In the past few weeks, the mainstream media has been consumed with the tragic events that continue to unfold in Ferguson, Mo. An unarmed 18-year-old American named Michael Brown was shot at least six times by a Ferguson police officer.
Needless to say, the media has a lot to talk about. A white police officer shot an unarmed American who happens to be of African decent. Members of the press were detained by the police. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is traveling to the site of the altercation while Ferguson police fire tear gas into protesting crowds.
But with all the pain and ongoing chaos in Ferguson, we seem to have forgotten the thousands of shootings that take place on a daily basis all throughout this nation. Sixteen individual human beings, mainly African-Americans and Latinos, can get shot and killed over a July Fourth weekend in Chicago and no one talks about it. Are we as a society so shortsighted by racial tension that we forget the larger truth, that we are all human beings created in the image of God?
Every single human being who is killed, no matter the color of their skin, should be acknowledged, mourned for and their killer brought to justice. The shooting that occurred in Ferguson, Mo., is tragic and shameful. The tens of thousands of ongoing shootings in major U.S. cities, especially Chicago, is even more shameful and dreadful.
Through the first half of this year alone, Chicago has experienced 172 homicides and more than 1,100 shootings. This weekend, while riots were breaking out in Ferguson, seven people in Chicago were murdered while 29 more were wounded. These killings included an innocent 16-year-old girl who was caught in the crossfire.
Righteous anger over the killing of Brown is justifiable. But why are we quick to protest the taking of innocent life in this case, yet we ignore the innocent life taken in some many other cases? Why is the mainstream media so focused on running 24-hour news coverage of white-on-Black crime, yet pays little attention to the daily killings of thousands of African-Americans in our cities?
Have we become apathetic to African-Americans killing each other? God shows no partiality. He sees the value of the person, not the shade of their skin. Shouldn’t we?
Instead of praying for families and focusing our efforts on community revitalization after tragic events like the shooting of Brown, we waste our time watching television and gossiping on social media. Ending the cycle of violence in America requires active love that drives out fear and hatred and a mentality obsessed with revenge. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
As you struggle to support those families grieving the death of a son or daughter victimized by irrational violence, remember the words of King and respond in kind.
Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 110, 6-7 p.m. and 4-5 a.m. Monday through Friday and S.C. WGCV 4-5 p.m. Become a fan on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.