When Your Son Kills My Son

When Your Son Kills My Son

Aleasa Word shares how gun violence is a problem for all of us, regardless of race.

For males, especially young black males, shooting and killing each other has become a cancer that is raging through communities at epidemic proportions with no cure or effective treatment plan in sight. America is in trouble and Black America is traveling the road to extinction.

My home state of Delaware has a total of only 917,052 and according to the US Census, there were 153 shootings in our largest metropolitan area which only had a little over 70,000 people in 2013. Sadly, the city of Wilmington, DE has an app designed to keep track of the shootings which I follow because of my own ties there.

There are large cities nationwide with populations equal to that of tiny Delaware and we need to recognize the impact of shootings. Recently the NYPD reported that 96% of shooting victims in New York City are Black or Latino. This plague has swept America, we know it and yet we continue to raise boys to believe to deal with their own fears, they must be aggressive and devoid of feelings.

We know Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were amongst the black men who fought and paved the way for many. They fought the fight and made a way for us to live together regardless of color or creed yet every single day it is another black son, father, brother whose blood we all bleed!

I hear people saying things like “That doesn’t happen in my neighborhood” or “Well if they want to kill their own then let them” and “If you live by the gun, you die by the gun” Truth is ‘If you live by stupidity, someone other than you usually gets hurt!” This is not a black or white problem. This is a problem that affects everyone. We don’t live in a society that is as segregated as it used to be especially for people under the age of 30. Those same people who get hit by an unintended drive by shooting could be any color yet those who claim they aren’t affected continue to look the other way.

In today’s world black kids and white kids hang out with Latino and Asian kids. So, that next party you allow you kid to go to could be the one where we are mourning a loss together. That next teen event we bring snacks for could be the same one where we are cleaning up blood of our kids because everyone continues to think it’s an urban, minority, or underprivileged problem. That next school shooter could be the bullied kid from your neighborhood, looking to prey upon innocent children who have nothing to do with the politics of the parents and our “It’s not my problem” attitude. Open your eyes! As the young people say “Shit just got real” but the issue is the solutions are still fake.

This is your cancer. It is my cancer. It is spreading and multiplying and metastasizing. It is mutating and has desensitized the souls of shooters to the value of life because they are so damaged. This needs to stop! The police are at risk. The EMT’s are at risk. Can you imagine how sick and tired they are of cleaning up dead bodies as they are underpaid, over worked and under protected?

Our babies are dying and many times due to obvious lack of expectation that a parent outlives a child, we don’t even have the funds to bury them. So who really pays the cost – the kid who did it, your kid, my kid or our kids? WE ALL PAY IT! YOU DO, I DO, WE DO! Your tax money is paying prisons that have the nerve to privatize services for profit while you can’t afford to buy healthy food or even fight off physical disease because this violent disease of “I kill you, You kill me” is spreading. The privatizers have no incentive to stop the disease because the disease is lining their pockets while we mourn the stench of young death.

Get up! Stand up! Teach your children about being assertive and not aggressive. Help them channel their anger. Recognize and understand their fears. Stop assuming and ask questions. Getting high won’t help. Medicating yourself with sexual relationships won’t help. Ignoring it because it isn’t your race or your problem won’t help. In the end your sons killing our sons won’t help anyone but we must change the process of raising our children if we simply want them to live.

Photo: GFairChild/Flickr

About Aleasa M. Word

Aleasa M. Word is an Editor for Raising Boys on The Good Men Project. She is an internationally certified emotional intelligence coach and small business consultant with locations in Delaware and Atlanta, GA. Ms. Word specializes in helping people figure out the "what's next" in all facets of life through her Chapter 2 Living™ program. She is also a motivational speaker and workshop facilitator providing a host of programs including Chapter II Coaching for Men™ and From Diagnosis to Living Again™ for the severely food allergic. Connect with her on Twitter @adub4spirit


  1. Thank you all for your honest commentary and appreciation for me and my work. We live in a climate full of fears that fuel many things we do. Fear we will be harmed, fear we won’t be loved, fear we won’t be heard, fear don’t matter, fear we will not succeed and so on. Much of the violence we sees is a result of some fear people have like if I don’t kill I’ll be killed or I’ll look weak if I don’t do xxx.” If there is anything I can do to help the causes you represent , please reach out and let’s have a chat. I don’t want people to be so afraid of violence in our society that we stop living and anything we can TOGETHER is a step in the right direction.

  2. Shirlene Jones says:

    Thanks, Aleasa. I have not met you but I love you because you are a woman after my own heart. We as a people (Black) need to stop pushing the envelope like it is someone else’s responsibility. It is MY responsibiliy,YOUR responsibility, OUR responsibility to live love, to mirror and project a positive self image, and to put God back at the center of our lives. Judge 2:10 …there arose another generation after them which knew not the Lord.

  3. Albanyduck says:

    In NYS we have community-based violence prevention model called SNUG (“guns” spelled backwards) – based on the CeaseFire model out of Chicago. It has had some success with programs like ‘no questions asked’ gun buy backs. But it seems that when a shooting does occur the protests and demonstrations include adults and parents but not kids in the age groups doing the violence and shooting. If someone can figure out how to reach THEM it would be a start.

  4. Gun Violence is on the increase in every urban community. It’s unmet social needs that give birth to it. Law enforcement alone can’t solve it. It takes the community to step up and take responsability to address its social problems. We must support every grassroots organization that’s fighting this cancer.. You have such a group in Wilmington called the Peacekeepers. I am the founder and we are proud of the great work they are doing. They may have not stop it all together, but they bring hope that someone is not just talking about it.. We have 21 chapters and one in the UK.. Please join with them and do your part by being present for Peace..
    Capt Dennis Muhammad founder..

  5. James Buckner says:

    These children (Black and Brown Youth) of which you speak, are growing up in a world which leads them to believe they are Disposable, and they feel their lives are valueless! A lack of positive images, broken families and broken educational systems are contributing factors which result in greater ease of obtaining a weapon, than love or a quality education. These young men are in a frantic search for attention, identity and recognition in some form, positive or negative. So in short, when we (society) label them as thugs, it should be no surprise that they eventually excel, and we find ourselves looking down the barrel of loaded guns and/or find ourselves frequent attendees of funeral services.

  6. Tom Brechlin says:

    After 3 decades, women have made great strides and things have greatly changed, so I guess we can stop pushing for further change? No, we will never eliminate gun violence much less violence in general but there is a heck of a lot of work yet to be done for our youth.

    There were 37 murders in the City of Chicago, 30 were black males, 7 were white males and 1 was a black female. Without looking it up, I would imagine that is a lower number then years past … So what? Correction, in 2012 there were 27 homicides, so the number is up from last year. 37, that’s an entire classroom of human beings in one month!

    I would also like to point out that these are homicides which don’t include injuries. For example one shooting which left two dead included 7 others who were shot as well but didn’t die.

    Like I said, there is a heck of a lot more work to be done.

  7. Is it “gun voilence” or “violence” that is the problem ?

  8. The US Murder Rate Is on Track to Be Lowest in a Century


    Seems quite likely it was atmospheric lead poisoning that was the real culprit…… the rate is dropping fairly fast since it stopped. Poorer urban areas still have higher rates of lead in the soil due to where the highways were placed mid century. It is slowly getting better over time.

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