May 19, 2021 11:30 am
We at VoxMN stand with the families devastated by seeing their beloved and innocent children caught in our city's violence. The 6-year-old, Aniya Allen, has died. The two others cling to life in critical condition.
We defer to Louis King, who sums up the situation here better than we can.
Today I felt a silent rage. I had had enough. A pandemic. The murder of George Floyd. Civil unrest. Political unrest. The trial. And, now, three children are shot in the head and all of a sudden the activists are inactive. The cries of defund the police are silenced. Black lives matter, or do they? I suppose it depends. But, as the grandfather of a 10 year old, I cannot imagine the pain of a parent whose child has been shot while simply being a child. Yes, they matter, each and every one of them.
I started calling around to see if I was the only one feeling this way. Like me, my colleagues were spoiling for a fight. Time to take back our streets.
Let’s put the cards on the table. The African American community has been held hostage by the criminal element and remained mainly silent. Some have attempted to speak out but were mostly ignored for political reasons. And, the boys in blue did their part to build distrust and fear. None of that matters anymore. we are caught in a trap. Now, we find ourselves with inept local leadership, a tattered police force, and activists in city hall who never took a civics class. Soundbites and anecdotes are not leadership, as they are quickly finding out. The criminals know that the police have been neutered and act with a boldness that we have never seen. But, this time they went a bridge too far.
There are rules. You don’t shoot women, children and old people. They have broken all three. No more. As long as the children are not safe no one is safe and it is time to have a summer of safe streets. We have nothing to lose. You can’t walk down the streets without worrying. You can’t pull up to a traffic light or stop sign without fearing a carjacking. A young girl even robbed an elderly woman and pistol whipped her. And, now they have shot three kids. How can we sit by silently wringing our hands and waiting on someone to save us? Here is the news: There is no help on the way. We are it.
An old friend called today while I was pondering. He is 90 plus years old and very wise. We talked for about 30 minutes and he helped to crystalize my thinking. He offered to help with any plan that we came up with. I was struck by the fact I could not sit here and pretend that it’s not my problem. We have a responsibility to act and we are not alone. Others do care. History is full of examples of African Americans taking a stand and White Americans joining them in their fight for justice. This is a matter of justice and we are compelled to stand together, to give each other courage, to comfor