Standing on the Sidelines Is No Longer an Option
At a time when our country is actively seeking solutions to the proliferation of deadly violence in the wake of the Parkland mass shooting, we must also have empathy for troubling statistics of deaths in two other shooting categories: deaths by the use of force by police; and hand-gun deaths — suicides, accidental including inner-city violence — in our neighborhoods. For context, less than 2% of all gun-related deaths is attributed to mass shootings in America. The other 98 % should not be lost in the mix, nor hidden from view.
The number, 318 per day according to The Economist, and pattern of victims of such violence is enough to spark outrage when it occurs in both categories. While we should never rush to judgment and always wait for the facts, today’s 24-hour news cycle normalizes and desensitizes us to a class of victims of ordinary people — family members, brothers and sisters – dying daily. Further, the most recent police “interventions” involving use of force and the related high racial component of deaths, in that sub category, cannot be ignored.
Where is the accountability? When it is not in the headlines, we can’t be on the sidelines!
My heart and prayers go out to the family of the victims, and for those brave men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe.
As we reflect back on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, we should also heed his words: “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” “The ultimate tragedy” he said, “is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
I appeal to our diverse community to come together! We must hold ourselves accountable! We must show up; stand up; speak up.
Where is the accountability? isn’t just about our children, it’s about the future of our democracy.
To learn more visit the Derickson for Congress Website.