“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights Activist
Earlier this week a friend reminded me that I shared my birthday with Trayvon Martin. It would have been Trayvon’s 18th birthday. Trayvon Martin deserves not only justice, but another day at life.
Instead, Todd Kincannon, former SC GOP Executive Director remembered him saying, “I appreciate you! Trayvon Martin was a dangerous thug who needed to be put down like a rabid dog.”
That is not okay. We need to fix our communities and promote interracial programming in America that will, through experiences, help make sure that people like Todd Kincannon are not the norm. To our first goal of fixing our communities we must protect them. Young people are dying and we’re doing nothing significant it– in our suburbs, in our cities. Sandy Hook, Aurora, Oak Creek, Columbine.
All examples of death for no reason.
Rodrigo Diaz, a young Latino 22-year old-young man who was shot in the face by Phillip Sailors in Georgia when he rolled his window down to say sorry for pulling into the wrong driveway. Sunando Sen, an Indian man was pushed off the Subway tracks into an oncoming train and killed. His murderer said,”I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.”
These three people join countless other lives taken much too early. Our cities are much worse off. As we look in from the suburbs and look into our cities, according to a Harvard Education Review of Urban Sanctuaries , “24 percent of urban kids have witnessed murder, 25 percent have been shot at or threatened, and homicide has become the leading cause of death among urban youth.”
Hate Crime, Drug Rings, Domestic Violence-don’t tell me that we can’t do anything about it. Don’t tell me that we can’t put resources towards ‘statistically insignificant’ crimes. We’re protecting community.
Don’t tell me that we cease to care about the American dream when we cross the George Washington Bridge from the suburbs into the Bronx and NYC with 209 homicides in 2011. Don’t let me believe that over 500 Chicago deaths in 2012 is not something important enough to attracts national agenda or that 42 a month. It’s not okay that 33.1% of all murders in Philly were of youth 0-24.
I refuse to believe that a land so abundant in resources cannot reign in youth homicide. I will not accept that the dreams of Trayvon and Hadiya, the 15-year old that performed in President Obama’s inauguration and shot dead a week later in Chicago, are not important. May we not rest rest until peace is restored from Harlem to West Philly. Our work is not over until Baltimore is as safe as Beverly Hills.
The tremendous potential and brightness of the American future can only be realized when we actualize our problems and unify our efforts to work against them. Save America. Protect community.
Happy Birthday Trayvon. Rest In Peace.