Kennedy Taylor Guest Columnist 12/5/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2014

Kennedy Taylor Guest Columnist

New ‘lynchings’ must stop, terrorism exceeds that of KKK

On Sept. 20, 2014, at 1 a.m., two black men were lynched near Batesville, and two more were shot but survived.

Their names? Just as important as Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin, but we behave as if they don’t matter because they were lynched by black men.  Therefore, rather than express sustained outrage, we talk about it for a few days then nothing…until the next one and then the cycle repeats.

For some very odd reason, the black community is relatively apathetic to the murder of young black men unless that murder was committed by a white person.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It’s not that we don’t value their lives — look at the footage of the few incidents that do make the news. There is wailing and gnashing of teeth as mothers fall to their knees screaming “Not my baby, Not my baby.”

So, why is it that after the initial “hoopin’ and hollerin’” everyone except the mother moves on? Life as usual? 

We must understand that by this odd behavior, we inadvertently send the message that the only time a black life is worthy of protest or outrage is if the lynchmen are white.

These young black men who died in Batesville and the thousands of others around this country will remain mostly nameless statistics, never gaining the attention of that gained by Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin, whose names we know and whose blood we cry out for only because they were killed by non-black men.

The question might come to mind, who are we to protest, ourselves? Yes.

We know that our youth are out of control and many are untaught. This is not something we can wait on or expect the government to fix. This will have to be addressed at the community level and within the home. 

We also have to recognize this as a spiritual problem. It takes a depraved person to take a human life. We must confront the spiritual depravation that is becoming prevalent in some of our young men, which leads them to so callously take the life of another human being.  

The Christian Coalition for the Beloved Community (CCBC) is determined to end or significantly reduce this destructive trend. Doing so will take a concerted effort on the part of a unified community all speaking out in one voice.

We have to reach the youth with a message that directly impacts their decision making. They must understand that their violence is an act of depravity that negatively affects not just their victim, but their entire community.

Their act of violence is a slap in the face of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to those who fought, bled, and died so that they could enjoy the freedoms they have today. 

Our young people must be confronted with the message that when they commit acts of violence against each other, they are in effect replacing the KKK.

By referring to these acts of violence as “fratricide” and those that result in death as lynchings, the young people — who are seemingly ignorant of their history — might wake up to what they are doing and respond to the message that we, the black community, will no longer tolerate their mindless assaults upon their own community.

In the course of my profession, I transported a patient from Tri-Lakes Medical Center to The Med/Elvis Presley Trauma Center (Region One Health) in Memphis.  As we got off the elevator with the patient and pushed through the crowded hallway, we were told that we would have to wait in the hall with the other six shooting victims.

Seeing this day-in and day-out brings to the surface the buried statistic that on average, 6,400 young black men are killed each year by other young black men.  God only knows how many are wounded but not killed in these acts of fratricide.

Neither our patient, nor any of the six other GSWs that we waited in the hallway with, had life-threatening injuries.

I don’t believe these shooters realize that, collectively, they are doing a better job of disrupting and terrorizing the black community than the KKK ever did.

The CCBC intends to make that message widely-known and to build a coalition of collective intolerance against this behavior.

(Kennedy Taylor is a Grenada resident. The Christian Coalition for the Beloved Community is a grass roots organization with desires to bring a new and comprehensive approach to solving tough, entrenched social problems.  They seek to build a network of individuals and organizations that are determined to implement solutions that produce measurable and sustainable community enhancement. For more information contact Taylor at 662-934-2445.)