Monday, May 19, 2008

Young, Gifted, Black and DEAD!!!

On May 1, a friend of mine passed away. 22 year old Tyshawn Bierria died after being taken off of life support as a result of being stabbed several times outside his upstate NY college campus. Ty was set to graduate this month. Tyshawn's untimely death illustrates a DISEASE plaguing black communities across the country; black on black violence. One black male with a promising future killed and one black male on his way to prison.According to federal crime stats, homicide is the leading cause of death among African-American males aged 15 to 34. They also indicate that between 1976 and 2004, 94 % of black murder victims were killed by black offenders.

Why isn't Black America outraged? We march and protest when the police kill us but black men are more likely to be killed by other black men than they are to be killed by police. It should come as no surprise that law enforcement can shoot a black man dead, WE don't respect OURSELVES, how can we expect anyone to respect us?

Social activists, clergy,community leaders, public officials, and the hip-hop community need to take a stand. Truth be told, WE ALL NEED TO TAKE A STAND!!!!

In light of Ty's death I've decided to highlight the deaths of young blacks across the country. I was saddened by the death of a 15 year old Queens girl. Brandon Bethea was hanging out in the Redfern Housing Projects in Far Rockaway, Queens when she was the innocent victim of gunfire. Her family had recently moved out of the Redfern projects, ironically Brandon became a victim of the violence her family sought to escape. An aspiring dancer, Brandon was set to graduate from junior high school next month and was looking forward to attending high school in the fall. Less than 2 hours after she was shot the sound of bullets rang out again just 4 blocks away resulting in five people being taken to the hospital. This 15 year old didn't deserve to die. More should be done than just candle light vigils and having Brandons' face emblazoned on t-shirts. A large majority of black America has rallied behind the Obama campaign, I think it is safe to say that we are capable of supporting a new campaign, a campaign to save the lives our of mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers and to stop black on black violence.