Citizens of America, we are under siege and on the battlefield against each other. We live in the same United States, but we live in a divided country.
When some of us wake up in the morning, we have hope, while others of us wake up hopeless.
In an intriguing way, we are in another civil war. Our uniforms are not blue and gray because we now wear suits and dresses. We drive cars now and don’t ride horses. However, the common thread between then and now is that we are killing one another.
What is happening to America? Most recently, in Austin, Texas there was a series of bomb explosions and citizens were killed or injured. The man identified as the perpetrator killed himself as police closed in to apprehend him.
This is the latest example of the civil war going on in our country. Just a few weeks ago, we had the Florida school shooting where a young person turned his anger on a group of students at his former high school in Parkland. He killed 17 students and adults and injured others.
Now, we have students who are afraid to go to school and parents who are afraid to send them. Schools have become civil war battlefields, 21st-century style.
America, what is happening to us?
March has been designated Women’s History Month, yet we are in the midst of a #MeToo movement because women have been abused by their fellow citizens, mainly men. It is my opinion that this movement is here to stay. Women are just plain fed up with being treated like second-class citizens and having to acquiesce to the whims and desires of other people, mostly men.
On March 18 in Sacramento Calif., Stephon Clark, an unarmed Black man, was shot 20 times by police in his yard. He is dead at 22 years of age. His brother, Stevant Clark said, “He didn’t deserve it.” Stephon Clark was the father of two young boys.
So, as is the case with too many African-American males, they leave children behind to mourn them and to miss them. The tragedy of this is these children have a father who is laughing, talking and playing with them one day and the very next day the absolute unthinkable happens.
Death does not give you a second chance. Sudden death is, well, sudden death. There is no appeal or second chance. When you lose parents and love providers under normal circumstances, you are hurt, and you are grieving. This is what I know. But when you lose a parent or loved one because of violence, you are overcome with pain, hurt and shock. The senselessness of it sickens me.
Marvin Gaye sang, “Mother, mother, there’s too many of you crying. Brother, brother, there’s far too many of you dying. You know we’ve got to find a way to bring some loving here today.”
America, we can do better, and we must do better!
Dr. James B. Ewers, Jr. is a retired educator.
Should social and emotional learning be incorporated into educational curricula?