Too many leaders silent in wake of youth shootings

caines | 3/7/2013, 4:30 a.m.

The recent rash of shootings and gun-related deaths in Miamis Black communities should have served as a clarion call to every man and woman that considers themselves a leader. With seven shootings in just one week resulting in the deaths of two Black, teenaged boys, one would have expected to see scores of Black preachers, politicians, educators and the like getting down to some serious business with law enforcement officials. But except for a few press conferences, were still waiting for something substantiative to happen. Perhaps there are major plans being discussed in the wings and about to be revealed. We can only assume that there are. However, in the meantime there remains the opportunity for more senseless violence, more bloodshed and more deaths. And given how precious the gift of life is, we urge the collective elders of this community to make a stand and a difference now. No effort is too small nor should any one step be lauded as a definitive cure-all solution. The escalating violence that is snuffing out the lives of our youth way before their time is part of a complex set of issues that are unlikely to be solved overnight. In a communique received last Tuesday, we hear that County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson has called for a collective, collaborated and coordinated community response. The result will be a Walking One Stop a signature initiative of the Miami-Dade Anti-Gang Strategy. These and other kinds of actions, that allow those traumatized by violence to share their stories and concerns with leaders who are most able to impact change and reverse the trend, may be just what we need. But again, its just a start not an end. Blacks are good at being reactive but in the end nothing really changes. We need some proactive efforts, like the Walking One Stop, to move to the forefront. If not, the summer could be a hot one with more bloodshed than Miami has ever seen.