[Note: Matador editors selected this Community blog post for paid publication at the Network.]
ON APRIL 5, 1968, following Dr. King’s assassination, Bobby Kennedy gave a speech on “the mindless menace of violence.” When I first read the speech, this line stood out to me:
The victims of the violence are…most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed.
Crime has always been a matter of statistics, of rates and percentages. Society tends to group the victims of violence together, and they are often debased further by being cast as a faceless, nameless statistic. Rarely do we give thought to the families of the victims — that collateral damage we’d rather not acknowledge.
That all changed for me when I started volunteering in inner-city Detroit and Highland Park. Over the past year I have met the families of victims. They are human. They are real. And they succumb to the most overwhelming forms of grief because they have seen their pregnant daughters killed and their young sons murdered.
More than anything, they want to be heard. I think it’s time that we listen.
I am currently working on a documentary focusing on the families of victims and on methods of preventing violence. I have started a campaign on IndieGoGo and I’m looking for donations. If you can contribute, please do. If not, please spread the word, and tell anyone you know who might be interested in funding this project.
I also urge you to step out into your communities. You don’t necessarily have to visit a third world nation to help someone in need. Poverty and violence exist right here at home. I think a big part of preventing violence is giving kids a solid foundation and as a mentor or a tutor, you could make a world of difference. You have immense potential to change the conditions of the world around you.