Community must unite to reverse cycle of violence

We can no longer dodge our responsibilities as citizens of Augusta and Richmond County, where murders and other violent crimes have run rampant among us.


SENSELESS AND barbaric murders – such as the Sept. 15 fatal shooting of Ms. Ashley Brown – and other acts of violence have caused personal losses and financial burdens of pain. The unforgettable victims’ blood stains our memories. Reckless and immoral people who have no respect for the sanctity of life have left us with incurable manmade cancers on our community. Some animals have risen above our human standard of care as we neglect and abandon others with reckless, forceful pride.

The legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has been tainted with apathetic mockery because many would rather solve our problems with a bullet instead of a book. Visualize him with our spiritual eye, crying from the grave as the number of killings and constant violence we inflict on one another sends us to the hospital or the graveyard almost every day. Dr. King said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

We have abandoned most of the principles of care for one another that we were taught, because of fear, ignorance and distrust. The concepts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are becoming a constitutional nightmare, and the prayers, dreams, struggles and sacrifices of our ancestors are a dream deferred and a current-day joke.

The children, the elderly and indeed all law-abiding citizens
are mostly hopeless and fearful
for their lives and property, because some are sitting ducks for target practice. The lawless only come to kill, steal and destroy to gain power and riches at the public’s expenses through drugs, gangs and the prostitution of humanity.

WE MUST END this cycle of constant pain by providing holistic wellness for family and community. Many of us came from well-disciplined families, but our culture is breaking down. Our president and Congress face the critical demands of the nation. We look for solutions through the wisdom found in this quote by Dr. King: “The ultimate measure of
a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

We also must encourage parents, churches, schools and homes in the community to get back to the responsibility of rearing, providing for and protecting our cherished future – our children. But this can only be done by first turning to God.

A clear answer to the problem is given in II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

The sin is disobedience and the moral decay will continue to grow until we choose to change for the best. Then we must work hard and demand and support our children’s education for a productive and successful future.

IT IS THE responsibility of all leaders and institutions fighting human suffering to equip men and women with the courage to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. We must join forces as citizens with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office by being the ears and eyes to help derail and wipe out the present evil of violence and lawlessness by any means necessary under the laws of God and man.

(The writer is president of Augusta’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee.)



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