The other day on my personal Facebook page, someone posted a list. This list was the names of the individuals killed in the Baltimore area. Why did they post this list? She had something to say. Family members were on this list, cousins, friends, childhood memories and laughter. My heart hurt with her as she described how it felt to learn of another family member gone. This time a cousin. The disbelief, the anguish, the preparation for yet another funeral. The question begs to be asked…How many of these must I go to?
As I look back on the day that Baltimore hit 300, I began to wonder why. I was almost like someone was waiting for the news to confirm the last number just so they could go out and see if they could top it. I looked at this small picture of dozens of names illuminated by candlelight. This young lady was right, these were souls, not statistics. These were individuals that once laughed, joked and talked with someone they loved. The one name that stuck out was Kendal Fenwick. This young man was only doing what he felt he had to do to keep his home and family safe before his life was stolen from him. A simple act of erecting a fence cost him his last breath. His killing was called cowardly and hurtful. I agree. As you look at the smiling face in the pictures, so many questions run through your mind.
As we turn on the TV, read the newspaper, we see the world happening around us, Paris, Syria, Russia , Africa and more. Killings happened there as well, some televised more than others. The “others” were pushed back like the senseless killings in Nigeria. Kendal was not one of those prominent stories.
All in all, we must begin, or in this case, continue to find a way to retreat from the gun play and return back to speaking to one another. Firing a weapon takes courage just like speaking for what is right. The shedding of blood only makes the matter worse and harder to deal with bringing no viable solution to any problem that could have been easily solved with a conversation. We must learn to turn our aggression into words of action and take them to the town hall meetings, the city councils and community gatherings. Neighbors must begin to know who and what is in their neighborhoods so that they can effectively fight for what is right by not allowing that which has no purpose to come in and tear down a community. So many little steps could lead to a giant solution that is not undermined by the greed or easy way out attitude of the politicians of today. We must think beyond the “right now” and consider the effect this is having on future generations who are not getting the chance to grow up and make the change the world needs to see.
The lives lost up till now are not statistics, no they are individuals, family members, childhood friends, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, grandparents, children. All deserved their chance to live