Working together will help us live longer

I enjoyed both Terry Dean’s article regarding the death of Mr. Johnson [Austin clergy respond to shooting, July 19] and Arlene Jones [While we’re at it, here’s another term to bury, July 17]. I am an educated, suburban brother from New Jersey who has lived in the Chicago area for nearly 30 years. I have been concerned about all of the black communities throughout Chicago. My most recent concern has been the boycotting of gun shops.

I don’t own a gun, nor am I a proponent for the ownership of guns. I believe that we, as a people, must look at ourselves and our communities, and not to independent businesses. We need to turn in those who are selling guns, drugs, and prostituting in the neighborhoods. I want to believe that Rev. Jesse Jackson and Father Michael Phleger have good in their hearts and want to point the finger at the gun shops.

In all due respect, is it possible that Rev. Jackson could reach out to the gangbangers and drug dealers and simply ask them to stop? What I propose is that brothers and sisters simply T.E.L.L.: Together, Everyone, Lives, Longer.

What would it look like if we all simply turned in those who are destroying the community? It is scary. But, as we all know, freedom in this world is not free. Not to sound corny, but if it takes a village to raise a child, then the villagers need to get a little restless because there are those who don’t care, and it is choking the life out of a great people in a great city.

Bob Valentine

The problems are old and deep

I was devastated by the hypersegregation and racism I witnessed visiting Louisiana, pre-Hurricane Katrina. Clearly, I thought, Louisiana has a big problem. Unfortunately, the problem is a really old one. And you know whatever is old is deep. Whatever is deep is strong. And strength is irrefutable so the problem persists for hundreds of years on every continent.

The problem helped build the United States of America. The problem helped shift the global balance of power over to Europe and America. When will the problem be recognized on television, in the news? When will our president’s speeches include honest and contrite dissections of the problem? When will the problem be rectified, redressed, or repaired, goddamit?

I don’t have the answer and I’m afraid. I’m mad at the numbers of it. The problem cannot be repainted so it must be destroyed, the truth of it forgotten behind bars. But I don’t think the world will keep blithely turning when all black and brown people are in prison, poor or dead.

Eseohe Arhebamen
Submitted at