Apr. 19, 2017

Can He Rest In Peace?

I didn't know nor do I now presume to know Aaron Hernandez. He was simply #81 Tight End for the New England Patriots until the news flash ran across the ESPN screen murder suspect, Aaron Hernandez.  Aaron Hernandez was wanted for killing a Blackman named Odin Lloyd. Why he pulled the trigger to end Mr. Lloyd’s life?Who knows the reason, the what or the why.  

What we do know if that Aaron Hernandez sought a measure of street cred, street respect, and felt that this cred empowered with him. He wanted people to fear him and he felt that any move that threatened his persona of “street” damaged the level of respect he earned. How do you measure street cred? Is there a barometer that exists to unveil what is defined as street respect? You can go to urban cemeteries across this nation and look upon the tombstones of our young brothers who were also searching, searching for street respect. 

I don’t mourn for Aaron Hernandez because he got exactly what he was searching for. You may see many people who say rest in peace Aaron Hernandez but how can he rest in peace while he lived his life in turmoil? Oh, he could’ve lived a peaceful life played a sport he loved and replicated the values that his parent’s taught him. Yet, Aaron Hernandez didn’t want to be exposed as a kid without the “street” that he felt he deserved. 

 Aaron Hernandez grew up in a middle-class environment with both parents and had a loving family environment. His parents built their family around traditional family values. Work hard and use the skills/talents God gave you to better yourself and those around you. He didn’t go to bed hungry or wonder where his next meal was coming from. He went to a school that offered a quality education, not the school that offered no chance for educational progress. His family from what I could interpret from my research valued working class black traditions. 

Aaron Hernandez was as far away from that street thug life he aspired to have as anyone could be.  Did he sway off course when he decided to go to South Beach to play college football? The question now comes did Aaron Hernandez decide at "THE U" to become this wannabe gangster or did he always have this personality in him?  Was he searching, searching for street cred when he encountered those young men who actually had ventured from the urban streets to be Hurricanes. Those men whose only option was football or follow many of their peers in making wrong choices and ending up in either a jail cell or a coffin at an early age.   

From my reading, it seems that trouble followed Aaron Hernandez on his South Beach experiences. as of matter of fact when he declared his intentions to play professional football. His reputation for trouble dropped him from being a sure fired number one draft choice to a fourth-round draft pick. Yet, he was going home to play professional football with the number one football organization in the National Football League. He was going to catch passes from the number one quarterback in the league Tom Brady. He actually could live on Nob Hill and be admired by folks on Beacon Street. Aaron Hernandez in every sense of the word had arrived, but he hadn’t. 

You see he was searching, searching, for that aura of not physical or athletic greatness. He wanted “street” greatness, he desired people fear him rather than love him. You see this kid from New England became a, sure enough, star, on the football field and a  wannabe cutthroat gangster off the field. All of his middle-class origins his parents invested in him went by the wayside. He wanted to be respected in the streets rather than respected by those who wanted more for him. So he became a victim while he also victimized some many others. He was always packing they say as if the weapon inspired the fear that he sought. He was tatted up from head to toe with designs telling stories of a thug life he felt he had earned. What brought him to that night that he ended Odin Lloyd’s life? I mean Odin Lloyd surely didn’t threaten Aaron’s financial security. He had just signed a contract extension that guaranteed not only his financial security but also the security of his yet unborn grandchildren. He was not yet in the prime of a professional football career and yet he desired something more. 

So he made a decision to pull the trigger and take a life not because Odin Lloyd was endangering his life but because Odin Lloyd threatened his street cred. Odin Lloyd became the victim of a false sense of identifying that had enveloped the personality of Aaron Hernandez. That same night Aaron victimized not only Odin Lloyd and his loved ones. He also victimized his baby girl, his baby girl’s mother, his parents, his twin brother, the coaches who supported his dream of being a professional athlete, and everyone else who saw not the thug that Aaron Hernandez wanted to be but saw only the proud black man his parents felt that they had built him to become.