Saving More Than Just One Life

Saving More Than Just One Life
Hear No Evil. See No Evil. Speak No Evil Then Act Surprised.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil then act surprised when its exposed. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I hear no evil. I see no evil. I don't talk about the evil because the evil lives in/with/among me. In the news recently we've had two mothers who have lost multiple teenage and adult children to the evils plaguing the streets of our community. I'm sure that the pain they feel is not conditioned upon the weapon used. If they were beaten to death with a bat or stabbed multiple times with a knife I'm not so sure that would ease the pain of the mother that lost their child. So sensationalizing their stories by focusing on the tool rather than the individual behind the tool and the environment that nourishes the bad behavior only serves to ensure the continued subjugation of the community to the evils that plague it.

My heart goes out to the mother that lost all four of her teenage and adult children but like a lot of you I'm a little curious as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths. Look, we all know of parents that are blind, deaf and dumb when it comes to the bad behavior of their children. As long as their children are on the safe side of the weapon of choice all is right with the world. But when those same children end up on the other side of it, “God help us all!....too many weapons on the streets...we gotta stop this violence, etc...” See every adult inevitably comes to understand that we make choices in life and for every choice we make there are consequences, good or bad, over which we are powerless. So to say that a person chose to do wrong then decided to “turn their life around” does not excuse them from the consequences of those choices. In the Afro American community as in others we have come to learn that even the people we choose to associate ourselves with could be a life or death decision in the streets. I recall the story of a young brother in the neighborhood of 53rd and Marshfield who was a very respectable young brother with a kind heart and wasn't in any criminal organization but because he was a passenger in the car with a known member of one such organization that was targeted by a rival he was killed and ironically the actual target escaped unharmed, tragic. A beautiful young sister was sitting in a car with her boyfriend, a young brother and a successful street level drug dealer, at a gas station on the south side waiting to make an illegal exchange. He was murdered, she miraculously escaped unharmed. When we choose to surrender our innocence the consequences of those choices are inevitable and not even a parent's love can shield us from that.

There are parents who, knowing that their children are dead wrong will attempt to shield them from the consequences of those choices by lying for them and even that choice has unforeseen consequences that can't be escaped. I don't subscribe to the rhetoric of "if it only saves one life it's worth it." Truth be told if as parents we take off the blinders, take out the ear plugs, remove the muzzle and drop the act we can save much more than just one life.

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