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Beware! The Day Of Reckoning Is Here
1/22/2014 3:39:14 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Literally speaking, when I say the New Year came in with a bang I am not talking firecracker bang. I am talking like in bang, bang shoot 'em up. The New Year hardly had time to make its debut when two women were mortally wounded and another left fighting for her life. What was supposed to be a time of celebration quickly turned deadly and into a horrible nightmare for several families.

A few weeks ago, a witness testimony took a criminal of the streets for the remainder of his life. The witness mom's home was riddled with bullets because he dared to testify. Two Saturdays ago, a 29 year old female was killed and her brother pistol whipped in the Red Top community of Johns Island. It's a crime that has left the community searching for answers. And, last week, there was a drive by shooting on the James Island Connector.

Saturdays are generally one of those days that I get to do what I want to do. Sometime things just happen and steer you off course into an unplanned direction and your day is just not your day. That's what happened a few weeks ago. I was first awakened to a medical emergency by my brother who had summoned the EMS for his daughter.

Before I finished my conversation with him, another call came in. This time it was my adopted brother from the Big Apple informing me of his grand niece that was killed in Red Top and wanting to know if I had seen it on the news. I told him I had not but if I found out anything I would give him a call. As of this writing, the killer or killers had not been identified or apprehended. My brother was understandably upset by the news since he had recently buried a brother.

I took a few minutes to exhale and thought about the number of murders, home invasions and drive by shootings in 2013 and within the past few weeks. Then I reflected upon the families whose lives are forever changed by such wanton acts of violence. The recent tragic deaths have people afraid to answer their doors or venture out of their homes. Looks like the new trend is retaliatory killings; if I can't get you, I will get your mama or anyone who answers the door.

What is happening in Charleston and North Charleston is happening all across this country. It really wasn't that long ago that you could leave home and not lock your doors No one would dare enter your home without being invited. Today, you not only lock the intruders out but you lock yourself in. Families are buying more locks, installing security bars and finding more innovative ways to protect themselves.

Even with all of the locks and bolts, home invaders still manage to get in. My niece in Charlotte had more locks and bolts than Home Depot and they invaded her home while she was at work. Are these drug related crimes; or, has this generation just lost their minds and kill for the thrill of killing?

I applaud Elder Johnson's efforts to apprehend those responsible for the recent rash of violence but this is not a one man's show. This community needs to rise up against crime. The recent murders are an indication that more stringent laws need to be put into place. Legislators need to review and revise some of the outdated and ineffective laws on the books. We have got to stop revolving door sentences that does little to deter crime. Repeat offenders are released back onto the streets within days to ply their drug trade or wreak havoc in the community.

While better paying jobs are finally making their way to the low country, we need more high tech and comprehensive training for the underprivileged and underserved. If we fail to improve education and provide equal access to economic development and wealth, we are doomed for failure.

We have got to stop playing games with young people. Most are smarter than we would like to give them credit for. They will not accept what their ancestors accepted. The divide betwwen rich and poor is too great.

The day of reckoning is here. You can't expect to educate the privileged one way and turn your nose up at underprivileged. People have basic needs that are not being met. Folks are jobless, homeless, penniless and hungry and the government is cutting back on many of these essential needs.

Folks are just plain ole tired of struggling day in and day out, month in and month out, year in and year out. Legislators, are y'all listening? What you do today will determine whether or not y'all are really listening. Y'all can sit around and play politics if you want to but the day of reckoning is closer to your doorsteps than you think. Don't forget!

Whatever you do unto the least of these ... don't y'all start me preaching up in here.

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