There was not a mention of his murder in our papers, our paper of record, the New York Times. ‘All the news that’s fit to print’ did not include the murder of 17-year-old Alfonso Bryant. Do you think that if a white 17-year-old prep student from Manhattan had been murdered, the Times would have ignored it? Me neither.
As it turned out, many of the young people walking into the military recruitment center on 125th Street the next day also saw the inconsistency. In general, they thought that it was true that they were not mature enough to make life-or-death decisions on their own before 21. That applied not only to smoking and drinking, but also to combat.