09.07.13 | #FOODforTHOUGHT
You wake up Monday morning from a relaxing weekend, turn on the news and discover two fatal shootings. Wednesday night brings three more. Friday…yet another one. By Sunday, a dozen families have lost sisters, brothers, nephews, and cousins. The cause? Gun violence. The community now feels unsafe. Those families are mourning heavily. And you…you ask “why?” in outrage. What can be done to give the community back its security, its peace of mind? How can we preserve our generation on the rise when most are being slain? Most are being taught to fight before talking out solutions. Stop and ponder — it’s NOT the guns that are doing the killing; rather, the people behind cold steel. Would eliminating guns do the job? Setting new regulations? Banning the conceal and carry law? After all, ignorance has no color and bullets do not discriminate.
When all is said and done, the people still exist and where there is mankind, there will always be hurt, underlying problems, and quick, clouded judgments that result in violence of some sort. Our best bet is not to run in fear or live with paranoia. Nor should we judge so easily or be quick to offend. What we should do is make efforts to educate, empower, inspire and help to build up America, especially our men and women of color. We need to get to know our rights and our city’s laws as well as the city’s lawmakers and their motives/long-term goals for the city. We should always communicate through conversation instead of confrontation. Hey, you get the idea. But do not…do not…do not GIVE UP! Change is coming!
Now, it may not be today or tomorrow. Change, that is. The struggle to reverse the current chaos we now see in Milwaukee’s inner city has to become more than a fad. It seems that we in black Milwaukee and black America have adapted a culture of acting in opposition to social injustice only when it is trendy. Statistics are quite alarming when it comes to tallying up the numbers of black boys killed by someone other than a black person. But what’s more terrifying is the number of black Americans that die at the hands of another black American. I don’t see the logical reason why we can rally by the thousands behind the Zimmerman verdict but do nothing when court is held on the streets of black America. Over 7,000 black youth die annually because of violence. Where is the national outcry to put an immediate end to this? It seems the only way to get a reaction from the people is to get online and start new trends like changing Facebook profile pictures to all black, or make Skittles and iced tea companies richer by buying items to take pictures with. The hearts of mothers break around the country because of stolen lives and everybody seems to sweep that under the rug. But let CNN blast a story of an incident and the crowd goes wild. This must stop. There is an urgency to bring a dramatic end to the hyper violence we see in Milwaukee and abroad. The only way that will happen is if social trends become reality, in the streets and in our homes – HEAL THE HOOD!
-Thoughts by Ajamou Butler and Olivia Shaw
08.07.13 | Mission — The mission of Heal the Hood is simple. To create social reform programs that provide food, clothing, shelter and employment in aims to reverse and eliminate long-term poverty in poor and oppressed communities throughout the streets of black America.
A letter to the reader,
As we black Americans face poverty upfront, there is no need to go over the dramatic statistics that show a clear and steady decline in black America over the last 400+ years. Piss poor education, vast joblessness and at the TOP of the list, a soaring black on black murder rate plagues our streets. Before you enter this website further, I want to share an urgent call to action. With the sharp rise in death among black youth in America because of: police terrorism, militia-minded racists AND black on black crime, if things continue as such over the next five to 10 years, we will see an almost total wipe out of black America as we know it. With Milwaukee leading the majority of negative statistics from unemployment and team pregnancy to HIV epidemics, black youth no longer strive to overcome, be productive and challenge themselves to grow. Instead the lives of children in black America are sorely affected by fatherless homes, wretched economic conditions and a wave of violence that is seemingly growing stronger by the year. The Heal the Hood campaign was birthed by me — a parent whose heart skips a beat every time I hear of another black child slain in American ghettos. I recall hearing a motivational speaker one time saying that the youth aren’t the issue of what is going on out here. Take the first three letters of youth and look at YOU. A lot of blame is put on the youth instead of looking at what was left by older generations for the youth. We tell our babies to go apply for a minimum wage job at Walmart or McDonald’s versus building businesses and employing our youth. Instead of teaching them how to handle the real life world that they will face as an adult in black America, we send them to daycares called high schools and debt gaining institutions called college. As a father of a beautiful black boy, I grew to realize that he wasn’t my only child and that I had become a father to all children who have never had the chance to be truly loved and cared about. Mix God, revolution and a heart to heal, and you get a concoction that has been placed in my spirit. Join me on my journey as I help us to help us! I love black Americans more than we hate ourselves, and when you are filled up with such a powerful spiritual mission to love and heal God’s forgotten people, that light will conquer any darkness present. This website is the online headquarters of Heal the Hood MKE and is designed with you in mind. It is code red on the streets of black America, and if WE don’t do something not now but RIGHT NOW, we will continue to fade into the hollows of hell on earth!
–Signed Ajamou Butler, Founder of Heal The Hood