"It is time for us to show our anger, our angst, our pain, and our rage
as it relates to our children's suffering in this age of violence."
I'm deeply, deeply troubled regarding gun violence in America. I am also troubled by gun violence in Chicago. In addition, I am troubled by gun violence in Evanston. There have been four shootings in the last four days. All the victims are black males- one 16, two 17 and a young man aged 19. I'm troubled for so many reasons:
1. We were not made to shoot, maim, hurt or kill each other.
2. A subtle and even sly "begrudging" acceptance of these shootings, seems to be settling in our community.
3. Black males are already an endangered species in America.
4. If shootings occur on the streets of our neighborhoods (one occurred at 1 AM and the other at 4:40 PM) what is to become of our children who walk these streets and play in local playgrounds?
5. These angry, young black boys and men have created a culture and climate that is unsafe for us all.
6. In Evanston, I believe our Mayor and Police Chief are doing a great deal to stop the violence. However, it is time for every single part of the Black community to collectively step up and do our part.
7. It is time for us to show our anger, our angst, our pain, and our rage as it relates to our children's suffering in this age of violence.
8. We have to stop our children and our young men from killing each other.
9. Gun violence must not become the new normal.
10. We must not sit idly by and watch another one of our young people become a victim to violence.
My 12 year-old son was playing basketball in a local park not far from where one of the shootings took place (at around the same time). There were other children also out playing. And our seniors were in their yards. And dog walkers were walking their dogs. People were riding their bikes. Others were on skateboards. Most were enjoying the moment "care free." That is why we live in Evanston. It is why we live anywhere in America. It is supposed to be care free. We must not allow unruly, uncaring and dangerous people diminish our quality of life.
It is time to stop them. Because there is no alternative.
Michael Nabors is Pastor of Second Baptist Church, Evanston and President of the Evanston NAACP.