Upham's Corner Online

Murdering the Youth of Upham's Corner

Posted: January 15, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

As members of the Upham's Corner community, we must take steps to stop the meaningless murder of our youth.

How do you count the stars? People have always been fascinated by the stars and many have tried to count them.

Stars appear in the heavens as fixed bodies visible with the naked eye or through a telescoping device.  For the most part, they, the stars, don't change, at least that we can detect.  They don't go away and they don’t disappear except as they fade temporarily into our sun’s daylight, to reappear alive and well on another day.  And for the common folk, there are no new stars to worry about.  Life is very predictable.

How do you count the murdered, the dead?  They, too, appear as fixed bodies - where they fell, each one momentarily visible with the naked eye until the medics take them away, each one created by a “big bang” much like what may have created the stars.

But we are not talking about a collection of hot, dense gases or nuclear reactions internal to a fireball or a future collapse of beaming light into a radiating black hole.

We are talking about precious lives lost. 

In 2011 of the six murders in Upham's Corner, five bore the crowns of youth - 20-year-olds and younger. 

2012 is repeating that pattern with the murder of a young man in his 20s that took place across the street from where, last year (April 2011), another youth was murdered.  These are eerie events, as if seen in mirror image, as if seen through a looking glass – a horror scene out of Alice's looking glass.

  • There were (approximately) 28 murders in Dorchester in 2011. 
  • At approximately 6 sq miles, this is a density 4.6 murders per square mile
Upham’s Corner
  • There were six murders in Upham's Corner in 2011
  • At 0.33 square miles, this is a density of 18.1 murders per square mile
Is this for real?

Scientists dig deeply into the origins of the stars in our solar system. 

We, too, can (attempt to) dig into the social and demographic causes or associative factors that contribute to behaviors that lead to early death for some of our youth. 

Dorchester is made up of four zip codes across approximately 6 sq miles with varying population densities ranging from 15,000 for zipcode 02125 to 22,600 for zipcode 02121 with 13,300 as a whole for Boston according to city-data.com

According to the Youth Violence Systems Report, Upham’s Corner (as defined by the BRA) consists of 0.33 square miles (less than 1/3 square mile) with a population of between 13,000 and 14,000 (year 2000 census data by census tract). 

Have you cranked up your mental or physical calculator yet?  That's a population density of 42,000 compared to a population density of 13,300 for Boston as a whole.

So is this the Big Bang theory that explains the high murder rate in Upham's Corner?   Are there other factors contributing to the high murder rate?
  • Population density
  • Community melting pot of ethnic groups
  • Poverty
  • Low education levels

The answer is:  We don’t know but something is very wrong!

Did God create the world, the moon, the stars? Some say yes and some, no.  Was it a Big Bang, or something as yet undetected?  Did God proclaim, as he made the world? 

“The youth in Upham's Corner shall die at a rate higher than anywhere else in Boston.”

We can tell you this.  Upham's Corner is a very sleepy community.  Murders occur and press releases are written.  Upham’s Corner News covers events as does the Dorchester Reporter and Boston.com (many other media sources).  Funerals take place and life goes on. 

There is hardly ever an expression of community outrage.

In not taking control of the situation, can it be said of us that we are complicit?  An accomplice to murder?  Not taking action, not trying to make a difference is tolerance, permission, approval. Of course, life is not that simple.  But a murder rate of 18.1 per square mile?  Is that acceptable?

We need help from everyone, especially our elected officials.  The one and only elected official who has taken the time to pay attention to our community is representative Carlos Henriquez.  But what can one man, one community meeting and his one assistant do?

It is really up to us, the residents of the community, to take control of the reins and say: "Enough is enough."

But if we are all asleep, if we are all comfortably protected within our tiny homes, if we don't take the time to reach out and mourn the deaths of our youth and proclaim: “No more!”, there is no hope for our community.

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