Lozells flare-up


by Sunny
17th November, 2006 at 1:34 am    

It seems there is a bit of tension in Birmingham because of recent violence. On Wednesday, Meshack Tesfa Bernard-Brown was shot dead on his 20th birthday. The police are declining to say much but a source tells me it was an Asian gang. Or to be more specific, a bunch of British Pakistanis. A 25 year old man has been arrested and some are still on the run.

It was apparently some sort of a revenge attack. I’m told they they also got the “wrong guy”, which makes retaliatory attacks all the more likely unfortunately. This isn’t racial but the kind of gang-violence that has increasingly become a feature of Birmingham. Meshack’s father and “community leaders” have appealed for calm but what influence they have over criminal gangs is arguable. I’m not even sure why people make it into an issue of race when it is straight forward crime. Here’s hoping it doesn’t spark into something bigger. RIP Meshack.


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  1. Clairwil — on 17th November, 2006 at 1:41 am  

    I really do hope this doesn’t escalate in a racial conflict. I have no idea how to tackle gang culture but really wish someone could come up with a good way of ending it.

  2. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 17th November, 2006 at 2:19 am  

    Clairwill,

    Parents need to start smacking thier kids around.

  3. Douglas Clark — on 17th November, 2006 at 5:52 am  

    Sunny,

    We have to confront the gang culture, Which is not, really, a race issue, It is what we have discussed before, a question of what is right or wrong.

  4. Nick — on 17th November, 2006 at 8:18 am  

    I can’t help being reminded of an earlier post about the Kriss killing – which many posters claimed was not racist but gang related. When does gang-related become racist I wonder…?

  5. Douglas Clark — on 17th November, 2006 at 9:11 am  

    Nick,

    I doubt, from the scant details available, that this is racist. What it certainly seems to have in common with the horrible Chris Burke murder is gangsterism. I’d suggest that we should hate gansters, or gangtas, just as much as we hate racists. The gangsters seem to me to get off lightly compared to the racists. In fact in some sections of society they seem to be admired. I think the ‘who’s looking at me’, gun culture is quite a worry. We should not, I would suggest, subscribe to that notion.

  6. Kismet Hardy — on 17th November, 2006 at 9:30 am  

    “Parents need to start smacking thier kids around”

    Prat.

    It’s unloved, abused kids that vent their anger out on the streets.

  7. funkg — on 17th November, 2006 at 9:32 am  

    RIP Meshack.

    Another tragic incident which some commentators will observe as a inter ethnic ‘race’ attack. There was a Darcus Howe programme about so called afro-Caribbean v Somali tension in south London. Darcus spoke to some vexed afro Caribbean youths in a youth club, somehow these smoking, drinking pool playing ‘youths’ were representative of the Afro Caribbean community, ridiculous.

    We live in an increasingly individualistic society where personal relationships are formed across ethnic, class and religious barriers. Increased communication across borders has widened access to education and information for many. GCSE results have improved for many children especially from ethnic minorities, many now claim their status as middle class with all of its aspirations and access.

    I cannot comment of the specifics of this case, Meshack could well be an innocent, or caught up in the territorial and drug related violence on our streets.

    Youths barely able to string a sentence together examples squabbling on the street, over turf or drugs money cannot be claimed as representatives of anyone but their own, im sorry to say semi-feral selves.

  8. funkg — on 17th November, 2006 at 9:39 am  

    (I don’t mean to sound patronising) Although bikhair aka taqiyyah has a previous tendency to come out with outdated, silly and embittered comments (half-caste etc) bikhair was just raising an unsubtle and important point in an ironic way that kids need boundaries and discipline in the home.

  9. Chairwoman — on 17th November, 2006 at 10:07 am  

    Absolutely. Kids do need boundaries. Parents need to be vigilant and be aware of where and with whom their children are going. Choice of school is also very important. If the only school available is a ‘sink’ school, then the parents must become active at the school, PTA, board of governors, any society available. Make friends of the teachers. Family activities, even of it’s just a walk. Making friends with the parents of their kids friends and making nout if school arrangements for them. Any sign that the child is cruel to animals or a bully, must be made untennable. Reading must be encouraged. Of course, this must start at infants school, but it’s never too late to try.

