Saturday, August 26, 2006

An American Disgrace - "Who is to blame for the violence in our communities?

African American Political Pundit says: its 2:00 am on A Friday, 30 some odd years ago I would be in some type of political discussion with a somewhat radical, yet progressive group of folks talking about how to create positive social change in our community. I was never a real hard core partying type, although I did have a great time hanging out. But forget all that, for now, tonight I'm on the computer after thinking about a news article I read on-line in the Washington Post. The headlines read: DC Teen Saves Infant Godson As She Dies In Gunfire in SE

Teenager Killed, Three Others Shot in Southeast

For the past 20 years, I've had the opportunity to travel around the country serving as a community development consultant. I've been to every major city in America, and each time I travel, while on America's streets, reading a newspaper, or watching a local TV channel I see and hear the same stories. The epidemic of violence in America's urban black communities. Senseless, cold blooded murders. Murders like the one I read tonight.

The Washington post reports: "Cynthia "Little Cindy" Gray was hanging outside with friends on a hot night in Southeast Washington, her baby godson cradled tightly in her arms. Out of nowhere, a torrent of bullets blasted into the group, police said. The 17-year-old rolled to the ground. First she tried to shield the infant with her body. The bullets kept coming. In a last, desperate act, she pushed the infant under a parked car. The shooter walked up and fired bullets into Gray's head, face and neck, killing her, police said. But the child was unhurt."

No, this didn’t happen in Beirut or Iraq, this happened in Washington, D.C.

Who is to blame for the violence in our communities? Let's start looking at our parenting, our schools, our teachers, our politicians, our community based organizations, our opinion makers, our leaders, our defacto segregated schools, our governors, our mayors, our senators, our legislators, our police, our principals, our lawyers, our Dr.'s, our academic institutions, our mothers, our fathers, our courts, our churches, our president and most importantly ourselves.

It's all hands on deck. We are our brothers and sisters keeper.

I'm reminded of Martin Luther King when he said, The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" Martin Luther King also said, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom".

I guess America has it's own home grown terrorist in the streets of urban America. Just ask the family of little Cindy Gray.

But, you've heard this before..


At 8/26/2006 07:28:00 AM, Blogger Marcus said...

Great commentary - far more insightful and thoughtful than anything Bill Cosby has had to say.

At 8/26/2006 02:23:00 PM, Blogger Robert Reed III said...

I think that Bill Cosby is right. I mean, we talk about what MLK said about spending too much money on the military instead of in our communities, and I think he is right about that too. But I sincerely do not think that spending more money in our communities will help crime much. This was not going on in the days of Bill Cosby's youth, even though the government was not spending any money on blacks, and we lived in destitute conditions. We cannot have sympathy for people who murder others in cold blood. They have no sympathy for the people that they kill. Apparently, these guys laugh at MLK's push for peace. These guys obviously have no respect, no positive sentiment for what our Civil Rights leaders fought and died for. It's one thing to be killed by the Klan, but it is a totally different matter to be killed by your own brother. When I was a little kid in the 1980s, there were regularly gunshots outside at night, and my parents always made us get down. When is the cycle going to stop? When I was growing up, there was a large fear of being shot and killed. Our kids do not deserve to be constantly in fear of being shot and killed. They deserve better. I think that we should form our own militias on our communities and annihilate the menace. I know that sounds cruel and cold, but we are dealing with cruel and cold people. And I would much rather have those people die than to have another innocent kid die.


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