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December 26th, 2012

Did our past silence mean agreement or indifference?

Lillie Howard

My heart became overwhelmed on Friday, December 14th when I saw what was flashing across the television screen: "20 children and seven adults killed by a young sniper!" Wow!

Then on the 19th, listening to President Obama’s speech, my heart was again overwhelmed as I could not believe what I was hearing from him: "So my belief is that (A) we have to enforce the laws we’ve already got, make sure that we’re keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, these that are mentally ill. How do we reduce the violence generally? Because frankly, in my hometown of Chicago there’s an awful lot of violence and they’re not using AK-47s. They’re using cheap hand guns." Wow!

Shootings and murders have been occurring in our communities for many years and up to now there has been no serious concern regarding them. Why? Is it because our children’s lives hold no significance or importance to the powers that be? Was it considered to be just another one biting the dust? How sad! This is not very surprising because black life has not mattered throughout the years. From slavery up to now we’ve been looked upon as being the wretched of the earth. Institutional Racism is deeply embedded in America’s soul and institutions in a subtle form that allows the White-dominated society to not only exploit but dehumanize Afro-Americans in a systematic manner. Black lives don’t seriously matter and it’s a subject that never is seriously discussed. Why?

This is one of the major reasons why I’m very concerned about what President Obama said, because he seems to be very insensitive to what is and has been going on throughout our communities. Our children have been dying in these streets for many years due to guns being allowed to exist throughout our communities and no one seemed to care. America’s silence and indifference to what has been going on throughout our communities has allowed it to escalate and spread into their communities in a larger and much deadlier way. Geneva County Massacre, University of Austin, Texas tragedy, the 2011 Tucson shootings, Fort Hand, Texas shootings, 2012 Aura shootings (12 dead, 58 injured), Virginia Polytech Institute (32 people killed), Luby Massacre, Columbine High School Massacre... these incidents were not masterminded by our children and none of those responsible for these shootings were considered to be criminals. What’s going on? What’s allowed to go on in our community eventually spills out into yours. Drugs are a perfect example - they were allowed to saturate our communities and eventually spread into yours.

Let me share with you some of Dr. Martin Luther King’s words regarding violence: "Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in a monologue rather than dialogue. When there is justice and the pursuit of justice, violence appears, and where there is injustice and frustration, the potentialities for violence are greater, and I would like to strongly stress the point that the more we can achieve victories through nonviolence, the more it will be possible to keep nonviolent discipline at the center of the movement. But the more we find individuals facing conditions of frustration, conditions of disappointment and seething despair as a result of the slow pace of things and the failure to change conditions, the more it will be possible for the apostles of violence to interfere. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."

Dr. King’s words have given the reasons for the violence within our communities - which is mostly based upon the conditions that have been allowed to exist throughout the years - but what are the reasons for the massive violence throughout yours?

These discussions need to be seriously embraced and until we can come together to sit down at the table of brotherhood and seriously and truthfully begin to discuss them, this awful madness is going to continue. Can we afford that? I don’t think so!

These words have come forth from my heart because love has brought them there. Let’s make a vow that 2013 will bring new thoughts and new ideas into existence, which will enable the healing to take place. But before that can happen the operation must be performed, and though that can be painful it is definitely needful. My prayers and love go out to all the families in Newtown, CT and to all of those who have lost loved ones throughout the years due to this serious gun violence.

Happy Kwanzaa: #1) Unity: Umoja: To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Happy New Year to all! This is Lillie’s Point of View!

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