There were no high-profile protest leaders here last week. The major television network news cameras never showed up. And the major daily newspaper reporters and photographers were conspicuously absent. There just wasn’t any political hay to be baled.
But the “Taking back the Streetz” rally still had an important point to make. Violence is a serious problem, and the senseless shootings of Broderick Hardy Jr. and Tamerra Harper, two young children here in Tuscaloosa, shockingly demonstrated that.
“The more people that actually get focused on what the issue is, the more we can all try to make a difference in trying to solve it,” said Tiffany Williams an event organizer and member of the organization Temptation Divaz.
But many more wounds are inflicted intentionally. While the nation was fixated on the racial overtones of the events surrounding Trayvon Martin’s death, thousands of young men died in incidents where the race of the shooter and victim were the same.
“We’re not only losing children, we’re losing our young males from the age of 18 to 17 to 16,” said Renetta Jones, also a member of Temptation Divaz.
The rally pointed to a problem. But rallies can’t solve the problem. Violence often rises from a way of life, and that way of life has to be changed.
The change has to start at home with parents who care about their children’s future and are involved with every aspect of their children’s lives.
Churches play an important role in providing moral guidance. Popular culture glamorizes crime and the violence that goes with it. Churches can provide an alternative message that families reinforce.
Violence is a serious problem that spills over into all segments of American society.
Increased law enforcement and prison costs are part of the butcher’s bill. But that’s just money.
You can’t put a price on scarred bodies and lost lives.