|Posted by projectreachinc on February 27, 2014 at 10:30 PM|
Race-Poverty-Desperation-Gangs-Violence-War and Death: 225 local officials from 37 cities, including 20 mayors, attends meeting, held by the Cities United organization in New Orleans. The two-day meeting seeks to reduce the number of violence-related deaths of young black men and boys. As political leaders and others are now speaking and meeting on crime and violence as it relates to black men and boys, let it be real!
If leaders really mean what they are saying or meeting on, action must be in the forefront of the overall objectives, including having young people at the table and involved in the decision making process. In as much as over the years, many meetings and studies have taken place but little or no actions; Furthermore, in making changes to modern day genocide of young blacks, Hispanics and poor; poverty must be the number one priority, as well as addressing the war on drugs, racism and disparities to bring positive and lasting resolve.
In early 1970, Edwin Starr used these profound lyrics as it relates to War. "War, huh, yeah - What is it good for - Absolutely nothing" War means tears - To thousands of mothers and fathers eyes - When their sons and daughters go to fight - And lose their lives.
Please download and listen to the lyrics! Edwin Starr - WAR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d8C4AIFgUg
Political and community leaders need to signal a "Code Blue" as we continue to face an alarming amount of poverty in America. The side effects to poverty translates into desperation, gangs, war, drugs, early deaths and other social ills. If America improves the economy and opportunities for the at risk communities; crime will become more manageable for law enforcement and young lives will be saved and gangs, drugs and the prison industrial complex will decrease.
By leaving the economy as is, it does not matter how many drug dealers you take out or lock up, more will take their places. Poverty is the boogieman that politicians and other mainstream leaders avoid addressing, further concealing the social ills that lends itself to racial disparities, higher taxes and community blight. Poverty continue to grow across the United States at an alarming rate, with many communities being affected.
Over the last four decades, a number of studies on poverty, suggest that African Americans and Hispanics continue to be hit harder than most Americans and with continued racial disparities and high rates of poverty, theses communities will continue to fail and with a rising crime rate.
During Black History month, I visit communities of run-down homes, apartment buildings and blighted neighborhoods, sometime located less than a square mile from downtowns. A few minutes away from the impoverished areas, I see exclusive government buildings, mega stadiums, arenas, churches and other buildings with beautiful landscapes. However, within the impoverished communities I find ex-offenders, school dropouts, unemployed, homeless veterans and individuals with drug addictions.
Within some of these at-risk communities, some of the locals will take the time to discuss social and economic concerns or woes as it relates to their neighborhoods and communities. Some of the stories are horrific, including stories about their conditions and their long struggles to shake their daily atrocities. Older individuals, suggest that their local leaders have forgotten about them, or care more about money, perceived power and politics than the poor and disenfranchised. On the other hand, younger people suggest their major concerns are; violence, gangs, drugs and unemployment, and further indicated that drugs and poverty is the root causes of many of their problems.
As we end most of our meetings, they often ask for prayer and indicate that they also have fears within their communities with law-enforcement and political leaders that only come around their neighborhoods during election time and looking for their vote.
Also, Trayvon Martin, Marissa Alexander, Jordan Davis and Florida's Stand Your Ground Laws enters into the larger discussions, not just in Florida, but across other states and communities. "I find myself sharing on the sadness of these atrocities, and how high profiles cases get a lot of media and public attention, however, similar cases go un-noticed far to often across Florida and other communities across the country. Case in point; a young army veteran by the name Benjamin Dykeman, who was killed by a Brevard County, Florida deputy in Melbourne, Florida, with little or no community or media hype.
Benjamin Mayoles Dykeman Sr., died on June 16, 2012 in Brevard County, Florida. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia on Oct 25, 1980. He graduated from Salem High School in 1998. He received an associate degree in Information Technology from Keiser University in Melbourne, Florida, 2012. He was employed at the Wounded Warriors Org and GSI Commerce located in Melbourne, Florida.
Benjamin joined the US Army in 2001 and served his country honorably. His battalion was one of first groups of young enlisted personnel sent to the Iraq war from basic training. While serving he received several metals, badges, citations and campaign ribbons. Such acknowledgements were; the Army Good Conduct Metal/The National Defense Service Metal/ Global War on Terrorism, Expeditionary Metal/Global War on Terrorism Service Metal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.
Benjamin Dykeman's mother tried desperately to get civil rights organizations, members of the faith communities and attorneys involved; "However, she received no support from anyone, including the US Military".
"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"