Earlier this evening my doorbell rang and it was a couple of local kids. I almost didn’t answer the door and I was surprised when they asked how do they stay safe? I asked why they were asking me? They said they were told I was the “smart one” on the block and politely asked if I would please help them. I told them to hold on a minute and I got one of my laptops and I went to a Chicago news site. I showed them that on Saturday a 62 year old woman, 38 yr old man, 14 year old boy, 15 yr old boy, 20 year old woman, 60 yr old woman, 33 year old man, and a 17 year old boy were shot. Those people lived. Unfortunately, two males (one only 16) died. And that does not include the little girl that died, allegedly strangled by her grandmother.
People are getting shot all the time. Kids are dying to violence daily, let’s keep it real, hourly. They asked me how I knew to look on the news site to find it? I said the news is like that almost everyday in Chicago. My friend Imani (from EVE) is working hard with others in different communities in Chicago to try to stop the violence.
They looked defeated but I told them they took a step in the right direction by WANTING to help themselves. Sitting on a porch or standing on the street watching cars go up and down the street will do nothing to help them excel in life. They are making themselves an easy target. I asked them if they would be on my porch if Zimmerman had been found guilty? They admitted they probably wouldn’t because justice would have been served.
When they left my porch, they understood that Zimmerman’s fate had nothing to do with THEIR safety. Knowledge is a step to power but real power comes when one has the wisdom on HOW to use that knowledge. Understanding that a verdict in ONE case, in another state, doesn’t resolve the root problem to ensuring their safety but it does make them realize the bar has been raised and they need to change…if they want to survive.