When someone brings up the subject of police brutality against Black Americans, there is often someone else standing by with a question about black on black crime. They are usually askin
g why there isn’t such outrage when it’s a black person killing a black person. It’s a ridiculous question really, mostly because there is plenty of outrage. The someone else standing by asking the question doesn’t see the outrage because it’s generally someone outside the black community asking this foolishness.
When you are a part of the community you know. You know how much it hurts the loved ones of those who lose their life entirely and those who lose their lives to the prison industrial complex. When you are a part of the community you see the efforts made by those same loved and those who support them. You know and you see because you are present to witness.
The someone else standing by asking that question is not at the community rally. They don’t attend meetings in the neighborhood. They have no true understanding of the issues that create the environments where crime and violence are able to be so prevalent.
It would serve that someone else standing by asking that question to open their eyes to these issues and be present in the battles against them.
I have had my head in the sand before. I know what it’s like to be disconnected. I know what it’s like to keep myself removed from a reality that surrounds us all despite our best efforts to ignore it. I know what it’s like to be that someone else standing by, lacking understanding yet unwilling to be involved.
Amazing things happen when everyday citizens, everyday people, decide consciously to be a part of the solution.
In my neck of the woods, I see many people working for good. Working for answers, working for change.
Fifteen days ago, nine men – Anthony Blackman, McArthur Richard, Albert Campbell, Phillip Muhammad Tavernier, Melvin El, Ed Haynes, Anthony Durden, George Jackson and Leroy Jones– from and around Liberty City/Miami, Florida started a hunger strike to call attention to and demand solutions for the gun violence that plagues the neighborhood. These nine men, members of the Circle of Brotherhood, set up station at the corner of NW 62 Street – MLK St. – and NW 12th Ave.
In the midst of their strike they are having community meetings and events educating the people who live there on strategies for improved proactive and reactive measures.
On Tuesday, March 19, the Dade County Street Response held a CPR training at the site of the Hunger 9 Strike. The Street Response training is lead by medical professionals who teach participants different measures to usein an emergency where someone is injured by violence.
The facilitators shared valuable information with community members on how to react in case of a trama emergency. Knowledge that potentially save a life, knowledge that will be shared with the community.
The Hunger 9 are still going strong. (Google “the Hunger 9 Miami” to see media coverage of the strike) They will have a community concert today Saturday, March 23, everyone in and around Liberty City is welcome to attend, in peace.
Don’t be the someone else standing by asking questions. Get involved and be a part of the solutions. Support those who are determined to help their own community. They real, they are present and they are persistent.
Brotherhood! We support you. Keep up the good work!