The news out of cities like New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and St. Louis all reflect the same crisis of gun violence in communities of color. Babies and toddlers have been shot on sidewalks and in moving cars. Fathers, high school graduates, mourners at funerals, young children visiting their grandparents… the stories of the lives lost are numerous and each one is heartbreaking.
It’s not just this summer, and it’s not just Covid. The results of inaction, systemic racism, and an unwillingness to change are borne out by the data that we have compiled on gun homicide among Black men and teens between 2009-2018.
The numbers are irrefutable and are a cause for national shame. We have turned our backs on community-led programs that work in favor of more and more policing. We have poured our resources into largely white communities after mass shootings while ignoring the daily toll–both physical and psychological–of gun violence in Brown and black communities. We have called the problem “intractable” and have insisted that we wouldn’t know where to begin, when leaders in the affected communities began long ago and have been leading the way all along.
Help us live the ideals of Black Lives Matter by making sure the lives of those lost to gun violence also matter. Take a look at the data. Read the stories. Say their names. And then share this information and commit to centering Black and brown leaders who have been doing this work for longer than anyone should have to.
These local and nation organizations working in violence intervention