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Claude Brown on Gang Violence

June 01, 1988

My 6-year-old daughter came into the kitchen wearing one of her make-believe outfits which includes a red farmer's bandanna around her head (she wears a blue one too). "Better not let her wear that outside the house," said my visiting brother. "That's a gang color and members wear headbands just like that."

My daughter looked quizzical so I explained that people hurt people, even kids, if they wear the "wrong" thing. My little girl reached up and pulled the bandanna off her head, leaving it on the kitchen chair where it remains a silent reminder of violence. She hasn't tried to wear it again--sadly, she understood. But I don't. Is anyone listening?

PATRICIA MORROW

North Hollywood

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