Crime & Cancer
During the early morning hours several weeks ago, I had to
respond to the hospital to speak with a young man who was shot and under arrest
for possession of a gun. The shooting took place while he was inside a
night club. When he and another patron in the night club became involved
in a dispute, the other patron pulled a gun and shot him in the chest and
shoulder. His life was saved because he was wearing a bullet proof vest at
the time. When I arrived at the hospital to interview him, it was
discovered that he also had a gun hidden in his car.
While waiting for the doctor to finish giving the young man medical attention
for his gun shot wound, I could not help but notice another person sitting in
the emergency room. He was a middle age man that had a pale look to him.
I asked the nurse what was his condition and she stated that he was one of
their regular cancer patients that came to the hospital for chemo-treatment.
She further shared with me that only a year ago he was a healthy vibrant
man, but the cancer changed that. It started in his colon and because he ignored
the symptoms it slowly eroded the vital organs of his body and brought him to
the brink of death. Like many young people, she continued, he payed more
attention to his outward appearance instead of concerning himself with his
body's internal needs. According to the nurse, the doctors gave the man
one month to live.
After we finished speaking I could not help but to think about the degenerating
affect of cancer. The process is not instant but it slowly erodes one's
body organs. As I stood over the doctors working over the young
gunshot victim I could not help but to see the parallel between cancer and
Crime is the cancer that is eroding away the body of our communities. The
erosion does not take place over night. It is a slow process and when it
goes unchecked it will slowly eat away the vital organs of our communities, our
children. Nice homes and late model fashionable vehicles are all external
cosmetics that cover up the slow degenerating effects of crime. According to all
the warning signs around us our cancer is no way near in remission. It is
spreading at an alarming rate and much of the cause can be traced directly back
to our neglectful actions.
It is irresponsible that we allow our children to support clothing manufactures
that place profit over public safety, such as those who make undergarments and
other clothing that have hidden secret compartments in them. These
designers openly advertise that the hidden liners in the clothing is for the
hiding of guns or narcotics. To further complicate the issue our community
openly accepts use of profanity in the music, movies, and conversation of our
young people. There are no neighborhoods in our community that is free
from some sound device blasting out lyrics that degrade man, woman and child.
Young mothers rob the childhood of their boys by dressing them like street gang
members and dressing their girls like street walkers. Magazines that
target young people, openly flaunt advice on how to make a lot of money by
becoming a female-strippers. We mobilize to fight for better teachers in
our schools, yet remain silent when sixty-five percent of the school age
children who had to attend summer school in order be promoted to the next grade
did not bother to show up. Young men don't stand up to give the elderly a
seat on public transportation and young girls don't sit down when they are in
the classrooms. The word "Mr. and Mrs." are rarely if ever
spoken and the line that separate adult in children conversation is constantly
We can bring our form of cancer under control by regaining control of our
communities. It is time for men to come off the basketball courts and
allow the children to play on them. Mothers telling their daughters
"no I will not baby sit every weekend," you made the decision to have
a child now you will raise her. Adults listen to the music that comes in
their homes and become your own rating system for the types of movies your child
watches. We all are aware of rules of decorum like theses, because we were
taught them when we were coming up. By combining simple rules with the
traditional African village concept we will start the process of bringing the
cancer of crime into remission.
Co-Founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care
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