The pavement was spattered with blood. Carefully, I took a few steps further and more blood painted the pavement and fresh drops of blood leaked out a trail. I looked in the direction of the trail and there stood a young boy not older than 17, clutching his arm firmly. A jacket was wrapped around his arm and the white Tee-shirt he wore had become crimson red with blood. He wasn’t moaning, shouting or anything, but looked stood with a solemn face. I approached him, as he stood with two other friends, intending to find out what happened and offer any help I could. I was driving, and thought that they might at least need a lift to the hospital as sometimes Ambulances can be late too.
He looked Somali. “maxaa ku helay? (What happened?)” I said.
“Somali maha, Somali Maha” (I am not Somali, I am not Somali) he replied.
Then he spoke to his friend in another language and I gathered he was Eritrean.
He bled profusely, so I offered them a lift to the hospital before it gets worse. On the way he opened up a bit and told me what happened.
“This country is fucked up man,” he said, shaking his head. “Some idiot just stabbed me for no reason. I don’t even fucking know him”
“Don’t even know him? You mean he just lashed out at you and stabbed you” I said
“He’s a handicap man. A fucking handicap, what do you expect from a fucking Nigerian?” he replied
“How do you know he’s Nigerian?” I asked, upon which he said that he knew the guy and but not much. Just saw him around and had no “beef” with him at all, hence calling him a “handicap”.
My point is that carrying Knives has now become so common on the streets of London that the youth feel vulnerable without one. I say this because I witnessed the frustration and anger from the teenager. He felt disappointed that this had happened to him. For some reason a knife is seen as a symbol of respect on the streets, since most of them do not have the wherewithal to buy guns, which I believe they would have if they did. And the government can do nothing to stop this – Nothing. It is my firm belief, though, that these youths feel let down by the government itself and crime is for them simply a means of rebellion.