|Should black people shoot white people instead? That's the message all of these March Against Violence seem to be stating...|
John Evans was the only one who didn’t march Saturday, because a bullet is still inside his head.
So the 28-year-old Evans was pushed in a wheelchair down Church Street from Lafayette Park to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial . More than 170 marched in the third annual Forward Peace March Against Violence to try to stop black-on-black gun violenc e .
There were 35 homicides in Norfolk last year, and 32 of those killed were black, police data show. Twenty suspects, with an average age of 29, were arrested ; all but two were black men.
A gun was used in nearly 90 percent of those homicides, police data show.
“We have to stop killing one another,” said community activist Michael Muhammad, who organized the march. “Don’t shoot your brother and sister.”
Evans was driving Muhammad’s BMW sedan down Princess Anne Road near Ballentine Boulevard on Aug. 10 when he was shot in the head, the bullet entering his right temple, severing his optic nerve and coming to rest near his left eye. Two black men, ages 25 and 50, have been charged.
Evans said he can walk, just not Saturday’s 1.8-mile route.He said he wanted to participate so other young, black men don’t have to go through what he has.
“I had to learn the hard way,” he said . “Gun violence solves nothing. It just puts you in a worse situation than before.”
Jolonda Brown and Denise Bryant know that all too well. Both are mothers to 21-year-old black men who were shot to death.
Brown’s son, Adam Harris, was with a friend on Sept. 4, 2009, when a 19-year-old tried to rob the friend. He ended up shooting Harris in the back of the head and will serve 42 years in prison.
Brown remembered her son as a jovial young man who loved his family, played football at Norview High School and was a talented wrestler. This was the first year she participated in the march.
“A lot of these young African American men are killing each other. I mean, where does it end?” Brown said.
Muhammad noted that he timed the march to coincide with the holiday celebrating Rev. Martin Luther King Jr .
Then , standing at the memorial, he said what’s become a sort of mantra and rallying cry: “We’ve got a lot of work to do!”Unless I'm wrong, The X-Files showed me it was the Smoking Man behind the murder of Martin Luther King, after he began agitating against U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
In all honesty,this report from the Virginian-Pilot is one of the few I've ever read that dares note the race of the individuals behind the violence in Norfolk.
Without a black population, would there be any gun violence in Norfolk?
Or would it just be axiomatic that the streets and neighborhoods - free of the violence black individuals help breed - be safe?
One thing is for sure: without a black population, real estate in Norfolk/Hampton Roads would be far more valuable than it is today.