This I Believe

Kirkland - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 25, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Sometimes I feel like there is a war going on back in my hometown of Philadelphia, and that I am my city’s worst soldier. While my comrades back home are constantly falling victim to their surroundings, I am in Los Angeles living a life they only see on television. While I’m having birthday dinners in Beverly Hills, partying on the Sunset Strip, and diligently working towards receiving my master of accounting degree, I’m constantly receiving reports from back home via my friends and family about who has been shot, killed, or jailed, who has become pregnant or become a new father, and who has become the latest victim of the drug trade – either using or dealing.

See, I believe that in America, it is easy to get wrapped up into your own life and not realize the reality of what is going on with others who aren’t living the life you’re living. I believe that in America there is a large group of citizens who make up the forgotten people and the only individuals who care about these people are those who have been forgotten themselves. It is not because the rest of America does not care; it is simply because they truly do not know of the situations that occur in America’s urban neighborhoods on a daily basis.

O’Shea Jackson, also known as Ice Cube, said it best at the end of “Boyz N The Hood,” a 1991 drama about kids growing up in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood. Cube said, “Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.” This quote was said in reference to the lack of news coverage his brother’s murder received on the television stations who instead decided to cover the war in Iraq at the time. But what Jackson’s character was truly trying to convey ties directly into my original point: there is a war going on outside and people do not care, simply because they do not know about it.

In America’s urban neighborhoods, there are higher homicide rates than there were at the worst of times in Iraq. Mothers are constantly loosing their sons to gunplay and families are loosing their loved ones to the drug trade. In cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles young African-American and Hispanic males who once had mile-high soaring futures now lay permanently dormant in a casket six feet below the ground. Yet, the government pumps billions of dollars into foreign engagements while the real problems are on its doorsteps here in America. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans are left clueless because the media fails to bring them this domestic reality. When it comes to social disparities in this country, Americans fell that if they don’t see it with their own two eyes, it doesn’t actually exist, and I feel like something must be done to correct that.

The Bible says that in the end the meek shall inherit the Earth. I believe change will come. With that said, just like the current war that goes on everyday in America’s urban neighborhoods, the revolution will ALSO not be televised. This I believe.