Let’s quit finger-pointing and work together

Published 10:56 pm Monday, April 4, 2016

Dear editor,

Corey Bowie, our city council president, is right on target regarding violent crime in Selma. He is correct in his statement that a proactive approach is needed. He is correct in stating that the community must be involved.

There are 3 simple facts: 1) We cannot legislate or mandate good citizenship; 2) A government or agency cannot cure the basic void and ills left by a lack of parenting or family system that is typically noted in perpetrators of violent crime; and 3) We have a gang and drug problem.

Today’s perpetrator may be tomorrow’s victim and vice-versa. This makes for huge problems in the justice system, not to mention in the community.

In our frustration and pain of seeing so many of our young people — so full of promise and potential — fall prey to violent crime, it becomes easy to blame the establishment. It is the job of the police to investigate crime and arrest offenders. It is the job of the D.A. to prosecute criminals. It is the job of the city and county governments to see that the operations of the city and county are occurring as they should.

It is the job of the family, church and community to instill character in their children. When we begin to take over things that do not fall under the purview of our roles, not one does their job right.

Let’s quit finger-pointing. Let’s ALL ask “what can I DO?” instead of blaming government agencies when issues of character fail. We’ve heard it said, “let’s work together” for years and years, but no one really wants to do it, so it seems. It is time for each and all to take responsibility. For our community. For our children. For our future. After all, “it takes a village.”

Susan Keith

Selma City Council, Ward 2