Nowadays, it seems extremely easy for folks to gain access to guns on the streets rather than in stores. Most crime today occurs in the streets, taking away the lives of many people as we know it. Where I come from, gun violence ain’t nothing new. Growing up in the hood introduces you to the world of violence—gangs, murder, and pure hatred. The sad part is, for centuries, our ancestors fought for our freedom today, helping one another break free of the shackles we were tied to. And today? It’s a totally different story—it seems as though there is more crime than ever in the black community committed by the black community. Yes, #BLACKLIVESMATTER, but why don’t black lives seem to matter on the streets in our very own neighborhoods that we all grew up in together? We see and hear about so much gun violence because someone is wearing a particular color or because someone looked at someone a particular or even just for nothing—mistaken identity or even due to a stray bullet. It honestly needs to stop!
About a month ago or so, a young African American man by the name of Roderick “Treyvon” Godfrey was shot and killed in broad daylight in Oakland, California. He was 19 years old and became a subject of gun violence—the very topic he spoke against at a town hall months prior to his death. The town hall, hosted by Representative Barbara Lee (D-California), was established to discuss the string of senseless gun violence that has plagued the communities in Oakland. At the town hall, Godfrey stated that “in 2015, [he] lost about eight friends to guns.” According to The Huffington Post, Godfrey recalled an additional two friends who had been shot in the face but survived, and the anguish of his mother after his own brother was also shot.
You never really hear much about gun reform and different strategies Congress may have for the prevention of gun violence. Ask yourself these question: Why is it so much for easier for a kid to get a gun rather than a book or laptop? Why is it so much easier for a child to become educated about the use of guns rather than basic English and many other necessary topics needed for their advancement?
Today's world is complicated yet obvious. What are the chances of someone speaking out against gun violence and that same someone being shot? I mean, honestly. It's sad. It's disgusting. So many people are unable to see the age of 16, sometimes 18, and sometimes 21 due to gun violence on our streets. We are constantly shouting #BLACKLIVESMATTER because the men and women in blue are continuously shooting us down and excusing their behavior because of some sort of nonexistent fear. But do black lives really matter when we, ourselves, are killing each other every single day in the streets, in our communities? An innocent young man lost his life while moving his car for street cleaning. We have got to do better before we proclaim how much #BlackLivesMatter. It wouldn't make sense to join a movement when we're constantly killing ourselves. There is so much hate against black people as it is; why must we hate each other so much? The #BLM movement should represent African Americans not only gunned down by police officers, but also by each other. Black-on-black crime is just as important as crimes committed by police officers o black people. Why doesn’t the #BLM movement focus on "black-on-black" crime?
This movement seems to only focus on the black lives lost to police encounters and the lack of justice behind such crimes. What it lacks is the focus on black lives lost to other black people. Many people within the Black Lives Matter movement have described "black-on-black" criticisms a diversion that ignores underlying issues like poverty. But how? There's no diversion, but rather the underlying fact that black lives matter in every case...whether it be during police encounters or during other encounters with other black people of the community. It is no secret that gun violence causes tragedy everyday. We need to open our eyes and ears look at the real issues. Yes, black people being killed by law enforcement seems to take over headlines. But, black lives are also at stake in our very own neighborhoods. Take note. Bullets have no name.