Thursday, December 6

What's Going On

A 15 year old boy was using a payphone outside a restaurant when he heard his mother scream inside and ran in to help her. He was shot by a 14 year old and a 13 year old boy as they were trying to rob the restaurant.

This has got to stop.
What happened in the lives of these young men to lead them to this place? What didn’t happen? What the hell were the rest of us doing that this could happen in our community? No more.
It is no longer possible for a mother to take her son to dinner and both of them come home alive. That’s it. I’m done.
Billy Cook, a member of our school board, sent a letter to the spiritual, political, community and educational leaders of Hampton Roads asking for more than verbal condemnation of the violence on our streets. He asked that everyone DO SOMETHING. He will be a hub for information dissemination for our community as more people come together to take action. All I can say is that it’s about damn time!
How long are we going to wait before we each take action? Until an entire generation of Black men are behind bars or in graveyards? Until the violence moves even deeper into White, Latino and Asian communities? Until there is no safe neighborhood in any community that isn’t gated? When are we going to get angry? When are we going to fight back?
I hear people say all the time that something is a shame, but there isn’t anything they can do. That’s bullshit. I hear people say that some neighborhood or other is a bad one. Well, it’s your city – what are you going to do about it?
Call your City Hall and ask to speak with a community liaison or ask for a list of anti-violence groups working in your city. Ask your pastor, rabbi, etc. Ask your neighborhood principal. Go online. The information is all around you.
The truth is that we, as the individuals who make up our neighborhoods, communities, cities, states and this nation have decided that it is more important to watch TV than stop a young boy from being murdered. We do not actually care. How do I know? We do not act. We let them die and we don’t even lose a moment of sleep over it. Admit it.
I have decided I will no longer be complicit in the murder of our youngsters. I will do what I can to help make a change. I used to think I didn’t have time, or that I was already giving of my time. Dominic is dead at 15 years old. Untold numbers of young men are dead, in jail, on drugs, on the streets. They are lost, they are dying and their numbers are growing. So maybe I’ll miss Grey’s Anatomy one night and help save a life.

Question is: what will it take to make you do something?


Susan said...

It took violence against me to make me start taking action. Domestic violence is not ok. I do everything I can to make sure both sexes know that.

WNG said...

I know you're a warrior Susan. Hopefully others won't have to be hurt like you were because of what you do. You should be so proud of that.

Jay said...

It is out of control and it is time that people started doing something about it. Our political leaders aren't going to.

Anytime something like this happens you have people come out of the woodwork looking to blame video games, hip-hop, sports whatever. Then the great gun debate starts. It ends with everybody pointing fingers and yelling at each other until they run out of steam. Then they go away until the next time it happens.

Same thing will happen in Omaha after the shootings at that mall there yesterday.

Just like as happened at VaTech after last years shootings. After all the dust settled they did exactly nothing.

WNG said...

I won't settle for nothing, Jay, and I'm not waiting for the government either. I'll be working with some kids myself AND I'm starting a website dedicated to getting people to volunteer. It's time for the 'regular joes' outh there to step up and deal with this. I'm tired of seeing children (of all races) die.

NoRegrets said...

Here's a quote that was used by my boss this week:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

His Sinfulness said...

Good sermon, Sister G! :)

Community action is an excellent place to start. Once we all get our volunteer on, we can also act at the national level as well. Be an informed voter - and by that I mean "better informed than the average Daily Show watcher." Learn about the candidates and choose carefully. Then move on to the global level; spend your money wisely, on food and products that are not made by way of exploitation. This too requires more than just watching tv - it requires actual digging to find out where your shoes are made, how your bologna is processed, and why your paper products are killing folks overseas.

WNG said...

NoR - That is my 2nd favorite quote!!! My #1 is "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." - Goethe

I'm all for action - big and small, as you know, I'm just going to shift the bulk of my attention to the children dying in my city today. Please believe this will not change the action I take on global issues.

NoRegrets said...

yes, I like that Goethe quote too. I must say, the margaret mead one is difficult for me to grasp a hold of. I have a hard time believing that one person can make a difference on a community/global level. I know I make a difference on a very personal/local level, but beyond that...not sure I have enough faith for that.

WNG said...

Look through the history books babe, most of the good stuff started in one person's head. It's about not giving up and persuading others to fight with you.

NoRegrets said...

Ah, but you have to have a LOT of belief in what you are doing and in yourself... difficult for some to do.

WNG said...

The alternative is the world we have now...and worse. It's not as hard as most people think. I honestly believe most people just don't care enough - they aren't motivated.

The CEO said...

I'll give you a head start, if you're interested. You're correct as far as you have written. The real problem comes in defining the problem. You are describing the results of many problems.

My best example of this to you is that Urban Planning has accomplished very little in 40 years, including making commuting worse. Their argument is that things would have been much worse without them than with them. For example, you can't move the buildings back in most cities to make the roads wider so there's more room for roads and commuting. That doesn't mean you give up hope, it means you improve Mass Transit, hopefully.

I just love it when people have to become creative. BTW, I have had no luck in motivating anyone to do anything about bad behavior and violence.

WNG said...

Well, CEO, that doesn't mean we stop trying :) I've got some ideas I'll be sharing with all of you as soon as I'vee put them together a little more. I'm not going to give up on this. If I can get one person to help me or if I can help one child, that's enough reason to keep going.