Culture of silence surrounding violent crime keeps Selma from becoming a better place to live

Published 12:00 pm Friday, May 23, 2014

Enough is enough. It’s time for all of us to stop being scared and start acting like concerned citizens.

Violent crime happens here, just like everywhere else. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but people do, in fact, get murdered in our town. It’s a sad truth, but the saddest truth of all is the fact that people don’t speak up when they have helpful information.

In Thursday’s paper, we published a story about the lack of progress in the Andre Robinson case. Robinson was shot in his own backyard by a group of masked men, and to this day, there are no leads.

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In an interview with Robinson’s mother, Patricia, she said she has already forgiven the people responsible, but she still needs answers to calm her mind.

Robinson’s mother is not the only person who needs answers, and Andre Robinson’s murder is not the only killing to go unsolved in the area.

We all need answers. We all need to start working together instead of fearing one another.

It’s not easy to solve a murder. It is easy, however, to speak up when we have the chance.

Fear is keeping this town from being a better place for us all to live, work, raise our families and make our memories.

As much as we all talk about making Selma a better place and all the work that needs to be done, it’s important to note we can’t wait for someone else to speak up and change things.

Violent crime cripples us all as a community, in many more ways than a simple crime statistic could show. There have been stories printed in this newspaper with quotes from long-time Selma residents saying that it used to be a much nicer place. People used to feel safe enough to walk from one place to another at night.

What happened? At what point did we lose our city to violence? At what point did we make the decision to start hiding in the shadows?

It is time for all of us to start taking back our beloved city, one block at a time.

We can do this if we all start believing that speaking up to help in the pursuit of justice is more important than the irrational fear we have looming over us.

There is no reason to be afraid. Your voice is powerful, and justice is the reward.

Andre Robinson’s mother is still waiting for justice, so why keep her waiting?

It won’t be easy, but we can help. The only fear we should have is the fear of remaining silent.