Eight shot within one hour on 4th of July
When is enough enough? Are we to be like Chicago, with 10 homicides over the Fourth? And what about the 11-year-old African American shot to death on his grandmother’s porch in El Dorado, Arkansas, or the seven-year-old African American child shot and killed walking with his father in Chicago, IL, or the eight African Americans gunned down in a span of one hour and 15 minutes in the heart of downtown Minneapolis? Are we to be a self-besieged community?
Across the country, people are asking Black and White leaders why more reports and slogans without plans of action? Nellie Stone Johnson gave us the plan: education and training, then jobs, then housing, and then marriage and kids. We have listed 47 solution papers on our website that often also refer to others. Clearly Black and White leaders know what to do. Instead they keep the status quo to keep their jobs.
Pain and heartache is what comes to a community determined to bring about its own demise. In a word: genocide. All we know is that leaders paid to come up with “solutions” are well compensated and rewarded as long as solutions are not enacted and the status quo is kept, whether government, nonprofit, or corporate.
Much of our pain, despair and hopelessness we impose upon ourselves. Too many of our young men in America are in prisons or are dying on the streets or are being pushed away from responsibility. Too many of our young women feel the pain observing our fall from grace. Both our young men and women are asking “Do I have a future?”
Too many give into a feeling that there are no answers. Too many have a clouded vision of our future and our dreams of existence. Why? Where is the pride of the 1960s, the pride of Martin Luther King, Jr.? We are an inventive people. We are a people with a great spirit, a great humanity, a great compassion. But when the casualty figures come in, be they from Chicago, El Dorado, AK, Los Angeles or Minneapolis, it causes doubt in the minds of Black America, especially in regards to Black youth. Leading the doubt: Black leaders.
History shows that expecting others to devise survival plans means waiting forever. We need to do our part in taking responsibility for our behavior and neighborhoods. We can start by establishing working relations and partnerships with policy makers, educators and employers.
We must do it with a sense of urgency, for the longer we wait the harder it will be. Not doing so is crazy, senseless, and shows a lack of purpose. Without purpose there can be no positive future. Not to do so is a form of cultural and racial suicide.
We need to exert our strength and exercise our responsibilities and obligations to our sons and daughters. We need to do everything possible to save the future of our children and ourselves.
As Andrew Young pointed out two weeks ago in regards to Black homicides, “93 percent [of] Black people are killed by other Black people.” Young said, “Black lives matter. Let us start believing that we matter.”
Minneapolis leaders and readers, when will Black lives matter to you? Young called for “Unity and healing,” as embraced by the Charleston community in the aftermath of the shooting at Mother Emmanuel AME church (see last week’s column). When will you call for unity and healing?
The great leaders of our past knew this. Will we exercise courage, vision, and foresight? God help us as a people if we do nothing. Let’s not let doing nothing be the final report of contemporary Black America.