Yesterday I received an email that brought great news that was long overdue. A major media entity stated they were producing a documentary on a former Chatham resident Ben Wilson. In 1984, Ben Wilson was the #1 high school Basketball player in the country and he and his fellow Simeon team members were considered the #1 basketball team in the country. To my community he represented more than basketball, he represented the hopes and dreams that every parent had for their children. They all wanted their children to be the best they can be,go away to college and be successful in their lives.
Unfortunately, almost 27 years ago to the date we lost Ben Wilson, a student at Simeon had a disagreement with Wilson and decided to solve his disagreement by shooting Wilson. Wilson's death shocked the school, community and the city. Some members of my community still have problems discussing that day and others still find it too painful to talk about.
Fast forward 17 years and another teenager decides to take a gun and solve a disagreement with a gun. This time individuals with nothing to do with the disagreement lost their life. When will our young people understand they hurt far more people than their intended target when they take a gun and shoot someone down? Do they understand how long the hurt last?
There was an anti-violence rally last night and some questioned was it going to make a difference. But they did not understand it was there to memorialize those we have lost in the past present and unfortunately the future. Maybe it was the rallying call that is needed.
This madness must stop!