On behalf of Zion City ICM and COC we are deeply saddened by the turn of events that took place on March 6, 2015 when a 19-year-old black male was shot and killed by an officer from our very own Madison Police Department.
The word is still out on just what went down Friday at 6:30 pm. We do know this: another black kid went down!
Look we know there's a problem!!!
As much as this feels like Michael Brown and all the other black kids and adults who have lost their lives at the hands of police officers in a long history of unjustified slayings in this country, we must be careful not to react, but rather to act.
Act how? Prayerfully first. In all your ways acknowledge Him (God) and He shall direct your path. Proverbs 3:6
We must act proactively in your preferred initiative and shared ones to ensure that our kids and communities get the same respect and opportunities to succeed that every other American gets.
We must join the campaign and believe in our hearts that all American lives matter! Why should black lives mean any less?
Don't say you're proud to be an American unless you're ok seeing black people killed or murdered at the hands of a trained American police officer instead of tasered, stun gunned, pepper sprayed, pepper balled or afforded some other non-lethal alternative.
I can't imagine that any officer has an easy job doing what they do to protect our neighborhoods, streets, let alone themselves. So why would you want to make a hard job that much harder?
We must take pride in educating all kids and I'll make my case why this is the most critical point of them all towards the end of this spill, if you will.
Support MOSES, MUM and any other organization that is working behind the scenes and under the radar to create and sustain new streams of opportunities to help black men avoid recidivism (housing, jobs, etc.). By the way, you may contribute to the REMNANT (Racial Ethnic Males Needing Assistance Navigating through Transition) fund established by Zion City Community Outreach Center to supplement and/or jumpstart sincere black men coming out of the prison system.
Can you see how the disproportionate prison rates are affecting our communities?
We need those of us (black business owners, entrepreneurs, CEO's, educators, and hiring agents) who have "MADE IT" to get off our high horses and help those of us who have not made it. If we really do care we have a funny way of showing it!
We need investors and bankers to give us a chance. If there is no plan lets develop one. If there are holes in the plans we have help us plug them. We have ideas. In fact, a few of them may be your next big ROI.
I could say more, but let me please make good on what I said earlier about educating all of our kids.
Yes, a child's education may easily be undone every time he or she step inside their respective homes from school and we acknowledge that parents factor greatly into their child's success. However, it is also true that our kids spend a great deal of time in school with educators, and every child that walks in and out of a teacher's classroom is a reflection of that teacher.
You've heard this right? "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." I don't know who said it, but I sure remember it. A little care goes a long ways. A little benefit of the doubt goes a long ways.
It's easy to point out all the negative things in a child's life. Try pointing out some of the good things in that child's life. Just one. That's all I ask. Please say something good. Go out of your way to do this and see what happens. Do it every day. It may be the only good thing they hear that day or for days. I challenge those of us who can to be the one bright spot in the life of a kid. Every kid!
An officer can be that bright spot way before the sting operation and call to ram in the door. Mr. and Ms. Police Officer, please, please allow us for a change to see the light in your eyes and heart and not the lights on your squad car.
Truth is: you don't know who you've killed or may kill! Sure, we know their names. Some of them; not all rise "to the attention" of the national media. But do we really know who they were suppose to be?
When Jaime Lee Jackson was killed who did you/we kill?
When Trayvon Martin was killed who did you/we kill?
When Michael Brown was killed who did you/we kill?
There are so many names...
When we loss Tony Robinson last night here in Madison, Wisconsin who did we lose?
Did we already lose the answer to cancer in the mind of one of the many Black people who have died? Is the cure for glaucoma, measles, or aids already in the grave?
Did we lose an alderman, inventor, neurosurgeon, preacher, teacher, entrepreneur, small business owner, leader, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, the next black president?
Has some future tragedy scheduled to interrupt anyone of our or our loved ones lives been irrevocably fixed now because the person who was born to alter that event is now dead - killed and/or left to die prematurely?
Some of us say these kids were gangsters, kids up to no good, should have known better, suspicious, angry, and only Lord knows what!
I say to you many of us have found ourselves in precarious situations only to find ourselves thanking God -- who we seem to call on when things go bad -- because we were fortunate enough to make it out unscathed with a second, third, and eighth chance to get our lives together.
Maybe you didn't become the next big thing, but your sons and daughters might be. Heck, some girls 50 year marriage just went down the river. Somebody else's 5 year genius child producing relationship will never happen.
Point is, regardless of your point of view: we should never assume or presume that it's OK to just kill someone with no resolve for his/her life; especially the lives of a young black kids. Their too young to know who they are, were, would and should have been, and will be. Only God knows - and He does know.
And to all of you who wonder what is God doing about this despicable evil in our country (our world) I say to you, what are you doing? What will you do?
I've heard Madison is not Ferguson!!!!
I think I believe it. I pray and hope it's true. We'll see…