Before beginning any discussion, the first order of business Thursday for the small group gathered in the Mayco Bigelow Center was to remember the black victims who have lost their lives to violence in Burlington.
One by one, Lonetta Love read the names of the city of Burlington’s 23 black homicide victims from the past decade. The vast majority lost their lives at the hands of black suspects.
“The issue of black on black crime is widespread,” said Love, the single mother behind the newly formed coalition SKOOP, or Stop Killing Our Own People. “It is bigger than any one organization or project. I believe we all have to come together as leaders in organizations and teachers and mentors to accomplish this. And together, I believe that we can.”
The meeting Thursday, a day after the city of Burlington’s final “community conversations” event on gun violence, involved a small, hand-picked group of mothers, teachers and concerned citizens wanting to turn around the trend of black-on-black violence in Burlington.
The group was joined by Assistant Chief Chris Verdeck of the Burlington Police Department and Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson.
“It needs to stop, and the only way we can stop it is with your help,” Verdeck told the group. “And there needs to be 100 times more people in this room. We need to be spilling out into the hallway with people that are fed up with this garbage going on in our community, and until we get to that point it’s not going to change. Until we get to the point that people are willing to stand up and fight for their community, it’s not going to change. And that’s plain and simple.”
Love, a single mother of three, moved to Apple Street in 2007 while she worked to save up money to relocate to a better neighborhood.
“The amount of damage it did to my family was detrimental,” she said.
Her son, 12 at the time, had dreams of going to Cornell and becoming a veterinarian. Despite Love’s efforts, he fell into the wrong crowds and became involved in crime.
At 18, he was flown to UNC Hospitals after being stabbed in the chest in Burlington. Several convictions later, he’s in prison.
“He has been a victim of crime and he has committed crimes,” Love said. “It is my desire that no parent have to bury their child and that no more youth will end up in jail, prison or juvenile detention.”
So when Love read the news of the Memorial Day murder of Tony Daye Jr. — and the fact that a 17-year-old girl was among the suspects charged with his killing — she quickly formed SKOOP.
Among those present for the coalition’s first meeting was Celo Faucette, Burlington’s mayor pro tem and council member. The night before, he also addressed local residents gathered on the city’s west side at St. Mark’s Church to discuss ongoing shootings into houses that have led to other crimes.
“It breaks my heart to see what’s going on in my community,” Faucette said at St. Mark’s Church. “People call us a bedroom community, and we may be. But bedrooms weren’t meant to be shot in.”
Speaking again Thursday, he told the mothers and teachers gathered that they had an important role in seeing the climate change.
“You’re the bedrock of the community,” Faucette said. “You’re the ones who can control these kids out here today. This starts at home.”
And, as the conversation unfolded, it became clear that in addition to home, changes have to be made in schools and in neighborhoods; in how children are raised and taught and in how community members report information to the police.
“Something’s got to give here,” Johnson said. “People cannot sleep in their own homes and they’re afraid. That should never happen in the city of Burlington or the county of Alamance or the state of North Carolina or anywhere else. If we turn up the heat, we’re going to need the community’s support in doing that.”
Love said that she believed black on black crime stemmed from poverty, which includes a number of other issues like lack of opportunity, lack of self-worth and respect for others, and a sense of hopelessness.Holy cow. Haven't we been sufficiently propagandized into being forced to believe black lives matter? And yet, because black people can't stop shooting/killing other black people in Burlington, North Carolina, the illustrious SKOOP has been formed.
You probably will recall from your high school SAT prep studies that SKOOP is perhaps the ultimate example of onomatopoeia: you know, when you put your shovel into the ground and scoop out the dirt? Hence the term: shoveling $hit...
Few things are funnier than understanding how many communities across America are combating "black on black violence" while simultaneously being lectured to that black lives matter... if black lives mattered, SKOOP wouldn't exist.
Thankfully, because SKOOP exists, once again the much derided racist white people who created Jim Crow/Sundown laws/restrictive covenants/segregation have been proven correct with this hilariously onomatopoeia aptly summing up the black experience in America.