today in black history

August 03, 2020

The U.S. Senate overrode President Ronald Reagan’s veto of legislation imposing economic sanctions against South Africa in 1986.

Killing Fields

POSTED: December 09, 2008, 12:00 am

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We are profoundly saddened and angered over the killing of 14 year-old Ronald Jackson in Baltimore on Sunday night. He is the latest among hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of Black youth in our country who have been gunned down in senseless acts of violence. We do not know who killed Ronald or why. We do know in many cases the culprit is gang activity and the drug trade, and the sooner we become determined to rid our communities of this scourge by any means necessary; the quicker the healing will begin. It is an act of terrorism against our community. We have a public health crisis and it’s time we treated it as such.

Young Ronald was doing a good deed – delivering fruit to an elderly neighbor upon the instruction of his mother – when he was gunned down in cold blood on the sidewalk of his neighborhood. His killing is an act of cowardice that should motivate us to declare war on those who are preying upon our children. No longer can we protect those who destroy our families and kill our future. For too long we have resigned ourselves to this violence and allowed criminals to turn our homes into prisons, as children and teens are kept behind doors to save their lives. Enough!

“For too long we have resigned ourselves to this violence and allowed criminals to turn our homes into prisons, as children and teens are kept behind doors to save their lives.”

In communities across the country Black leadership needs to have a meeting of the minds with local law enforcement and with the community itself. The police are necessary if we are to remove elements from our community that are intent on brandishing weapons, and there must be a common understanding that aggressive policing, within the most liberal bounds of the law, is required to confront gang activity and eliminate drug trafficking. This means police cannot be viewed as the enemy, despite past history, and must be enlisted as a community partner. Second, the community itself must send a message that violence will no longer be tolerated. To counter the “stop snitching” phenomenon, a system of “blind” informing through the use of technology should be instituted to help identify suspects and bring them to justice. We must make it uncomfortable for any criminal to roam the community.

We must also end the practice of defending the indefensible, as often happens when a suspect is accused who is notoriously wicked but has a legion of family and friends who express support. While everyone should be presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law, too often the worst offenders are defended and the victim is simply reduced to a statistic. We have disrespected the memories of our sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends who have been murdered by allowing the thugs to be protected. is committed to doing its part to call attention to the killing of our children. In the near future we will initiate a project to identify every Black child and youth who is taken away from us in an act of violence. Since they can no longer speak for themselves, we must speak for them. It is our hope that you will join with us in calling for a national campaign against gun and gang violence and work in your community to save our future. Ronald Jackson was a human being whose life had value. We owe it to him and the countless other young people who have been killed to take a stand.

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