“Murdering our babies”
By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.”
There is much I would like to write about that’s happening around us: the support of Donald Trump by evangelical Christians, Hilary Clinton believing that Black people are in thrall to her for the rest of her political life, or the fight between the FBI and Apple over what’s more important, our liberties or our lives or the sudden alarm over teenage heroin use now that the drug is sweeping suburbs all over America. All are news worthy and need notice but none of these things are as important or critical to me as the ongoing murder of our children. Even worse is the community’s complicity in these killings by saying nothing.
In South Florida over the past 12 months, over 100 children have been shot and at least 24 have died. The latest victim is first grader, six-year-old King Carter, who was caught in a cross fire last week as he played in front of his home. They have not yet caught those who shot and killed him.
There are tremendous difficulties in apprehending those responsible for crimes like the murder of a child like King Carter. But what compounds the situation even more is the refusal of our communities to cooperate with the police and help find those accountable. We want to believe that it is better to assist those who kill us than those who protect us. We believe it is better to betray those killed than give information on those who did the killing.
It is not just our young people who hold to this “code of the streets” or re-peat the mantra that “snitches get stitches” but older people in our community as well. When will we understand that we have to help ourselves stop the crime in our communities? Are we saying no crime is too horrendous, no transgression too great, no spilling of blood is too much? Is there any offense we find unbearable?
At a rally organized by Community Activist Tangela Sears last Sunday evening, little King Carter’s community turned out in large numbers. In addition, Miami Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami Dade Police Director Juan Perez, and Miami Dade Commission Chairperson Jean Monestine all were present to support the parents. From reports, everyone felt the same way. Their sadness was mixed with anger and frustration.
Carvalho as usual had a plan. First, he believes the code of silence has to be broken, next witness protection legislation, then community policing, more funding for after school programs and there is an obvious need for more severe penalties for those using guns near schools. His recommendation is 100 percent on point.
Here is the real tragedy: The little boy was shot in broad daylight but just like in the movies and television, no one saw anything, no one heard anything, at least not anything that would help solve this senseless homicide and no one knows anything. No one seems to care this baby had his life snatched away before he had even be-gun to live it.
And no doubt those who did the snatching are little more than children themselves; caught up in this vortex of violence, bloodshed, retaliation and more violence. They are likely to become victims themselves. Then it will be their turn to have the community’s help in letting their killers wander the streets, slowly driving by and looking to kill once more and once more…