  10. raz — on 17th November, 2006 at 10:08 am  

    This was defintely racist:

    Sikh boy has hair cut off in attack

  11. Kismet Hardy — on 17th November, 2006 at 10:25 am  

    of course kids need boundaries. But beating them is moronic. Anyone who has raised a child that isn’t socially retarded will vouch that the best way to get throught to them is through love and understanding. Parents who think discipline means the buckle of a belt are every bit as useless as those who let their kids grow without guidance

  12. NorahJones — on 17th November, 2006 at 11:41 am  

    Bikhair, your shock tactics aren’t having the desired effect. If you were my child I’d whip you senseless. Having said that I don’t advocate violence. Having said THAT, I’d make an allowance for you.

    Back to the subject matter, I hope the media don’t grab a hold of this story and sensationalise it the way the did the first time around. It’s not about black/asian relations but drugs and gang warfare.

  13. Jagdeep — on 17th November, 2006 at 12:34 pm  

    Well, I have family that live in Handsworth Wood and last year when there were riots there were attacks in their area, so I hope nothing flares up. But leaving that aside, I dont see the point in speculating and contributing to the hype before we know what happens Sunny. Hopefully things will just simmer down.

    RIP Meshack.

  14. Simon — on 17th November, 2006 at 3:14 pm  

    It would be nice to think this wasn’t racist but these gangs are based on race

  15. funkg — on 17th November, 2006 at 4:04 pm  

    the parents must become active at the school, PTA, board of governors, any society available. Make friends of the teachers. Family activities, even of it’s just a walk
    excellent points Chaiwoman, and you know what? All of what you have mentioned are free, they don’t add up financially unlike the latest playstation 3 or the latest Puma ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ range with a rifle on it.
    Simon these gangs may be based on ‘race’ on a territorial basis, so what does that imply?

  16. Simon — on 17th November, 2006 at 4:23 pm  

    funkg,

    all I was saying was that whatever the reason for their violence, I don’t hear people talking about territorial gangs in Birmingham, they talk about gangs in terms of the racial makeup.

  17. miraxx — on 17th November, 2006 at 4:32 pm  

    Funkg,

    it’s amazing how lousy most parents are – I deal with them and their kids all the time and it still strikes me speechless how much parents rely on financial bribes and take the line of least resistance aka the laziest way of disciplining their kids. They either do too little for their kids or foolishly think they can compensate for years of neglect with one good ‘smack down’.Crass stupidity.

    That said, there are gangs out there,and apparently organised on racial/ religious lines. Is this due to a simple matter of geography, ie segregated neighbourhoods? Or something more? Should one not ask these questions? Is this another just isolated incident after all?

  18. funkg — on 17th November, 2006 at 4:47 pm  

    ‘Racial’ makeup? that sounds so dated,

    I would ascribe one of the characteristics of direct racism as an assumption that ones own ‘race’ is inherently superior, another less so. Territorialism as an inclination to appropriate an area against invaders i.e. other males, especially when women, property, resources are put into the mix. That’s not to say that no ‘racism’ was involved, but I would go along with the argument that inter ethnic squabbles are often mere old fashion male territorialism.

    I would ascribe one of the characteristics of direct racism as an assumption that ones own ‘race’ is inherently superior, another less so. Territorialism as an inclination to appropriate an area against invaders i.e. other males, especially when women, property, resources are put into the mix. That’s not to say that no ‘racism’ was involved, but I would go along with the argument that inter ethnic squabbles are often mere old fashion male territorialism.

  19. NorahJones — on 17th November, 2006 at 4:51 pm  

    Simon, the intial unsettlement was fuelled by the rumour that a 14 year old child was raped by a gang of asian men cue peaceful protesting and talks between ‘community leaders’. This in turn sparked a debate as to whether there was a council monopoly providing more funding and links for asian shop owners. Before you know it, local gangs (both asian and black) are pulling guns out on each other killing innocent bystanders in their midst.

