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Let’s get it right

September 8, 2014

Stop the violence signIt cannot be said enough. In order for change to occur all of us must participate in the process and create the reality we seek and so deserve. Every step we take and every opportunity we have to make our collective voices to be heard… everyone must be engaged to ensure that outcome. We can’t wait or depend on others to understand, appreciate or embrace our values, culture, ethnic background, needs or spiritual heritage. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi…“You must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
What happen in Ferguson, Missouri this past week is nothing new, but rather is a continual narrative in our American experience over the past 400 years. The tragic loss of life of an unarmed Black male teenager at the hand of law enforcement continues to raise red flags and is a failure of the system, policy, lack of training and just common sense. But what this event also uncovered was a failure of leadership, teamwork, outreach, partnerships and civic engagement. It is clear that the failure was on all fronts… and many of those fiascoes carried on for several days and violated some many civic rights. In so many ways, some things could not have been handled worse. In addition, there was a lack of professionalism, high levels of hostility and poor judgment. Well… here is the real shocker… the community of Ferguson is not alone.
It cannot be understated that there are a number of communities across America that need to make serious changes, like Ferguson. These changes include leadership, workforce, policies, procedures, and voting and community relations. We must come to grips with the fact that numerous cities in America need to make a transition and transformation. People must be aware that any system must be reflective in meeting the ongoing needs of people they are intended to support. And with each system there has to be both checks and balances.
It is unclear what will be the outcome of all the events that occurred in Ferguson; however, one thing is for certain, the city and its residents will never be the same. Things will change and it will take those residents to make those critical changes and not outsiders. Residents in other similar communities across the nation will need to learn from the failures of Ferguson and chart a new course. The loss of any young person to gun violence is one too many and if we are to learn anything from Ferguson it’s to make sure we get it right and pass those lessons on.
What do you think?

Dr. Andrew Calhoun, can be contacted at andrewiiicalhoun@gmail.com, Twitter #AC53, or call 414-571-5015. You can hear Dr. Calhoun each Sunday at Grace Fellowship Church, 3879 N. Port Washington Rd., Milwaukee.