I've been putting off writing this for a little now. Writing just make things seem a bit more real. Who really wants to deal with the problems of the real world anyways? Lol.
But here goes nothing...
Two Saturdays ago/early Sunday morning, I was standing outside my car, that was parked in front of my house, minding my business, when a guy walked past. He looked pretty young. He said, "hi", or at least I think he did, it's really a blur at this point. However, what I do remember is a car pulling out from the side street and onto my street. The driver got out of the car and started shooting! He was aiming at the guy who had just walked past me 3 seconds ago.
I stood there for a few seconds, that seems like hours, and just watched him shoot in my direction. I could hear the guys feet moving, he was running for his life. I ducked down on the side/back of my car and just waited until the car pulled off. I cried so hard when I made it back in the house. I was frantic.
All I could hope was that he wasn't laid out bleeding to death steps away from my house. Thank God he lived.
I've been hearing gunshots all my life, but I'd never witnessed ANYTHING like that.
Monday morning, I did my regular Google News search and saw the news reports of the violence that occurred that weekend. From the evening of Friday, August 3rd to Sunday, August 5th, between 66-72 people were shot, 12 people were killed.Of course these numbers are probably not the most accurate, since news outlets can never agree on anything too specific. But the numbers are way too high regardless.
It is easy to blame all the violence in this city on the government: they (definitely not claiming him) president, the mayor, aldermen, crooked cops, and even more crooked politicians. Don't get me wrong though, they DEFINITELY play a major part in it. However, can we also say that this mess also falls in the hands of those who are mentally well (and some who aren't) and made the decision to pick up a gun in the 1st place? Sure, if the government never dropped the guns off in our neighborhoods, we wouldn't have access to them. But what possess us to take them, use them, sell them, etc.?
If we had adequate mental health care facilities in our neighborhoods, would that decrease the violence? If the police did more protecting and serving, rather than policing and discriminating, would that decrease the violence? If black men were actually taught the value of self worth, would that decrease the violence? If we actually saw positive images of people who looked like us on a regular basis, would that decrease the violence?
So many questions, and not nearly enough answers. Only action, and time will tell. What I do know, is that it starts with us. If only I had all the answers.
"When violence comes into the house, law and justice leave through the chimney." -A Proverb
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
-Your Urban Black Girl