    Fact: The 14 year old girl nor her family ever stood up to these claims and so the story remains unfounded.

    Fact: At the time of the riots I attended university in the mentioned area and relations between blacks and asians WERE strained but only because we didn’t know what to say to each other. If the rest of the country think you’ve issues, how do you know for sure you don’t?

  20. funkg — on 17th November, 2006 at 4:53 pm  

    Could’nt agree more Miraxx,

    I grew up in the east end in the days (1980s) when white and some black/mixed groups would harass the local Bangladeshi population, not any more of course. Interestingly ‘cockney’ Bangladeshis were relatively untroubled most of the hostility was against the so called ‘freshys’

  21. William — on 17th November, 2006 at 5:48 pm  

    This is all sad, I can only reiterate what others have said. Let’s hope it doesn’t flare up into something else.

    It’s scary what happened to the Sikh lad. I am sickened stuff like that still happens in this country.

  22. Simon — on 17th November, 2006 at 6:14 pm  

    funkg,

    I am rather dated and the term racial makeup was used to describe gangs such as black/whites harassing asians.

    NorahJones

    Fact: You didn’t read what Sunny wrote.

  23. Jagdeep — on 17th November, 2006 at 10:48 pm  

    Oh boy, I just had an hilarious laugh out loud moment. My wife was listening to the Nikki Bedi show and she was about to interview the Bollywood actress Kajol and the interviewer mentioned Hundal. So I listened back and she said, ‘Hi Kajol, I’ve just been speaking to someone called Sunny Hundal who runs a website called Asians In Media and when he was a young man he ran a website devoted to you because he was in infatuated and in love with you, and he’s really looking forward to meeting you at the Birmingham Asian Mela this weekend….’ and she said ‘Oooh wow, great!’

    Hundal you crack me up man!

    And control your heartbeat when you meet her dude. Get a grip of yourself. And bring back some good Bollywood gup-shup!

  24. raz — on 17th November, 2006 at 11:03 pm  

    “when he was a young man he ran a website devoted to you because he was in infatuated and in love with you”

    LOL
    LMAO
    ROFLMAO
    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Oh Sunny :) We didn’t know you were such a romantic!

  25. Clairwil — on 17th November, 2006 at 11:31 pm  

    ‘when he was a young man he ran a website devoted to you because he was in infatuated and in love with you’

    Aw I find that very sweet. I’d like to make Sunny a plate of homemade soup and pat his shoulder.

  26. Psychohobbit233 — on 17th November, 2006 at 11:39 pm  

    “police are declining to say much but a source tells me it was an Asian gang. Or to be more specific, a bunch of British Pakistanis”

    In other words, it was not a bunch of

    English Pakistanis
    Angloids of Asian Origin
    Non-Honkeys
    Pakistanglians
    Bangladenglishmen

    or simply

    “a bunch of local thugs”

  27. Anas — on 18th November, 2006 at 12:04 am  

    And control your heartbeat when you meet her dude. Get a grip of yourself

    That’s completely the wrong advice Jagdeep.

  28. Anas — on 18th November, 2006 at 12:07 am  

    Couldn’t find the site via google, but the front page is still available on archive.org (without any photos unfortunately):

    http://tinyurl.com/yk7v2b

  29. Sunny — on 18th November, 2006 at 12:12 am  

    Oh my god! I’m gonna kill Nikki Bedi. I said I made a little website for her at uni but I wasn’t bloody infatuated! Damn BBC journalists! Aaaargh!

    of course kids need boundaries. But beating them is moronic.

    I got beat when I was young. I don’t think I have psychological “issues”. I think it depends how you handle it. My parents dictated strict boundaries but also were quite loving.

  30. Psychohobbit233 — on 18th November, 2006 at 12:12 am  

    So, a member of a bunch of thugs was shot by a member of another bunch of thugs both of which had apparently decided to define themselves by their ethnic origins. Or were there non-Asians in the “gang”.

