals and their communities.
In a October 2012 LAWeekly writer Rebecca Haithcoat interviewed Kendrick Lamar suggesting Kendrick’s, “songs are full of passion and pain.”
Ms. Haithcoat is partially correct, though in my mind Kendrick’s words clearly describe the emotional pain he and his school mates suffered because they were given life by immature, irresponsible people who subjected them to horrific acts of child abuse and neglect.
Quentin suggested, “They need to create stories like rappers such as Kendrick, em,tupac,notorious B.I.G, and immortal technique.”
Quentin, these teens/men are writing about their experiences as emotionally abused/neglected children, or writing about the community-accepted/ignored abuse they witness depressed children experience that caused them to harm themselves and peaceful people in their community.
Personally, I find most Rap Hip Hop performances very depressing, as well as featuring sounds I have heard before…sounds that have been ‘borrowed’ or ripped from many of my peaceful, musically talented/gifted Motown friends.
Quentin, your reply to my original post in this thread tells me you are a rational, open-minded, empathetic person. You have my respect. 🙂
Tupac Amaru Shakur born Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996) was an American rapper admired by many, including Kendrick Lamar. These two men share something in common, they rap/speak about the child abuse they, many of their friends and school mates were tormented by as they developed into teens and young adults.
For several decades a majority American rappers have been sharing their tales of experiencing child abuse or witnessing their friends and school mates cope with depression caused by emotional abuse and neglect.
Seems for about the same period of time a good majority of Americans wish to ignore their loud, angry cries of child abuse.
In my opinion, many caring, educated, intelligent Americans are willfully ignoring the poverty, pain and struggle immature irresponsible females subject their children to, mainly by building large families that cause their kids to experience hardships many American kids do not experience because their parents acted responsibly when planning to build their family.
Recently, Tavis Smiley and O’Reilly were talking about poverty when Tavis stated he is one of ten children. Sadly, he revealed his nine siblings continue to struggle while he is the only one in his family to grow and prosper.
Knowing the negative influences of “The Street” culture in her community, Baltimore grandmother Toya Graham, while still a teen begins building a family of six children, one of whom, her teen son Michael Graham-Singleton, was observed trying to cause grave harm to humans attempting to protect peaceful people from harm.
In a CNN interview Ms. Graham strongly suggests, “At no time is my son a thug.”
Ms. Graham personally witnessed her son “acting with depraved indifference to human life,” yet she refuses to recognize her son is a damaged person, nor does she appear willing to accept responsibility for causing her son to develop into a angry, depressed child willing to join other depressed angry children in actively attempting to cause great harm to peaceful people.
In this writing I share my opinions of Ms. Graham and thousands of irresponsible moms across our nation much like her.
In my opinion, Kendrick Lamar’s description of his immediate and extended blood relative family pretty much explains why poverty and pain continues to harm so many children…poverty and pain caused by immature, irresponsible young women who really need to stop harming their kids. Beginning with building smaller families they can better care for and supervise.
Holding off building a family until acquiring some practical skills and life experience while still a teenager would also be very helpful in easing the pain and struggles of poverty many immature moms subject their children to.
I realize criticizing women and not criticizing men seems unfair.
Like it or not, agree with me or not, women are the givers of human life, and in most ancient and modern societies the primary caregivers and nurturers responsible for raising society’s young.
In America, each woman has an inalienable right to determine when she is prepared for motherhood. Married or not, men do not make that decision.
Before closing, please, let me make it clear that I was also serving/protecting the families of my civilian co-workers, most all were hard-working competent, caring mothers living in the community, and struggling to keep their children safe from influences of depressed children raised by immature, irresponsible mothers in the community.
A question/observation I frequently heard asked by my civilian co-workers and other caring, responsible adults living or working in the community:
“Do you see how she is raising that child!?”
Take Pride In Parenting; End Our National Epidemic of Child Abuse and Neglect; End Community Violence, Police Fear & Educator’s Frustrations
Sandra Bland Indirectly Speaks About Child Abuse and Neglect Harming Her Quality of Life And Community
Victims of Child Abuse
This video depicts horrific examples of men who were victims of childhood abuse and neglect, conditioning a young teen to embrace ‘The Street’ culture Baltimore Mom of The Year failed to protect her teen son from…not to mention representing the fear peaceful people living and WORKING in the community experience knowing depressed, angry, unpredictable teens and young adults need to vent their angers and frustrations for being introduced to a life of pain and struggle by irresponsible, “living wild” single moms and/or dads.
A little girl, catching a cool breeze from an air conditioning unit in the yard, was blindsided by another child about her same age, who had evidently had some practice with fighting fierce. The small victim wasn’t alone, as there were plenty of nearby witnesses, who could have protected her but didn’t because they were too busy recording the brutal beat down and encouraging it. | Written By Amanda Shea
What I see in this recorded act of criminal child abuse, is adults conditioning children to embrace the cycle of child abuse, child maltreatment and violence passed down from generation to generation by depressed Americans who are content living in the poverty they are primarily responsible for fueling when irresponsibly birthing children from selfishness, instead of the love between two committed adult partners.
Nationally Popular Victims of Early Childhood Abuse and Neglect
Read popular American rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur (Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996) lyrics to learn about his love-hate relationship with his mom, his great disappointment with his dad, and about Tupac’s frequent suicidal thoughts.
Read about how Tupac’s drug addicted mother accepted proceeds of the harmful anti-social acts Tupac raps/writes about committing against his peaceful neighbors. I have to tell you, reading Tupac’s lyrics brings back a lot memories of the horrific emotional child abuse I witnessed during the nearly twelve year I provided police services to Shawn Carter’s community.
Shawn “Jay Z” Carter (born December 4, 1969) is another victim of child abuse/neglect who raps/writes about the physical harm and fear he caused to his peaceful neighbors and community.
Reading Shawn “Jay Z” Carter describe the pain he caused to his neighbors and community, brought back painful memories, causing me experience much of the same anxiety and pain I experienced from personally witnessing the physical and emotional pain young Shawn Carter caused to individuals as well as an entire housing complex and surrounding neighborhoods.
In 1987, the same year emotionally depressed 2015 Grammy winner Kendrick Lamar was born, songwriter Suzanne Vega wrote a song about child abuse and VICTIM DENIAL that was nominated for a Grammy.
Suzanne nailed it, parents and caregivers do the most horrific things to their kids, yet many kids will defend their abusers, blaming themselves for their “blues,” bruises and injuries before admitting a parent/caretaker harmed them.
“Yes I think I’m okay I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask that’s what I’ll say
And it’s not your business anyway”