On the 15th of March 2012 a young man named Dee Corr was knifed to death in the New Lodge. I had met Dee quite a few times in the two and half years I have lived in Belfast. I remember him most from Botanic Avenue and he also stayed at the Hostel I was at a few times. He was very friendly and even though he was prone to be erratic at times he really was a lovely guy.
He liked a drink and because I myself liked a drink I could completely understand him. I will say a few things about drink, it’s powerful stuff and if you ever judge a person who drinks too much you really should take the time to remember that the power of alcohol to take peoples lives away from them is very real. When a person drinks too much and does anything through drink you are not judging them you are judging a shadow of them. If a person drinks 4 or more days a week they are never quite sober and you will find their decision making processes to be less than responsible. Alcohol bends peoples perception of the world and their sensibilities. I know many of you will have your own opinions on alcohol but I am afraid most of you are limited in your experience of it and therefore cannot judge people with any real sense of knowing what you are talking about. I am not going into my experience because this is not about me it’s about Dee and about the broken collective we reside in.
Dee was a spirited young man. He was a talented Skater and Musician. He loved music and was always singing and always had a Ghetto Blaster or earphones in. When you look back upon the History of the modern age we always seem to have people like Dee. You can call them whatever you like, in Ireland many years ago they were called the roadmen, people who did not like settling down, they liked to move from place to place and be out doors and they liked a drink. This is a very human thing, to be free, to not want to have constraints or be tied down but what seems to happen in a social sense with people like this is that those of us who work judge them badly, it’s like we’re envious of them. We say they’re just making excuses and that they’re not puling their weight we blame them for negativity but as far as I can see it is those who judge who are negative. Be they foreigners or tramps or spides or whatever you choose to call them these people are HUMAN BEINGS and if you voice a negative opinion on another human being who has not done anything YOU are eroding the very fabric of our social order, not THEM. If you judge people based upon appearance, age, sex, nationality, religion, gossip or anything other than how they have related to you personally you are causing the very ills that you accuse others of causing.
It is not easy being a modern human in 2012. Humans have very complicated minds and deeply, profoundly complicated social structures. Of course it is important to take each of us in context as individuals but we also need to be aware of the fact that sometimes we are too opinionated to see the facts involving others and we judge far too easily. People often talk about mental illnesses but we also need to start making ourselves aware of more subtle social and emotional conditions which many of our young people are suffering from. We’re not doing enough to help each other because we are busy (SELFISH).
When you have a group of vulnerable people who are living in a block of flats in a working class area and you add mental disorders, emotional problems, loneliness, a history of broken homes, an inability to relate to others, anger issues, alcohol, drugs and MOST IMPORTANTLY a society which is largely either apathetic or aggressive to their plight YOU’RE GOING TOO LOSE PEOPLE. WE’RE GOING TO KEEP LOSING PEOPLE. Right now all over this City another generation of kids are growing up and they will become disaffected to society in years to come, THIS IS CRIMINAL, we are allowing these children to just slip away. WE ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH. When someone is 12 or 13 and they’re having a hard time everyone says “Awwww isn’t that a shame.” but as soon as they turn 17 or 18 suddenly that changes to “They deserve all they get.” BUT IT’S THE SAME PERSON. We are emotional machines people do not wake up on their 18th birthday with a new set of directives and all the knowledge they didn’t have the day before, if someone has not been taught or if they have disorders they won’t be able to accept or integrate into society. WE ARE FAILING THESE PEOPLE. WE ARE LETTING THEM DIE. I really want to rant right now but I have to compose myself because I know how people react to the truth. When a person raises their voice or curses there is something wrong, anger is a form of pain and we need to start recognising that and we also need to stop being afraid of anger for only by remaining calm can we help the person who is suffering from anger issues.
I hope Dee has not had to die in vein. This society is getting worse. Knife crime will just escalate if we do not start building communities that care about each other. You all need to get out there and become part of the community instead of selfishly spending all your spare time drinking in your little bubble wrapped cliques and watching television. BE ACTIVE. You also need to start being mindful of how you treat each other and how much you gossip because these aspects of the modern age are deeply harmful to us all collectively.
If we keep letting these people go they will continue to be disaffected and ultimately it is society that suffers because it is society that they attack. We will never have a peaceful city if we don’t do more for these kids who are growing up right now to be the next generation of addicts and criminals. THINK DON’T JUDGE. THINK. LEARN ABOUT HOW HUMAN BEINGS WORK. LEARN ABOUT WHAT HUMAN BEINGS NEED. STUDY. THINK…
Much love to Dee.