Submitted by Kalvin Michael Smith, Guest Columnist
Heaven Sutton was the seven-year-old African American girl who was shot and killed in Chicago last year while fleeing with her mother.
“Why no uproar for Heaven?”
Not downplaying the Trayvon Martin ordeal because it was a horrific injustice. But why is it that there is no outrage over the black-on-black fatalities occurring throughout the country?
People traveled from far and wide to denounce the actions of George Zimmerman against Trayvon Martin. Why do we downplay the actions against little Heaven as the norm? Most of us have become content with the violent actions of many African-Americans towards one another. Even though Heaven may not have been the intended victim, some other African-American was.
The violence that is being perpetrated in the streets of our communities will continue to get worse the longer everyone turns their head the other way and accepts these actions as a part of our culture. Violence towards one another and self-genocide is not the culture of our people nor a part of it. Our ancestors, all the way back in Egypt, Timbuktu, Alexandria, and beyond, all the way up into slavery and beyond, were a people of love, spiritual awareness, self-awareness, family oriented and culturally grounded. So I ask you, why no national uproar?
Not only have most African-Americans strayed away from the values of our ancestors. We have strayed after things that bring us nothing but spiritual and physical destruction.
As I always say, “We glamorize things that are of no worth.” Many of us are so mentally and spiritually poor, that we live out our lives daily to be accepted by others, never taking the time to learn and accept ourselves.
Our youth must learn to love instead of hate. They must learn to love themselves first, because until then they can never love one another. Black-on-black violence has been an issue at the top of the list of improvements within the African-American communities for years and that’s part of the problem: that it’s only at the top of the list and only being talked about.
Everyone must become hands-on, foot soldiers.
Ending the epidemic of black-on-black violence could help improve educational opportunities. Safer neighborhoods are essential to creating better learning environments. A mass campaign to end these senseless murders could save the lives of thousands of victims of black-on-black violence. Lily Tomlin once stated; “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that, then I realized that I was somebody.” Why No Uproar For Heaven?
Kalvin Michael Smith is a Winston-Salem man serving time in the Caswell Correctional Institution for the 1997 beating of Jill Marker. Smith has always maintained his innocence and a growing number of local residents are questioning his conviction and the investigation that led to it.