By Beverly Gadson-Birch
Did Mayor Summey really say “We can’t raise your children”? Last week, Elder James Johnson, State Coordinator, National Action Network (N.A.N.) held a press conference calling for more accountability from Mayor Summey and Police Chief Driggers in reducing the high murder rate in North Charleston.
As of last week, North Charleston had 22 murders. Elder Johnson is not the only one fed up with the rash of murders. So am I and most law-abiding folks in North Charleston.
Chief Driggers is asking persons who know where guns are coming from to let him know. Really? You mean to tell me, y’all don’t know?
Well now, the increase in murders by young black males should come as no surprise when guns and drugs are being dumped into black communities across America. Are we really surprised that the National Rifle Association (NRA) with its vast membership regulates itself through powerful lobbyists?
According to Encyclopedia.com, “The NRA targeted America’s youth from the onset, and by 1903 was promoting shooting sports and competition matches through the establishment of rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities, and military academies….”
During the 2000 presidential election, the NRA spent approximately $20 million. Democratic Party analysts credited the NRA with swinging at least two states—Arkansas and Tennessee—and thus the election, to the Republican candidate.
In the late 1990s, following several highly publicized incidents of violence involving guns among American teenagers, some polls indicated that 70 to 80 percent of Americans favored stricter gun control laws.
However, Newsweek reported, the fear of political retaliation from the NRA killed a new round of gun control bills in June 1999. NRA membership climbed again late in the decade.” Did Newsweek call it “political retaliation” from the NRA?
We cannot have it both ways. So, what’s to prevent illegal guns from being dumped into black communities as a form of genocide? You do know that is what’s taking place in black communities across America?
You aren’t going to hear politicians speaking out too loudly in support of gun control because many benefit from NRA during elections. You can’t very well bite the hand that feeds you.
Backtracking to Mayor Summey’s comments “We can’t raise your children”, and that certainly isn’t what the community is asking. Most black parents go to work every day, working two or three jobs to take care of their children.
No parent should not have to work two or three jobs to make ends meet. Therein lies the problem. Parents need to be able to earn enough on one job so they can spend more time at home parenting their children.
So, Mr. Mayor, when you talk about raising children, we know how to raise children. Don’t forget! It hasn’t been that long since black nannies raised white children. Oops, I didn’t want to go there but y’all got such short memory.
What the community is looking to Mayor Summey and Chief Driggers for is leadership. The appropriate response from the Mayor would have been to acknowledge there is a problem, inform the community that he would come up with a plan and enforce the plan without bias.
After the mayor’s re-election, he said he would not provide services to those communities that did not vote for him. Do y’all remember that?
So, is he keeping his promise?
The Mayor needs to look at providing more opportunities, apprenticeship training, free afternoon adult education programs in coordination with the school district to provide training that will lead to gainful employment, expand entrepreneurial opportunities and knock down barriers that restrict or limit Black contractors, in particular, from the procurement process.
And, to that Mr. Mayor, add a little respect to the citizens you swore to represent.
We, in the back community, know what success looks like and we want to see more success stories coming out of our communities.
Stop dumping drugs and guns into our communities, pretending that you do not know the source, and start dumping training, jobs, affordable health care and housing, parity in education and economic development into black communities.
Mr. Mayor, Chief and Council, you can do a better job. When you fail to act on behalf of the least of your citizens, you open your doors to widespread criminal activities that scar not only your reputation but the city’s reputation as well, home and abroad.
All a homeless man/woman wants is a home. A sick man/woman wants affordable health care. A hungry man/woman wants food and a jobless man/woman wants a job sufficient enough to cover his/her basic needs as defined under the Constitution as “food, shelter and clothing”.
Think on these things, Mr. Mayor. Have you provided the same services to all citizens? If the answer is no; therein lies the problem. Fix it if you wish to reduce the death rate in your city that’s now being compared with the city of Chicago.
The sooner folks realize that “We are a family” and what hurts one hurts all, the better. It may not be on your doorstep today but eventually crime will come a’calling; just wait!
No one is immune from crime, no one.