Yesterday, I stopped by Calumet Park Elementary School with my sister to pick up my twelve and thirteen year old niece and nephew who are in the sixth and seventh grade. School normally lets out at 2:30; at 2:45 the school doors were still closed. No kids where milling about laughing, playing or making their way to the yellow buses as they stood empty. I knew something was amiss.
I got out of the car, which I didn’t want to do because I was still having problems with my left knee. As I walked towards the front door, I was met by a young lady who informed me the school was on lock-down. A shooting recently occurred near the school and the police officials advised the school authorities not to release any students until they felt it was safe to do so. Parents were allowed to go into the school and personally pick up their children. So, of course I went inside and asked for both my niece and nephew.
It was an eerie feeling as each parent gave their child’s name and grade to the principal, who then called each name over the intercom. Mary, Sharon, Latisha, Jason, please come down to the main door. Only one door was available for exit at the time. I felt as if I were part of a scene in a Lifetime movie.
Thankfully, the children were never at risk, nevertheless the prospect of violence was way too close for comfort. As I was speaking to the bus driver, who looked to be in his late fifties to early sixties, we shared comments that the wave of violence the black neighborhoods were experiencing was ridiculous. And, I felt this gentlemen’s sense of hopelessness about the problem and simply not knowing what to do.
The incidents of black young men senselessly murdering their own leaves me and many others overwhelmed. Yes we are praying, listening to WVON talk radio, and other news outlets talk about the problem. There are solutions being thrown out there to stop the violence such as making rap artist accountable for their lyrics, increasing job availability for youth, reforming the availability of services available for those released from jail, and other similar solutions. A WLS/ABC website has a list of resources aimed at providing solutions; however, immediate answers are not forthcoming.
This emotionally and spiritually deficit picture being painted of a tainted population and community of Black people is heartbreaking. It sends a message of pain, helplessness, and hopelessness as the violence appears to be escalating. And summer ain’t even here yet. At one time people felt horrible about war-torn areas around the world, but now no one has look that far. How about right out your back door or window?
Yes, Black lives do matter, but we are the first ones who must realize and embrace this. Who are the influences of today? Why aren’t they doing more, and crying loudly and not sparing? We need to show our young brothers and sisters their transgressions (Isaiah 58:1). Who are these young people listening to? These are those who need to speak up and out. Many say they are not role models, but most are whether they want to be or not. Something revolutionary has to be done. HELP!