Black or White, Will He Care?
We're closer than ever before to electing the first black president of the United States, yet as a 54-year-old black woman, I don't feel the enthusiasm, the fire or the passion for this unprecedented election. Why? Because Alonzo Robinson, a 13-year-old black boy from Alabama in Washington to visit relatives, was killed recently [Metro, July 21] by random gunfire on the streets of this very city, the most important city in the world.
Perhaps the next president, black or white, will take a good, long look out of one of the White House windows and see the real Washington, D.C., once dubbed the "Murder Capital of the World." Perhaps he'll see what George W. Bush failed to see: beautiful, innocent Chelsea Cromartie, 8, killed by a stray bullet while playing with her dolls in her aunt's living room; grandmothers Dorine Fostion, 47, Grace Edwards, 76, and Helen Foster-El, 55, all killed by gunfire; a 21-year-old college student, Ivory Harrison, killed when a gunman fired multiple shots into a crowd; and my 25-year-old nephew, Michael Douglas Hairston, shot through the chest four years ago during an altercation, his murderer never brought to justice.
These are just a few of the hundreds of examples of black Americans being killed, young and old alike, in this city. Perhaps our next president will not be alarmed by the Third World murder statistics in our nation's capital because his young children, or his adult children, are unlikely to become the victims of this senseless violence. After all, anyone living in the White House will be protected 24-7.
No, I am not enthusiastic, not one bit. Presidential candidates are known to make promises they can't keep, and I've yet to hear any candidate address the problems that plague the black communities of this great city, where black Americans are the majority. To my knowledge, no one in the White House has ever commented on black-on-black crime in Washington. Perhaps they wish it would just disappear.
I really hope that the next president decides to take a good, long look out of that White House window and check out what's going on in his own back yard.
-- Pamela A. Hairston