It's not working.
The intense, never-yielding black violence in New Orleans forced WWLTV to launch #TakingaStand... odds it will work?
As close to zero as possible. [#TakingaStand: Mothers of murder victim: Since 2010, 978 people - men, women and children - have been murdered in New Orleans. They left behind thousands of grieving loved ones., WWLTV.com, May 6, 2016]:
NEW ORLEANS -- Since 2010, 978 people - men, women and children - have been murdered in New Orleans. They left behind thousands of grieving loved ones.
There is a special group of mothers, who lost loved ones, and they turning their pain into action. They are taking a stand.
The mothers of murder victims and mothers of violent offenders are invited to cake and conversation every Saturday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Ashe' Cultural Arts Center at 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard.
Evelyn Cargo said baking cakes is her therapy. "For me, baking helps me when I'm feeling really down and looking at the pictures on the wall of my sons."
Evelyn knows the pain of loss. One son, Kerry, died in an accident. Two sons, Henry and Eric, were murdered -- April 8, 2008 and October 19, 2011 respectively. Their murders remain unsolved, leaving an ache in their mother's heart and a void in the lives of their children.
"I have four grandchildren, and they don't know their fathers. And it's sad that many of our children, babies, are growing up without their fathers and some of them without their mothers because of the violence we are suffering in this city and something has to be done about it so we're speaking up," said Evelyn. "My one word is love, peace, grateful."
Evelyn is part of the Mothers Circle, made up of women who have lost children to violence. It's an initiative of the Mayor's Office Welcome Table New Orleans. The mothers meet regularly to heal and come up with ways to help heal a community wracked with violence.
"We, as mothers, we have the power. We can say, 'Boo' and a child's going to do whatever," Patrice Junius. "Women in general, if they speak more and stop trying to play with their kids,then we'll be a better society."
Patrice Junius' 19-year-old daughter Christiania was attending Delgado Community College and working as a cook when she murdered. "I had to realize that she wasn't coming back," said Patrice.
"I didn't want to live. I didn't want to live without my son," Patrina Peters.
Patrina Peters 19-year-old son Damond was a member of the Mardi Gras Indian nation and a talented basketball player when he was killed. Patrina's life mission is to fight violence for the sake of her two grandchildren.
"I have to continue taking this stand and continue walking strong in my faith because I have two little people that's depending on me, two little people that's looking up to me and I have to be the one to make things better," Patrina.
Chanda Burke's son 18-year-old Jared loved to draw. He was considering applying to Chanda's alma mater Howard University when he was murdered. While the case remains unsolved, Chanda believes it was the result of something all too common; petty jealousy.
"They took his life because of craziness," said Chanda Burke. "Without understanding that Jared hustled. He washed cars and mowed lawns to buy the things that he wanted."
The mothers are now channeling their pain into action. They are baking cakes for a cake and conversation gathering to bring together mothers who have lost children to violence and in the ultimate act of forgiveness they are also inviting into their circle the mothers of violent offenders.
"We want those mothers that might feel a certain way that children have created violence to realize that we're not judging you. We welcome you. We want you to tell your story. Because when they open up and tell their story, they're going to heal someone else in addition to healing themselves," said Chanda.
"We can't walk around with hatred in our hearts. We cannot survive with hatred in our hearts. We have to show love to everyone," said Evelyn.
The urgency is great. These mothers know first-hand violence can strike any family.Unfortunately, WWLTV.com doesn't break out the 978 people murdered in New Orleans since 2010 by race (or even mention the race of the suspects), meaning the whole #TakingaStand hashtag a movement as toothless as the #EndViolenceSTL campaign.
"Everybody can be touched. No matter how much protection or how much you, you do right. You can be me. You can be me," said Patrina.