The past few weeks have been loaded with news, with the most popular being the Supreme Court decisions on Affirmative Action, Voting Rights and Gay Marriages. But there was an even bigger news story that occurred that most of the media missed. It was huge.
No Black homicides in the month of June.
Yes you read it right. No Black homicides in the entire month of June. Zero.
All our readers know that the New Pittsburgh Courier dedicates space each month for the Homicide Count. However, most probably don’t remember that we actually started the stop the violence campaign before we started the Homicide Count.
I remember when we first decided to make this an issue we ran a story on the front page related to Black on Black violence and how it must stop. That we as Black people must step up in our communities, in our churches, in our businesses, in our schools, and most importantly in our homes and denounce this epidemic, this plague, this disease in our community. We can’t depend on the White establishment to do anything because in most cases it doesn’t affect them.
This was our problem and most of us were simply ignoring it or trying to blame it on the White man.
We ran a front-page story with a large drawing of a tombstone which had written on it Blacks killing Blacks.
I remember an ex-employee calling me and jumping all over me about what was the Courier doing putting our dirty laundry out in the open. How could we do such a thing? It was going to have the young hoodlums and thugs mad and they were going to retaliate on people in the community. He was so upset that he said he was not going to put the paper on the stands at his business.
Well my response to him and all others who protested. If not us, who?
As a result of our campaign, more and more people have become involved in this campaign to stop Black on Black deaths, Black on Black violence in this city and hopefully it will spread throughout this country to urban communities after urban communities.
The campaign has reached throughout the city and to Wilkinsburg, and Clairton. There are marches almost every other month of various groups, churches and mothers with hundreds of supporters demanding, pleading for the killings, the shootings, and the violence to cease in the Black communities throughout this area.
We are eliminating our next generation through our own genocide. The vast majority of deaths, crippled for life, in prison for life or most of it, are our young Black males. I feel sorry for our young Black sisters because it is extremely hard for them to find a man, because they are either dead, in prison, selling drugs on the streets or crippled from being shot, or on their way to one of these endings. The old saying of a Good Man Is Hard to Find, may have to be changed to “A Good Black Man Is Impossible to Find” if things don’t change in the next five to 10 years.
I don’t know what is going to happen this summer. I don’t know what will happen in July. But I am proud that we had a part in Zero Deaths in June.
I’m hoping, praying that the message is getting through to these young fools out there claiming territory in which they don’t own a thing. Not one house, maybe a car.
We no longer need the Ku Klux Klan or the White Citizens Council. The right wingers are making sure guns are easy to get and these fools are getting them and wiping each other out, over a few dollars. I could maybe understand the trafficking in drugs if we saw more homeownership, more renovations or new homes, and businesses in the communities by these young men. But across the country the more drug trafficking the more poverty and blight.
The NNPA (Black Newspapers throughout the country) has done nothing in this fight either. Even though we have entered the Homicide Count and why it’s important in the Community Service category for several years we never even placed. That category was eliminated this year. I guess they don’t see it as being important that our kids are gunning each other down in the streets like dogs. It’s the Wild Wild West. And it’s much worse in cities like Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, New York City, Los Angeles and the list goes on. Has the Black Press fallen away from what we were created to do? Be crusaders. Be leaders.
So kudos to all the people out there putting marches together, putting these community programs together, prayer vigils, and to those who may not be leaders but are participating in these efforts to stop the violence that is destroying our communities and families.
Zero Black homicides in June 2013; the biggest story of the year so far.
(Ulish Carter is the managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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