Here I am talking about violence again. America's built on violence. It shows daily in what we read, our language, and in the violence we endure in our lives. Again this week another mass shooting. This time at a school. In Florida. 17 dead and 14 injured. People are outraged. They want laws changed. They want guns removed. They want better security in schools like metal detectors, more police. They want the government to react. All this is needed. I think about schools in my community that, even when I was a kid in the 90s, dealt with gun violence in and around our schools. From 8th grade to 12th grade I lost friends to gun violence. Guns in schools were my and my classmate's reality. We had security guards, coaches that protected us, metal detectors, limited access to entrances and exits, random locker searches and more. That was happening at my school in the 90s. What's happening now that has happened for decades in the urban communities is the streets are coming into those schools that never had the title of dangerous. The violence of the world is penetrating the scholarly walls of affluent areas. That scares more people. It scares mainstream America. Now, something must be done. Part of me hurts that the reaction to this shooting is somehow different to those that happened in urban schools and the violence we lived under was less valued. We were less valued. As much opportunity as my parents, church and schools provided me, as a teen, I wondered daily if I would live to see 17. The violence was real. Part of me hurts to think another generation is living through violence and nothing is changing. I write this to say that those things that people felt were the problems of the poor, the colored, the uneducated, never is confined to those urban blocks, those ghettos, those people for long. It will permeate and move into the whole society because we are all connected. So when people in the ghettos are dying from guns, drugs; when opportunity decreases in these communities, stop, care and do something. Demand change because your life will indeed depend on it. 

You may also like