By Rev. Benjamin Green
So here we go again, reinventing the wheel – the prevention of gun violence wheel – which was never invented in the first place. Okay, folks, this is not hard to anticipate. I’m sure that there are some really concerned citizens in this city, including city council members, but sometimes we have more fluff than stuff, organized stuff that is!
How do you kick a can down the road?
Just like this! You bring the black community together around an unclear mission, celebrate the knocking down of a building, something we have been doing for years, and then you create a church-like experience, and Negroes fall for it every time. No disrespect, but I love Jesus too, but Jesus did more than preach to the choir.
Here’s the quintessential question? Whose lives will we be impacting, Certainly not the “Trouble makers,” for lack of a better term. And by the way, these “Trouble makers,” are valuable persons, and will be of more value, when we bring them to the table, my targeted goal.
Murder has been going on since the beginning of time, but why? I’m glad you asked.
The characteristics of a troublemaker, begin developing at an early age. It starts with our young people and those same babies I lift up every day. The development of this unwanted behavior begins in the formative years.
Everybody talks about “training up a child,” as well as “it takes a village,” but we don’t do either. Well, as usual, we will be triaging out the youth who need the most attention and, like always, they will fall through the cracks!
And if it “takes a village to raise a child,” why hasn’t anyone noticed that the village is missing? From where I sit, the village consists only of a handful of poor, concerned citizens who love Jesus – mostly women – and whose only resources will have to come from government? Are we to only depend on monies that will soon be devoured by those who will ultimately be creating a workplace for themselves under the premise of doing something related to violence or whatever?
Ok, I thought about taking a quieter and more diplomatic approach, but there is not enough time for that, not on my end, because my time is short! Whenever you want to do anything, NOW is always the time to begin planning.
The cry of these few concerned citizens is, “Show me the money!” You can hear it in their voices, as they beat those church tambourines, and scream Hallelujahs, as the mayor preaches a well-oiled sermon, that Jesus is coming, and he will save “Holy Toledo.”
Well, not quite, because when you listen closely, he’ll tell you that he doesn’t know a lot about religion. And quite frankly, mayor, that is perfectly all right, because a true village does not consist of just church folk. It consists of those who have no religion at all as well.
And while the concern citizens whom I love, are crying, ”show me the money,” I’m crying show me the plan.
Speaking of money, this city has money, and it’s not just in grants, but it’s with big and small businesses. They will not unleash those mighty coffers that we need to make a significant difference, until someone can show them much more bang for their buck. Aren’t we tired of asking people for peanuts that they will use as deductions for their taxes? We need investors, they are a part of the village as well..
And please, before we spend another $80 to $100K bringing in outsiders to repeat what we already know, let’s do our homework. And if I can offer you a bit of wisdom, they’ve given these same evaluations in other cities and they didn’t work there either.
Pastor Benjamin Green of New Covenant Church is the survivor of two big health scares: double lung transplant, COVID-19