“What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by an assassin’s bullet. No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled or uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.” – Robert Kennedy
“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Forward Thinkers this week I’m shifting from my weekly religious article of inspiration to bring you my unfiltered thoughts and opinions on the current state of issues in our community. Forward Thinkers I’m unapologetic when I refer to our community this week from the mind-set of a black man because the issues I will deal with today affect Blacks and Hispanics in a totally different perspective than any other group of people in Houston, Texas.
Forward Thinkers the first thing I want to address is the alarming number of Blacks being killed by Blacks in the city of Houston and I’m confused as heck why this doesn’t seem to be an issue to many of my friends declaring Black Lives Matter. I know that statement just upset some people and now I’ll probably be labeled as another ‘sell-out Black Pastor’ but we all know in this city you would be hard pressed to find many fighting for Black people as hard as I am so I’m willing to take the backlash if it will cause us to think and cut down on the B.S. (Bloodshed)
Forward Thinkers just in the last couple months I’ve had to conduct funerals and lead prayer vigils for dozens of families who have had their loved ones gunned down in the streets of Houston and no one showed up with signs or banners declaring their lives mattered too. Forward Thinkers whenever there is a questionable police shooting (yes, I agree this is a major problem and we should be upset and speak out) I get just as upset as everyone else and I speak out demanding action and justice but my problem is where is all the angry, protest, and cries for justice when a mother has to bury her child that was a victim to a senseless crime in our city.
Forward Thinkers this past week Edward Long (a Black father age 49) went to Walgreens for snacks and was gunned down by Black gang bangers and I promise you to his children and family his life matters too. Forward Thinkers two days before the shooting at Walgreens Marissa De’sha White (27 year old Black woman) was taking out her trash at the Crofton Place Apartments, located across the street from the Walgreens on the corner of Homestead Rd. and Tidwell Dr., and she was struck in the head by a bullet from another Black person in the community. In 48 hours two innocent Black people were murdered on the same block and no one seemed to care enough to show up with Marissa White and Ed Long Lives Matter Too.
Forward Thinkers in this same community 3 weeks ago Paul Wanza (26 year old Black man ) was shot dead in his car at Apache Park and there still has been no arrest or out-cry for justice from the community. Forward Thinkers to his family and friends I promise you Paul ‘Man-Man’ Wanza’s life mattered too.
Forward Thinkers please don’t get it twisted I’m not speaking out against the Black Lives Matter Movement I think its greatly needed and we should all support it but I’m speaking out against us as a people picking and choosing when Black lives matter and speaking of that within 10 minutes of Homestead Rd. and Tidwell Dr. going in any direction there are probably over 50 Black churches and I’m still waiting on the call for action from one of the several Ministers Alliances in Northeast Houston.
Forward Thinkers we all know this month on the 4th of July three Black men were gunned down like dogs in 4th Ward at a 4th of July celebration but I guess because the shooters were Black their lives don’t matter and we just keep conducting business as usual until somebody with a blue uniform on pulls a trigger. Forward Thinkers as I conducted a private prayer vigil for the family of Jamal Dataunte Dixon-Lackey (age 26) I promise you his children and family believe his life matters too. Forward Thinkers as I spoke at the funeral of Charles ‘Screwball’ Jackson (Father of 3) in 4th Ward it was clear to the community of 4th Ward Screwball’s life mattered too.
Forward Thinkers I could go on and on calling the names and sharing the stories of Black people killed this year alone to senseless violence in our communities but I think by now it’s clear I’m fed up with all the B.S. and declaring we need to cut it.
Forward Thinkers another thing that’s been heavy on my mind is the division among our people. Forward Thinkers when will we wake up and realize the enemy really doesn’t have any new tricks and we keep falling for the same old tactics that have kept us down for years. Forward Thinkers we all know one of the most powerful tools used by the slave master was to keep the slaves divided (house slave vs. field slave) and today we are still allowing the enemy to use the art of division to keep us in place.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us “until all of us are free then none of us are free” and years later we are still fighting against one another so hard the enemy really doesn’t have to do much to keep us defeated.
Forward Thinkers I truly believe one of the factors leading to the increased gang problems in our communities is the fact the youth of today see no true unity among the so called Black leadership in our city. Forward Thinkers I’m still amazed on how territorial we are as a people and the funny thing is most of the territory we are claiming some other race of people hold the title deeds.
Forward Thinkers I boldly declare as a people we are better together than we are divided. Matter of fact God said if those people on earth ever come together on one accord there is nothing they can’t accomplish under the sun.
Forward Thinkers if Black Lives really matter we must unite together and not allow outside factors to continue to divide us because united we will be able to empower our communities and drive out the forces of evil that have tried for generations to keep us stuck at the bottom of the American Dream.
Forward Thinkers the more I think about it do Black Lives really matter or do they just matter sometimes?
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. Pastor Deckard is also the Co-Founder of the No More Bloodshed Movement. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net.