October 3, 2009

Why so much rage?

Maybe you have seen the video. I have not been able to bring myself to watch it. Listening to the audiotape was horrible enough.

Nearly everybody I know has been talking about the recent brutal killing of Derrion Albert, a 16-year-old honor student and an innocent bystander in an after-school fight between rival groups of teenagers in Chicago. Media reports say that, as the two groups confronted each other, Albert was struck in the head and knocked unconscious by a teenager wielding a piece of a wooden railroad tie. As he regained consciousness and tried to drag himself away, he was attacked again. One of the teenagers was seen "stomping on his head repeatedly." 

Joseph Walker, Albert's grandfather, told reporters, "I don't know where all this anger comes from these people today. That's just too much anger for someone to have in their heart.”

Where does that kind of rage come from? I think that a lot of it comes from living in a world that devalues the lives of Black people. Too many of our children have internalized the myth that their lives are not as valuable and worthy as the lives of other people--and it is causing them to treat themselves and each other carelessly and violently.

It is time for a change. Too many mothers and fathers have buried their children. We have seen too many T-shirts with photos memorializing young people. It's time to get to the root of what is ailing too many of us and our children.

We need to put "time for healing" on our community calendars. In a world that so often tells us that our lives are not as valuable and worthy as other lives, let us take the time to tell--and show--ourselves and each other just how valuable and worthy we are. 

To work on overcoming the myths that keep us from reaching our full potential, celebrate Community Healing Days on the third weekend of October. Please spread the word. Forward this e-mail to your family and friends. And, please, tell us what you think. Join the Community Healing Network conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


We look forward to hearing from you.

Save the dates. Put "time for healing" on your calendar.

October 16, 17, and 18, 2009

Celebrate Community Healing Days: Seeing Ourselves in a Whole New Light



Enola G. Aird

President, Community Healing Network, Inc.