The First Friday Shooting is a horror and a tragedy that Oakland and Oakland Art Murmur must overcome. The video made by this blogger shows the awful scene of a Downtown Oakland empty of life, with police cars and crime tape.
That’s not the Oakland we want to have. The only way to not have that happen is to keep Art Murmur and the street festival going. But the only way I can see to curb the violence that’s happening is to have something like The Guardian Angels in the crowd, and just people who are at least willing to just encourage others who have disputes to not cause them to rise to the point of gun violence.
Whatever happened between 20th and 21st wasn’t gang related, as the popular angle goes, from what I have listened to, read, and surmised, it was a problem between two groups of people. I don’t know if it was racially motivated, and I said that because the woman told me that the shooters were not black, but I do know that something is going on.
When I got into the cab from The Alley, a group of white guys (I didn’t see them well other than skin color) were drunk and saying stuff like “Look at the black guy going to Uptown.” I’ve never heard that kind of remark before in my Oakland.
If there’s any cultural connection between that behavior and what happened at Art Murmur, we have a new problem in Oakland. I hope I’m wrong.
But I digress: Art Murmur and First Friday should not end. If anything, both should come back stronger than ever.