As a journalist for more than 35 years, few things overwhelm or shock me to the point of blind rage. After being in the news business for all these years, perhaps, I’ve grown immune to witnessing and writing about outlandish and despicable behavior, blatant lies, or disgraceful actions. However, for the past week or so, I’ve found myself obsessed with gathering information and relentlessly following the tragic case of Shanquella Robinson. In a nutshell, she was the beautiful young woman who traveled from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on vacation in October with six other people—all of whom were her “alleged friends.” 

In less than 24 hours after arriving at the tropical tourist paradise, Robinson died from a broken neck and a cracked spine. Her ‘hood rat “friends” all lied and told her parents that Shanquella had died from alcohol poisoning. They left her lifeless body in Mexico and flew back to North Carolina a few days later. An autopsy ordered by her mother revealed the truth about what happened to Shanquella. She was the victim of a brutal beating and assault most likely at the hands of her too-tight hair weave, wig-wearing, and ebonic spewing, home girls. The attack was videotaped and posted online by another one of her alleged “besties”, a punk named Khalil Cooke.

I’m disgusted and angered that anyone could do such a heinous attack on a “friend” due to jealousy and bitterness. Those are the reasons why, according to many why, Robinsons’ alleged “friends” conspired to beat her to death. Robinson was a beautiful, successful, and well-known entrepreneur in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. It was also later reported she had picked up a portion of the tab for some of her broke-ass “friends” to go on the trip. Those same “friends” plotted to attack, beat her, videotape and post it online. And then lie about what happened to her while they were all on vacation in Mexico. Friends?

On a personal note, honest and genuine friendship is something to be embraced and celebrated and is rare. Arguments and occasional disagreements are at the heart of any relationship. However, the key is being able to work it out, talk it out and, in some cases, agree to disagree and move on. However, in the case of Shanquella Robinson, jealousy, duplicity, phoniness, and a hustler in the ‘hood mentality were at the core of Robinson’s relationship with her so-called “friends. ” Fortunately, due to widespread media coverage and social media outrage, the FBI has launched an investigation into the case. And Robinson’s “friends” are on international blast, running scared and hiding from the authorities.

Lastly, it wasn’t until I was a middle-aged man in my early 50s that I finally realized what the proverb “Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer” meant. Unfortunately, it took a near lifetime of betrayal, lies, and being stabbed in the back so many times by so-called friends, who were classmates and co-workers, that I finally realized that everyone that claims to be your friend is not your friend. This notion is clearly highlighted in the sad and tragic case of Shanquella Robinson. She was laid to rest this past weekend in her hometown of Charlotte. She was 25. Rest in peace and power sister!

Glenn Townes

I'm an award winning journalist based in Edison, NJ. My work has been featured in dozens of publications including, Black Enterprise magazine; ESSENCE magazine and Real Health magazine. I am also a featured...

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