The Baltimore branch of the NAACP has scheduled a rally at noon on Saturday, Jan. 31, to end the violence in this city. According to a flier being distributed today, many public officials are scheduled to attend. I mentioned a few weeks ago that this was being planned and I'm happy to see it's really happening.
I've been to many of these -- some held on street corners where young men have died -- others in auditoriums. State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy just completed a series of workshops designed to get youth and adults talking about wide range of issues, from truancy to class studies to gang violence.
For too long, Baltimore has accepted that between 250 and 300 people, and sometimes more, are going to be killed each year. It doesn't have to be this way (click here for a map of city slayings). Baltimore Sun police reporter Justin Fenton wrote in today's newspaper about a panel discussion in which young offenders told stories about why they resort to crime.
One youth said he could make $850 a week selling drugs, and that even if he stopped now, he would still carry a gun for protection. There is a disconnect between the youngsters and the adults. We spend a lot of time talking among ourselves about this problem. We need to find a way to actually do something.