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  • Carroll Devine

Call for Action

Only despots and thugs want to continue to escalate the violence that's going on now. Who wants to live in a world where it's no longer safe to do anything - where chaos rules, as it does in a number of nations now? NO GOOD CAN COME FROM IT.

Think of the horrific world our children and grandchildren will face if this continues. What if instead the voices of Reason came together and addressed our problems honestly, and rather than baiting, blaming and hating, we would start figuring out some solutions.

What if all of us would commit some time and effort in that direction? What about putting the pressure on local professional sports figures (like the Saints) to speak out, also rock stars, Hollywood people, any and all church/temple/mosque leaders - all those who have platforms already? What about petitioning our government leaders - from the top on down - (as well as wanna-be leaders) to address the problems and their roots honestly, to speak out against the violence and condemn, even stymie, those who propagate it, and instead of continuing to divide those of us who work for good, to pay more attention to and give more credit, honor and respect to us?

What about us, in large numbers, pressuring local TV and radio stations to not only offer good, strong PSAs that promote reason and condemn violence as a non-solution? Also more importantly, what about stations putting together and broadcasting a series of town forums especially for regular citizens to be able to discuss honestly and calmly what's going on and to work on some real solutions? These should be done by the stations as a Public Service and not be dependent on expensive paid advertising. What about pressuring TV stations to have fewer shows that glorify violence and making thugs seem "cool"? What about the stations curbing the amount of time and air space on the “news” given to violent criminals? Many of them thrive on just that attention and breed more of the same, as some stations try to increase their own ratings.

What about working to have multiracial public meetings with mayors and city councils and police departments to discuss problems and solutions? What about swamping the newspapers with letters to the editor or guest editorials in favor of some of these approaches and about our ideas of how we as individuals might help the situation and including always the understanding that VIOLENCE IS NOT THE SOLUTION to anything. What about using the Internet for suggesting and possibly implementing some solutions?

What about getting Black and White mothers together to discuss and work on solutions? Women, maybe especially mothers, have power we might not realize we have, and together we would be a mighty Force for Good. What about starting campaigns for schools to have a series of or regular assemblies or other meeting with speakers drawn from various fields - whether sports figures, music figures, or others students look up to - to reinforce good ways to approach problems? What about asking kids for their input? Youngsters often surprise us with their mature approaches.

What about more of us signing up to be a "Big Brother" or "Big Sister"? What about retirees offering to demonstrate and/or teach practical skills (in school, community, church arenas?) in things kids may not otherwise have an opportunity to learn or be exposed to? These might surprisingly ease some frustration in some areas. In other words, what about each of us considering what and how we can contribute? Remember: "If you're not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem."

We are a strong people, we who live in the land of the (still) free and the home of the brave. It’s time to call on our strength and courage. Together we can do this. I'm sure there are many more ideas and approaches than I've thought of right here, and if any of my ideas particularly appeal to someone, or if you have others to offer, and if you'd like to get some ball rolling, let's talk about how. The problem isn't just going to go away, and no amount of hand-wringing by itself will help. Who's with me?

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