If Barack Obama had a son, he would have looked like Jamiel Shaw Jr.
Shaw was a high school senior, a standout running back for his football team and was named MVP by the Southern League in 2007.
March 2, 2008, Jamiel was on the phone with his girlfriend, footsteps from his Arlington Heights home, when a car pulled up next to him. Two men stepped out of the car and asked the 17-year-old, “Where are you from?”
Jamiel didn’t have time to answer. The two men pulled out guns and shot him in the hand and head. According to court testimony, as the assassins drove away, one said, “I’m a killer.” After hearing the gunshots, Jamiel’s father walked out of his house and held his dying son. Jamiel’s mother, serving her country in Iraq, flew 16 hours back to Los Angeles to bury her son.
Last May, Pedro Espinoza, an illegal alien and a known member of the 18th Street Gang, was found guilty of the 2008 murder of Shaw.
Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski said Shaw was targeted because his skin was black and his backpack was red – a color used as a symbol of a Los Angeles gang which opposed the 18th Street Gang. Espinoza had an extensive criminal record, and was last released from prison just 36 hours before the murder.
He was not deported for his previous arrests including four previous gun charges, due to Los Angeles’ Sanctuary City policies for illegal aliens. In fact, Espinoza received early release from prison despite his violent behavior, illegal status and arrest records.
Jamiel’s parents became active in the fight against shielding criminal illegal immigrants from the law. They went before the Los Angeles city council to propose “Jamiel’s Law,” which would deny illegal aliens “Sanctuary City” protection if the illegal aliens were members of gangs. The 15-member city council, 14 of which were Democrats, rejected the law overwhelmingly.
Where were the black media, black radio, and black political personalities like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Van Jones, during this time?
They were nowhere to be found. The plea of Shaw’s family went on mostly deaf ears, with the sole exception of Jesse Lee Peterson, a Republican radio host.
Had circumstances been different – had the issue Jamiel’s parents been championing been one that the left could coalesce around in order to attack the right, perhaps gun control – then Jamiel Shaw’s name would be as famous today as Trayvon Martin’s. Because the issue of illegal immigration would have caused a fracture in the Democratic Party’s voting bloc, Jamiel’s death and his parents’ quest for justice were ignored.
Black working-class voters may find themselves without a party to which to turn, as their interests contrast those of a faster growing voting demographic.
Despite a large outcry from the black community in Los Angeles, black voters overwhelmingly support the left in Presidential elections. 95 percent, 88 percent, 90 percent, 84 percent, and 83 percent, respectively, of black voters cast their ballots for Democrats in the last five presidential elections.
Nonetheless, as Hispanics have become the nation’s largest -and still growing – minority group, with illegal immigration as their “symbolic issue.” As Univision anchor Jorge Ramos said anytime the two demographic groups’ interest contrast, Hispanics will hold Democrats re-election efforts in their hands.
After the failed efforts of the Shaw family to get “Jamiel’s Law” placed on the California ballot, the California legislature, also controlled by Democrats, passed AB 1081, also known as the “Trust Act.”
The Trust Act would require local law enforcement to release some prisoners who are illegal aliens. Jamiel’s father, in an attempt to sway public opinion and Governor Jerry Brown, said “The pretense offered by AB 1081’s supporters – that such a law is necessary to establish a bond of trust between police and people who are living here illegally – simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.” Jamiel Shaw Sr., still fighting for the lives of others like his son, pleaded with the governor to veto the legislation.
California Gov. Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Oct. 2 vetoed The Trust Act, in defiance of his party and a majority of Hispanic voters.
Despite four years of continued activism on behalf of Jamiel’s family and community, his death continues to be another sad statistic, rather than a spark for activism, in urban communities.
Furthermore, because of the efforts of entrenched ethnic interests and the Democratic Party, Jamiel’s story maybe one more families will soon experience. Such is the conundrum for the black community. As they become a more loyal to, but smaller share of the Democrat coalition, attention to their community will continue to be a smaller portion of the party’s priorities.
Despite their immense loyalty and “victim” status in the party, unless they stray from the liberal plantation, they join the throngs of forgotten men. Unless a sizeable portion of black voters becomes Independent or Republican, the Democrats will have no need to work for their vote.
Black voters have a Democrat problem, being too entrenched in one party allows them to be ignored and abused, because Republicans feel they cannot work for their vote and Democrats know they cannot lose their vote.