Youth Violence Out Of Control

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[Commentary: On Violence]

Forty Second Street, New York's Times Square, The heart of  Entertainment, Sports, Fashion and mainstream media, was the perfect place last week to draw attention to the dangerous increase of violence within the Black community, youth on youth violence, which has recently surged in the city. 

The recent killing of innocent students on there way to school, and the murder of a young girl shot in the head on her way home is simply heart breaking. 

The National Action Network (NAN) held this protest as part of a National Day of Outrage Against Gun Violence. The recent shooting of Vada Vasquez who was shot in the head by a stray bullet is an example of the violence which sparked the need for outrage.

City Council woman Leticia James, from Brooklyn, spoke directly to the Mayor saying, "Mr. Mayor we need you to invest in our youth, instead of buildings." She added, "A Track and field saved me, Mr. Mayor."

Personally, a new movement needs to take place regarding the Facebook generation and gun violence. Technology which is literally at our fingertips allows us to have rapid communication, creating our own world and reaching out to everyone in it.  

It is our responsibility to voice our outrage regarding violence within the Black community. If we can tweeter about Jay Z and Beyonce's latest material woes or Rhianna's latest wardrobe malfunction, then we should also talk about our disgust with the rise in gun violence.  

I thank NANA's President Rev. Al Sharpton, Charles Barron, Spike Lee, and Erica Ford and the countless activists who spoke at the rally. However, truth be told, I was not inspired.  

There is a definite generation gap and disconnect between the Civil Rights generation and Facebook generation. Old strategies of marching and civil disobedience do not attract the participation of young African Americans. No doubt, both generations are suffering because of gun violence. Many young people think that marching is an outdated form of protest that brings little results to the cause.

As I left the rally and headed to the train I was bombarded by over five hundred young women all sporting red jackets, their ponytails bouncing in the wind.  

They where the dancers, band players, and matches in town for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. There was a excitement amongst the group of teenagers, probably about visiting New York for the first time. I asked myself why are these young people different?  

Why are they obsessed with cheerleading and band practice instead of Mac 10's and Glocks. This trip was probably there reward for all the hard work they put into there school work and practice.  

At the end of the day we must invest in young African Americans. We have to encourage young people to value their life and future. So many communities of color lack resources like youth and reaction centers; there is nothing to do but the streets, where an early introduction to crime, drugs and violence is inevitable.  

How can young people effect change in there community in essence, so that we are not protesting against ourselves?

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