Two Days ago, as I drove home from work, it was announced that the police have charged two people in the murder of Hadiya Pendleton. Like everyone, I was relieved. The radio announcer went on to give the names and ages of these young me, 18 and 20. These young men are two more casualties of the epidemic of violence in our city. Their lives are also over before their 21st birthday. Their families’ lives are forever altered.
The path that led them to Harsh Park was in motion for years before that January day. I can only feel sadness for the wasted lives and the fate of so many young people that continues unabated on a daily basis. More police may help stem the shooting, but how do we as a community interrupt and intervene in the situation well before the need for police?
I do not know the answer but believe that we/everyone must ask this question and commit to do something.
This is not to excuse the senseless killing of Hadiya but to say that all of us share responsibility for making a change. To turn a blind eye because it isn’t happening in your backyard is to be complicit in a system of apartheid that presumes that this fate is an unavoidable circumstance based on race, economics and the neighborhood where you were born.
The Interrupters: cureviolence.org
Prevention Institute: www.preventioninstitute.orgShare on Facebook