The Other McCain

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Aspiring Rapper Update: NYC Mayor Mourns Jayquan ‘Chii Wvttz’ McKenley

Posted on | February 12, 2022 | Comments Off on Aspiring Rapper Update: NYC Mayor Mourns Jayquan ‘Chii Wvttz’ McKenley

Readers should remember the relevant definition:

Aspiring Rapper
North American euphemism for a member of the urban criminal class. This unusual occupation is usually mentioned in conjunction with the subject either being slain or being taken into custody for a violent or property-related crime. A relative of the subject usually points out that the subject’s demise or incarceration comes at an extremely inopportune moment, occurring just as the subject was “turning they(sic) life around.”

There was something truly weird about what happened this week:

New York’s Mayor, Eric Adams, paid an emotional tribute to the latest victim of the city’s gun violence, an 18-year-old aspiring rapper, Jayquan McKenley.
McKenley who went by the name Chii Wvttz, was shot dead outside a recording studio in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood on Sunday.
Adams struggled to hold back tears as he blamed the shooting on a ‘broken system that ‘continually fails black and brown New Yorkers.’
The mayor detailed [Jayquan’s] life explaining how the city ‘betrayed’ him including being unable to secure stable housing from officials failing to intervene after he missed 250 days of high school.
‘I didn’t know Jayquan, but his death hit me hard because the more I found out about Jayquan’s story, the more I saw how many times he had been failed by a system that is supposed to help boys like him,’ Adams said.
McKenley grew up in the South Bronx, a neighborhood with high rates of poverty and unemployment.
Adams explained that by the time he was five, Jayquan’s family was living in a homeless shelter.
Adams told how McKenley was placed in a program for children with severe cognitive disabilities. After then moving into a mainstream program just a couple of years later, he was behind.
He was already at risk and though his mom begged for help, McKenley never got any, Adams said.
McKenley went to five different high schools and as a teenager missed hundreds of days of school.
‘Now, right there, our city should have done more,’ Adams said. ‘Over the next four years, Jayquan’s family lived in seven different shelters without stability or security.
‘To Jayquan’s mother and father, I want to say I’m sorry,’ Adams said with tears in his eyes. He had previously spoken with Jayquans’ grieving parents earlier in the week.
‘The story of Jayquan breaks my heart,’ Adams said. ‘His story tests my spirit, and we must do better for young people like him.
‘I’m sorry we betrayed him and so many others like him, but you have my word as your mayor that I will be looking out for the thousands of other Jayquans in our city because I was once a Jayquan, too.
‘I knew what it was like to worry about losing your apartment, your stability, what it’s like to live with a learning disorder, what it’s like to get on the wrong side of the law,’ he said. ‘I’ve been on that path of pain, and I know there’s a way out,’ Adams said.
‘He was a Drill rapper, part of a scene which involves using music as a challenge for social media posts — posts that bled out into violent real-world confrontations,’ he said. ‘It was right there, for all to see. Our city should have done more.’
Drill is a subgenre of rap which is dominated by themes of death and violence.
He had been arrested several times since 2017 including once for attempted murder, last year.
‘We had all the signs you can ever have that a young man’s life was in crisis, and with social media acting as an accelerant, that crisis was escalated,’ Adam’s said noting that red flags were ignored.
‘He was not just a victim now, but a perpetrator. But he was young, there was still time for him to turn the path of violence and move away from that,’ Adams said. ‘Our system and justice system should have done more, more to help him, rehabilitate him.’

He was a hoodlum, a gang-banger. Live by the gun, die by the gun.

All this woe-is-me stuff about how the “system failed him” — who failed? Isn’t this rhetoric just a way to exonerate Jayquan for his own deadly choices, by saying “society” in general was somehow at fault? Jayquan “had been arrested several times,” so why wasn’t he in jail or prison? Isn’t this because of the turn-’em-loose liberal bail policies in New York?

Leave enough gang-bangers out on the streets, don’t be surprised when they shoot each other. Hoodlums have a tendency to become dead hoodlums that way, and if the “system should have done more,” well, more what? More time behind bars for young hoodlums?

The death of “Chii Wvttz” is perhaps symbolic of what’s wrong with New York City, but probably not in the way the mayor imagines.




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