    It’s an angle.

    Me, I’m crypto-earthoid. Speaking to me in the dark. Adopting a neutral accent. Not talking about belief. Admiring our home. Glad I’m purple. End of conversation.

    B. Raille

  31. Psychohobbit233 — on 18th November, 2006 at 12:45 am  

    Here’s a new word to me

    Nativism

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativism_(politics)

    yes but maybe it’s a question of numbers…

  32. Psychohobbit233 — on 18th November, 2006 at 12:47 am  

    ideologies we can handle

  33. Psychohobbit233 — on 18th November, 2006 at 12:59 am  

    Goodnight people, sorry to burst on you like this.

    See you later, as we say up here. Congratulations, PP

  34. Clairwil — on 18th November, 2006 at 1:43 am  

    Where is the open thread? Where is Old Pickler, where is Jonz? I want my Daleks and Cybermen you know.

  35. Simon — on 18th November, 2006 at 3:18 am  

    Never hit anyone weaker than oneself, there’s always another way.

  36. Jai — on 18th November, 2006 at 10:07 am  

    Sunny,

    =>”Oh my god! I’m gonna kill Nikki Bedi.”

    Wow, do you know Kabir Bedi too ? Genuine question.

    =>”she said, ‘Hi Kajol, I’ve just been speaking to someone called Sunny Hundal who runs a website called Asians In Media and when he was a young man he ran a website devoted to you because he was in infatuated and in love with you, and he’s really looking forward to meeting you at the Birmingham Asian Mela this weekend….’ and she said ‘Oooh wow, great!’”

    That’s absolutely hilarious. “Dilwale dulhania le jayenge” indeed, eh ? ;)

    Although Ajay Devgan beat you to it.

    I have this image of Sunny and Kajol in that rooftop song sequence for “Mehndi Sajake Rakhna” from DDLJ, dancing around each other in slow-motion while Amrish Puri & co look on…..

  37. miraxx — on 18th November, 2006 at 11:08 am  

    Not infatuated? Ha! That website was dripping with luurve, Sunny Hundal. I am curious though, what wedding present you finally got Kajol…

  38. Vikrant — on 18th November, 2006 at 1:48 pm  

    “when he was a young man he ran a website devoted to you because he was in infatuated and in love with you”

    LMAO

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Sunny on Shikaar!

  39. Vikrant — on 18th November, 2006 at 1:50 pm  

    P.S Wikipedia tells me Kajol’s mum Tanuja is a Marathi! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanuja_Samarth ! That makes here half-Marathi … my kinswoman of sorts!

  40. William — on 18th November, 2006 at 7:20 pm  

    We seem to have wandered off a serious issue just a wee bit!!

  41. Anas — on 18th November, 2006 at 7:27 pm  

    Sunny now:
    said I made a little website for her at uni but I wasn’t bloody infatuated! Damn BBC journalists! Aaaargh!

    Sunny then:
    But this site is made for the fans and by the fans, all over the world, and is the biggest site for everything you wanted to know about her.

    Sorry couldn’t resist :)

  42. El Cid — on 18th November, 2006 at 9:39 pm  

    Sunny, did you really get “beat” by your parents or are we talking about the occasional slap? i meant smack

  43. miraxx — on 19th November, 2006 at 2:55 am  

    I don’t know about Sunny’s parents , El, but it is very common for Se Asian parents to ‘cane’ the kids with a thin piece of rattan – often on the legs. You can in fact buy the thing at most corner shops for a few cents. Physical chastisement is very common in asian families and I got it as a child too, together with 99% of my contemporaries I dare say. I don’t feel resentful about this nor have ‘issues’ but I noticed even then that parents were indeed lashing out in anger/frustration when they resorted to violence and it was hardly a thoughtful form of discipline. I’d prefer not to hit a child and i am quite relieved that my siblings who have kids rarely even smack them. Violent ‘discipline’ on kids is totally unnecessary and often becomes abuse. Earlier this year I came across a teenage girl(12) – very well behaved and a top student- who recounted how her mother had actually knocked out 4 of her teeth a couple of years ago because her exam results had dipped slightly – to a still excellent 90%. It made me sick to hear that. I’d ahve reported it to the police if I had known the child at that time but honestly, I am not sure that the authorities would have intervened very much- such are attitudes here. A female chinese journalist from a upper middle class background once recounted in print how her mother would give her one stroke of the cane for each mark she lost from a perfect score of 100 and how this brutal discipline helped her to succeed, declaring love and gratitude to her mum. It made my blood run cold to read that tribute, really I much prefer my (only too human) mother who lashed out occasionally because she was really tired and frustrated and at the end of her tether, being a single mum of a half dozen semi-feral kids.

