The Crusader Newspaper Group

Don’t settle for remembering the Buffalo 10

When there are heartbreaking tragedies, we cannot mourn as those who have no hope. When the enemy sends hoping to insurmountable, our resolve must help make us unbreakable.

Yes, it is much easier said than done. Grief among victims and the families suffering from America’s obsession with violence is profound. Yet, somehow the core of our response must be action from a place of strength, faith and determination.

The bleak reality is that spiraling day-to-day street violence in our cities and domestic violence everywhere has reached epidemic proportions. Mass shootings have become so commonplace that the shock effect has been reduced to numbing frustration and redundant sympathy.

Those quick to preach repentance, faith and prayer should not be mocked or greeted with cynicism. They are sincere. But that approach must be a starting point… not an end. The Bible shuns faith without work. Anyone espousing a single, simple solution to the multifaceted dilemma that we face today is a liar and the truth is not in him or her.

But there is one absolute. We won’t give up or give in, no matter how arduous the “work.”

Sadly, only five months into 2023, America has already experienced well over 200 mass shootings. Ruthless killers targeted every day people at malls, theaters, health spas, festivals, demonstrations, concerts, subways, nightclubs, the workplace, every level of school campuses, grocery stores, restaurants and virtually all places Americans regularly frequent.

More frequently than every day, an astonishing 10 times every week of this year, gunmen have targeted innocent citizens not only in the privacy of their homes or the false security of open public settings, but in the most sacred grounds on which Americans stand. Hateful assailants victimize worshippers in synagogues, mosques, temples, and churches of virtually every faith and denomination.

Three out of four victims of domestic terrorism are Black. Hatred abounds. Since clearly nothing is sacred for domestic terrorists – no course of retaliation should be left off the table.

The most obvious is gun control. Congress should follow the dictates of 90 percent of voters who support background checks for gun owners. Two out of three Americans feel assault weapons that exist solely to annihilate large numbers of human beings should be banned.

After the slaughter of school children at Sandy Hook and almost 70 Las Vegas concertgoers, cynics scoff at the notion of the most recent tragedies having the power to precipitate meaningful change. No one can be certain what the future holds. But if we know who holds the future. And if we stop trying, we guarantee things only getting worse.

Next year is an election year. Voters must hold local, state and federal government officials accountable; monitor their voting pattern, organize recall elections or support more reasonable opponents when they run again. Push for setting of term limits for every elected official from mayors, to state office, to Congress, to the U.S. Supreme Court and other judgeships.

One reason change comes so slowly, or not at all, is because those in power wallow in the comfort of knowing there are no consequences for their inaction and apathy. Hit lawmakers on the purse strings where it hurts most.

Identify corporate financiers of candidates hiding behind the Second Amendment which has nothing to do with background checks for gun purchases or lethal high-powered automatic weapons. Boycott goods and services of those companies because their dollars lend support to lethargic, uncaring, incompetent legislators.

Elections have consequences. Register yourself and others to vote. Be informed on where candidates stand and let nothing keep you from the voting booth this and every election year. We need to do whatever it takes to get younger voters more knowledgeable and active. Push for public schools to hand out to every graduating senior a diploma in one hand and a voter registration card in the other.

Nobody expects change to come easily. Ending oppression and injustice never rides in on the wings of inevitability. Change must be intentional – always difficult but strike the word “impossible” from your vocabulary.

Enslavement did not end until it did. Women did not gain the right to vote until it happened. Desegregation was unimaginable until it happened.

Change happens because the Lord will fight our battle THROUGH us. We have to be willing soldiers for the cause. We believe miracles happen when we match our faith with our work. Satan is busy but there is nothing too hard for God. We are more than conquerors! When it’s hardest to pray… pray the hardest. Then get busy! God did not bring us this far to leave us!

Resolve to have a made up mind. Organize.  Then resolve to keep fighting the power and become the change you want to see!

Vernon A. Williams
Vernon A. Williams

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].

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