Taking a stand against violence.

The great Dr. King had dreams, dreams that one day this place in which we reside will become a place where people can resolve issues without violence. Well, sad to say, unlike Dr. King, I have nightmares, nightmares that another mother and father will become childless and that another child will become mother and fatherless. I have nightmares that another young man will die over a street or block that he doesn’t even own. I just pray for the day when my young people realize that a street is just a temporary place that you live, you should be thinking about your future and trying to progress. You’re willing to die for this street or block that you claim. If I come back 20 years later and you're still claiming this same street or block that tells me that you haven’t moved forward or made progress in your life.

I am here today to ask you to please move forward and make progress in your life. I once asked a man who said he was a community activist a question: "What you do to help your community?" He asked me why. I replied with the words, "What’s a mountain climber if he’s never climbed a mountain? What’s a mechanic if he never fixed an automobile? What’s a pilot if he never flew a plane?"  With that being said, anyone can claim a title, but if you haven’t done the work, that title means nothing. Whatever your title is in life, in order for it to mean something, you have to live by it. I once got offended when someone would tell me that I am a product of my environment. But if the products that environment produces are success, greatness, education, and togetherness? Then I say I do not have a problem with being a product of my environment.

I am asking today that we take a stand against violence. I don’t know about you, but I can’t view another news headline that reads “another Cleveland teen died due to violence.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go to another funeral where a teen has been killed due to violence. It’s a shame, but it is a fact that in this country the death totals of young people due to violence is higher than high school graduation rates. With that being said, when does all of this youth crime come to an end? I don’t have an answer but I can tell you this, that in order for a better tomorrow, we have to start today.

So I am asking for Parents,Youth, Community leaders and whoever has a voice and wants to be heard, to speak out against violence. Let's please, I am urging, all come together to resolve this issue of violence in our community. We have to remember that a group of minds is better as one. I am also asking for all people of the Collinwood community to use The Collinwood Observer as your voice. Please write to suggest ways that we can come together and rebuild a web of connections that make any community stronger and safer-- that make any community a place to grow and grow old. Remember, something can be done, we just have to take the necessary actions to do it. I also have a youth group if you are a young person interested in getting involved with your community, please contact me: donaldholcombe@rocketmail.com.

Donald Holcombe is a Community Activist.

Sidebar: Thanks to Councilman Polensek for stepping up against youth crime and also Northeast Shores Development Corporation.

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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 10:20 AM, 11.19.2009