Almost weekly, if not daily, the news is filled with killings in Minneapolis. Two things stand out regarding this murder escalation: A disproportionate number happen on the North Side, and a disproportionate number involve people of color both as the victims and the perpetrators.
It just seems to me that the time is rapidly approaching when somebody is going to have to say: “Halt! Enough is enough!”
I am not talking about a small band of marchers with signs covering a couple of blocks primarily for the six o’clock news. I am speaking of a serious effort of the entire community in an uproar of sustained intensity to declare in no uncertain terms that such behavior will no longer be tolerated in our community, period.
I acknowledge that we sometimes have a tendency to feel that strong, overt action of this sort on our part might be interpreted as support for law enforcement that has not always been equitably fair to us. Actual racism does exist.
Less than a year ago, my own grandson was severely abused, not because of anything that he had done, but because of his race. That kind of abuse continues at the hands of some cops, and it must be confronted and accountability demanded whenever it raises its ugly head.
But that hardly justifies the proliferation of murder and firearm injuries that seem to be reaching epidemic proportions in our neighborhoods. Many of them go unsolved for lack of eyewitness support.
Such rationale is given as, “Why should I tell those racists cops anything?” or “There is nothing worse than a snitch; I am not going to get involved — I’ve got to live here.”
It’s time that we run out of excuses, justifications and misplaced loyalties. It’s time that we combine the entire community in unity and make war on those who would besmirch our community and city with needless death and injuries.
This cannot be accomplished by one little band of do-gooders — it takes a village!
Matthew Little is the former executive director of the Minneapolis Urban Coalition.