“Darkness cannot put out darkness…only light can do that…“
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
On behalf of myself, friends, families and the youth in this nation, I am writing today concerning an urgent and heartfelt concern: the safety of my generation.
I feel compelled to get all churches, politicians and community leaders together not to posture but to come up with ways to stop the senseless killings of kids like 4 year old Lloyd Morgan who was shot in the head while playing on a playground or like Kemar who at just 14 years old was killed while playing tennis in the Bronx. Or like the hundreds of youth that are in the right place at the right time, but are killed anyway.
I have been working on stopping youth violence since the age of 9, and yes, I have seen many community pimps have events for youth, sell tickets for youth violence events and yet nothing has changed. I have seen whole campaigns and organizations created not to end violence but to make money from these tragedies.
Others talk a good game and do nothing at all. I honestly do not see how you can get up, get dressed, drive to work and not think of all the Lloyd Morgan’s in our country.
I don’t honestly know how we can call ourselves Americans, Christians, Muslims, or even humans and sit by day after day and let us die.
We are your future; does nothing move you? Yet, you will see a young person that you know needs guidance and love but walk by them and mumble calling them a thug, hot-tailed, or a gangster-good for nothing while shacking your head.
Now just imagine if every church, temple, mosque, hall and community center mentored in the neighborhood they are. Imagine if every youth center had programs that were free from 3-7 with programs that engaged us.
What would our communities look like? What would our colleges look like? What would we look like as the human race?
All I am saying is every child should be involved in some type of sport, art, or cultural activity, as well as social and charity projects. We need to join together to build a stronger and safer community. We cannot let acts of violence ruin the image of America’s communities.
I would like to ask you to deliver this message to your friends, and family in hopes that they will contribute to better our community and make it a safer place for us all. Let’s get together and begin not just dialogue with our community on issue but to open doors to solve the problem.
It is with great hope and great expectations that I wait for a response from clergy, local officials and community leaders. Not only does the future of our community and my generation depend on you getting involved, but also our hopes for a greater community where there is truly safety and liberty for all people.
I know we can do it and I believe that we can turn things around sooner than later. We can no longer ignore the social and economic impact of our actions in the American society.
The well being of our community is our problem and WE as a community need to fix it and together we can do it. Our nation’s youth are depending on you.
Marypat Hector is a young lady from Atlanta, Georgia and fully intends to change the world through her motivational speaking and grassroots movements. She is truly a young leader for our generation.