It’s time for the community to say, ‘enough is enough’

Published 8:11pm Thursday, June 6, 2013

How far is too far? How many more have to die?

The recent weeks have been tough for the city of Selma and the perceived image our beloved city has throughout the region, the state and nation, much less the perceived image we have of ourselves has been tarnished.

In recent weeks, we have seen five murders, all of them encased in tragic and horrible circumstances. In one way or another, they have not only ripped apart the lives of the families most closely connected to these tragedies, but they have continued to rip at the very fabric of our community.

Unfortunately, we have had the job of covering such news — displaying the violence across the front pages of far too many editions of the Times-Journal. It has not only been heartbreaking to be there on the scene when these families learn of the loss of their loved ones, but to display such tragedy for all the world to see is sometimes the last thing we’d want to do.

But there is need to cover these events. There’s a need to show what’s happening in our community, a need to show the heartbreak and the devastation. And then there’s the need to show, when it happens, the capture, trial and conviction of those responsible.

But, how far is too far when it comes to the violence we will come to accept in Selma? How much are we willing to take? How much are willing to stomach before we as a community stand together — black, white, man, woman, child — and demand the gun and drug culture in Selma be stopped. When we will stand up, regardless of the consequences and say, “enough is enough?” When are we going to have enough nerve to call the police and let them know that gang members operate openly in some areas? When will we start to name names?

If we are not ready to do so, if we are not ready to take a stand, then we will have to accept the consequences. If we don’t stand up then we accept the shootings, the street corner drug sales, the fights, the assaults and yes, to a degree, we accept the loss of life.

Selma holds a special place in history for being a city that stood up for what it believed in the 1960s. Why can’t we take a similar stand now and fight for a city we can all be proud of, a city we can all feel safe in?

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