  44. Kulvinder — on 19th November, 2006 at 8:05 am  

    I can’t help being reminded of an earlier post about the Kriss killing – which many posters claimed was not racist but gang related. When does gang-related become racist I wonder…?

    Why should it matter? I personally don’t support the concept of ‘hate crimes’

    It becomes quite pointless to start emphasizing why one type of gang activity is worse than another. A gang by its very nature is territorial and distrustful of anyone it sees as different, in the scheme of things its of little importance what that difference is. Those degenerate troglodytes would have found a reason to fight, even if it was just the fact they lived in different streets.

    A group of men decided to trade blows, and as a result an apparently innocent individual was killed. They decided to identify themselves along ‘racial’ lines, there may well be antagonism between the two communities but it’ll never amount to anything more than a few idiots kicking the shit out of each other.

  45. Anon+1 — on 19th November, 2006 at 11:29 pm  

    People behave this way through a lack of dicipline, respect, intelligence and purpose.
    I propose strict birthing licences, every case judged on its merits to see if a child will enter this world with a good start in life. I see so many children enter this world with parents that can barely look after themselves let alone raise a child with a sense of right and wrong. Its no wonder things like this are happening when the right values arnt being hammered home, only values being installed are whats on the TV and from peers. Oh and im not ill educated on this, i grew up/live in a shithole thx, its a lovley place. The local phonebox used for ordering drugs, graffiti on the walls saying “WF CREW FOREVER”, minimotos around the streets 24/7 and single mums pushing pushchairs around.

  46. Kulvinder — on 20th November, 2006 at 12:34 am  

    I propose strict birthing licences, every case judged on its merits to see if a child will enter this world with a good start in life.

    …okaaay.

  47. ZinZin — on 20th November, 2006 at 12:44 am  

    Its the Bill Hicks argument no rutting until you can name all the animals.

  48. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 20th November, 2006 at 1:18 am  

    You guys are a bunch of chumps. I aint even talking about hitting kids but you do have to be involved with your child to smack them around. I imagine that the parents of these kids dont have much influence thier in their life. I will inspire fear and respect in my children and a sense of shame so they will not go out on the streets and act a fool. You will thank me for it when MY CHILDREN arent sticking you up.

  49. funkg — on 20th November, 2006 at 4:47 pm  

    erm Bikhair thanks for not raising your kids to stick us up, thats a couple of less children raised not to do that, phew!

  50. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 21st November, 2006 at 1:04 am  

    funkg,

    You tryin to be smart? or cheeky?

  51. Douglas Clark — on 21st November, 2006 at 1:24 am  

    bikhair aka taqiyyah,

    See post 48? What the hell are you saying, then. You instill fear in your kids? Not to mention respect? How long after adolesence do you expect that to last?

  52. funkg — on 21st November, 2006 at 9:20 am  

    Perhaps I am bikhair no doubt you and your husband are doing a fine job of raising 2 less kids that will stick us up on the street.

  53. Nav — on 30th November, 2006 at 12:05 am  

    Police are tonight investigating the fatal shooting of a man in his early 20s in the Lozells area of Birmingham but details as to the motive and race of the victim are still unclear.

  54. Hey — on 3rd December, 2006 at 12:31 am  

    Hey Sunny!

    Did you meet Kajol? If yes, how was she? Please post some pics of your meeting! ;)

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