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The Forgotten Story of Robert Yummy Sandifer

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THE FORGOTTEN STORY OF

ROBERT “YUMMY” SANDIFER

Morgana Stave

BCOM/275, Dr. Mago
July 23, 2012

The Forgotten Story of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer

The article I chose to write about was written by John Muller for the Washington Syndicate (January 21, 2011) and published in the February edition of Suspense Magazine. This article appeared under the title “ True Crime: The Forgotten Story of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer”. I believe the author was reliable and credible because this story has appeared in numerous other sources: Time magazine, and the Chicago Tribune. Additionally, these publications state the same basic facts providing further validation to the article. The article is about an eleven-year-old child, who was a member of the “Black Disciples gang” (J. Muller) that was ultimately murdered by members of his own gang. After committing several shootings and a murder for the benefit of the gang, he became a liability to the safety of the gang and it’s heirarchy. My issue is not with the article per say, but with the following statement.
“If authorities’ suspicions are born out, the boy could prove to be a classic case of a victim-turned-victimizer, all compressed into a hard 11-year life,” (Chicago Tribune, August 31, 1994). My belief is that the system failed him in numerous ways, ultimately making him a victim of his environment. My reason for making this statement is the article states, “At 22 months old Robert Sandifer was introduced to the authorities. In 1985 he was admitted to Jackson Park Hospital covered with scratches and bruises. On the afternoon of January 19, 1986 police found Yummy home alone with his two older brothers, ages 3 and 5. Due to severe neglect, the Sandifers were brought to the attention of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) who intervened in August of 1986”. (J. Muller). However, these children were then placed with their maternal grandmother, Jannie Fields, despite previous evidence that it would not be a healthy environment. “In this examiner’s opinion, the placement with the maternal grandmother is not a good placement for these children, who are in need of placement in a warm, nurturing environment, which they have never known.” The advice was disregarded. Fields got the children, raising her daughter’s four children along with five of her own.”. (J. Muller). Yummy and his siblings were taken from one abusive environment and placed in another one further perpetuating the cycle of abuse. Shuffled back and forth in a system which is often overloaded and understaffed, Yummy fell victim to the fallacy of peer pressure, Moore and Parker (2009) stated “Most people desire to be liked or accepted by some circle of other people and are averse to having the acceptance withdrawn. A desire for acceptance can motivate us to accept a claim not because of its merits but because we will gain someone’s approval (or will avoid having approval withdrawn).” In my opinion this 11 year old child was so starved for love, support and attention that he was willing to take on any task necessary to meet these basic needs. I do not believe this child fully understood the consequences of his actions or the severity of orders given by fellow gang members. One officer interviewed for this articled stated “He may not even be aware of the gravity of what he did,” said Sgt. Ronald Palmer. “In this ongoing cycle of gang violence, he might be getting orders from someone higher up in the gang.” (J. Muller). Someone who had nefarious intentions and ulterior motives and preyed upon the emotional and mental needs of a loveless child. In conclusion, I believe this child was a victim from his very first day of life. First he was abused, mentally, emotionally and physically by the people who were so supposed to love and care for him. Additionally, the Department of Children and Family Services which was designed to protect children in these situations failed him as well. Lastly he was misused and abused mentally and emotionally by his fellow gang members to serve their own dark purposes for which he paid the ultimate price. Perhaps had Yummy received a fair chance at life this tragedy might not have happened.

References

Kendall, P. & Papajohn, G. (1994, August 29) Killing suspect, 11, piled up toys, criminal charges. Chicago Tribune.
Moore, B. N., & Parker, R. (2009). Critical thinking (9th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Muller, J. (2011, January 21). True Crime: The Forgotten Story of Robet “Yummy” Sandifer. The Washington Syndicate. Retrieved from http://thewashingtonsyndicate.wordpress.com

References: Kendall, P. & Papajohn, G. (1994, August 29) Killing suspect, 11, piled up toys, criminal charges. Chicago Tribune. Moore, B. N., & Parker, R. (2009). Critical thinking (9th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. Muller, J. (2011, January 21). True Crime: The Forgotten Story of Robet “Yummy” Sandifer. The Washington Syndicate. Retrieved from http://thewashingtonsyndicate.wordpress.com

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