You’re probably watching me type this right now. Or actually, I hope you are living out some of your dreams in heaven. However, it would be so much better if you were still down here on Earth.
I started this site because my dad and I used to walk around our neighborhoods too. There was a corner store around the corner from our suburban-style house and we used to go up there and get candy and soda too. Sometimes our neighbors would be outside and we would say hi and get the updates on how they were doing. Sure, some of our neighbors were engaged in illegal activites, but no one ever chased us, called the police on us or felt like it was a crime for us to walk the streets. Not even the white ones.
Yet, you know all too well, that in many neighborhoods, walking is a crime. Either people attack you, so you don’t feel safe going outside or in your case, people think you are a threat, so they follow you and steal your life away.
I know you’ve seen how sad your family is, but also how so many people around the world that never knew them, nor you have stood up and called for justice for your killer. You know your killer is now fearing for his own life and no longer terrorizes that street that you were only visiting for a short period of time. However, he may never get due justice for his twisted thoughts and you have been cheated of time on this Earth.
Yet, all things do happen for a reason, even the tragedies like yours. Once again, we have a reason to think about how we judge people. How they dress, what color they are, what they do in front of their homes.
Most of all, we have an obligation to tell people that it’s not a crime to walk around the neighborhood. We have an obligation to those who do walk around and follow too closely in cars to tell them to stop and ask them to get to know people. To meet their basic needs in ways besides stealing, raping and harrassing other people. To watch over the neighborhood in ways everyone agrees upon, not take it upon themselves to be the viliglante, where there is no real danger.
And finally, so people can use their own two feet to get where they need to go. So they don’t feel inadequate because they can’t afford their own cars. So they don’t feel too young to go places and contribute to society. So they will run errands for little brothers and sisters. So we can stop walling ourselves out from the real world and stop trusting each other.
I’m going to keep this space going precisely to tell people how to engage in their communities again from the inside and out.
So that you are the only one who will serve as a martyr for those who wish to walk and walk while young, black, male and INNOCENT.
Kristen, a young black woman who is even more compelled today to create real community.