OP-ED: Families Must Come Together to Put a Stop to Violence

Krystal Curtis
Krystal Curtis

By Krystal Curtis, Laney College student

Growing up in San Francisco, people in the community became accustomed to the violence, trends, music, and everything the media was teaching us.

I came from an area known for gun violence, drugs, people getting killed and going to jail. You never know how it feels to lose someone until it hits home – when it does, it hits hard.

The night of April 23, 2013 was a day I’ll never forget. It was the most devastating moment in my life.

My brother, Keith “K.O Da Bandit,” at age 22 was a rapper who had graduated from high school and family man living out his dreams making music in the studio.

He was called out by another rapper about some music and unknowingly, a threat was brought on his life. My brother was found dead in front of the 12th street Oakland Bart station.

He was stereotyped in the media as a gangbanging rapper with dreads, but you can’t always judge a book by its cover. A careless individual took an innocent life.

Now, most young Black males are either dead or in jail. Back in the day when people had problems, they fought and squashed it. But now, young people feel the need to kill each other because they don’t want to lose.

Krystal's brother, rapper Keith "K.O Da Bandit," was killed in Oakland at the age of 22.

I believe the society we live in is set up to see our Black families fail, and to watch us kill and put down one another. No one deserves to get killed.

We all must leave this life one day, but they should not be taken behind careless acts amongst our own.

There are countless crimes from San Francisco to Oakland and across the Bay Area, and no one does anything about it. It’s not fair for our children to be taken from us.

I believe if all the torn families and those mourning came together, we can raise awareness in our communities and put a stop to violence. It is possible to bring peace and make a change in the world.

People like my brother are constantly overlooked because of stereotypes. Truth be told, K.O had a big heart and he was no troublemaker. He did not deserve for his life to end too fast and neither does the next person.

I just wish heaven had a phone so I can call my brother one last time to tell him I love him. By the grace of god, my family was able to have closure and catch the killer, and there will be justice.

Let’s make a change and educate one another before more lives are taken.


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