I am writing on behalf of myself and the community to let you know that we miss you and sorry if it seems like we have forgotten you. We miss you so much that it hurts, and it’s killing us, literally. I miss everything that you could have been and all that you still can be. I miss all the opportunities you have missed, but still are available. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you.
Back in the day you were the ones who protected us. When America decided that it was unlawful for Blacks to attend the same schools as Whites, or drink out of the same water fountains as Whites, you were the ones who put your lives on the line for change. The warriors in you emerged as the Black Panther Party, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, and all of the unknown people who paved the way. When we saw you and heard you speak we felt empowered. You gave us something to hope for. We had no fear. It breaks my heart to see how things have drastically changed. When did our warriors stop protecting us and start harming us? When did some Black people become afraid of their own people? When did you forget who you are and how bad we need you? When did we forget?
Black on Black crime is ridiculous, but mostly heartbreaking. Other races look at us and laugh. You have traded in your royal statuses as Kings, Queens, Princes, and Princesses, for the status of your neighborhood gang. You have traded in your status as son, daughter, sister, and brother, for the status of murderer, juvenile delinquent, prostitute, and drug user. You have easily fallen into the trap that was set for you. You suffer with identity crisis, forgetting who you are.
Enough is enough. As men in authority try to figure out what Chicago needs to decrease the violence, I boldly raise my voice and say “Chicago needs Jesus”! I don’t claim to be a preacher, but babies are losing their lives over territory, when the Bible informs us that “the Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it and all who live in it”. (Psalms 24:1) Somewhere along the way we were misinformed and started to actually believe that we own blocks and colors, and that it was okay to kill over these things.
I would like to be the first one to apologize to you. I apologize for doing my best to stay away from you, as if I don’t know you. I apologize for speaking negative of you, instead of encouraging you to do better. I apologize for complaining about you selling drugs, instead of fighting for more jobs in our city. I apologize for looking down on your communities, instead of doing research on how I can close down the unnecessary abundance of liquor stores. I apologize for everything, but most importantly I apologize for calling you gang bangers and thugs, instead of what you really are… warriors. Please stop the killing. Go to church. Go to school. Volunteer. Find work. Realize that you are not in this struggle alone. Check on your neighbors. Show our youth a better way. Unify. Remember who you are.
Your sister Nikki