Going beyond violence to resolve our differences

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I had no intension of dealing with violence in this week’s column with the mayoral race heating up and with the Sequester being such an issue in D.C. and the country but then the big fight breaking out Downtown amongst a large group of people with two people being shot occurred. Plus there was an incident at an area college in which five girls jumped two girls and beat them up over a boy, thus running the risk of being kicked out of school. This was not in the news.
Both incidents and many, many more like them keep me going back to the question. When will we as Black people stop trying to solve our problems with our fists or guns? When will we realize that our manhood, or womanhood is not determined by who can beat up who?
The Downtown incident witnesses say that a confrontation started that included five guys and two girls, or more depending on who you talk to, that later led to fighting that led to gun play, as masses of people ran to get out of the way of the fight and stray bullets. Was there a winner in this? No. Everyone involved were losers, because they all will probably be prosecuted. It is still not clear what the fight was all about, and why two of the people involved in the dispute chose to go for their weapons, or why they had weapons in the first place.  According to another at the scene, in a fight between two people one male took the gun away from the other and shot him with it as they wrestled over the gun. The police are still trying to sift through the details to separate fact from rumors.
There could have been a whole lot more damage done if one of the stray bullets had hit an innocent bystander Downtown shopping or waiting for a bus after work. I knew the answer when I asked the question, “were they all Black?” The answer, yes. And they were all young, under 30, probably under 25.
In the college incident apparently a young male had interest in two young females. Well, instead of confronting the male about his two-timing her, the one girl chose to get a group of her friends together to confront the other girl. Well I’ve seen and heard a lot about this kind of behavior among young females and sometimes older females. I know one girl who actually transferred from her high school because she had to face a group of girls every day because the guy one of these girls liked was talking to her. But this was high school, you expect more from college students.
The two girls who were jumped by the five, at least to their credit they filed a police report, which could and should lead to probation or suspension from school of the other five. They did not go back to the street code of we don’t talk to the cops; we will take care of this ourselves. So hopefully the police and school officials will do something.
Both incidents have become so common. Our young people tend to believe that all problems are to be solved with their fists, knives or guns. Do we not have the verbal or mental capacity to solve our problems through talking, or by using our brains? All fighting does is get your butt whipped, or you end up in jail or in trouble, even if you win the fight. What the girl who felt like she was being two-timed should have done was call the other girl, tell her what was going down, and if the other girl didn’t care, which she probably wouldn’t, then confront the male. Of course he’s going to lie, so find a way to get all parties together, in which he has to tell the truth. Then move on with your life, there’s no need to jump the other female, or the ex-boyfriend. Yes, I know it hurts when we are lied to or rejected, but beating up the other female is not going to make him love or want you. He’s still going to pursue her, because guys don’t desire women because they can fight well.
It’s not worth it being killed, crippled, losing an eye or being kicked out of school or losing a job.
As for the Downtown incident, it’s really hard to raise kids these days because you have to be so careful about who they hang with. Because girls and boys have a tendency to hang in packs these days, and when two packs run into each other at a public event or Downtown, if there are bad feelings from one person in each pack, then the two packs became involved, and if your daughter or son is with one of these packs then they get caught up in it.
That’s why it’s so important to know your children’s friends. And that becomes harder and harder as they get older, college age or young adults.  But it’s so important that when you can get a word in edge wise over the cell phone, to talk to them about friends, and violence.  
How many times have kids come home from college and gotten in trouble by hanging out with friends who were just hanging out.
I don’t have the answer, but I encourage the many groups, organizations and individuals who are working to stop the violence, and create within our young people better ways of resolving their differences than with their fists, knives, or guns, because there are no winners when it comes to violence.
(Ulish Carter is the managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)

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