“On September 11, 2007, the Police Commissioner called on 10,000 civilians to patrol the streets in the hopes of stopping the escalating homicide rates in the city." At first glance that headline would seem to be yet another desperate attempt to quell the violence that is the everyday reality of the continuing war in Iraq. But, sadly that headline refers to the desperate plea issued by the Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson of Philadelphia who is desperate to stop the urban terrorists who have left so many dead in his city that the city of brotherly love is now better known as ‘Killadelphia.’
In 2006 there were 406 homicides in Philadelphia, a nine year high. This year as of yesterday there have been 348 murders in the city-well over one victim a day. Earlier this year there were 23 people murdered in nine days. Those figures resemble the carnage that happens every week in Iraq. Unfortunately, these statistics reflect a war that is being fought on our own soil and which no one seems to notice or care about.
The black community has fallen so low that the black Police Commissioner of the nation’s sixth largest city has to call on civilian volunteers to patrol the streets because black on black homicide is so out of control that the police department has been rendered helpless and is unable to stop the bloodshed.
Why is this madness accepted by the black community? Why does Commissioner Johnson need to beg black residents to take back their communities and stop the killing of young black youth?
There has been a great outpouring of support for civilian patrols by black men in Philadelphia. Thousands have signed up to become volunteers who will walk around the toughest neighborhoods of the city in the hope that their mere presence will act as a deterrent to those young men who would resort to violence.
But, where have all of these black men been before now? Why aren’t they being fathers to these young men? Why aren’t they mentoring these young men? Showing them that education is the key to a better life. We don’t need black men to patrol the streets unarmed trying to stop the next murder from occurring; what the community needs is for black men to intervene in the lives of these young men when they are born and as they enter their teenage years. If that happened many of these young men would not be on the streets at 15, 16 years old pointing a gun at someone’s head.
There is a tremendous lack of respect for the sanctity of life among young black males between the ages of 15-29. The reasons for some of the homicides that are taking place in Philadelphia and other cities around the country sound as if they are punch lines from a joke-but, there is nothing funny about: a 17 yr. old boy shooting another black teen after an altercation because the victim’s girlfriend was too pretty for him, an 18 yr. old from the Bronx shot and killed his already paralyzed brother after an argument as to the whereabouts of his Yankee baseball hat. And my all time favorite is the young man in Milwaukee who shot and killed his friend after an intense argument broke out as to who was the better rapper.
While billions of dollars are being spent on a war that should have never been fought, the government is allowing urban terrorists to have free reign and control over black neighborhoods where the killing seems to occur without any resistance. But, why does the black community need to wait for the government to do what it should be doing on its own-taking back the streets from the violence and crime that have reached levels not seen since the crack epidemic of the 90’s.
It is a sad day in black America when we stand by and watch our young people die as if they were living in a war zone. Wake up people-it is a war zone. And Black America should be held liable as accomplices in the deaths of its children.