Shooting shows how far we have to go

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Arlene Jones

Bill Cosby was right! Almost four years into having the first African-American president and the spike in shootings and crime, especially right here in Chicago, proves that a lot of blacks and especially low-income blacks are not holding up their end of the bargain since the Civil Rights years.

Last week Wednesday, I got to see up close and personal the carnage going on in this city. I was visiting friends near Roosevelt and Sacramento when the sound of gunfire erupted. POW, POW, pow, pow, pow, bang, bang-bang, bang, bang rang out.

My friend hit the floor while I remained transfixed on her couch, unable to move. When she finally looked out the door after about a minute, less than 300 feet away a young man lay on the grass. He had been shot multiple times. As I ran toward him, I realized I didn't have my cellphone.

But the young lady next to me, whom I didn't know, had her phone. And guess what she was doing? Telling a friend about the shooting. I had to actually tell her to call the police! The shooting took place less than four blocks away from the 11th District (Harrison Street) police station.

Something is very, very, very wrong when there is no fear of being near the police when the fools, morons and idiots, whom many of you shelter in your homes as kids and grandkids, want to carry out their carnage. By the time the sounds of sirens did finally ring out, most of the noise was from the 11 or so squad cars that made it to the scene before the fire department.

In the meantime, the young man's friends had decided to pick him up and put him in the back of a van. As they lifted and carried him, blood poured from his wounds like he was a colander. I kept telling them not to move him. But they were hell-bent on taking him to Mt. Sinai - a ride that could have possibly killed him.

Thankfully, the police did arrive and begin to take over. But the mutterings from the crowd were uncouth. One young lady got upset because she said the police had called her a "bitch." Another cop was smiling and laughing the entire time.

Truthfully, I cannot be mad at those white cops. Why? Because I can guarantee you that from the first time they came into the black community, they were constantly bombarded with black women being called bitches by other blacks. People who don't respect themselves will not garner respect! And we have raised several generations of young people (40 and under) who don't respect themselves, any thing, or anybody. They have become the lost generation for whom the graveyard or the prison cell is, sadly, their only destination.

I was disgusted to hear the young people's foul mouths as they bemoaned that the ambulance was taking too long. Yet not one of them had any first aid training. They had not a single clue how to stop the bleeding. They were so ignorant, they didn't even know that the worst thing you can do for someone who is shot is to move them. The very bullet that might be keeping the man alive could be dislodged when they picked him up and thus cause his death.

It is time for black people to come up with the solutions and punishments for those who live among us and commit such atrocities. Part of the problem as I see it is that we don't focus on the penalties. There are no public displays of punishment that serve to remind people not to do certain things. Our young people hear of friends going to jail but don't really know what it is like until they get there themselves. By then it's too late.

Last week in Detroit, the mayor, the police chief, social workers, sociologists, crime victims and ministers met with inmates to hear their solutions to stopping the violence. Those men who had created much havoc when they were on the streets and now were serving life sentences had finally come to their senses. But they got there too late to save themselves. So they offered advice to save those who are still free.

As far as I am concerned, those who have life sentences should have sent a chilling and simple message to our young folks. Come to Statesville or Joliet or Menard or wherever and die. Because until there is a real reason for those still on the streets to do better, there won't be any efforts made.

www.arlenejones.blogspot.com

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