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.