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Sunday, July 14, 2013


Last night just about every network broke into programming to announce the verdict in the Zimmerman Trial. This morning you can't watch television or go on the Internet or social media without Zimmerman or Trayvan Martin being prominently mentioned. Comment after comment on Facebook , everyone has an opinion regarding the trial and most are more than willing to voice it, some making sense, others acting like fools.

No matter what your opinion or what you think of the verdict, bottom line is it was a tragedy, a young man is dead, and that is not going to change.

One commenter on a national news channel made the point  that the killing couldn't be a racist act because Zimmerman is technically Hispanic and it was shown that he had black friends. I am not going to that into that aspect, it is just crazy to think that anyone is immune to racist acts  because of their race.

But here is the reason for my posting. Everyone is familiar with the names Trayvan and Zimmerman, it is the national buzz words today. But who can name a recent homicide victim for me that has been gunned down on our streets. When was the last time you heard anyone speak the name Shane Oliver or Javar Preston.

 These are just two of Hartford's homicide, both young black men,just two of the hundreds killed in Hartford over the last ten years, victims whose lives were taken early by violence. They may have not been shot in a gated community by a white guy, but do their deaths deserve any less attention.  Do you think CNN will break in when Shane Oliver's killers verdict is announced?

The only person I have heard mention Shane is his  father , Pastor Sam Saylor at a vigil. I remember his passionate pleas  the days after the murder. "His name was Shane" Saylor preached as he implored the crowd to remember his murdered son.

Are Hartford's homicides and the hundreds of young black men gunned down every year across our country any less significant because of the race of the shooter? Or maybe we have become desensitized because the general consensus is usually that if they are out on the streets at night, they must be up to no good.

Both of Hartford's homicides this week occurred in broad daylight. Both young men, under 25 I am told, at least one had a young child. One fatally shot on the grounds of an elementary school, the other close to the campus of Trinity College.

I only wish that all of the people that take the time to post on Facebook realize the travesty that is going on in their own neighborhoods and take the same interest in making a difference here. Take the time and try to mentor a young person. Take the time to go to a Council meeting and demand safer streets. Take the time to make a difference  and use your voices where they are needed, right here at home.

"His name was Shane" if nothing else remember that


Anonymous said...

I read your blog regularly, I don't always agree on every topic or with the direction some of the comments take. But the blog is excellent.

This post though "Something to think about" is powerful. It is by far the best post I've read. Thank you.

Hopefully everyone can relate to the spirit it was written in and be inspired to help make a difference in our communities.

A 17 year old, Trayvon, is dead. Perhaps his name/life/death helps lead to changes so that another SHANE isn't lost to violence in Hartford or anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Well said Kev!!!

Anonymous said...

For those of us who sadly may have already forgotten, can you link to any stories about these two young men?