It would take an enormous amount of restraint, introspection and, yes, “vision” on the part of all parties, but the people and the government of New York City should establish a goal of not only the reduction to “zero” of the deaths of unarmed African American men at the hands of police, but also the reduction to “zero” of the shootings of African American children and adults in New York City as a result of illegal gun violence, armed hold ups, drive-by shootings, shootings at baby showers, etc. It may seem an unrealistic proposal, but perhaps establishing a goal of zero in both realms -- among the police and the community -- would be an effective way to begin to reduce killings of the innocent in our city.
And this isn’t simply an issue of “someone else’s problem.” Maybe everyone needs to take responsibility for the elimination of violence in NYC. We all recognize it’s a tense, expensive and extremely fast-paced town to live in. Folks are under a lot of stress. So, it’s not only out-and-out crime or police violence, but road rage, discourtesy and rudeness in public places and on our increasingly crowded public transportation, and generalized hostility and a tendency of folks to unleash their anger at the first opportunity and often least provocation. Unrealistic? Yes, but we have to begin somewhere.
As John Lennon (himself, of course, a victim of gun violence perpetrated by a white male) sang, “War is Over, If You Want It” – so is violence in New York City.
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn