Monday, June 11, 2012

Statistics Don't Lie--More Men Of Color Are Victims Of Guns

Last night, I caught the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg on the 10 O'clock news. He was speaking at a church in Brownsville, Brooklyn and said something that shouldn't have surprised me, but it did. He was speaking about the NYC Police Department's Stop-And-Frisk policy and said that 90% of all homicide victims in the city are either African-American or Latino. I was stunned.

Then my mind replayed the series of news events I've seen over the past few days. A young man shot in a liquor store robbery in New Jersey, the Auburn University student shootings over the weekend and the murder of 23 year old Oscar Duncan (pictured), a youth minister and singer known as "Choir Boy" out in L.A. last week.

"Pastor, 23, nicknamed 'Choir Boy' after choosing Church over life of crime, killed by gang who harassed his girlfriend 

By Richard Hartley-Parkinson for The DailyMail Online

Oscar Duncan was shot dead in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, by four men as he stood in the street near his mother’s house moments after returning home from Bible study. A youth pastor and singer nicknamed 'Choir Boy' after he chose a religious life rather than one of crime has been killed by gang members who had harassed his girlfriend. Duncan was a youth minister at the Greater Zion Church Family and, despite growing up in the crime-ridden Oakwood area of the city, he stayed out of trouble and had a clean record.

Moments before he was gunned down with a single shot, investigators believe his killers were jeering at his girlfriend, according to KTLA. A $50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killers who pulled up in a white vehicle containing four African-Americans. Duncan approached the vehicle to see who was making remarks to his girlfriend when he was shot dead.

As well as being a pastor he worked at the Venice Boys and Girls Club where he has been a member since he was six and throughout his earlier life he was an upstanding youngster winning Youth of the Year in 2006.He was Venice High School's football team captain and won homecoming king. His family said that in a tragic twist of irony, he had dedicated his short life to keeping children and young people away from the dangers of gangs."

I think back to Dr. Joy De Gruy Leary's ground-breaking book, 'Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome' which argues that we are experiencing the "Residual Impacts of Trauma on African Descendants in the Americas" and cannot help but believe that at least part of this seeming self-hatred that is causing our self-annihilation and self-genocide is embedded in our psyche and goes back to the horrors of slavery. Once we find the root of the problem, we then can find ways of tackling and solving it. Watch Dr. Leary's video and learn more.