I’ve had many conversations while incarcerated about the violence that occurs in our communities. With those that were both older and younger. What I’ve noticed is that most neighborhood disputes usually happened/start between two different groups of young black males between the ages of 13-25 and may last for about 10 years. Each ending when either all/many of the young males involved are either deceased or incarcerated. Some occur over fights at a party, going to different schools, being from different streets or avenues, over a girl, over drugs, or simply self hate/ignorance.
I listen to some of the younger men and most don’t even know why they were involved in some of the violent situations that took place in their communities. With the older men it mostly happened because of drugs or territory, but nowadays it seems like its no “reason” why the city is so violent. What I do know is that in every single neighborhood in our city the same issues are causing unnecessary loss of life. With that thought if we know the problem then maybe the solution will work in every neighborhood being the problem is the same in every neighborhood.
Most think that those that are incarcerated don’t sympathize or even empathize with the loss of lives and pain cause in our city but thats the furthest thing from the truth. I haven’t came across anyone whom was somebody in the streets of Philly who thought the same at ages 16-25 as they thought when they were 28 and up. Most of the stories I hear aren’t of men who glorify their participation in the horror stories that plague our communities but are stories of pain, sorrow, and regret.
I don’t know what the solution is but I do feel like those that have caused much pain in our communities such as the incarcerated should be made to be apart of the solution or made apart of the conversations. I also don’t believe the solution is to lock more people up. We’ve been doing that and things haven’t change….Any ideas???