WHEN WILL IT STOP?
Black people are well aware of the gang violence that is occurring in communities across the nation. We are not condoning black people killing other black people when we riot. We want justice whether it’s black on black crime, police brutality, or homicide done by a person of another race.
We hear a lot of stories of deaths committed in Chicago or to some “Chiraq.” In L.A., you have multigenerational gangs where children grow up with multiple family members involved in gangs. When you turn on the TV, you are bound to see parents or a parent of the African-American community mourning the loss of a child.
Gangs are no stranger to the hip-hop community either. Many rappers have been or are gang affiliated. Some rappers will mention gang affiliation in songs to prove a point and maintain a hardcore image. This may appeal to their fans who tend to glorify their lifestyle.
Black men who join gangs will show their loyalty to the gang by killing an innocent person or a rival gang member. Why do they decide to join a gang? Joining gangs give people a sense of protection, a sense of family, and power. TheRichest.com had a list of the top six most gang-affiliated cities in the United States. Chicago came in first place, and L.A. came in second. In the article, they mention that according to the police force, the murders and shootings in Chicago are 80 percent gang related. This is a staggering amount to those who believe in black unity.
For those who don’t know, gangs were not formed for black on black violence. Gangs were formed to protect the black community from police harassment. However, drugs and money quickly changed all that. It soon became a bloody war over territory, money and power. Critics and conservative media outlets will quickly say that black people in rundown cities should stop selling drugs. This is easier said than done. When you are systematically divided, money is taken out of the educational system, and due to the lack of jobs then you are bound to make money by any means.
The problem is that people get greedy. The death rate of blacks due to gangs is horrid. I often write about police brutality, but gang violence in the black community is just as severe. Gang violence is tearing us apart. Gangs are growing larger and more powerful.
The number of deaths goes up; the jails are filled, and mothers and fathers are suffering from the loss of their children. So how do we fix this? More after-school programs, parents being involved, having active figures in their life who can help, and most of all prayer.
This is a challenge that we will face to helping decrease gang violence in the black community. It’s hard trying to pursue youth who grew up with family gang members, are addicted to drugs and the streets. But we must try. Realize that gang violence has been a major issue for years. Those who are lost look for a sense of place in gangs. Sadly that place often ends them in a ditch or jail.